Didn't take long to get that thread full, but likely because there was some lively discussion near the middle. Very unusual for my oft-boring thread, but it is what it is.
Had a good phone interview yesterday and now I wait to see if I make it to the next round. 20 applicants, so that is a lot, and some of them are internal so I would imagine they would get preference, but we'll see how it shakes out. Even if I don't ever hear from the woman again, which is totally possible, I am confident in how the conversation went and feel more at peace than I have in some time. I have made a decision that a few weeks ago would've been extremely tough. Now, it seems easy. One thing in the interview that surprised me - in discussing salary, the lady asked me if I had a number in mind. I gave her a number thinking it was too high and that she'd come in with a lower number that I could negotiate up from. She just heard my number and said it was doable. I was stunned because the number I gave her was nearly twice what I earn now. I wanted to offer to start today, but was trying to keep my emotions and expectations in check. I don't want to get my hopes up, but dang!
Sparky seemed pleased with how it all went and I'm so grateful for his support. It is still going to be a tough time for us in the near future, trying to close the gap on the salary lost due to furlough and trying to find a better opportunity in the meantime. 2 of my current colleagues are retiring and 2 more have applied for jobs elsewhere that they may very well get. A part of me wants to hang on and see if maybe I could actually come out of this on the other side with a raise, but after yesterday's peek into the job market and seeing that I might be worth twice what I earn now (education is a notoriously low-paying career), well, I am not sure I want to stay now, even if they do offer me the chance to do so. I'm feeling less and less guilty about how it is going to affect my current co-workers and more and more excited about how I might be able to actually earn a decent pay that would afford Sparky and I the opportunity to have an actual disposable income.
Lots going on, lots to think about....just a LOT in general. Jesus take the wheel....................
I'm still (not so) patiently waiting to hear back from both jobs I applied for last Friday. Tomorrow, since I will have a little extra time, I'm going to apply for some more and see what happens. The mood and the news around here just keeps getting progressively more dismal and I would just like to find an out at this point. I know for sure 2 people in my department are now retiring and 4 more (not counting me) have put in job applications other places. That would be 7 people total (including me) if all of us who applied other places plus the 2 retiring leave. We have 11 people in our department. Sad.......................
I just don't have faith in anything the current admin says, though, so it is hard for me to not put myself out there and try to go elsewhere, even when I don't want to.
I have been doing a lot of soul searching lately with all of this going on and I came to the realization yesterday that I spend a lot of time in my life feeling responsible for taking care of everyone else. I feel guilty about spending my own money that I earn from my own paycheck for things that are just for me because I feel like I could be helping someone else with that money instead. So, I'm just not doing that anymore. I'm 52 freaking years old and I need to start putting myself first. This whole job stress is REALLY taking its toll on me to the point that I am not sleeping at all and it is bad. I know the physical pain I feel sometimes is just the stress of everything literally weighing me down and I just don't want to live like this anymore.
Our 20% (one day a week) furlough begins 2/28. Our boss has told us he doesn't care how we handle it as long as our students are not affected. Originally, I wanted to take one whole day, but the only day I can do that is Monday, because of some specific parts of my job. So, as is typical for me, I decided to do 2 half days to make sure I was available as much as possible for my department. It just hit me yesterday....why? It is best for me personally, for a variety of reasons, to do the one full day and I can easily do it Monday without affecting my job, so why did I even think about doing 2 half days to benefit everyone else? I want to talk to Sparky about it tonight, but I needed to sit with it first and think about it then I want his opinion before I talk to my boss.
I've decided that whole day is going to be about self care for me. It is also going to be about getting some specific tasks done around the house (and I consider that self care because it will make me feel productive to tackle some things that always get shuffled to the back burner). I need that whole day to feel like I'm accomplishing something.
My boss is understanding of my need to seek other employment but told me again yesterday how much he wants me to stay and how sad he will be if I go. I appreciate hearing that more than he can imagine and I have every confidence that he will advocate for me and everyone else in the department til his last breath, but at the same time, I HAVE to put my family and my needs first.
