Wednesday, October 26, 2011

In My Soul Today

Just a few observations on the craziness that is our lives:

I have an air freshener in my car. It hangs by the rearview mirror. It has a pleasant pina colada scent that is fresh and clean. The rope it hangs on looks like hemp, as does the bag that holds whatever lies inside. And on the front of the hemp-looking bag is a picture of a palm tree that when paired with the bag and the rope, looks like marijuana hanging in my car.

Today is H's birthday. He took the day off, but I did not. He went on and on about cutting down the tree in the front yard, changing the oil in the car and writing a paper for class. I called a bit ago and he was in bed watching Mrs. Brown on Netflix, having just baked his own birthday cake.

I'm seriously considering taking off from work early today.

I get Friday off, as does Harold. We have a fun couple of days planned alone with no kids. The one thing at the top of our to-do list?
1. Do Absolutely Nothing.

I bought a potato from the food court at BYU yesterday. It was 1/3 rotten and the other part had mud on it from not being washed properly. I complained and got a hand-delivered $5 off coupon. I hope the next potato washer does a better job.

Is it a waste of a hotel room to just use it for sleeping in for about 24 hours straight?

I got a haircut. Love it. I prefer myself in short hair. My stylist mentioned that going to a haircut you love is like "coming home." I agree.

My boss is going to China next week. He is dreading it, but I'd like to stowaway. It's all in your perspective.

Happy Birthday Harold!!!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Missed Me, Missed Me, Now You Gotta...

Really and truly? Today is my 6-month birthday at the new job. I guess I can't call it a new job anymore can I? I'm settling in, I'm getting the routine, I'm feeling like I can't use the "I'm new!" excuse any longer.

However, my sad, sad office is still quite bare. And, I'd love to rearrange it, but who can justify the cost of moving expensive furniture around? I can't do it myself, so that means I have to call moving and/or interior design, which costs money.

Did you know that everything at my new employer costs? It's kind of funny actually. There is a form, a procedure, and a cost associated with ev.ree.thing.

Case in point, several months ago I asked to get something that will hold my monitor OFF my desk. My monitor is in a weird spot and I'd like to move it off the desk to provide more worktop space. I asked about it, was referred to interior design, called them, they came out a few times to measure my space, then gave me a quote a couple months later (the cost became astronomical, at least to me), but I ordered because I truly believe this will help me. The order was placed a month or so ago and I have no idea when my new monitor arm and all its accoutrements will arrive. No idea at all.

One of my least favorite things to do is hire new faculty. Why? Because the process is long, arduous, filled with paperwork, processes, approvals, interviews with this office, the administration and with a general authority, offer letters, acceptance letters, contracts, returning of contracts....and we aren't even done with the process yet!

The reason this is my least favorite thing is because no one trained me on the process. Then when I had department chairs and/or new faculty asking me questions about the process I had ZERO idea of the answers. I hate that.

I really am okay with not knowing everything there is to know in the world, but when I'm hired to do a certain job, I want training! so I can then become the so-called expert. When people ask me, the so-called expert, about the process, I want to give them solid, true answers!

Things I Do Not Love About My Job:
1. Not feeling properly trained, but I'm overcoming that hurdle.
2. Being away from the kids.

Things I Do Love About My Job:
1. I truly like BYU as an employer.
2. My paycheck.
3. The people I work with.
4. I have my own office (wish it had a window!).
5. I get to work with students who are amazing.
6. I'm valued and appreciated here.
7. I've won over people who aren't easily won over.
8. I get to drive in with my good friend 2-3 times a week.
9. People fear me.

Okay, I'm kidding, nobody fears me. But, they do fear my phone number on the caller ID when I call and I think it is hilarious. And, I am an information center, and who doesn't love that? And, I get to exercise my powers to keep the information I have private and confidential. I know it sounds silly, but I really like being able to participate in confidential situations/conversations and I have the ability to keep my mouth shut.

There was a time in my life where I didn't think that was possible. And now you know too much about me....

Oh....and we did a sweet-sweet remodel on our front room/kitchen. My man pretty much amazes me and rocks the planet when it comes to trying things he has never tried and being so GOOD at those things. Our front room/kitchen is much improved and I am very, very pleased.

Oh...and we are paying off debt. I like that a lot.

