Monday, May 12, 2014

New Job Check-in

So, here I am at the beginning of my second week at my new job.  I’m successfully trained on the new software I’m supporting.  I’ve actually answered my first call “out of the box” (in other words, something that came in through voice-mail or email) with a real, live customer.  I’m being useful in writing up voice-mails, and some emails, as they come in.  Maybe by the end of the week I’ll be taking live calls.  As it stands I’ll be continuing to cover voice-mails and whatever I can do out of the box.

So, what are the good parts of this job, you might ask?  And that’s a very valid question considering how much time I have spent complaining and downright whining about my old job.  (And yes, while being laid off forced me to change jobs, I still loved it in a sad way and would have done almost anything to get it back at various points, no matter how stressful, and grumpy it was at times.)  First off, I can’t say enough great things about my awesome coworkers.  sure, I had a great team at my old office, but here, it seems like everyone I meet is downright awesome.  Everyone has been so helpful and friendly.  The atmosphere here is really relaxed (for now, I know it’ll be stupid crazy come January, but that’s months away and I’ll roll with it when it gets here).  Even the dress code is relaxed.  I’ve spent enough time in the world of the Big Corp to really relish a place that lets me wear jeans, a tank, a shawllette and sandals and I’m not even the most dressed down!  (The team lead helping the guy at the desk next to me is wearing flip-flops for cryin’ out loud!)  
The software itself hasn’t been too horrible to learn at all, and is actually much, much simpler with fewer moving parts than the old software I used to support.  I’ve shown people screen shots of my old software; they shuddered thinking about supporting it.  So, yeah, I’m a bit ahead of the curve when it comes to learning things around here, but that’s OK.  There is still way more than enough for me to learn.  It’ll be at least a year before I feel like I’m truly an expert.  And trust me, I like that challenge.
Oh, and did I mention the software I now support is actually software for nonprofits to track donors and gifts and manage contacts and things like that?  Yeah.  That’s pretty feel-good in general.  And let me tell you, we’ve got clients all up and down the nonprofit spectrum.  Sure, I may not agree with some of them, but really, they’re trying to make the world a better place in their own way.  I really can’t fault people for trying to make the world a better place.

So, the downsides, there are always downsides to every good thing.  The biggest downside?  The commute.  Checking traffic at 7:00 in the morning and it would take me about 40 or 45 minutes to get here.  Check it again before leaving at 8:00, it’s up to just shy of a full hour.  Which brings me to the second downside, the hours.  I’m here from 9 until 5:30, which means I leave the house at 8:00 in the morning and don’t get home until 6:30.  Which, yes, really isn’t that much longer than for my old job, but the hours themselves are a bit of an ugh.  Because it seriously cuts into time with my Boo.  And he’s got to be picked up from his daycare by 6:00 and Gak works until 6:30 and I don’t get home until 6:30 if I’m lucky.  Thankfully we’ve got friends and family more than willing to help with that.  (So, another good thing is that Boo is getting much more time with Rachel and his other cousins…)  That doesn’t mean I still don’t feel bad about how much time I don’t get with a Boo-boy or that I feel like I’m taking advantage of friends and family.  But, they've more than stepped up and are constantly telling me it’s not a problem.
But, really, other than the commute and the hours, I’m having a hard time coming up with any downsides.  Sure, I’m not making quite what I’d hoped to be making, but it’ll do.  I can always go up from here.  The positives of this job far outweigh the negatives.  

We’re all learning and adjusting to the new schedule and trying to actually get it to become a schedule and a routine.  We’re now doing Boo’s homework in the mornings instead of the afternoons/evenings.  Trust me, both Boo and I miss our afternoons horribly, but he’s been such a trooper about it.  It doesn’t hurt that while I was out of work for over a year, I’d been working pretty much his entire life before that, other than the first 3 months.  Dinner is still being a challenge, but I’m sure we’ll figure something out that doesn’t involve lots of pre-made junk.  (With Gak and I getting home within minutes of each other, it’s really hard to have something done when everyone gets home, let alone early enough to have a bit of boy-time before bed.)

I’m very thankful to have this job, even with the challenges.  I miss my Boo time and my “me” time and my volunteer time and walking Boo to school and all of those things.  But, the short term problems will make things better for us as a family in the long run.  And, for the moment, we’re all on the same page with that, so I really can’t complain.  Mostly, I’m just thankful to be working again, and it’s such a bonus to be working with such awesome people helping people help people.

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