This whole mess is just not how I was hoping things would go in 2022. I guess it is what it is. Back to the grind to finish some paper work, then off to pick up some supplies for a lab activity. It is always something!
In case I forget to say it, I'm SO very grateful for Sparky standing by my side through all this. I know my family would be there for me if he weren't in the picture, but it is nice to have someone to go home to at the end of these crappy days and lean on when the sadness overwhelms me. Big changes ahead and hopefully good changes for me and Sparky.
Thanks for checking in. The stay-cay has been good. Lots of relaxing and working on little projects each day. Today, I went to the near big town and met a friend for lunch at a cute little cafe that I will definitely take Sparky to soon and also did a little shopping while I was there. I am NOT a shopper but needed a few things. It was a beautiful day and I enjoyed the drive, the company, the food. Sparky and I are now watching my beloved Arkansas Razorbacks in the sweet 16 round of the NCAA tournament. WPS!!!!!
I got a phone call to schedule an interview for one of the jobs I applied for…a teaching position at a community college. They pay about $7500 a year more than I earn now and have Fridays off. Yes, please! I’m excited about the interview. It is a traditional interview plus I have to teach a lesson. So, Monday I have to get that outlined so I have time to practice. I looked for clothes today but nothing grabbed me so I’ll just wear something I already have.
I’m going to use my last day to clean out and reorganize the pantry with storage containers I bought today and clean out the fridge. It won’t really take that long but it will make a big impact.
Saturday night, we’re having a date to a wedding reception for friends. They have been together for a long time but just recently married legally and are just having a big party to celebrate and we’re excited to join them.
I have enjoyed NOT thinking about work this week and I’m not looking forward to going back but my search kicks into high gear Monday. I was actually offered a job out of the blue a few days ago and it’s not officially open yet but I’m definitely keeping it on the back burner as a place holder so I’ll for sure have a job if my current one releases me before I find a new one.
Well, I have told my boss, my family, and my closest friends, so I guess I can make it internet official....I GOT THE JOB! I have long used one of my dearest friends as a reference because we started out as co-workers and then became friends later and have served on many committees together, so while we have a personal friendship, we also have a long-standing professional relationship. I knew she had talked to the HR person yesterday because she called me and told me. Then, my boss called and told me he'd had a really good conversation with the HR person. Late yesterday afternoon, I had a very good conversation with her in which she offered me the job and I gladly said yes. I start July 1. So, my time here now is limited and there is a light at the end of the tunnel. A light that involves more money and a better schedule. WOO HOO! Through the summer, I will only work 4 days a week but I will get paid for 100% of my salary which is different than my current situation where I am furloughed 20% so I work 4 days a week but draw 80% of my salary.
I'm so excited for the new opportunity but sad for the end of this current era. Moving here was a fresh start after my divorce and moving home. Now I'm moving the opposite direction from home. Well, technically, not moving at all, but my job will now be further from my home (family) than the current one. I know none of that makes sense to anyone but me, but anyway, I'm sad and happy all at the same time. I know the new experience will be a good one. As I say often, change is good, but it sure is painful. For some reason, this morning, my dad's voice popped into my head, telling me "this ain't no step for a stepper" (one of his favorite dad-isms). I know this is the path God chose for me and I just have to follow it. I'll miss my current job, my students, my friends I have made here, but I now have the chance to make new friends and make a difference for a whole new set of students.
All I know for sure is that I feel a HUGE weight lifted off my shoulders. Relief is a good feeling!
What KML said!!! Yes... take the entire Monday to yourself. I get every other Monday off and I have scheduled it so that is a day that my kids are with their dad. I felt selfish doing that at first but honestly, it has become the two days of every month that are strictly for me. You should not feel guilty Dawn!! When the plane is going down, you put your oxygen mask on first!!
