Feeeeeelings and Fleas

Honestly, I know we need them, but I wish mine would just calm the eff down a little bit.

I’m pretty excited about my new job. Besides the awesome pay and the flexible schedule and the cheap as dirt benefits, it’s just going to be so nice to be proud of my career again. I’m also sort of running the gambit of negative feelings too:

1. You know, I’m going to miss my baby like WHOA. I don’t feel like I have any right to complain about this even a little. I’ve been home with her for 25 months. For the last year Chief has also been home during the day as he works at night. How many families can honestly say that they manage to pay their bills and have the whole day most every day together? I think the fact that I have had that for the last year is what’s making it so hard to let it go. And while I am so glad that Charlie and Chief are going to have a lot of bonding time now, I’m also jealous AF about it because she ALREADY prefers him to me, and now she’s going to get him all day long and only get me at 3:30 after I’ve been at work for eight hours and tired. I’m going to have to force myself to still be energized for her and I’m hoping once the weather turns better we can go back to weekly zoo days and we’ll just go there straight from work.

2. I’m anxious about the job in general. It’s very different from any form of librarian I’ve ever had before and I’m so afraid of screwing up and getting fired. There’s also the issue of my sister. I know, how on EARTH could my sister come to play in my new job? Well, the other night at dinner at my mom’s house my mom brought up my new job and was proudly bragging about it and how I was going to be paid so well. my sister asked where it was and when we told her she acted all dramatic like she was bursting to say something, so my mom finally told her to spit it out and her exact words were “That’s a shithole company full of shitty people and they gave my friend M PTSD.”

My stepdad immediately asked when her friend worked there-seven years ago, and in one of their locations in another state during the gulf oil spill crisis. For fucks sake. My mom instantly gave her this “what the fuck is wrong with you” look and for my mom to do that you know she was pissed-my mom NEVER contradicts K. My husband kind of laid into her about it and she said “WELL YOU ASKED ME TO SAY SOMETHING.” and this is when I spoke up and said “Only because you were sitting their acting like you were sitting on massive government secrets.”

It’s kind of stuck with me even though I know it probably means nothing. My mom says that M apparently jumps from job to job pretty frequently, like she has a hard time getting along with anyone, and that everything she’s ever heard about my new company is good (they’re clients of ours and my stepdad has also worked with them since he’s an environmental scientist). So it’s probably just a case of my sister being shitty and not letting me be happy about anything, as usual, but it’s still hard to shake off.

3. My start date is August 1. It just feels so damn soon. Probably because it’s 11 days away. In some ways I literally can’t wait and I’m so excited, but again, then I feel sad about Charlie. I have a dentist appointment tomorrow and I commented to Chief today that I hated wasting any bit of my last week with her at the dentist. He said “Well you need to get your teeth cleaned” in sort of a lecture-y voice. I sort of flipped out on him about it and then immediately apologized because he of course didn’t mean anything by it, but I just made it clear to him that I’m having feelings about it and I’m allowed to have those.

Maybe the thing that’s the hardest for me is that the last two years just went by so damn fast. I’ll never get them back-they’re gone. I can’t ever see myself being a SAHM again and while that’s probably a good thing as I’ve gained about thirty pounds and some startling depression and anxiety, it’s also a really nostalgic sad thing. I didn’t start out a scared, anxious mess. Our early days were pretty magical. They feel shrouded in my memories in a hazy glow. I know-shut up about your amazing newborn days. Most people don’t get that-but I did. In fact, our first year was just pretty amazing. And it’s not that it’s been bad since-it’s just been harder. When Charlie started moving around is when the anxiety switch in my brain really went off, and of course, when she started showing her firey personality is when my patience started to suffer. Going back to work is going to be so good for us I think. I hope.

I sent an email to the attorneys I’ve worked closest with at the firm today-my direct supervisors of course knew about me leaving months ago, but I had kept it pretty low key with everyone else. I thanked them for the opportunity and told them it had been an honor to work with them and I got….one reply back. A very nice reply, but just one. That’s something I won’t miss about working with attorneys. I have always felt very disposable to a good chunk of them and never more so than today. I’ll really miss the staff though. And it’s been nice having a weekly excuse to sit and chat with my mom-just the two of us.

