Tag Archive: work


Work of Heart

I am typing this post at home after my first day at my “new” old job.

I applied for and was offered my old job back in the medical staff office that I quit around 2-3 years ago (I’ve lost track of actual time on when I left).

I seriously question my sanity in going back to a job that I swear gave me a mild form of PTSD.  But at the same time, so much has changed since I left that I am no longer worried about the stress of the position.

One – there are now more people in the department – up to 5 staff members now (when there were just 3).

Two – there are employees who know what they’re doing and are certified in the job with many years of experience working there now.  I won’t be asking questions and receiving non-answers any more, nor will I be left to figure it out for myself.

Three – I have leadership who knows what it is like to struggle and knows my history with the position.  And they hired me anyway because they believe in my strengths and know I can do the job with the right resources.

My first day was less than productive, but also hilarious and heartwarming.

I have no computer to do my work on – but it is on order!  I’m currently using an old laptop they have in the office until the computer comes in (which they were informed today might take as long as 2 weeks).

I have my old desk back.  A really old desk from a position I was in about 10-15 years ago.  As I walked in and the desk was pointed out, I paused and thought, “that looks familiar”.  Sitting down at it, the scratch on the top and the drawer that doesn’t quite open right seemed to whisper, “Hello old friend”.  Speaking with another coworker who stopped by the office later in the day confirmed, yes indeed, it is the same desk I sat at when I first transitioned from food service employee to administrative assistant all those years ago.

My coworkers are a joy to work with.  Each of them wanting to know what they could do to help me, all while I’m asking them what I can do to help ease the work load from them.  They have nicknames for each other and laugh together at the smallest of joys.

It’s a different atmosphere in this office both from before and from where I came from.  It is a stark contrast to have one office employee refer to you as a “b*tch” (and not in a joking manner) on your last day and the new office employees excited that you’ve joined their team that they include you in their nicknames for each other on the first day (officially dubbed “work of heart” – but with the assurance I can change it if I want).

Work_Of_Heart

Work of Heart Bear – She is an artistic Care Bear who shows that creativity and hard work can create beautiful things. (Wikipedia)

I’ve had enough self-growth in this past year to realize that the disgruntled employee calling me a bad name is a reflection on them and not on me.  I consider it tremendous growth to have overheard it (I was meant to hear the comment), let it go without a comment and feel some amusement at the same time.  I am secure in my knowledge of my own actions and behavior that I know I’m not who they think I am.

I am one month away from being at my company for the beginning of my 23rd year.  Today felt like coming home.

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I Am At Peace

I’ve had many things happening of late that I want to write about, but it’s all so jumbled in my mind that I haven’t felt like it would be coherent to share with you.  I think I’m finally ready – but if it doesn’t seem rational, just know that I warned you!

Hun and I went on an honest-to-goodness vacation several weeks back.  It was wonderful, blissful, (mostly) non-stressful, and relaxing.  We went on a cruise with another couple, cousins from my side of the family, and just being the 4 of us, it was great.  We did what we wanted, when we wanted and with whom we wanted.

Before leaving on the vacation, I prepped my work and coworkers on what I needed them to do while I was away.  I actually left my job at “Inbox-0”.  I had NOTHING pending in my work email that needed my attention or would hold a mental distraction for me while I was away.  This is the first time I have ever left work without feeling like I was forgetting something or that my work would be more stressful when I returned due to unfinished business.  This added to my relaxed feeling while I was away.

When Hun and I returned from our trip, he came down sick – bronchitis with a vengeance.  And I received a text from a previous boss asking if I could meet with her.

She proceeded to tell me that she had a part-time job opening and she wanted me to be in the position, that I was the first and only person she considered hiring for the spot.  I was/am honored beyond belief that she feels this way.  I asked her for the chance to talk with Hun and to think about the offer.  She readily agreed.