Well, I'm being cautiously optimistic here because I have never actually dealt with a recruiter before and I would assume they are trained to be able to converse with people without giving them false hope or whatever, but I felt like it was a very good chat. I got the sense that she was more guiding me in interviewing her rather than her interviewing me because apparently they have a lot of positions to fill and I got the distinct impression she was trying to feel me out to see where I fit best while trying to guide me in asking about the specific things I was interested in, if that makes sense. She said they are in the process right now of finding out what big contracts they are awarded so she knows there will be more jobs opening in the next month or so and she mentioned a few specific ones that seemed suited for me, based on my resume. She mentioned that the person who had forwarded my name forwarded it to her, along with a group of others, telling her that these were some of the best candidates she found and to talk with us and see.
Timeline-wise, this couldn't be a more perfect fit. I'm committed to my current job through the end of the semester (May 7) and they are looking at getting people started around 1st to mid-May. It is a work from home position but the division I'm looking at is based out of Denver with another big office in Kansas City. Little travel, averages about 1 trip quarterly, usually to KC, for team meetings and team building type stuff. Every once in a great while, team travels to job site, but she said that is usually only at the beginning and/or end of project and is not always a given. She said they do as much online as possible with differing Covid restrictions and travel being a bit of a mess. They provide all the "equipment" I need to work online as well as cover travel expenses (obviously) related to the quarterly team meetings. On a personal happy note, one of my oldest friends from grade school lives in KC with her husband (he is from there) and my beloved nephew and his fiancee will be moving to KC in late May or early June because my nephew just accepted a research position with some big medical company there, so I would get to see some of my favorite people while I was there working.
Full benefits package. We didn't discuss actual salary since she has several positions open at this time that I am suited for and she will have more open in the next month so she said she would be glad to answer salary questions, but it would really depend on specific position. Since she'd already said that, I just let the number go, but she did tell me it was very competitive and a little research showed me a base salary for one of the positions starting out was only a few thousand less than double what I make now. So, obviously it would be a pay raise for me. A different world than I'm used to, but hey, for that kind of money and working from home, SIGN ME UP!
She told me it was a very productive conversation, at least from her point of view. She kept saying she'd like to touch base with me again in a month when she has a more complete list of openings to talk about those openings and see what I prefer. Like I said, since I have never worked with a recruiter, I'm being guarded in my enthusiasm, but that sounds fairly promising to me that they are at least going to give me a second look once they know all the openings they have. She said they are really looking to amp up the number of employees in the division I'm looking at because they are probably going to double the number of contracts they have for the coming year and will need a lot more manpower to get that done.
She basically left it with she'll reach out again in about a month once they get all their other new positions up. She said, in the meantime, if I have questions or need anything to feel free to contact her, as I now have her info. She followed our call up with a quick email thanking me for my time and reminding me she'll be back in touch in about a month and to reach out to her in the meantime. I had sent her a message thanking her as well and letting her know I'm very interested. Timing is a funny thing and our emails must have crossed because hers wasn't there when I started typing mine but as soon as I hit send, hers popped up.
We'll see what happens. Furlough starts Monday and I really need to get it in gear to find something part time. We filed our state taxes today and are both due a refund that will just about cover the loss we'll take for March, so hopefully we'll see that refund before the end of March. LOL Who knows? I'm also going to spend a little time Monday, assuming I get out of taking Sparky's mom to her appointment, looking for more full time jobs to apply for to start getting some interviews lined up and get rolling. Sparky's mom texted me Wednesday and told me that, weather permitting, her sister is going to come in from Texas Sunday evening and stay over to take her to her appointment Monday. Fingers crossed she can get here after that nasty ice storm that wreaked havoc on Texas the past few days. The only good thing that came out of it for us was our school was out yesterday so I got to stay home and do my interview from home, but our roads weren't bad so Sparky went to work and I got the whole house to myself all day to relax and prep for my interview. It was a good day. I'm seeing, yet again, that I'm worth far more than I realized and it is boosting my confidence to really get out there and find the gig that is meant for me. I love this job and I'm sad about it ending, but if I can move to one that pays so much better, it will make a huge positive impact on mine and Sparky's future.
