It has now been nearly 4 months since my job change. I have been working full-time at a position that I had previously worked as a part-time independent contractor. I had my own office, a private practice. I have gone from being on my own in a home office to working in an office with 10 full-time and approximately 6 part-time employees. For nearly 20 years, I was my own boss.
There have been a few adjustments:
-I am expected to have my butt in the office even if there is really not much work to do. My caseload is small right now. Things are usually slow at this time of year anyway. It will definitely not stay like this much longer.
-I have to make conversation with folks who are younger than my children, including listening to their overinflated egotistical war stories about their job experiences.
- It is expected that I earn vacation days. I am supposed to ask to use my vacation days. My vacation days are paid!!
-If my office is too cold, or too hot, I have very little control to change it. I did purchase a small heater to keep on the floor near my desk. However, if I use it, it blows out the circuit which is also used for several other people’s computers. So, I bought a sweatshirt to wear if I am cold. It might be scary to see what happens when I am too hot.
-If I don’t make a lunch in the morning, I have to spend money to buy a lunch. As I rarely am together enough in the morning to make a lunch, I end up spending too much money to have lunch each day. And I certainly would never miss lunch!
-I have had to learn new computer programs. Each of the programs has a different password to access it. It is expected that I change my password every month or so. If you have read this blog much at all, you know what a challenge that is for me.
-The office phone system sucks. No way around it.
-The politics of spending money in this department is worse than I ever imagined. An employee in an office in another area had an affair with a violent person (a former resident of a prison). That violent person came to their office and threatened all of them. Now every office will be having a security system installed-at who can imagine what cost-even though no one in our office would ever be so stupid as to date someone like that. It sure would be nice to have those funds applied to raises for staff. There have been no raises for approximately 4 years. Due to budget problems.
-The personalities of the other employees are interesting. You do get to know other people when you share an office. Hearing telephone conversations through the office walls ( I do not eavesdrop! The walls are just very thin) can be interesting. Sharing a bathroom with others on a daily basis can be even more revealing.
The support, encouragement, input and assistance of other employees who are also doing a very difficult job for little pay, even less respect and absolutely no idea what we do on a daily basis is priceless.We are routinely vilified by the public. We have very few “wins”. We rarely hear any thanks, even from those whose lives have been changed by the work we do.
This job may work out after all.