The next day, I talked with HR – I suspected and it was confirmed by them – the new offer would affect my current position and there would have to be negotiations between the two departments for my time.  This wasn’t a surprise to me, but meant I needed to think through my options carefully and proceed with care – for my own mental health and well-being.

Before I could return home that evening, the start of a tickle on the back of my throat alerted me to the fact that now I was coming down ill.  My former boss is not one to wait and she texted the next day, while I was ill, wanting to know if I had an answer for her.  I let her know of my illness and asked to wait until after the weekend before speaking with her, hopefully I would be better by then.

Three days in bed allowed me time to think through my options.  There weren’t many that didn’t lead to increased stress on my part, in some cases enormous stress.  Hun’s one request of me regarding the job offer was that I not go back to the dark place I was in several years ago.  I’m just now coming back to “normal”; I don’t want to go back there either.

On Monday, I let her know of my “conundrum”.  We walked through all of the scenarios that I could potentially foresee.  I laid everything out, honestly, where the stress points would be and why and for how long.  She agreed, it was a conundrum and one that she could tell wouldn’t have an easily solved solution.

She finally commented, “So, if I want you to work for me, I have to be able to offer you at least what your current job is already giving you; so you would leave them and solely work for me, is that an accurate statement?”

I thought about it – yes, I guess so.

Without realizing it, I had negotiated my own terms into the job offer.

I had no intention of doing that – that isn’t me.  But it is something that brought me satisfaction once I realized that is what I did.

I’ve since found out that my old boss is unable to give me what I need to quit my current job and come back to working with her.  In the past, I would have moved heaven and earth to make a move like this happen, regardless of what my gut was telling me.  While I am disappointed (I love this boss!), I’m also relieved that it didn’t work out.  Not because I don’t want to move – I would in a heartbeat if the terms had been agreeable and met – but because I know the move isn’t going to bring on increased stress.

I am at peace with the entire process – so I know that this was the right decision for me at this time.  There are no worries, no wondering if I made the right choice, no wondering if I’m disappointing someone and what they think of me.  This is a new feeling for me.

I like it.

Calm Out Of Chaos

There are subtle noises at my work being made that are leaning towards change.  At barely a whisper, it’s hard to tell if the change is merely my imagination or might actually happen.  Usually, I can tell when something is “off” and right now, something is “off”.

One of my coworkers, while very nice and a great person; usually talks or makes some type of noise for the better part of the day.  Random song lyrics out of nowhere, blurting out what she’s thinking regardless of the subject (she once informed us she needed to go #2), and wild statements that you’re positive aren’t true (my mom believe’s you’re the devil).  My assumption is she talks to hear herself talk; but she’s also commented that she takes meds for ADHD, so that probably plays a large role in her personality.

Recently, she had an upcoming day off.  One of the other ladies asked her what her plans for the day were – her response was “I’m going to a job interview”.

No one said a word – positive or negative – we were all silent, like she hadn’t said a thing.  Just like we react to 95% of her statements.

I asked one of the other coworkers (when we were alone) what her thoughts were.  She responded with, “I don’t think she’s going to an interview.  I think she just said that because she wanted someone to say ‘no, don’t leave!  We’d be lost without you!’.”

But, for some reason, I think she was serious.

I don’t know.  I could be wrong – I’ve been wrong before.

This leads me to another, similar, event.

While I did change jobs about 6 months ago, I am still with the same company.  I’ve been with this company for over 22 years now.  Over those years, they’ve done different processes for employee evaluations.  Their current model is that everyone has their evaluation done during the same time-period.  So, even though I’ve only been in the position for 6 months, I just completed my yearly evaluation.

It was a decent evaluation, with my manager praising the changes I have helped with during my short time in the department.  She went so far as to say, “I wish there were 6 of you!”  She also commented that she wished I would go full-time (I’m only part-time at 28 hours a week currently).

I stayed silent on her comments.