So, I'm just going to chill this weekend and try to not think about any of this stuff too much. Monday, if I have to take Sparky's mom, I will deal with all that BS. If not, I'm going to use the time for a little self care, job searching, and having a nice meal ready for Sparky when he gets home. It's a new normal that I'm not terribly excited about, but we'll make it through somehow. Hopefully...................
If you are a praying person, I would appreciate your prayers for my successful job search, things to fall in line for me and Sparky to be able to get through the furlough without too much issue, and to find some relief from the stress somehow. If you are not a praying person, I will also accept positive thoughts, chanting ceremonies, tree hugging, voo doo dolls, whatever your particular choice of vibing is. In the immortal words of The Temptations "I ain't too proud to beg".
Thanks for your comments, Andrew and Don. I still feel overall positive about my conversation, but as I think I already said, I'm also taking it with a grain of salt because I realize the person I had the conversation with has it in her best interests to see me get/take a job with this company, so of course she wants to put a positive spin on it. My overall positives are coming from the person who I originally sent my paperwork to and who forwarded me to the recruiter, because that person told my friend who recommended me that she was extremely impressed by my resume and the skills I had that she felt like would be an asset to the company. So, whether I even hear back from the recruiter, I know someone in a position of authority in that company looked at my resume and thought "she's impressive" and shared it with my friend who shared it with me. Maybe it is nothing, but to me, it is a little pat on the back that I need desperately at the moment.
I am officially in furlough mode as of yesterday. After some self debate, discussion with my precious husband, and just plain ole thinking, I decided to do one furlough day per week rather than 2 half days. Because of that, I only had one option on the day I could take and it is Monday. So, I had my first furlough day yesterday and it was a glorious day. I got up with Sparky when he got up to get ready for work and just sat with him and chatted until he left. After he left, I showered, washed my hair, had breakfast, got dressed, and then sat down and watched a couple of episodes of M*A*S*H (one of my all-time favorite tv shows). Once that was over, I got to work on removing ALL the items from all the shelves and tables in the living room to dust them good, put all the stuff back, moved furniture and vacuumed the entire living room to within and inch of its life. Once that was one, I read and watched a murder show on tv. I'm going to spend my Mondays looking for a new job and taking care of things in my house that need my attention. Next Monday the living room coat closet and our bedroom closet are getting a good clean-out, followed by the closet in the utility room, time permitting. I just need to reshift my focus from this whole furlough thing being a bad thing to it being a good thing and it will help my mental attitude immensely.
On the job front, I have a couple of jobs to apply for this week so I plan to get that done this afternoon. I also had a very interesting chat with my boss this morning. As of today, I know of 3 of the 11 of our current people (including myself) who will be gone by mid-May. 1 for another job and 2 to early retirement. In addition, 2 more have a really good shot at another job that they will likely accept. That's 5 of 11. My boss told me that another is trying their best to find another job, so that is 6 of 11. That would leave 5 here and they will not be replacing anyone, at least for the next few years, until they get the budget stuff ironed out. So, my boss comes to me and asks if I'm willing to take on a whole aspect of our program, assuming I stay, because it needs to be someone who has secondary (high school level) classroom teaching experience and I will be the only one left who has that. He said that if I don't agree to do it, we will have to phase the program out or hope that they agree to hire someone to keep it afloat. So, I said, I would be willing to do it, but if I'm expected to take on all these extra responsibilities on top of all I do now, I would HAVE to have more money and while I realize when they are firing tenured faculty to get the budget in order is not the time to ask for a raise, I'm not willing to take on double or triple my current responsibilities for no more money. It just isn't happening. While it could bode well for my position that I'm willing to take on extra responsibility, it might shoot me in the foot to insist on more money to do so, but it is what it is. You want me to work 3 jobs, pay me more money....plain and simple. I know what I bring to the table and I'm totally willing to walk away rather than to be underpaid and continue to be loyal to an organization who is not even loyal enough to me to let me know whether they intend to keep me past mid-May or not because they're hedging their bets on how many will go before they have to actually swing the axe. It is a sad situation for sure, but if I can stay and pick up other responsibilities, it will bring my job even closer to the job I wanted to have anyway. God has a plan, I just am not privy to it yet. It will be revealed in His time, though.
