Friday, December 28, 2012

Catching Up

3½ months. Yup.  I haven’t blogged in 3.5 months.  Guess what else I haven’t done?  
  • gotten my act together 
  • started any type of regular workout regime
  • donated all the stuff in the garage and cellar that's marked "Donate"
  • moved the spare chair from the useless corner of the dining area to the TV room
  • lost the 25 pounds I hoped to lose before Christmas; in fact, another 5 pounds somehow found its way onto my thighs
  • folded that one last basket of laundry sitting in our bedroom 
But, you ask, what on Earth have I done with my valuable time?  Because I couldn’t possibly have wasted 14 weeks on “Honey Boo Boo” reruns.



We went to Walt Disney World.  An invasion, I mean, family vacation which required lists and planning and packing and details.  Great time was had by all, including me.
A lot of family stuff - illnesses and birthdays and arguments and laughs.

I changed hairdressers.  For those of you who've gone through this, you understand what a big thing that is.
I started a new job a week after my last blog.

Yeah, that’s a biggie.  

I’m back to work full-time, no thanks to my last employer’s half-assed decision to issue a half-assed ultimatum.  Or should I say, to have the comptroller, who I somehow ended up working under even though I was the administrative assistant to the company CEO and the board (welcome to Small Company Politics), inform me mid-August that if I didn’t go full-time by October (I was working 25 hours a week), I was out of a job.  Even better, they wouldn’t be raising my hourly wage.  

More perplexing was the confusion this ultimatum created.  The head of our Human Resources Department (which consists of two people) knew nothing about this change.  One Vice-President knew nothing about the decision, and the other was under the impression that a further discussion was to have taken place amongst the executive staff to clarify what I’d be doing during all these additional hours before I was told of the situation.  I even asked if I could work from home part of the time (most of the billing and my other work is online and computer-based, and could easily have been done from anywhere).  My proposal was turned down.

So, faced with bringing home even less money if I went full-time, plus having to pull the Youngest out of his 2-hour-a-day, 4-day-a-week, school-year-only preschool and find him a spot in a full-day preschool/daycare setting, which as so many of you know does not come cheaply, all to stay in a job that offered little in the way of benefits (limited sick/personal and vacation time), I took the leap and put my resume out there.  I focused on part-time jobs in school offices, since they seem to provide the most flexibility for a working mom.  That didn’t get me anywhere – most of those jobs seem to be written for a person already in mind in most systems.  Then I looked at all the pros and cons and tossed my name in the ring for a few full-time positions.  That’s when the stars aligned, the angels sang, and I got a great full-time job in a school system as a secretary.  Paid holidays, snow days, working a reduced shift during summer and school vacation weeks, and having a workday that ends at 3:00 p.m. all made this a viable option.  Even more amazing, when I took the chance and called the Middle Child’s former preschool, they had one opening in the pre-Kindergarten classroom… the week before school started.  I signed the paperwork for the new job and gave my two weeks’ notice the next morning.

The real kicker?  Hubby was convinced the decision was driven by other issues in the company, including the external IT consultant’s personal relationship with the CEO and his absolute inability to do his job, something which a number of us had commented on.  And I think Hubby was right – after all that, when they posted my position, it was posted for a 30-hour workweek – 10 hours less than I was told I was needed.
There’s a lot of ways this change wasn’t so great.  I’m not a morning person, but need to be at work before 7:00 a.m. every school day.  Every afternoon I now have to rush to pick up the Middle Child and the Youngest.  My income is higher, but it works out to the same amount I was bringing home working part-time when you deduct the daycare expenses.  I had to buy a new car, and it was more expensive than planned – we ended up with a used Honda Pilot to handle the roads on days they don’t call off school and our plow guy does his normal craptastic job on the streets in our neighborhood.
But I am happier in more ways than not.  I have benefits, I like what I do, and as my mother-in-law (a school nurse for decades) always said, one of the best places for a mom to work is in a school.
So what’s new with you since we last talked?


Just A Normal Mom said...

Changing hair dressers is definitely a big thing! I live in fear of having to live through that situation.

Congrats on the new job. Sounds like despite some of the down sides, it was probably the right move.

Shelli said...

Go easy girl! My year was equally exciting, terrifying, and exhausting, but I'm working on getting my act in gear for 2013 (she says like 99% of the population will say in the next 24 hours). I am planning a drive by post on my own blog so my 3 readers know I'm still lurking somewhere other than FB and Twitter. What I won't say on my blog, but can admit here in this audience, I am likely going to need to abandon my family business awesomeness and go back into the corporate world in 2013. I bite my nails thinking of it, but the economy is killing my current employment and I need to get into a position where I can make more money for my family. Just when I thought I got my head on straight....! Now I'll be spending my time on LinkedIn. Lol.

I'm so glad you got a great job that aligns so well with your needs! And, I hear you on the hair thing. My stylist moved to Florida a few years ago, and I about nearly died. Very hard to transition to a new one. But the five hairs on my head look great now... Yeah, I'll save that for my blog post.