Finally, we’re having a flea problem. It’s really frustrating to me because I spend a small fortune every summer on preventing fleas. All the animals are treated with advantage monthly (the dogs get an an additional heartworm pill-we used to do advantage multi but one month my vet was out so this is what we’ve done since) and we have the yard and house treated quarterly. And this year just in anticipation of it being a bad season (we had a very mild winter) I’ve actually paid extra to have the yard treated monthly.

But we have fleas. And it’s gotten bad. I did the advantage last month and on the same day had our pest control folks come and the vet said he really thought that would do it, but no. So I’ve waited the required three weeks and tomorrow all the pets are getting comfortis, plus the dogs are getting dips. The cats don’t go outside so it’s definitely the dogs bringing it in. We’re also having a DIFFERENT company spray the yard and having the house done AGAIN. That, plus washing in hot water all the damn bedding in the house, spraying ALL the upholstery with siphotrol, and vacuuming every few days like a fiend I’m HOPING will take care of it. I sort of consider it a point of pride how well I take care of my pets and right now I feel like I’m failing at it big time. I hate seeing them scratching and poor beatrix has an allergy to it so she’s had sores we’ve had to treat. It’s been hell waiting to do comfortis and the internet told me I didn’t need to wait, but my vet said I did so I’ve gone with him on this. I’m hoping by the end of the weekend to be flea free.

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Birth Control

I thought I might never take birth control again and we would just be “careful.” But now that I’m starting my brand new dream job, I don’t feel comfortable taking the risk anymore. Leave it to my asshole ovaries to actually ovulate at the most inconvenient time and get me pregnant as soon as I start a new job. So I’m jumping back on the wagon.

I mean, I’m not excited about it. Let’s face it, most forms of birth control suck-they have side effects, they take a certain amount of diligence, etc. I know I could do an IUD but I don’t really want something that “permanent” or, for that matter, something inside me long term. I have a weird hang up about that. Basically why I won’t use tampons. So that left me thinking it had to be pills which, as we all know, are basically the worst.

This is where AndiePants came in and gave me all the great advice! It really helps to have a kick ass sex educator in our community. We talked over my options and for now I’ve decided to try the patch. My pap smear isn’t due for several months so my OB just called it in for me (because he’s the best and thinks I should be empowered enough to make my own health care decisions as much as possible-thank goodness for good doctors amiright?) I’m going to see how I feel after a few weeks and reassess. I’m hoping the side effects will be minimal and I can just stick with it. If not I MIGHT be willing to try the ring, but you know, I have aversions.

Anyone have experience with the patch you’d like to share?

I got the call

Per passing the drug and background check the job is mine!

I accepted it before even hearing what the salary was, but considering that it’s 16K higher than the other job was paying, PLUS I can bill clients for research, PLUS profit sharing kicks in after a year, I think my decision was pretty sound.

I’m actually a paid librarian now. At my old system I never held a position that required a masters degree, so this is pretty amazing to me. I didn’t realize how incredible it would feel to have my hard work and education ACTUALLY pay off.

And to think that I almost let this job go by. From now on you can call me The Barren Research Librarian!

Speech Therapy and Job Stuff

Speech Therapy

Yesterday Charlie had her speech evaluation. The place we chose is brand new. Like just opened two weeks ago, they’re still working on the parking lot new. The kids in the waiting room were all really excited and loud which seemed like a good sign-they enjoyed coming there and were happy to be there.

They got us back on time and our evaluator, Shelby, immediately sat down on the ground with Charlie. Charlie wasn’t at all shy around her which was basically a miracle. Charlie is ALWAYS shy around adults she doesn’t know. But she got right in there and started playing with her. I was filling out paperwork so I was only half watching, but guys, I wish I could just have this lady move in with me. She was amazing with Charlie. She was great about praising her when she did something right and if she missed something she really brushed over it like “no big deal” and just moved to the next thing. Charlie clapped and gave her lots of “yay!”s.

On the other hand-it was obvious that she wasn’t passing the eval. There were things she should have definitely been able to do-like identify a picture of a cat on a page that had a cat and a bird on it. Charlie has four cats, she should have been able to do that. She is also really, really behind on consonant pronunciation. There are two areas they test and if you fail either of them you qualify for therapy, and she failed both by a moderate amount. When I asked how much therapy they recommended she asked about our insurance and if we would have a copay for every visit. When I said yes she paused, so I followed up by telling her that we would find a way to do what we needed to do, so for her not to consider the money part of it. At that point she said she would recommend two 45 minute sessions a week for six months to start, and then reevaluate.