My sister is similarly job hunting (no paycuts but a boss that is becoming unreasonable) and one of the jobs she would really like to get is 4 days a week also. Keeping my fingers crossed for you both.
That's a fantastic track record for medical school. Shame they don't feel they can make room for both those students and the more "trade" training. We are facing a shortage of primary care doctors and it's about to get much worse - my baby boomer doctor peers are retiring earlier than anticipated, in part due to Covid. Every time I turn around it seems that someone in my community is retiring.
The home office sounds like a great idea - even if you don't end up working from home, it could be used in other ways - prepping for your new job, writing your novel, writing Sparky's cookbook .
It is a fantastic record. We really have top-notch faculty and top-notch students. It is sad to me that they are trying to turn the whole thing into a business, but I think that is a trend in education at the moment that hopefully won't stick.
Funny you mention the home office for books. Those who know me IRL know that I have talked for years about writing a book. I think I'm going to get started on it because it would be a cathartic part of this whole messy process I'm living with at the moment. As far as Sparky's cookbook, he and his boss are working out the plans to start on one this summer. They have an idea and are kind of brainstorming through it to figure out the best way to approach it.
Life rolls on. I applied for a job yesterday that is in my wheelhouse, but I don't necessarily meet all the qualifications for, so we'll see how that goes. Spring break is next week. In fact, as soon as I complete this post, I'm heading out to begin my week off early and am going to relish every single second of it. I don't plan to worry about jobs or money or anything other than working on the house, relaxing, spending time with family. I need a break and I d@mn well intend to take it and enjoy it.
Life is going to look very different in the coming months and I'm at peace with that. I'm at peace with moving on from where I am now and finding my new normal. It's a process and I'm here for it.
Happy weekend, DB friends! Get out there and enjoy!
Thank goodness it is almost Friday! The mood on this campus is about as dark as I have ever experienced anywhere and I doubt it will pull up anytime soon as people await their fate. So sad, really, but it is just making me more and more glad by the day that I found some place else to go and am getting out while the getting is good! I guess it is true that God watches out for children, old people, and fools. I guess since I fall into 2 of those categories, I'm doubly covered.
I had to laugh at myself this morning. Sparky teases me all the time about being a goodie two shoes and rule follower. He's not the 1st one who's given me a hard time about it, so it isn't like this is a new thing for me, but at the end of the day, it is just who I am. Anyway, when I interviewed for my new job, they told me that if I got my teaching certificate renewed I could be "grandfathered in" under an old loophole and I would not have to take further classes for a certain part of the program. I had already started that process anyway, as I thought it might become necessary for me to pursue a high school position again. Long story short, I had let my certificate lapse last time it was up for renewal because I had just started a new job at that time that I thought was my forever and it didn't require a certificate. My current job doesn't either, so I never bothered. Anyway, as I was going through the initial stages, I was told that if I could get my required 36 hours of professional development done prior to starting my new job, I would be issued a full valid certificate rather than a provisional one with the notation of how many hours of PD I still had to complete. The provisional one would be good for a year. True to my rule follower form, I told my husband that I absolutely was going to get that 36 hours in before July 1 so that I could get my full certificate back. Today, I complete hour 50 of PD. So, yeah, not only did I complete the required 36 hours, but I did 14 more for good measure, as I was trying to make sure and get a variety of courses in that I thought would be useful in my new position. My husband celebrated my success right along with me, but I know when I see him this evening, he will also tease me about being the teacher's pet and doing more that I was required. Oh well....at least I have satisfied the requirements necessary for me to get my certificate and NOT have to take additional coursework. WOO HOO! LOL
I thought I'd move to my own post to get some thoughts out, despite having just read a post that lamented the fact that some come here just to journal and that isn't really what this place is for. For me, it is because sometimes things that seemingly have nothing to do with relationships and marriage are, in fact, all tied up in that.
