Today I picked up my last check from my temporary holiday job. I am still processing the whole experience.
I shared the first part of my experience in the post Re-entering the Workforce.
After my hours were cut down to 10-12/wk., I began to feel confident that maybe I could do this, and began to consider staying permanently.
That decision was then made for me, when one of my managers approached me and said she heard a rumor I was leaving at the end of the month. I told her that I had planned on leaving whenever my temporary job ended, I only knew it was up to 90 days.
She informed me they already decided to keep me and made me a permanent employee, and then asked if I was okay with that. I honestly didn’t know. She went through a checklist with me,,Did I like the people? Yes. Could I handle the hours? Yes. Did I like my position? Eh…Yes. Okay then, why don’t I just give it a try. She walked away congratulating me. I had a big proud smile, but, I was shaking inside. I really didn’t know how to feel and I was scared. I was thrown for a loop and concluded that I would just take it one step at a time, and I could still leave if I wanted.
The next few weeks the pros and cons were weighed and feelings processed.
- A sense of purpose. I highly recommend either volunteering or working a few hours a week to anybody on disability if possible; because the sense of purpose is highly rewarding and therapeutic.
- A little bit of extra money. Though this was truer when I was working 15-20hrs/wk. When my hours were cut, I was only making $30./month more than I would be back on my benefits, and that’s not figuring medical expenses.
- Socializing with others. It is definitely a positive experience (yet terrifying with social anxiety) to get out of the house and socialize with other human beings.
- Working was very challenging for me. It took all my energy and strength to maintain a job. I found it extremely difficult to constantly process the anxieties I had to deal with.
- I had to cut back down to one therapy session a week. I realized that I was going to have to put therapy on the back shelf for a few months but it was disheartening because of the increased anxiety.
- I was working for less money than my benefits. After figuring out medical expenses, (because they cut some of my medical) it wasn’t worth it!
I felt slightly manipulated, not having been discussed to regarding becoming permanent. Then I wondered if it were some kind of corporate maneuver. My co-workers were begging for hours and yet they hired me. Why? Was I cheaper? I listened to the woes of a woman who was struggling financially because she couldn’t get hours. She had been working there for years, and the only answer she got, is that it was because of her raise. She then added that the Now Hiring sign still hangs outside, but yet the already employed can’t get hours. This made me feel bad and not want to be a part of the corporation.
Other things bothered me too. The manager that informed me I was permanent had really aggressive and poor communication skills. I had an unpleasant experience with her when she called one evening to ask if I could come in, because some one called out. I never responded, I was out when I got the message and didn’t think anything of it until I saw her the next shift I worked. She acted very angrily and made it clear it was directed to me. I never confronted her on it, though I did discuss it in therapy; because I wasn’t sure what to do.
A week after I became permanent, she approached me again offering an extra shift on the weekend if I was interested. I told her I’d think about and thank you.
The following weekend, I got called by a different and very upset manager that I didn’t show up for my shift. I explained the conversation with my other manager and that I never said I would work, and had no idea she had put me on the schedule. That was my breaking point,,my decision maker. I realized that I couldn’t work there anymore. After weighing the pros, cons and feelings, I concluded that the extra stress wasn’t worth less money! I gave my notice a few weeks later.
I found having to give my notice was almost as challenging as asking for the job to begin with. Ashamedly, I think it’s the first time I ever left a job with a notice. I explained that there was just too much on my plate right now and that was why I applied for a temporary job. They received it well and were appreciative of the two week notice.
All in all, its been an enlightening experience. It was a great boost to my self confidence. I know that I am capable of more than I gave myself credit for in a long time. I now know what to expect when I do start working permanently, as far as all the cuts to my benefits, so I can plan accordingly for the hours and wages that I will need. I also learned a little more of what I’m looking for (and not looking for) in a work environment.
Now it’s back to the drawing board. I want to work on my blog and my writing. I would like to start an online shop with my daughter, selling crafts and vintage stuff. I plan to sell my old burlesque costumes. I will also return to EMDR therapy and work on my health. In the Fall, I will look for a job again.