In the past, I would have agreed immediately to whatever my manager wanted from me.  Bigger challenges?  I’m on it!  Want me to work myself crazy?  No problem!

But not now.  I reflected on her comments and reviewed the subtle shifts happening in the department.  I see patterns, and can intuit things before others see the same things.  I think we’re going to have a job opening in the department within the next 6 months.

And if my manager stays true to her statement, I’m not going to take the offered full-time job.

This is a huge change for me business wise.  In the past, I would have jumped right on it.  Already thinking about how I could change the position for the better (before I was in the position or even before being offered the position).

Now I know that if I took the position I would eventually be miserable.

Within a year, I would be stressed out and, eventually, willing to throw away my career just like I was before.

With the current job I have, and the personal growth I have experienced over the last several months, I know what I want out of life now.  I know what I want to be when I “grow up”.

I want to create.  Specifically, I love to create calm out of chaos.

That’s what I’m currently doing.

My core job duties are the same as what my coworkers’ job duties are – except I only do those duties about 35% of the time, while they do them around 85-95% of the time.  The other 65% of my time is dedicated to special projects.  The job didn’t start this way, but it has morphed as my manager saw my strengths and utilized them.

The projects I am given are a complete and utter disaster when they are handed to me.

I make sense of the project.  I create processes on how to do the project going forward.  I test out my process and revamp and revise as needed/necessary until it makes sense.

In six months of being in the office, I have tackled 6 major projects.  Most are completed; a couple of projects are still in process.  I’m given a new project every few weeks.  I have more projects “in queue” to be worked on than I currently have time for.

And I am ecstatic!

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Will I be willing to help out my manager in a pinch if my coworker does quit?  Yes.

Will I do it without a plan to return to what I’m currently doing?  No.

I finally feel like I’m a grown up.  Funny how things like this work.

Let The Journey Begin

I am about to embark on a very exciting journey!

I have decided to open up my own business.  I have the general idea in place and am currently working through a lot of the planning stages of a venture such as this.

I’ve never owned my own business.

I have no idea what to do, where to start, or what to expect.

But that’s okay, because I’m not the first person to take on this adventure.  Others have gone before me and have paved the way.  I have countless blog posts saved for aspects of this business idea that I haven’t even thought about yet.

Everything points to starting with a business plan.

Plan?  Like in lists?  And expectations?  And getting down to the nitty-gritty details?

AWESOME!

I LOVE planning!  I LOVE making lists!  I LOVE details!

I don’t love not knowing what I’m doing.  Sigh.

That’s okay – these road blocks, speed-bumps and detours are not negatives at all.  They are there to make sure that I am considering all angles and my business will have the best chance for success!

Every negative that has been thrown at me so far has been nothing but another bullet point on my planning list to explore, learn about and incorporate into my business plan.

Will I be successful?

I have no idea.

Will I regret not trying?

Yes!

Will I include everyone in on my journey?

You betcha!

Will There Be Food?

LaLa gets excited over the smallest things.

Sunday morning, I happened to pass her in the hallway.  This is eventful because she now works nights and we only see her occasionally.  Like ships passing in the night, I’m gone for work before she gets home and she’s asleep when I get home.  I’m usually in bed asleep, or falling asleep, when she walks out for the night.

So, when I do see her, I try to catch up in small ways:

Me:  Do you have to work tonight?

LaLa:  No

Me:  Do you have any plans for today?

LaLa:  No

Me:  Well, we’re going to Amy’s for……

LaLa:  SUPER BOWL???  (getting very excited)

Me:  Yes, you’re welcome to come if you want.

LaLa:  Will there be FOOD?  (we know where her priorities lie)

Me:  (Laughing)  Yes, there will be food.  Dad and I are bringing hot wings…..

LaLa:  OOooooo…… (eyes big)

Me:  And Amy is making fajitas…..

LaLa:  OOOhhhh…..  (starting to drool now)  I’m SO HUNGRY!!!

