Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Tools of My New Trade....

I actually had to go back and read my own blog to see what I've posted since I made my career change back in August.  For 30+ years these were some of the tools of my trades:

I applied for and got the "new career" back in August and exchanged nailers, screw guns, saws and job sites for a new set of tools and a cubicle.

Yes, that is a Dunkin Donuts bag on the desk, with a "chocolate glazed" in it. It is 30 cents more to get TWO donuts and coffee than one donut and coffee and I can't resist a deal.  They just opened a Dunkin Donuts 4 blocks from my house and work.

And yes, that is a two monitor set up (my school provided laptop and a second monitor). I NEVER imagined I'd be geeky enough to require two monitors, but after getting a good case of carpal tunnel from cutting and pasting Excel Spreadsheet info on 65 students all day on a single laptop screen, I'm a convert.  FOUR monitors might even be better.  It is unbelievable how much data I have to keep track of.  After 5 months I still have some learning curve left to navigate.

Anyway,  the main problem for the past 5 months has been that once I got the new job, construction picked up.  Someone told me that I should have an estate sale and get rid of all my construction tools because if I didn't I'd always go back to it.  They were right.  I've ended up working "side jobs" every night after "work" and every weekend for the past 5 months.  16-18 hour days have been pretty common.  It has been a mixed blessing because we owe the IRS about $10,000.00 and a lot of back medical bills. The other issue is, I'm still not comfortable with the career change.

I had my 90 day evaluation and I know I'm "IN".  I know I do a good job because I put my heart into it and the administration has recognized that in a performance evaluation.  Everyone in the office likes me.  I bring some new skills and talents to the organization.  Job security is not an issue.  But 30+ years of self-employment dies hard even if you are going broke doing it.  When I'm self employed my destiny is in my own hands.  If I work for an organization I can lose everything on a whim of an administrator or a budget cut or an ill-worded email or a lapse of judgment, and I'm on the street.  I like being at the mercy of my own devices than being at the mercy of what, in the end, is a corporation that makes decisions on factors that are out of my control.

So the new career is going well all in all. I like the job. I like the people I work with. I like the kids I "guide".  Not to mention every two weeks money magically appears in my checking account.  It's not much, but it is more than I've seen in three years regularly.  There's a lot to be said for that these days.

I don't have a whole lot of deep thoughts about all that right now because I just got home from work and work and I had a donut and coffee 14 hours ago and I'm hungry.  Hunger trumps philosophy.  And maybe that's deep.....







11 comments:

Hira Animfefte said...

You mean all you ate all day was those donuts? Oh dear...

Perhaps it's time to start packing a lunch? BBQ? A tuna fish sandwich?

Has the school no cafeteria?

Why are you letting yourself starve? You're going to get your blood sugar all out of whack.

Please take care of yourself! We want to keep you around for a long, long time.

elizabeth said...

:) I agree that healthy eating is a good idea but like everything, one has to be ready to do it :) I still remember a blog post of yours from years back involving pop tarts... :)

Adjusting to this job would be just that - a huge adjustment. Hang in there.

s-p said...

Hira, I cut back on food because the last time I did "admin" work I gained 40 pounds. I've never lost all of it even working construction. I'm in an office building away from the campus and I work through my lunch so I can get off early to be able to get to my other jobs by 4:30. So far it is working for me. When I used to work construction by myself I never ate lunch. If I had employees they'd want lunch so I'd eat with them because I "had to". I have a goofy metabolism I guess. And there is a McDonald's two blocks from my office if I'm starving. YAY! :)

Audora said...

One tool neither mentioned nor pictured is your sense of humor. That serves you well in any setting -- although any school-inspired Orthographs (or whatever they would be called) may not go over as well as the Orthographs do in your blogging neighborhood.

How is your wife's transition going, and how does that play out in your homelife? (if that's not too personal of a question)

(another) Elizabeth

Jason Rossiter said...

Working for someone else has helped to teach me humility, even if only in the work context. Every little bit helps, at least for me. I'm not sure how well I'd do calling my own shots - I know I'd enjoy the freedom, but I've managed to make a pretty good mess of the parts of my life that I HAVE been "in charge" of.

Many prayers headed your way; your podcasts and blog have greatly helped my own spiritual journey.

Jason

s-p said...

Jason, your comment is an outline of future blog posts. Yep.

Anonymous said...

If I tried to avoid weight gain by skipping lunch and going through 14 hours of the day without eating, I'd probably totally stuff myself when I got home at night, more than making up for what I didn't eat during the day. Sigh.

DebD said...

my husband has 2 monitors at home and 4 at work.

I can see how there are pluses with being your own boss, but then you're at the mercy of the customer (or lack thereof). MY BIL is an electrician, who also likes to play league football (even in his 40s), and he is also at the mercy of whatever injury he has incurred for the season.

Noël Plourde said...

OK, the only reason we haven't met you is because you wont come visit us! Of course, we have not visited you, either....hmmm.

Fr Allan said...

My dear brother, StevieRay,
Control over your own destiny is merely an illusion. After all that water under the bridge, I thought you'd learned that by now! Plus (and a big plus it is), you finally have some descent medical insurance. Much love to all of you there in the Valley of the Sun!

Anonymous said...

always keep your tools. you will be amazed how much you will use them to help people in your future. glad your new occupation is working out for you. blessings.