Have you ever loved your job? I mean, like, really loved your job?

I’ve loved three men in my life.
I’ve only loved one job.

In 2004 I moved from St. Louis to San Francisco to work for Snapfish, then a scrappy, independent photo site.  I’d spent the preceding six years freelance writing and managing web site projects at a publicly-traded P.R.  agency in St. Louis. The offices were cold and corporate, and the clients were behemoth and bureaucratic. Everyone wore grey, and it was quiet all the time – so quiet you could hear someone licking envelopes four cubes down.

I liked the work, and I liked the people, but I was ready for a change.

Back then Snapfish was on the fifth floor of an outdated, turn-of-the-century building toward the dodgy section of Market. The elevator never worked; the women’s bathroom had a single stall; ceiling tiles would magically explode to the floor in the middle of meetings.

Snapfishers were from all over the world. They had beautiful accents, and names like Bala, Yuri, Adina and Sinyen. Organic produce was delivered weekly. There were no administrative assistants – you sent your own faxes, and so did the CFO. You could wear your pajamas if you felt like it. You could drink Manhattans by the Big Gulp at your desk if you felt like it. As long as you were being productive, who cared! 

But the best part was the work. We worked like crazy, and we actually built stuff – stuff that people used! People like my mom! And the guy in the seat next to me who won’t shut up about his Christmas calendars! Why didn’t I keep my mouth shut?

Here I was, the token Midwesterner and the only blonde in the company, who had never taken a single yoga class and thought Reiki was something you use in the yard.

I was in love.

And then it happened. Bill, the other love of my life, proposed, and I said yes. Bill was back in St. Louis in a family-run business and couldn’t relocate to San Francisco.

Snapfish said it was OK! I’d commute! Of course I would! I’d get to keep shopping at all my favorite boutiques, see all of my SF friends whenever I wanted, and I wouldn’t even have to change my hair stylist. AND I’d get sick frequent flier miles. It would be the best of both worlds!

Only it wasn’t.