Me:  You do know we’re not leaving for about 10 hours right?

LaLa:  Yes – but I’ll still be hungry then!!!

Me:  (Still laughing)  Okay, we’ll let you know when we’re getting ready to leave.

I love that she takes such great pleasure in the little things!

Ignorance Is Bliss

Well….Ignorance is supposed to be bliss anyway!

I was blissfully unaware what being a step-mom truly meant until I was smack-dab in the middle of it.

I was blissfully unaware of what a narcissistic sociopath was until realizing that’s exactly what Flotsam is.

I was blissfully unaware that I might have a life-altering condition until about 2 weeks ago.

And it’s all Dad’s fault – THANKS DAD!

You see, my Dad has been having some minor but worrisome health problems that he’s been attempting to get resolved for a while now.  He went to multiple doctors and had multiple tests run.  Each doctor said each test was fine, nothing worrisome from their point of view.  He’s a healthy mid-sixties aged dude.

Drat.

Do you know how frustrating it is to know something is wrong with your body, but all of the “experts” and tests say you are just “fine”?  I guess there is a reason they call it “practicing medicine”.

So…Dad did what all self-respecting people do these days – he sought another opinion from Dr. Google.

As his daughter, I know he is methodical, rational and skeptical about everything on the internet.  He doesn’t take just one article seriously – he keeps researching until he either finds information to back up the claims or debunks them.

The one thing he found, that kept reappearing in his research; that also matched all of his symptoms – gluten sensitivity.

Since all of the doctors and tests said he was healthy – he decided to try going gluten-free to see if it either helped, harmed or had no difference in his symptoms.  After being as gluten-free as one can possibly be without being a gluten-nazi about it, he stated that after 5 weeks, he’d lost 10 pounds and hadn’t felt better in years!

This got me to thinking about my own health issues.  Issues that can be vague, explained away as another condition or treated with medications that cause even more symptoms.  I started researching gluten sensitivities and found that a large majority of the symptoms listed on many different websites, I also possessed.

8 out of 11 symptoms - not just in my head....

8 out of 11 symptoms – not just in my head….

So….I talked to Hun and told him I was going to start doing some testing on myself to see if my body reacts differently with and without gluten products.

OH.MY.GOSH.

I went approximately 48 hours between having no gluten (that I’m aware of) and my next gluten-filled meal.

Within 15 minutes of eating a dish at the company pot-luck called “Drunken Beans” (turns out the dish has beer cooked into it) – my face and chest turned splotchy, beet red and I felt flush all over like I had just run up three flights of stairs.  It happened so quickly, my coworkers asked me if I was ok.

But wait!  It gets better!

I also had, after eating the beans, some flour tortilla cream cheese/vegetable pinwheels.  By 30 minutes after lunch – I was burping up what tasted like cream cheese.

And then the piece-de-resistance:

I also had a slice of birthday cake at lunch…..which made my intestines bloat, cramp and make unspeakable noises until well into the evening hours.  I’m just going to assume it was the cake that did this as it was about 2 hours after eating that this lovely set of symptoms started.

NONE of these symptoms happened in the previous 48 hours – even after eating separate meals of chili, steak and pork chops.

After lunch, I asked the dietitians at my clinic if face redness and splotchiness could be an indication of an allergic reaction to a food sensitivity.  They looked at me in shock – I was really, really red – and stated, “Definitely, but you aren’t presenting typical symptoms of a food allergy.  And oh…by the way, are you aware that cake has gluten in it as well?”

I looked down at the slice of birthday cake in my hand, shrugged and stated, “I’ve already screwed up and ate gluten, I’m just going to enjoy this slice of cake and suffer for it.”

And suffer I did.

By no means is this experiment a definitive answer to the question, “Do I have a gluten sensitivity?” – but it is pretty darn close!

