I have delayed writing this for a couple of reasons. The main reason was to ensure what I’m about to write was expressed personally to my friends first. The support they have given me over the past couple of months has been wonderful and they deserve to receive the information personally from me instead of through a blog post I write.
That isn’t to say the support I’ve received here is any less important. I just know them more personally than I know people through my blog. You all have been wonderful too and I appreciate every single one who has reached out to give what support they can.
With that being said, it is time to get into the meat of this post and tell you all what is going on.
I’ll just come right out and say it. I’ve been offered a job and I’ve accepted the offer.
How did this come about?
Well… let me tell you…
After speaking with my financial adviser on 1March and learning I would need to work but the financial requirement for the job was very low, this widened the possibility of what jobs were acceptable. I began applying for all sorts of jobs which I felt I had at least some experience in what the various positions required. The range was wide from caregiver, to cashier, to administrative assistant, to shipping and receiving at a major arts and craft supply store and so on.
Out of the many and I mean many applications I submitted, I received only one call for an interview. It was for a position as a caregiver but was in a town about 20-30 minutes away. The hours and income were not sufficient to cover what I would need in addition to the expense incurred from having to drive so far. I wasn’t called back anyway or offered the position so by this time I was becoming rather frustrated. The hard part, and I knew this would be the difficult part was to get people to look beyond my resume and at least want to talk with me on the phone. I included a cover letter with all of my applications but apparently it wasn’t enough.
In the meantime, whenever I spoke with people, whether they were friends, acquaintances or advisers, I kept receiving the same advice. That advice was to apply at this particular company which has an office in our town. My first reaction each time was because of how little I need to supplement my income, I really didn’t want to get back into working for a large corporation in the kind of work I was doing before. Most of those jobs which paid closer to what I was previously making were about 45 minutes to 1 hour drive from where I live. And no, we would not move if I got such a job. I would just have to make sure it paid enough to justify the drive and time away from my daughter.
There was something else which I am ashamed to admit. This company is a call center which IT companies pay to handle calls from customers when they have problems relating to the equipment they purchased. I worked in the IT industry and even in-house, these call centers or help-desks were not spoken of very highly. In some cases, they were spoken about in a very degrading way. I have no doubt, I participated in such discussions from time to time, as I’ve had my own experience with some of them that wasn’t great but at other times I’ve had good experiences. The biggest pitfall with the help-desk or call centers was in the companies we knew about, most of them were hiring people or outsourcing from places like India or South America, where they could pay them very low wages. In many cases, I’ve heard the disparaging remarks centered around not being able to understand the person they spoke with on the phone.
When anyone suggested applying for this company, all I could think about was I wanted to avoid this type of atmosphere. Or the atmosphere I had just come from.
Let me explain something else. Over my lifetime, I’ve learned the universe/god has a way of nudging us in the right direction if we pay attention. Usually this is done in a variety of ways. Over the past couple of months, I could not have had a more obvious message. It was like the universe/god knew the only way I would listen was by receiving the message directly or as directly as possible. I kid you not. Every single person I spoke with locally, all said the same thing… ‘what about XXXXXX? you should apply there’…. I would respond with the same answer, “I don’t want to get back into the same thing I was doing, if I don’t have to.”
After weeks of only having one call for an interview out of all the applications I submitted, and every time I went to places like Monster.ca and Indeed.ca looking for a job, I would see the same posting over and over again, I got the message. “What the hell. Why not apply. See what happens. They might not even call me. If they do, I can always turn down the job. If I’m offered the job, then maybe it was meant to be.” Are just some of the thoughts going through my head.
So… I applied…
I don’t think it was the next day, and if it wasn’t then it was the day after, my phone rings, I answer and it is someone calling from this company to schedule a phone interview.
“Would you be available tomorrow (Thursday) or Friday for a phone interview?”
“No, I have an appointment on Thursday, not sure how long it will take.”
“How about Friday at 2:30pm. It will only take 15 minutes.”
“Yes. I’m available”
“How soon would you be available to start work?”
“Due to the lay off and severance package requirements, I can’t start before xx.”
“That’s fine. Would the 28th be too soon?”
“No, that would be great.”
“Great, I’ll talk with you on Friday.”
I didn’t want to think too much into what wasn’t said between the lines, but honestly, there was more said during this call, which indicated this was all just a formality. Or just getting a feel for me personally to make sure what I said matched my resume. In other words, no glaring abnormalities.
The phone interview on Friday went great. It ended with making another appointment for a face-to-face interview on Monday!! They were moving faster than I anticipated. Either they had a great need for people, or they really wanted me and my skills.
I wore dress slacks with flats and a blouse. It was up a level or two from casual attire but not the sharp crispness of a business suit. Plus I went light on the makeup. I decided not to overdo anything. I rarely wear makeup so I wanted to be myself as much as possible. I didn’t do jeans because I had no idea what their work attire was but I also didn’t want to appear snobbish so I think I did well on finding something in between.
The first thing they did when I arrived was get copies of my IDs, then sat me down for a typing test. I can type around 65 words a minute which they were impressed with, said most get around 35 words a minute. We were talking about that when we walked out of the room and a man was sitting there. I had no idea if he was another person being interviewed or someone from the office. He joined into the conversation about typing too, and I found out about a minute later he was the one who would interview me. So, we already made a connection with each other before stepping into the interview which was nice.
