I got offered my old job back yesterday. On a purely "Hah!" kind of level, it is gratifying to know that things just haven't been the same without me. On another level, to know that despite my leaving they would still want me back makes me feel really good.
However, the terms of me returning were shaky at best. A minimal bonus instead of a raise. And another week of vacation, but not as vacation time per se, but rather as a "raise" that would offset the extra week of unpaid vacation that I would want to take. It wouldn't be something that would be guaranteed to increase with years of service. And there's no guarantee that my old boss wouldn't change her mind in a couple of years and decide that she didn't want to do that anymore. Any freeze in a raise pattern would effectively devalue that "vacation raise." And I would have to deal with any resentment this "arrangement" might raise amongst the other staff members.
That aside, the job is the same. It still has the same old crap, and all the things I hated about it still exist. And it still is a dead end cul-de-sac. There are no opportunities for advancement. No opportunities to try new things.
And Mr. Bump doesn't work across the street from my old job.
And yet...I considered it. I seriously considered it, combing over all of what it would entail in extraction from my current job. The pluses were that I would always have someone to have lunch with. (Of course, I do now with Mr. Bump.) And it is a fun working environment. And I know the job backward and forward and I wouldn't have the obscene learning curve that I have with my current job. It would be so easy to go back there, fall back into old patterns, from my morning stop at Einstein's on Mondays for a large Cinnamon Hazelnut coffee to sharing Ranier cherries with my boss when they start showing up in the produce aisle in the summer.
I can hear you all screaming right now (NO! Don't open that door! There's a monster on the other side! It has an axe for a hand and it wants your blood!) at the computer screen. I know what you're thinking. It would be taking a step backward. Less vacation time, less money, no chance of ever working for the judicial system again, more stress, the tearful drives home. And then there is the sick time. The pot of gold that just keeps filling up, 4 hours every 2 weeks, forever and ever without end. God forbid Mr. Bump would get hit by another car, or I were to, ahem, decide to have a baby, I would need that sick time. And lucky me, if I don't go back to my old job, I would have it.
Going back there would help my old boss desperately (apparently the person they hired to replace me just isn't working on many, many levels), but I don't think in her asking that she thought beyond what she wanted, what she needed. What's best for me isn't that job. And as much as I like her and I miss my old co-workers, I know that to be true to the bone.
So now that I finally have that worked out, all I have to do is call her and tell her. Whee.