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September 25th, 2004 - Decisions

 

Dear Journal,


Yet again the odds are against me. I must be born under an evil wicked star while others had generous ones for I do not seem to recall someone as unlucky as I for the moment. I try to be good, do the right thing, and what do I get for my good conscience?  Nothing but trouble!

As I mentioned the other day, I was (am I still I wonder?) looking for something different, a new professional orientation.  I have made inquiries, but none were so good though I was wanted. By this I mean that what they could offer me was not enough to respectfully live on as a Potions Master. Of course, they have other employees before me whom they cannot overpass, so I understand. But why it has to befall me that when I finally find an interesting opening, it is taken back?  

I know I am being my sulking self but why does it has to be so?  At first, a company told me they needed someone to replace another of their employees whom had left thanks to medical condition. I had passed the interview and surprisingly did well enough because I usually am horrible at them thanks to my general disposition and my different thinking process. Indeed, I often do not understand their questions because they seem so irrelevant or not to the point. I often take one lead, but I take the wrong one and do not go where they want me. Just make your questions clearer then! What a lack of subtlety and ... Slytheriness. Or maybe it is me who seeks too much in their innocent words, like hidden meanings that are not there... Still, why ask me about imaginary situations or contexts of a workplace I still have no notions about while they could just put me to the test in a natural environment?  Or why not ask me about my ethics and believes or logical and philosophical questions, something of concern and how I deal with incompetence?  No, they don't do that which is just why I had designed that riddle for the Mirror of Erised because wizards have no logic. But maybe they are just worried the candidates would proof better than them. I know I overanalyze all the time and have a disposition for making myself misunderstood, but then again it is their incompetence that draws me to dead ends.  Dunderheads!  

Luckily this time, I had found a well-cultured man who shared my ethics and seriousness.  I was envisioning getting out of Hogwarts already for he had offered me a job, though not as beneficial as my teaching job, it still good enough for my standards.  I were to replace someone, but thirty minutes before the man flewed me, the person who had left came back and asked to be reintegrated.  She had tried something else but when she didn't like it, she took the chance of coming back. And the man being so generous (and of course he would be since he was ready to accept me even with my vile reputation), he took her back.  The company he works for was not the only one though.  There were others which he said he could refer me to. And so he did...

I got a flew call from him two weeks later telling me that an opportunity had arisen in another branch of the company.  It was far down in England, far from Hogwarts, but it was worth it still.  Being unsure, Albus let me try it and has hired a supply-teacher in the meantime.  Dear Albus! He does not want me to go, but at the same time, he gives me all the chances of doing so out of "greatest of heart".

The difference in this branch of the company though were the conditions. And I learned just how different they proved to be for the last month while also preparing myself to move over there because I had taken my decision. I will not go into details, but let me just say that what I was promised first and what I was given were far from similar.  Now I have a major choice in front of me: do I do it or not?  Something happened yesterday, the day before I intended to rent an apartment and finally move from Hogwarts... The working conditions dropped yet again so that I am left wondering what I should do... Do I make the move or stay here at Hogwarts?  Am I ready to make so many sacrifices that may well influence my research?  Will I still be able to produce quality work with their effectives?  

I am far from sure even though I am fully confident in my skills. I can do miracles with little else but my brain. But at the same time, I am not an alchemist capable of making appropriate equipment apparate from thin air... The head-researcher there is not an dunderhead, I am sure of it, but he has little power unfortunately.  He promised me some more potions ingredient he would himself supply. But even so, it is not much. The one having a powerful hand in this branch of the company is, whom I presume,  Gilderoy Lockhart's cousin or sister even. She owns the place or rather, she owns part of it but acts as though it was all hers. Always smiling as if nothing was the matter even though she is messing things up for the sake of her own pockets. Such irresponsible managers should be forbidden from doing business, ever. She smiles and utters the stupidest comments when embarrassed or when she wants to get away with something or when she does not want to pay for something.  There is no going against her, she faints innocence.  Or. as I am more prone to believe now,  just like Lockhart, she does not faint but happens to be one of the most clueless and egoistic person I ever met. But that darn smile of hers! I could blast it off to Jupiter if that would not lend me in Azkaban... Her son works there, too, the little bugger. He also acts as though he already owns the place, even with the head-researcher!  His supervisor said she had problems with him already, that he had the attitude of... well, pretty much like Draco.