Oh...and I've recently jumped a hurdle of self-doubt and feel so much better!

For now, that's all folks!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

A Fresh Start

I like Spring. Tulips are my favorite flower because of their ability to endure the long, cold winter and to pop up from the ground just as I feel like I need some hope. And they are extremely hardy looking and beautiful. I see myself in the same way. Hardy, enduring, and beautiful. I have a lot to offer, even with all my imperfections.

Today was my last day of work for Intermountain. When I started there almost 10 years ago I was full of fear and anxiety, wondering if I'd be able to learn everything I needed to become successful. Many of my fellow employees have left, a lot left disgruntled due to a corporate merge a few years back. I stuck it out because the corporate reshuffling didn't feel as personal to me. Soon after the corporatizing of my department, a new department opened up within transcription. Quality assurance and training. I applied and was hired, signifying that I was at the top of my game. I understood the principles of transcription, how to produce quality work in a timely manner, and I had the ability to teach this concept to others. I have been in that department for about 2-1/2 years. The original team I was hired with have all left, except my immediate supervisor. There had been a huge scheduling issue that many did not want to deal with any more. Neither did I. Due to that scheduling issue and to our family's need for a more stable financial future, I took the new job at BYU.

I clocked out for the last time today at 3:30 p.m. For some reason our department never feels the need to share which employees are leaving. Many are left wondering, "hey, whatever happened to so-so?" I told several of my friends of course, but the masses have no idea I've left.
Five minutes before I clocked out I got an IM from one of my new team members with the following message:


And she proceeded to send encouraging messages to me.

4, :) You have been such a great leader and trainer. Thank you for all you've done.

3 You are going to be terrific at your new job.

2 Finally out of your basement!!

1 You'll never be vitamin D deficient again!

And as I clocked out, alone in my basement except for the one IM conversation with Michelle, I cried and cried. Big, deep, heaving sobs.

I had felt successful at this job. I had felt like I was at the top of my game. I had felt the respect of many of my colleagues.

But here I sat, alone. No one seemingly cared. How do you leave a company after almost 10 years and people don't seem to notice?

This was the nature of my job. Alone in my basement; training, teaching and guiding from my desk chair.

But I had an angel with me today. As I thought about Michelle, who noticed that I was taking a huge step into my future today, I thought of the song, As Sisters In Zion. The line I thought of was this: The errand of angels is given to women. Michelle was on an angelic errand today, though she probably did not know it. She intuitively saw my need and came to my aid. She was my angel.

It's Spring and I need the sunshine. I need to feel the warmth on my back. I need to see the faces of my colleagues. I need to feel valued on a more personal level. I don't blame most of my coworkers for not noticing. I don't feel upset by what happened today, as the saying goes, "it is what it is."

I've never liked the whole New Year's fresh start thing. For me, my fresh start comes in Spring. I've cracked the hard, unforgiving ground of winter and am starting to make my way towards my source of light.

I didn't leave my job because I need personal contact with other adults, I get plenty of that already. But I consider it a perk that I will be able to sit side by side with some fantastic minds, learn from them, offer my skills to them, and soak in the energy of a college campus.

Spring has sprung! And Angels exist.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The New Job

I've been looking around at different jobs on for some time now. The thought of working for BYU has always seemed kind of ideal to me. The half tuition if my kids get accepted there is a huge plus of course. I have a great friend and neighbor who works there, so carpooling would rock. (Not sure if that will work out, but it'd be great if it did.) And if carpooling doesn't work out, it'd be fun to have lunch with her on campus. And, as most of you know, I loved the energy on campus when I went back to school a few years back.

BYU has had a hiring freeze going on for a while but back in January-ish they lifted the freeze so I started seeing more jobs listed. I saw a job for a department secretary and decided to apply about a month ago. The job sounded ideal to me, something I could really excel at and yet give me an opportunity to learn new things and completely change the industry I work in.

I have a few BYU connections, one of the most important ones is a friend who works in HR. He told me that the department that was hiring was the Teacher Education Department in the McKay School of Education. I was thrilled. Of all the departments to work at, teacher education seemed WAY cool to me. (I don't know if I ever mentioned this, but last year I applied and was accepted into the program at UVU for post-baccalaureate teaching cert. I ended up not accepting due to some personal things going on and then I ended up as YW Pres and that needed some attention, too.)

