Crawling into a hole…

Do you ever wake up and feel like pulling the covers over your head? Just cutting off the alarm like you never heard it, and pretending that work, at least for that day, doesn’t exist. Or you wish to go running through the trees and flowers to a quiet place, so you can sit for a little while and see what thoughts come to mind… That is how I sometimes feel, and today is one of those days. IMG_1213

I love Boyfriend and I am grateful that I got to switch my schedule to be home with him yesterday when he went for oral surgery. I  like spending time with him. I also like my job, most of the time, and I like my co-workers. Here comes the buts… I am tired of our small, 650 square foot apartment which has served us and our cat  as well as it could for almost three years. I don’t like being the first person people see when they walk into our department’s open-spaced office. I also wish for the days I could do my work in a library or coffee shop on days like this, rather than 10 hours in an old, dark, mostly windowless building, though I am so grateful for my hour lunch during which I am writing this post.

Usually, these feelings are brought on by something. I think, in this case, I am anxious and concerned about the ending of our lease in July, the limited housing market in our area that allows for a nice home and a few acres, and the time I have in a week to help Boyfriend figure this out.

I have to believe that things will work out for the best and in our favor.

© 2016 bogdaysofchrell

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Free will or predetermination?

courtesy of clipart/josephluis
courtesy of clipart/josephluis

I was sitting in a conference room today watching a webinar with several co-workers. We started talking about our jobs and functions of the municipal department for which we work, how or department and agency as a whole affects youth. This led to expression and discussion about our lives having free will or being predetermined based on birth to a family, the socio-economic  status attached that family, where you grew up,  and other factors.

My feelings were that some factors and choices are out of our control, such as who we are born and where we grew up, but that we have free will to make choices within the parameters that are our lives. I am tied to an organized religion but was raised Roman Catholic, and I believe in God. Some people at the table don’t believe in God, which affects their views, and I whole-heartedly believe that they have a right to their beliefs. Others do believe in God and have various religious beliefs, and thought that lives are predetermined and not governed by free will. Vessel-Of-Sublime-Wisdom

I was glad to know others views and that they shared them with me, even though we didn’t agree. It was all done very civilly by intelligent educated people of different sexes and backgrounds, though I was actually the minority as the only Caucasian at the table. I was able to see their sides of the issue, although I don’t completely agree, and I ultimately cannot be anyone other than who I am living the life I live to the best of my ability. I did not feel animosity for my opinions as I have in the past in other similar situations, and I wanted to know where these people’s thoughts and experiences were drawn from, rather than feeling I needed to retreat from an attack.

I hope to learn more from my fellow co-workers in the future as we continue to work and get to know each other.

© 2016 blogdaysofchrell

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…

Twenty-four days until Christmas, where did the year go?

I have been thinking about small, meaningful gifts for my family and I realize I have to starting working on them tho weekend. My new work schedule will limit what I can do it for a few days but I plan to do several things with photos, which will just take time.

I spent some time yesterday helping my new co-workers decorate our open-space office, which was fun. Boyfriend and I don’t do much decorating in our apartment due to the small space and our very active cat so I enjoyed putting up the Christmas tree and other touchs.

Merry Christmas!

Time to transition…

Today was my last day at work. I have been preparing for a week now, getting rid of old papers, neatening up my cubicle, and making sure I have all of my uniforms and other bits and pieces to return. It seems like I have been leaving for quite awhile but it’s really just two weeks since I gave my notice.

courtesy of palomaironique/Clip Art
Courtesy of palomaironique/Clip Art

I have been wearing “real” clothes for the past three days and mostly staying in the office to finish documentation and make a few notification phone calls. I was blown away by the kind words from clients, some of whom I have worked with for the better part of a year. One in particular called me today to talk one last time… she was my favorite, though you are never supposed to say that. She is a disabled women in her 60’s with a big smile and a warm spirit. She told me that I was a great worker and that people like me move up on move on within her company or get better positions elsewhere, and that employers expect that. Oddly enough, I was contact about the position I recently accepted with another agency but which I applied and interviewed for a few months ago. While I feel a bit sad that she will no longer be my client, I learned from her never give up attitude and feel better knowing that someone I helped is truly happy for me. We touched each others lives, and I will remember her always.