So anyway, she’s writing up the report this week and then she’ll send it to my pediatrician who will have to officially prescribe the therapy before we can get started, so it’ll be a few weeks before our first session. But Charlie really loved it there and it was obvious that they had everything they needed for these kids. Charlie actually didn’t want to leave-to her it was just playing with a really cool, fun, sweet lady. Shelby said we might not get her as a therapist and Chief and I were both like “Uh…can we change that because we really like you.” So she’s going to look at her schedule and see if she can get Charlie on there.

Now that we’ve got a plan I feel better. Shelby didn’t see any concern that this is more than just a moderate speech delay. She said Charlie was obviously very aware and actually pretty advanced in some other areas, and that this isn’t uncommon. I don’t even care if that’s true or not-it made me feel better. It’s hard being a librarian with a kid who doesn’t want to talk. I’ve had so much early literacy training, and this whole time I’ve just been feeling like I’ve failed her, but no one mentioned screen time, or interrogated me on how many minutes I read to her every day. It was all about just moving forward and helping Charlie be her best.

We did ask about Early Intervention services and the insurance lady’s face got kind of dark. She said that it is available once private insurance has been exhausted, but that they were VERY worried that with the political climate in our state it would be taken away, or only be available to families who meet a certain income threshold. She basically said they would help us try to get it in six months if we needed it, but that we shouldn’t count on it. So now we’re looking at our options. Our state does have a program where you can buy into medicaid if your child has a need (such as a speech delay). You pay based on income. It wouldn’t be cheap for us, BUT it would be cheaper than paying out of pocket. The problem is that it takes three months to qualify AFTER your clinic sends in the mountain of paperwork you have to fill out. Like they have people at the local children’s hospital whose job is to just sit and help people with these forms all day. That’s one option. My preference at this point would be to find a job with an insurance plan that would pay what Chief’s won’t pay for. On that note:

Job Stuff

I had my job interview with the toxicology lab today and it went so well. I sat with four people, two PhD toxicologists and two office staff who have been filling the librarian roll the best they can since their long time librarian left. It was pretty informal. There was no list of questions. We just talked about my experience and what they were needing. I think I sounded pretty knowledgeable and there was nothing they mentioned that seemed outside of my abilities. They also made it clear that they had no expectations of me understanding everything right away. They encourage questions and work in a very team oriented environment. They said that everyone on staff is encouraged to make suggestions about the ways that things could run better-no one from the receptionist to the top of the firm is above or beneath anyone really. And they seemed to genuinely mean it.

It was also a really casual office-most folks were wearing jeans, it was quiet but relaxed and friendly. I was able to speak a little bit on OSHA which they do a lot of dealings with as they do a lot of expert witness for workplace lawsuits surrounding chemicals. They were pleased that I had experience with one of their vendors (Thomson Reuters is literally my biggest vendor at the law firm. I hate them, but knowing about them did me a solid today). They laughed at all my jokes and we talked about my kid a little, and they were totally fine with the schedule I needed. They said no one punches a time clock there-they just expect you to be at work when you need to and stay for about eight hours a day, and if you need to leave to go do something that’s cool, but just do your best to be there when you need to be. I asked if I would be allowed to take work home because they admitted that they’re pretty behind on library file maintenance. They all LITERALLY lit up when I said that and told me they absolutely would be fine with that, that I would be assigned a laptop and I get paid by billable hours-I can work as much as I want. It just means more money for me. They also said they would pay for me to go to ALA (American Library Association Conference) if I wanted to. In fact, they encouraged any professional development I wanted to participate in.

None of them were knowledgeable enough about benefits to speak with me about it but they all said the package was pretty good and they would have their HR person said me some info. I was hoping to get that today but it probably just slipped past them. I left the interview feeling so good. They said they were “continuing the process” for another week or so and would let me know, so I guess that means they could be interviewing other people which makes me want to die inside a little, but it is what it is. I want the job. I want it really bad. I never felt this way about the base job, and as you know I’ve felt nothing positive about it lately.

What today did was cement in me that the base job just isn’t right. Even if I don’t get this job I interviewed for today, I deserve to be happy in my job and to have transparency from my boss. So tonight I wrote an extremely polite and apologetic email to the contractor explaining that I had decided not to take the job, that there were personal developments in my life that had led me to this decision, and that the decision was not reversible at this time. I thanked him and wished him well, and then I hit send. He may send me a nasty one back, but if he does I don’t feel the need to reply. If he tries to get me to stay I also have no problem saying “I’m sorry, my decision is final.”