I’ll probably, glutton for punishment that I am, test my theory several more times – just to be able to report back to my own doctor my symptoms, reactions and findings.  I have a physical scheduled in February – plenty of time to test this fully.

I think I’ll skip my little tests while I’m at work though…..

Purpose

There is something wrong with someone like me.

I just finished with a week off of work.  I had no plans, no agenda and no direction for the week.  It was a week off just to take a week off.  I had plans, a list to make sure I didn’t forget about anything important that had to be done (scheduled events), but nothing earth-shattering.  One morning, I didn’t crawl out of bed until noon.

So….why do I not feel refreshed?

I spent time cheering my kids on at band competitions, shopping with my sister-in-law, cuddling with my Hun and working on Christmas gifts.  I worked on some craft projects, did a little house cleaning and caught up on my recorded shows.

By all accounts, the week should be counted as a complete success.

But I feel unfulfilled.

Why?

I’ve been thinking a lot about the “Why do I feel unfulfilled?” question.

I started this post just to be posting something, but while I was typing, I discovered the answer to my own question.

I work best with a purpose.  I need a purpose in my life.  I want to know that what I’ve done (for the minute, day, week, life) has meaning and serves a purpose.

This week off had no “purpose” in my life – other than to use vacation time (my company has a “use it or lose it policy”).  I didn’t go into the week with any defined goals for myself for the week.

Yes….for me….defined goals do include “rest and relaxation” – when I purposely set my mind to that goal.

I had no set purpose or goals for the week – other than to use my vacation time before I lost it – I just took the time off to be taking the time off.

No wonder I feel so unfulfilled!

Going forward, I MUST set an expectation for myself for weeks like this:

  • Is the time off primarily for relaxation?
  • Is the time off primarily for organization/cleaning?
  • Is there a set agenda (vacation or other activity) dictating the time off?

While the time off may, at the core, be to use vacation time before I lose it, there must be a primary reason for my time to fill purposeful.

Hun thinks I’m too hard on myself.  He cannot understand why I don’t just relax and enjoy the week.

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I can relax and enjoy – I just have to mentally plan for it.  My mind will not allow me to relax if it has 20 different things constantly screaming in the background that I should be doing “X, Y or Z” instead.

After being at my company for over 20 years, I have a ton of vacation time to use.  I have decided to begin requesting time off at regular intervals.  So I’m already planning on my next week off in a few months.  Another week off to just have a week off to use up vacation time before I “lose it”.

I plan on feeling much more fulfilled on my next scheduled vacation thanks to the insight that typing this post has brought me.

Thanks for the help guys!

 

 

That Was Quick!

{Sigh}

I already have another job.

{SIGH}

I really wanted more time off.

{HUGE SIGH}

I realize that I don’t have to start right away…..but at the same time, I don’t want to look a gift horse in the eye either!

At least I’ll have a week off to rest…..

PS…..I realized too late that I mis-timed posting my last post about quitting.  I did resign, but I’m still working and TODAY is actually my last day at the super stressful job.

Interviewed on Wednesday, offered the job on Thursday and requested to start on Monday…..told them couldn’t happen!  I needed at least a week off!  Currently scheduled to begin working the new job on March 30…..

Apparently my reputation precedes me and the new boss couldn’t wait to give me the opportunity to start working for her.

{Sigh}

Time Out!

I resigned from my job today.

Is that a dramatic enough opening?

By the time this actually posts, I’ll probably already be unemployed (unless something drastic/amazing happens).

The stress from my job has gotten too extreme for me to deal with any more.  Something had to give.

The support and understanding that I have received from my boss and coworker is beyond anything I can explain.  They are behind me and my decision 100%.

It makes me feel guilty because I know what they’re about to go through.  I’ve been through it myself multiple times in the last several years.

But not guilty enough to agree to stay longer.