Courtesy of GDJ/Clip Art
Courtesy of GDJ/Clip Art

I feel like I am going in the right direction and I am happy to have tied up my loose ends in a professional manner. While I feel that my now former agency could do a few things different, I realize that there are things I could have done differently, too. I could have been a bit more willing to see others point of view, and I could have spoken up regarding issues with direct co-workers. I later found out that a specific person who was repeatedly bossy and rude to me was triangulating people in our program and was feeding information to the boss which made her look good and others, including me bad. This person was, ultimately a bully, and I was happy to gently mention the person (without the name but the boss will be able to figure it out) in an employment exit questionnaire. I feel good about how things were left with me, the management and everyone but the nameless person, who is on leave. I will reach out periodically, partially to keep in touch and partially because you never know when you need a contact, or a reference, or what life will throw your way. I am looking forward to my new job, which I start in a week and a half, and to my mini-break. NYC, here I come!

A change will do you good… and so will a vacation

I gave two-week notice to my employer yesterday, and I finalized the new opportunity I mentioned a few days ago. Yay!!! I am very excited about the new job, which will have similarities to my previous job, but includes a nice pay increase, a four day work-week, and ongoing training. The drawback is that I trade a 25 minute round trip for a 90-120 minute round trip and a job in the city. Overall, I think I made the right decision because I really wanted another chance to work with youth, and this is what I will be doing. I will be using my skills and experiences and building upon them.

Most jobs have ups and down, and my recent job was no different. I was hired two years ago for a new program in an already established department that was expanding in a new direction. My small team brings many strengths to the table, but also VERY different personalities and work styles. This has made for some interesting days and several headaches. We all have unique relationships with the boss and with senior staff in the department. Some people get frequent public pats on the back (though someone else did all the heavy lifting), some take frequent sick days, some do things her way. Don’t get me wrong, there a few people department-wide that I really learned from and with whom I enjoyed working and I wish we could have worked directly more often. All of this factored into my decision because it is not fun going to work dealing with one or two of your co-workers only when you have because they are like a box of chocolates. Ultimatley, the program has shown success and we have helped many people in need, but it still needs some work as far as policies, consistent decision making, standardization of duties, etc. I know we are all doing the best we can… and things take time.

So, despite my grumbles, I handled myself professionally because that will be remembered. I gave a full two-week notice, told the boss before anyone else, and had my resignation letter  in hand. I expressed myself appropriately and respectfully, while somewhat defending myself and a teammate, because this meeting was for my evaluation and became my resignation meeting. I was mostly pleased with my evaluation but it also re-enforced why I am leaving. I feel a bit bad to leave the team short-handed but I think each person would also do what was in their best interest. I am contemplating quietly airing my concerns before I leave so it might help the team run a bit smoother, or at least cut down on some of the tension.  I’m not sure if that will look like I am throwing someone under the bus or if it will bolster thoughts expressed by others based on their experience with specific team members.

The past week and a half  has been a whirlwind and I’m sure the next two weeks will be as well while I wrapped up my duties. The best part for me is the 9 days in between ending and starting my jobs, which allows for a long weekend trip to NYC to visit my brother.   I haven’t seen my brother in a year and a half, and his girlfriend and I will get to know each other better. Boyfriend will enjoy few well-deserved days to rest, relax, and work on a few creative interests while I am gone.  I thank him for suggesting that I need to take a break before such a big transition. When I return, I will still have the six days to rest, relax, spend time with Boyfriend, and get my work clothes ready. I will start my new job and have three-day weekends each week, something new for me. It will be a lot of changes but I welcome them.

During another recent post, I mentioned attending the Transforming Trauma workshop given by Laura Van Dernoot Lipsky. Laura talks about having a Plan B for yourself… figuring out would you be doing if you changed jobs/careers. She asks you to consider if what you are doing is working for you, and to think about why you do what you do regularly. These thoughts crossed my mind many times, and they crossed my mind while making my decision. It was very helpful.  Have you switched jobs recently or considered looking for a different job? I guess I’m curious how commute, money, the job entailing work you want to do, and opportunities for professional growth factor into people’s employment decisions. And what gets you to consider getting a different job or changing careers? Is it co-workers or the boss? Un- even treatment/toxic or unsafe environment? Or is the pay and benefits?

I think most people have fleeting thoughts about changing jobs or careers, especially on a bad day, but looking for a job is not fun and can be very time consuming. In the end, the effort is worth it, especially if you find what you are looking for. If you are not happy, please think about what you can do to make yourself happier or healthier in some way.

© 2015 blogdaysofchrell