Saturday, March 12, 2011

Big changes. One step at a time.

Whew. What a week. Pardon me while I slump into the couch and put my feet up.

It’s been a wild one around here. And it looks like life is going to be far from dull for a while.

Where to begin… Well, my husband got a new job, after a flurry of craziness for 72 hours between the interview and the final offer that was accepted.  In that space of time were literally dozens of phone calls, jumping for joy halted promptly by sinking sensations and cruel reality.  There are still many details to figure out, but an agreement was able to be reached and he is very excited.  I’m pleased he has found a place that seems very promising in the “I won’t dread this job every day” category.  He can’t wait to get started.

We’ve sent over 30 resumes in the past several months.  He’s been to interviews that were great and with promising follow-up, but then weird things kept happening that prevented a final agreement in each case.   He was getting more frustrated at his current job and that’s no fun for anyone.   So this lead, from a personal contact (friend-of-a-friend kind of thing) turned out to be just so smooth.  We pray every single morning for direction to know what’s best for our family and wisdom to make the right choices, and it is so nice when the direction is so clear that the choice is obvious.

The snags with the new job came with the benefits…unbelievably expensive costs for the employee health plan. Completely shocking, as far as I’m concerned.  It was a deal breaker. And that was a heartbreaker.  Phone calls were made to contacts and agents and companies and HR people.  Emails were sent to everyone who might offer input on the situation. We had to learn our options and investigate a totally different direction than we’d expected, but we have very favorable leads in that department.  We’ll know more concrete info this coming week.

Because of the increased costs for medical, even though they won’t be as high as the employer-provided plan, additional income has to be brought in.  Enter my new job search.

Since I am not willing to give up my days with my girls, and since we have Kidlet with us some days as well, the options are to work evenings and/or weekends to bring in enough to fill the gaps.  The benefit there being that the girls will be with M when I’m gone, so no childcare arrangement will be needed.  It won’t be a lot of hours, as the gap is much narrower now that we’ve had more info on our choices, but the gap still exists. If you’ve been around here long, you know we don’t do debt, but we make it a high priority to do our best to always live within our current means and save aggressively as well. When tough adjustments are required, we make tough adjustments. It’s that simple.

So late Thursday night, I began my online application frenzy.  We are fortunate to have literally hundreds of businesses within 2 miles any direction, let alone the rest of our urban/suburban area.  The trick is to find one that has the flexibility I need and whose need matches what I have to offer in time availability.

Friday morning I got a call to come in for an interview. “Can you come in tomorrow?” she asked.  I thought it was all pretty fast, but sure, why not.  So in I went today, dressed the only way I know how to when it comes to an interview, and I showed up a little early, very prepared and not nervous.  I had to chuckle to myself a little, as I did seem a bit overdressed, but hey, put your best foot forward, right?  But I’m not sure what I expected…  I mean, it was Walmart, for goodness sakes.  I’m a big WM shopper, and it didn’t really seem intimidating to consider working there.

I found it interesting that, in completing the online application, there was no place for a resume.  It just had fields that you fill in.  And for “job duties” there was not much space for the ins and outs of medical practice management.  And the salary fields only accepted hourly rates instead of yearly salary… so I popped out the little computer calculator to figure those.

The summary of the interview was that it was short, polite, and clearly showed I’m not a good fit for the need they’re looking to fill.  I was clear upfront with what I was looking for, and I told her I’d just as soon not waste their time interviewing me through three different people, though she offered me the job if I wanted it.  Between the location (not my closest store, though in a more affluent suburb), and flexibility issue (though they were flexible, just limited a bit where I needed some give), and the pay rate (my goodness…reality check!) it was clear this wasn’t my go-to job for re-entry into the working world. 

And to be fair, I know good and well I’ll not be making what I made before. That’s fine and obviously expected. But wow… to be given a number LESS than 1/3 of my last pay rate (if my salary had been broken into an hourly rate) did jolt me a bit.  I’m willing to acknowledge that it might be my new reality, but not at a location that requires a 30-minute drive when gas is $3.39/gal and on the rise. AND that pay rate was taking into consideration, she said, my college education and previous experience.  Amazing.

So I thanked her for her time, complimented her on the very nice store they have, and left the “backstage” area to go back into the store and shop.  I mean, you know…while I’m there… I had a list and everything.

It was interesting to hear her tell me that when I get ready to work again “with more time available” she thinks I would “do very well” at Walmart and could climb the discount ladder quite quickly.  Maybe that’s true, but we’ll have to wait and see if that’s my next chapter.

More apps went out today… should be interesting to see what happens.  If you’re local and you know of a great place who wants to hire a darn good employee, hook me up!


  1. One day at a time. Good title.

  2. Wow - sounds like a wild ride. Have you thought about any tax implications of the higher medical insurance? It might offset some of your sticker shock (and might be a consideration in your finding another position that might put you combined into another tax bracket?) Just a thought.

  3. Are you still living ST. Charles? How close are you to a Y? I may be able to help you if you are interested...let me know!


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