My boss even went so far as to extend the offer for my last day to be tomorrow – and she’d still make sure that HR paid me for a full two week’s notice.  I believe her too – I’ve been at the company for 20 years.  I know the players involved and I know that none of them want what is happening.  I may work for a company – but the company is made up of people who have been there for 20+ years.  We’re more like a family away from family.  I cannot walk through the hallways without someone saying hello or stories being exchanged about our kids.

Plus, I will not do that to either of them.  There is too much work that is still pending, not to mention training and making sure nothing is dropped – there is too much riding on the work not being done for me to just walk away.

It’s not all scary.

I have enough vacation time to cover my pay for around 10 weeks.  That will explain one angle of why I’m so stressed – no time away from work to use any of the vacation time up.  This vacation time will be paid out to me at resignation.

I’ve also put in a request to transfer/applied for a new position.  The transfer/hiring process can be slow.  It can take close to 3 months for a new hire to actually start from the moment an application is put in.  It can also take almost 2 months for an in-house transfer.

I don’t expect anything to happen too quickly – no matter what happens – it’ll happen slowly.

There is also the possibility that I won’t find a new job for a while.  It could take months, maybe longer!

Thank goodness!!  I need some time off.

I plan on using any time off that comes my way wisely.

If you need me – I’ll be sleeping late, watching Maury and eating bonbons.  Try not to disturb me before noon.

20 Years

January 17 marked the 20th anniversary for me working with the same company.

I am not yet 40 years old.

When I first accepted the job at my hometown hospital back in 1995, never did I think I would have the job even a year later, let alone 20 years later.  It’s been an interesting path; one that has led me through multiple departments, multiple positions and multiple challenges over the years.

I don’t see myself leaving the company any time soon.  I have heard others complain about how horrible the company is over the years.  I have just never seen what they’re complaining about.  Maybe I’m blind.  Maybe I’m being realistic.  Maybe I’m just lucky that I’ve had decent bosses.

The company does attempt to honor and recognize the employees.

When I hit 5 years, I received a brochure to select a milestone gift.  There wasn’t anything that I really wanted, so I ended up selecting a crystal vase.  I still have it.

When I hit 10 years, I received another brochure and another milestone gift.  Again, nothing I really wanted.  I picked a clock.  I think I still have it – I’ll have to remember to look if it’s still sitting in the same location.

When I hit 15 years, another brochure, another gift – this one is in my closet.  A portable DVD player that ended up playing a major part in why Hun and I were being threatened with a lawsuit by Jetsam’s mom, in another state, while attempting to make sure the kids made it to their grandmother’s funeral.  I won’t forget THAT gift.

I’m now at 20 years and again, I received a brochure to select a gift.

My choices (not including options that are specifically for men):

  • Exercise bike (already have equipment I don’t use)
  • Cheesy looking jewelry (complete with the company logo – just what I want adorning my ears)
  • A wine refrigerator (I don’t drink wine)
  • A luggage set (already have)
  • Home speaker system (we already have surround sound)
  • Cookware set (ummm…..really?)
  • Vacuum cleaner (I’m not kidding! This is an option!  It’s not even a Dyson!)
  • Solar powered battery charger (totally not interested)
  • Backpack (…….this doesn’t even deserve a response……)
  • Electric smoker (that’s just wrong on so many levels!)
  • Sentry Spotting scope (can we say creepy busy-body neighbor? Who even wants one of these things?)
  • Bistro Set (yes…one of my options is a small table and two chairs)
  • Golf Clubs (if I played, I suspect these would be the laughing stock of the fairway)
  • Oh….look! Another crystal vase…..this one is red at least…(rolling eyes)
  • Blu-Ray player (already have 2)
  • ActionCam Sport (the only thing that even half-way interested Hun)
  • Dooney & Bourke Pocket Sac – no, not a purse, a Pocket Sac. It isn’t even large enough to hold my “somethingorotherpad”.

I love my company.  I love the people I work with and for.  I don’t love their gifts.  Nothing even excites me as a potential gift to give someone else.

{sigh}