I Am the Accountant

Here I was, thrashing around in my midlife crisis, when a recruiter came a knocking. As braggy as it sounds, I get contacted with a degree of regularity by recruiters. Normally I say no. Because I was stewing in my own angsty juices, I decided to talk to this one. It’s a small start-up in the city, building an app for something I personally find interesting.

At first, I was all “Whatever…” but then I talked with the founder. You guys. YOU GUYS. I love this company. And I love this job. I would be employee #6 and get to build my team from the ground up. When I went in for the in-person last week, I talked with the founder for almost two hours and realized that every job I’ve had in my wayward career has made me the perfect candidate for this job.

But damn it… It’s a start up. Which comes with a lot of instability, terrible health insurance, long hours. Over the weekend, I have debated the pros and cons of my situation replete with the tiny angel and tiny devil duking it out on my shoulders. It dawned on me sometime yesterday (as I was weeping in a grocery store parking lot stuffing my face with brownies, btw) that I probably can’t take it even if I was offered the job.

Here are all the reasons why this is probably a waste of my time:

  1. Insurance at most start-ups looks like this: Tylenol, an ice pack, and a coupla band-aids. Mr. O and I are socializing the idea of Chick Part Deux, which means we’d need actual grown up insurance that covers infertility treatments. Though I haven’t seen the plan, I seriously doubt it covers this– certainly not as generously as mine currently does.
  2. New job would likely not have maternity leave. Thank you, America, for treating new mothers like shit. Birth that baby, then get back on the factory floor! #rantover
  3. Should said attempt at baby-making not work out, I would like to be in a place where I could lick my wounds for a little bit. I’m not sure the 24/7 nature of a start-up would be conducive.
  4. This new job would probably not help me with a relocation effort. After a particularly insightful comment from labmonkey2, I realized I should try moving to some place that makes me less hostile. Right now I’m working for a known company in a high growth unit, which is part of the reason recruiters contact me all the time. Coming from an unknown company that may or may not get off the ground… not as attractive.
  5. Depending on the way the position evolves, it may not actually be the direction I want my career to go in. Long story, but I’m in the middle of a pivot right now and this would keep me firmly planted in the area where I already have expertise.
  6. This will not be the last cool start-up ever. Though this specific job may not be open again, opportunities like this are not infrequent in my field. It’s totally possible I could have another shot like this one, if not with this company.

My current sitch isn’t bad– I go to work at 9, run at lunch, eat a salad from the company cafe, answer some emails, then I’m home by 5:30 to spend time with my gorgeous kid. I’m not weeping at my desk everyday, I’m just kinda bored. Boring, I’ve found, is sometimes necessary. I needed it for a few years, what with my mom’s health and my own shitastic fertility treatments. But now that I’m sorta waking up from that period of emotional trauma, I’m realizing the day in and out isn’t too exciting. It explains why I’ve been a little out to sea with this job lately. Yawn.

And yet… This is not the direction I thought my career would go in. Indeed, this isn’t exactly how I thought my life would end up. I am a responsible adult, damnit. In my heart of hearts, I had always assumed Mr. O would be the adult and get a stable job as an accountant or something, leaving me free to be risky and irresponsible. (Woohoo!) Through an odd turn of events, I am the accountant (metaphorically speaking, that is.) Being the breadwinner was never on my bucket list.

As I was moping around this weekend, I realized that this will be the first decision I’ve made not to do something I want to do. If it weren’t for Mr. O, Chick, the twinkle of Chick #2, I would be jumping in with both feet. I don’t mean to imply that I wish they weren’t there. More that it was a strange realization that I have to be responsible, even if it goes against my own personal wishes. My choices have an impact on my family now in a way they never did before.

I can’t decided if this is depressing or just the truth.

Is it just me, or did Arthur Miller write a play about this? Death of an Accountant? Was that a thing?



  1. AdoptiveBlackMom · May 31, 2016

    Ha! You forgot Robotussin as a part of start-up health insurance. You can’t forget the Tussin.

    I think that having responsibilities–in this case a family depending on you–makes you look for other reasons why something isn’t a good fit, so it’s not all bad. I know for me last summer when I was being recruited out of state, I didn’t want Hope to be the sole reason why I didn’t take the job–even though I knew it wasn’t going to be a good move for her. The “guilt” of thinking that shew wasn’t the reason made me do what you did, really flip it over. Turns out, it wasn’t a good career move for me and that even though they were laying the recruiting on thick, they didn’t get me and what I wanted to achieve. I would’ve been miserable there whether Hope was along for the ride or not.

  2. thecommonostrich · June 1, 2016

    True, true… there are more reasons than “familial obligations” that this isn’t a good fit. In fact, I even list them in my post, but I don’t zero in on them when I emote about this. If I fast forward, this job would be exhilarating but exhausting, all while taking me in a direction professionally that I don’t think is where I want to end up. The family stuff is more supporting evidence than anything else.

    In the meantime, I have another in-person scheduled… I don’t really know why I’m doing this. Perhaps just to prolong the fantasy?

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