I have not yet worked there for so long, only a month, but it seems that each week brings its share of unpleasant surprises as to the equipment and supplies.  I cannot work like that, I am a Potions Master!  Not some darn twit from any A-level course!  The problem is that this company is still rather new compared to the Ministry's Potions Research department. There is much to do, but that is exactly why I wanted to work there: because they are not the Ministry where paperwork has overthrown any real research and kept so many incompetent workers!

So again, what do I do?  I have been asking this question over and over again for the last month.  One week before I accepted the job, I had to make the big move though I still had my place secured at Hogwarts. Then the next one when I discovered the extend of the equipment or rather lack of, I still thought that it was worth staying there nonetheless. The owner said they had mistaken me about the equipment and that she was sorry for it...with a large smile of course. But another week later, I discovered the supplies were also far from what they had promised me. That was the head-researcher's fault, but he personally made the oath of providing me with the minimum required though the lady owner said she could do nothing about it (I know she can, so she's an even bigger dunderhead for believing I would believe her!). And finally yesterday, when all was finally well, settled and when I was looking for housing arrangements at last, I discovered that the budget had been cut yet again.  I think I may have scared some of the other workers after I discovered that, but like always, the lady-owner was smiling and telling me everything was going as expected since she reinterpreted those words she said to me at first in a very different light... and of course, how sorry she was for these misunderstandings.  Right! Hufflepuffs would believe you, but not this Slytherin.

Now what?  I thought all night, had nightmares (as always when faced with such decisions), I had a bad hair day, it seems I cannot find any way to calm myself down though I tremendously need to recover from my first month of work...  Throughout all of these events of course, I have referred to my one and only reference, Albus.  Up to yesterday, he agreed that even though I had worst working conditions for Potions as in Hogwarts, if it was something I liked, it was still worth trying. But when I told him about the final and supposed last version of the tale yesterday, he changed. He considers that they are not worthy of having a Potions Master they will not invest even a minimum, and that I should not fall victim to that, however pleasant looking the job may be. I must not work for free in a sense, and that is almost what they are asking me to do. Still...

I will have to let it sink deeper and see how I feel about it.  Right now, all that my heart is screaming is "Why everything I do has to go bad? Can't I just have a normal life like others?  Why do others seem to find interesting positions and be able to keep them while I cannot?  Why can't the lady be less stupid and short-sighted? Why, why, why?!  Darn it! Is it a sign for me to stay in Hogwarts after all?  How am I to understand this turn of fate!  This is when I wish Trewlaway was a real full-time seer! Not just once a decade! I think I could bed the old looney if that gave her a prophecy!  (She has been hitting on me for a long time now... to my utter despair of course). Then, I would not have to make a choice for myself, I would just know what to do.  It pains me to have to come back to square one.  Of course, nobody in Hogwarts but Albus and Minerva know why I was gone so I do not have to worry about any gossips, but still, I feel like I failed though it was absolutely not my fault. I was a victim, a real one in this episode of my life, yet I feel bad. Bad for having to quit, bad for maybe missing a good opportunity to do something else, bad for having to give in to a fool, bad for the head-researcher who accepted me so readily, bad for that work I achieved and was proud of... bad for everything though it is not my fault. At least when you know you are to blame, decisions are so much easier to make: you get out with a clear conscience or not. Period. That is what I did when I went to Albus so many years ago. I wanted a clear conscience.  But when it is not in your power to culpabilize yourself, what do you do?  This is just like falling victim to ones' parents: you can do nothing about it, yet you feel guilty for what you do as a consequence.

I will leave it to this for now. I hope sleep will cure me.  

Severus