The TED sounded fantastic! Right up my alley. I got an interview 4 weeks ago today.

The night before my interview I received a call from Sandy. Sandy is my SIL's mom. Sandy works in the McKay School of Ed. in the Communication Disorders department as their secretary. She loves her job and she was telling me about both jobs in their college. I told her I had applied for the dept. sec. job and she insisted I should apply for the exec. sec. job with the dean's office. I hemmed and hawed a lot. I had read the job description of the exec. sec. and I just didn't feel that confident about applying. But after talking to her for a while, I felt like what the heck? I'll do it. So I applied for the exec sec job that night.

I met with the Department Chair the next day, her two assistant chairs, and the college controller (as well as another lady not from their department, but apparently BYU encourages bringing in people NOT from your own department for an objective viewpoint in interviewees).

The interview went really, really well. I felt so good about it. I left feeling like I completely nailed the interview. Another interesting tip about me. I interview well. I do. I haven't applied for a ton of jobs in my lifetime, but every single job I've interviewed for I've been offered the job. A couple of days later I started hearing from my personal references that they had been receiving calls about me from BYU. YIPPEE! If my references are getting called, that's a good sign, right??

Then about 6 days roll by and I get another call. It is the college controller telling me how well I did on my interview and that were going to do something unorthodox (not sure how it was unorthodox, but...) and asked if I would be willing to have another interview, but this time with the dean of the college. The dean was looking for a secretary. The exec sec job? Wow. I was truly flattered. But, apparently there were three of us who made the cut and were asked to talk to the dean.

I went in for that interview the next day, exactly one week from my original interview. This interview was fine. Not excellent in my opinion, but nothing went terribly wrong. I left feeling extremely nervous. I was a completely ball of nerve endings. I ended up pretty much crying my eyes out that night.

I called Sandy and cried on the phone to her about how I just didn't know if I felt right about that job. She was encouraging, offering to put some calls in to the dean's office. I told her I just didn't know if I even wanted her to do that. I was a wreck.

The next day I calmed right down after taking the advice of my husband, my father, and some really good friends. Don't fret until there is a job offer.

Then the next week, another call comes. Can you come in and meet with the dean again? This time another associate dean will be there who had been out of town the week previously. Sure, I can come in. So exactly two weeks from my original interview and one week from my interview with the dean, I head back over.

This interview went really well. I felt calmer. I felt like I connected on a more personal level with these people and I left feeling pretty calm and at ease. The dean told me I had made the short list. I asked, "how short is the list?" He told me I was in the top 2.

I was told the other candidate would be coming in a couple of days later for their 2nd interview and that based on the machinations of human resources, ecclesiastical endorsements, salary review, etc. that it would take a few days after they decided to get an offer. This was mid week, so I figured I wouldn't hear until the following week.

Then two days later I got a call. 5:30 p.m. on Friday afternoon. It's the dean himself. We would like to offer you the position of executive secretary. We feel you would fit right in here. We can see you have valuable skills and your personality and professionalism would be an asset, etc.

At that very moment, I knew this was the right decision. I had fretted HARD over this. I had cried numerous times. I had driven my husband crazy with my anxiety. My biggest worry is the kids. Especially in the summer. But I've made some plans to keep them busy and since Harold and I both feel that this job is an answer to prayer, we feel like we'll receive the help from the Lord we need, especially for our children.

I gave my current employer my two weeks notice on Monday and my first day at the dean's office will be April 11.

Severing ties with Intermountain was difficult. In June I would have marked 10 years with that company. I'm toying with the idea of asking the dean if he can buy me a new set of silverware as a sign-on bonus because that is the gift I was going to choose for my 10 year mark at IHC. Hey, what girl couldn't use new silverware? At least I was being practical and not picking jewelry!

My new job will have tons of responsibility and give a variety that my inner-ADD personality can really enjoy. I crave a job that has something new every day. I like new challenges, meeting new people, taking on new tasks. Bring it!

As it turns out, my record of always getting offered the jobs for which I've interviewed? I didn't get the dept. sec. offer, but I did get the exec. sec. job. I can't feel too bad about my record being blown, can I?