As I was reviewing this blog, I found my problem.
April 1, 2011. Apparently, I was reading The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (curse you, Dave Ramsey, for the recommendation! or was that the year we started a book club at work?) and somewhere in there, it recommends being passionate about your work.
TT: Maybe it was Rabbi Lapin's book. They covered some of the same areas.
Anyway, that seems to be the moment I decided to start mastering my job instead of just being a pleasant, dependable employee. I did quite well, too, up until the moment I quit.
How was I to know how seriously I would take this new life tack?
When I started my new job at the state, I quickly mastered my assigned duties, and moved on to mastering other things in the office. I asked questions. I looked for problems and ways to avert them before they became my problem. My new boss wasn't big into telling me what to do. She wanted us to discuss options and synergize (my word). Well, the turtle is nothing if not willing to play by the rules, so I ran with the new rules of "figure it out" and mastered it. Perhaps too well.
My work motto for the last year is "be the solution, not the problem." As in, don't tell me all the ways you think you're thwarted. Tell me what you can do. Then do it with cheerful efficiency. Why are you talking to me about it?
In short, I now think like management. It's a real bummer. But it has led to my other motto.
No employee is paid what they're worth. They're either overpaid, or underpaid.
Good thing I'm not motivated by money.
Push button. Receive bacon.