Honestly, I’d be fine if he never responded.

So that’s where we are. I may die from impatience waiting to hear from the toxicology lab. I’ll be absolutely heartbroken if it doesn’t happen, but today I chose to believe in myself, and I’m just really hoping it pays off.

Ramblings

Tomorrow is Charlie’s speech evaluation. She’s been doing better in the past few weeks but she is still behind her peers and the speech that she does have is very hard to detect. I’ve been working to get her this evaluation for almost a month (insurance is THE WORST) and I’m anxious. I know she’s delayed, but I’m so afraid they’re going to tell me there is something physiologically wrong with my child. I’m afraid she’s going to need intensive speech therapy. I’m afraid of the cost (I wish I didn’t have to be, but I am). Insurance covers it, but with a copay, and at $20 per visit if she has to go 2-3 times a week, that adds up damn fast. They also only cover 60 visits a year. Even at twice a week, we’ll obviously exceed that quickly. Adding on to that…

I still haven’t decided what to do about my job situation. I have a job interview on Wednesday with a toxicology lab that needs a research librarian. I am not qualified for a lot of what they want, but I do have the masters degree they’re asking for. They’ve had the job listed for a long time. Like I applied for it back in April. They emailed me last month asking for an interview and I had originally declined on the basis of me having this other job, but then when I found out how disposable I would be I emailed and asked if I could still come in for an interview. I figured the position would be filled because I didn’t email until two weeks after they initially asked me, but she got back to me and we set up a time. I know that I can learn the job, but I’m just afraid I’ll look like an idiot in the interview.

As far as the contract firm knows I’m still moving forward with starting in August even though probably I’m not. Even if I don’t get this job on Wednesday, or even if I get it and the schedule can’t fit my needs, I’m terribly afraid of getting into a miserable work situation. I’ve been in them before and I don’t want to do it again. I also don’t want to work somewhere for a month or two, discover it’s awful, and then bail out. That would look wretched on a resume, and frankly, while the contract firm seems to sort of be the worst, the people I’d be working along side probably wouldn’t be and I would feel hella guilty about that. I still have more than a month before i’m supposed to start, so I shouldn’t feel guilty about emailing and saying that after learning things that I didn’t know before accepting the position I’ve decided that this job is not a good fit for me, but I REALLY do. Mainly because he’s “held” it all summer (although he did tell me that no one else applied for it the whole time so it’s not like he turned down scores of qualified candidates for me). I don’t want to leave him high and dry but I feel like I have to protect myself.

Here are some things I’ve found out since taking the job:

1. No PTO for a year (I actually knew about this one, but it needs to be on the list because it impacts the other stuff)
2. If the base closes for weather I won’t get paid unless I use PTO (which I won’t have for a year)
3. If I leave they keep back half of my accrued PTO. Everywhere else I’ve worked it’s been paid out 100% in a check.
4. If I work overtime it will be at a reduced hourly rate. I know this sounds illegal but here’s how they do it: My base pay is $11.50 an hour but then when I didn’t take the benefits they were offering they added $4 and some change onto that. That only applies up to 40 hours a week, so on weeks I have to work more it will be at the $11.50 rate. No. Bueno.

All of this was in the employee handbook they sent me. The only thing I knew about was #1, and I was willing to deal with that because of all the things I was promised.

The lady who is running my old department at the library (not the Captain, she got promoted and is the boss of the whole world now) told me that she’s expecting several jobs to come open soon. If I go back to the library I really have to go back part time or I just can’t make the scheduling work with my kiddo and my husband’s work schedule. The captain told me that one of the part time jobs is already basically spoken for, and the other one carries no guarantee of when it will come open or if it will even be a part time job. Chief feels like waiting for one of these positions is my best bet, but I feel nervous hedging my bets on that. I worked there-I know how admin can change things up on you.

Finally, the lady who is taking my position at the law firm told me without knowing about any of my inner turmoil that if the job I was taking didn’t work out or I just wanted to come back she would gladly step back. She just works for fun-she has a lot of money and is retired. So that’s kind of a relief and my boss there really REALLY wants me to stay. She also said I could work 15 hours a week instead of ten if I want, so that’s something.