My situation at work has just become soul crushing after the dismissal of my entire department and I feel like I'm the one left here picking up pieces where I can because I'm a 12 month employee. I'm watching them clean out their offices and say goodbye and it hurts. Of course, that will be me in just a hair over a month, but it is what it is.
Fortunately, though, my precious husband has been so amazingly supportive through all of this. Letting me cry on his shoulder, lifting me up when I need it, just listening when I need to vent. I'm so very grateful for him and just have become convinced that this is at least part of the reason he was put in my path. I'm so very grateful for him. He's one of the good ones!
My niece is getting married to her high school sweetheart this weekend and it is so precious to see their love blossom and grow as they do. They are starting out on their adult journey together, as my niece just graduated from college Friday and they both have their first professional adult jobs. I'm so excited for these kids and hope that they have a long, happy life together.
Bittersweet times in my world right now, but I'm trying to focus on all the good, family celebrations and a new job shortly. And, of course, an awesome husband sharing it all with me. I'm so very thankful, grateful, and blessed.
Lord have mercy, but I feel like I'm drowning in emotion and "stuff". I'm trying to finish up my office packing. I had actually planned to move out today, but have been slowed by extra and unexpected meetings at my new office and a meeting at my old one in a little bit with the person who is going to be responsible for doing my job after July 1. Sparky wasn't feeling great this morning, as his allergies are getting to him, so he wasn't going to come in and help me load up anyway, so it all worked out for the best, but now I will have to find a time next week to come get it all loaded up. I had thought about putting it off til next Friday, but then realized that was July 1 and I really would like to be completely finished with all of this by the end of the day June 30 so I can leave this place in my rearview mirror. Emotion has overwhelmed me this morning, though, as I realize this really is coming to an end.
On the plus side, 3 young ladies earned GEDs this week and another will likely complete hers next week. I have worked a little with all 4 of them so I am excited for them and will cheer for them in their successes. I'm also glad they are finishing under their current teacher because they have a bond with her and it is special for them to be able to finish up while she's still there to root for them. THIS is going to be the rewarding part of the new gig, for sure. I can't wait for the first one to finish under me. There is a young lady working on hers now who started on it the very first day I was there part-time so I feel like she and I started together. I have been working with her since she arrived (the other teacher has been working with her as well) and so I will get to be the one who sees her across the finish line. She will very likely finish in July. WOO HOO for helping people change their lives!
There does seem to be a fair amount of down time as summer enrollment is down, but that will give me time to get my belongings moved in and arranged. I have a shared office there (I have my own private office here) and my own classroom (I share a classroom here), so that will be different, but I can go in and really make the classroom my own space that I think will be conducive to learning. As I have been there the past few weeks, I have been making mental notes of things I want to keep and things I want to remove and how I want to rearrange and organize. I live for that kind of stuff! LOL (Yes, I know it is boring..........) Of course, there really doesn't seem to be much time to actually go into an office, so I'm looking forward to getting my classroom all set up first then I can go from there as far as what I can and will do in the office.
Sparky's new job has been letting him be off on Fridays but having him work weekends. That will be nice if it continues in July because I will have Fridays off so we can have time together. I have to say, though, that it is kind of nice to have some time to myself on the weekends when he works because I can get stuff done around the house and work on craft projects and such so it has been good. Next weekend, my mom and I are going to have a movie date just to get out of the house for a bit.
Anyway, I'm rambling and procrastinating on my packing so I need to get to it. Happy weekend, DB friends!