The interview went really, and I mean really well. I had no problem answering all their questions. Most had to do with how I would deal with different situations when talking with clients and he responded positively to all of my answers. When it was time for me to ask questions, I did and even had one question he said no one ever asked before. He was pleased that I did. As he walked me out, he pointed out different areas in the building and before leaving me and I told him it was nice to meet him, he said it was nice to meet me too, and he was sure he would see me again. Then he added I would hear from them within 24-48 hours.
I had no doubt I had the job, but I would never act so egotistical as to tell everyone it was in the bag. I still had to decide if I would take it if they did offer the position to me. It is an hourly pay type job, paying much and I mean much less than I made before. It, however, was above the minimum my financial adviser recommended. I also had to change the way I thought about call centers.
I thought I would have a difficult time making a decision, but honestly, the feeling I felt during the whole time I was in their office, throughout the whole interview and then following it, was very good, and I mean very good. It felt good being there, even though the building was chilly to me (most offices are, I just have to dress warmly or have layers I can add), there was a warm feeling about the whole place and the people.
The last office I worked at was remote to all my coworkers. From the time I was given a desk there, and the months I came in almost daily to work there, no one spoke to me. The place felt cold and uninviting. I hated it there. There is such a huge contrast between my last office and how this place feels, that I couldn’t help walking out of the building feeling really good about working there.
Forty-eight hours later, they called me to tell me they were offering me the job, but the official offer would come once they got more information about the training hours. The next day they called me with the official offer which I accepted and they welcomed me on board. I start 30March for the first 4 weeks, I’ll work 8am to 4:30pm. I’ll get paid every 2 weeks. In my previous job I worked salary, this one is hourly so it will be a big change for me both in receiving a paycheck every 2 weeks instead of bi-monthly and having to clock in and out. The good difference is, when I worked salary if I worked overtime, I didn’t get any additional pay. If I work overtime in my new job, I’ll get paid and there are other incentives.
There are rules which I understand why they are needed which I hope won’t be an issue for my daughter. She is so used to being able to reach me whenever she needs me even for minor things. She won’t be able to do that, at least not as easily. I can use my cell phone only on breaks and lunch, for emergencies they have an office number she/school can call and someone will come get me. This might be hard for both of us but we are adaptable and we have a couple friends she can call if she needs an adult or can’t wait for me to be available.
I’m looking forward to working in an office around other people. Working from home has isolated me too much. Meeting new people will be good. This will provide me the income I need and if I find I don’t like it, it will at least be something to get me by until I find something else.
I think though I’ve been led to this job for a reason. I have found, those things which are right for me, come to me easily. It might not seem like this job came to me easily but it did. The circumstances which brought me to finding this job was hard. I would not have done it otherwise. I would have continued in my old job, miserable, and just doing only what I had to do to get by and being totally unhappy.
Only time will tell, where this path will take me, what it will bring to our lives, how it will change our world. I have no doubt this path is taking me to where I need to go.
There is one thing which rings true, ‘be careful what you wish for, it just might come true’. Some people think having what you wish for come true would be a great thing, and yes it can be, but as I have found out, the path to get there often is not the path we envisioned. Most likely it will be a path we never expected and give us challenges we never thought we wanted to face.
I didn’t really want to work in my previous job any more. I didn’t want to work for my previous employer. I didn’t mind the work, I just didn’t believe in my employer, didn’t like where they were headed or how they treated the employees or the methods they used. Secretly, I wished I didn’t have to work there any more. I think I even told my daughter I didn’t want to work there any more. When I was told I was being laid off, my daughter told me that maybe this was my wish coming true. It was hard. One of the hardest paths I’ve been down. Being so afraid.
Being rich isn’t everything. Having a lot of money isn’t everything, doesn’t bring people happiness. Having enough money to live a comfortable life however is important. The amount of stress on a person who has a child or others relying on them for their financial income, and losing that income is astronomical. Seeing the possibility of ending up homeless, starving, not just yourself but your child too is a fear so profound, it helps me to understand why some people make the choices they do. I have no idea what lengths I would go to in order to feed my child. I don’t want to find out, but I came face-to-face with the possibility of having to consider it.
I can’t say I’m completely out of the woods yet. This change in my income will be another challenge to face. I will need to set a budget, learn to balance a budget over a longer period of time for a lower income and I’ll need to cut expenses. I may need to find creative ways to supplement my income in order to afford my arts and crafts. I will miss the hours I have had these past few weeks which I’ve devoted to my arts and crafts, but it will make me appreciate the time I do have so much more.
Over the past few weeks my mind has been more active than it has been in a long time. Creatively working out solutions, and possibilities. I have felt more alive than I have in a long time. This is something I need to be aware of. I don’t want to return to that dead place. I want to find ways to feel this way every day and not just when something major happens which causes adrenaline to surge through me or makes me fear for my life.
I need to find ways to challenge myself so the universe/god doesn’t have to do it for me. Bringing art, crafts, creativity into my life has been one way to do this. The free time during and after work will be devoted to caring for my daughter, our home and to my creativity. It is my wish the change in finances will not hinder my ability to do any of these things.
Thank you to all who have commented, offered their support and encouraging words. Every single one is appreciated.