I need to email the contractor and tell him I’m stepping down. I know I need to. Chief thinks we should wait to see what happens on Wednesday. I have to make a decision by Friday. It’s not fair to wait any longer than that. Monday will be the four weeks out from when I would start. I’m just petrified of making a bad decision and bankrupting my family. I feel like I’ve made so many bad decisions lately that I feel like no matter what I do it will be wrong. My self confidence has really taken a hit too which has me not feeling great about the interview Wednesday. We both seem to have a lot of hope put into it and I feel like I’m just going to bomb it royally and let my whole family down.

I can stay out of work until January, possibly a little later. At that point I need to have something part time at least. I just feel frozen in space, afraid to do the wrong thing.

If it sounds too good to be true…

Then, it probably is.

So, around two months ago you probably recall that I accepted a job with my husbands unit. The job is working with the unit but it’s through a federal contractor. It’s not a librarian job but I accepted it because the work sounded interesting and I was promised from the get go a SUPER friendly, family flexible workplace. Told I could work the hours that worked for my family as long as a military member was in the building while I was at work.

I agreed to a start date of August 14th. In the last few weeks I’ve been doing paperwork for the job. Because of this I felt like I needed to touch base with my boss about my work schedule. Here’s what I was requesting:

MWF 7-4
TTH 7-1:30

I requested this because I need to be able to pick up Charlie from mothers day out while Jason is still in school. It adds up to 40 hours a week so I didn’t foresee it being an issue. I wrote a very friendly and deferential email asking permission to work this schedule. He instantly wrote me back saying that it could be a problem with the lt colonel in the unit. Then he asked me to call him.

In the call he basically lectured me about how I don’t get to dictate my schedule, that we work for the client (the unit) and they make the final calls. I flat out told him that this felt very different from what he told me in my interview, and that I have already resigned my very good part time librarian position for this job based on what he told me, but that at the end of the day I do have a small child that he knew about when I took the job, and she getting picked up from school has to be a part of my life right now. He said that he felt like he told me that while HE was flexible that that didn’t mean the unit would be flexible with me. He did not tell me that. I wouldn’t have taken this major risk having known that. I would have just turned them down and kept looking.

He went on to say that I needed to talk to the Lt Col when I started work about the schedule. I said I didn’t feel it would be responsible to go in not knowing whether they would approve me PICKING UP MY OWN CHILD from school on my second day of work. I felt like this needed to be resolved now. I told him I would email the Lt Col and ask about this. He basically told me that I shouldn’t email him because we couldn’t make it look like we were trying to call the shots, which, again, I was not trying to do at all. He said he would try to contact him next week but did admit to me that he’s had a hard time getting this particular Lt col to answer any of his emails or phone calls about me. In fact, he’s both called and emailed twice. And gotten ZERO response.

He then tried to reassure me that he thought I was the right person for the job and how much I would enjoy it, etc. etc….but at this point I’m pretty spooked. I have quit a really good job to take this job that was supposed to be good for my family, and now might not be that way at all. I had accepted some pretty unfortunate aspects-like the fact that I won’t earn any time off for a full year and that the only way to get a raise is to get a promotion within the company ALL based on the fact that I would have a very flexible, family friendly schedule. I had accepted the fact that I would not be a librarian for a while. And now I’m just feeling like I’ve been tricked. I had to get him off the phone because I knew I was about to lose my cool. I called my husband to tell him everything. He said he felt certain the Lt. Col wouldn’t care what schedule I work at all. I told him that’s not even really the issue anymore-it’s that the guy who is supposed to be my boss basically lied to me about everything that really matters, and now I’m REALLY not sure I want this job. I got so upset that I had to go hide in the bathroom (I was at the law firm and luckily no one was around-benefit of it being the Friday before a holiday).

So basically I’m looking for jobs again. I haven’t quit this one yet and maybe I won’t, but I did just apply for a librarian position with the local VA. I also got an email two weeks ago requesting I interview for a job I had applied for two months previously. I had politely refused the interview based on the fact that I had accepted this job, but I did email them back requesting to have one after all. It’s a long shot-the position is probably already filled, but what do I have to lose at this point?

Mainly guys, I’m mad as hell, and really really worried. And sad that I have lost the best paying, most flexible job I’ve ever had. I’ve already hired a replacement for my law firm gig and she’s really nice and will do an amazing job, but mainly I just wish I could go back six weeks and follow my initial instinct to not accept this job. If i don’t have some scheduling resolution within a week or so I’m going to let them know that I can’t follow through with the position. I don’t think it’s too much to ask to know what schedule you’ll be working before you start a position, especially when you have small children.