Twenty-Twelve

December 29, 2012 at 6:30 pm (A New Career, back to school, Employment, Finances, Job Satisfaction, Memories, Social Services, Studies) (, , , , )

Last year I said that I was glad to say good-bye to 2011.  Many people agreed with me.  It was a tough year.  As was the year before that…and the year before that…and the year before that…and half of the year before that.  It felt like we were in a game of Whack-A-Mole.  When we were finally able to peek our head above ground  WHACK!  We were bopped back down.

2012 offered a lot of promise.  It started out rough, got a little…well…a LOT rougher, and I think it has ended better than many of the years before.

A few days ago Josh and I took a (very chilly!) walk along Lake Michigan reflecting on the highlights of 2012.

January:

  • Despite being the slow months of winter, Josh saw a lot of success with his program.
  • I started my first semester as a graduate student.
  • Finally out of debt, after 4 years!
  • We picked up our first ever BRAND NEW vehicle (ordered on Black Friday, we had the sales guy so flustered he inverted a couple of numbers giving us a $2,000 savings)!  After 11 years Josh now only has one more broken down vehicle to work on!

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February:

  • More success in Josh’s program during the slow months of winter.  I think they saw some of the highest number of hours served in the history of the program during these months.  The program is expanding so much Josh is having a hard time hiring staff to keep up!

March:

  • Day trip to South Bend.  We still don’t have money, but we wanted to get OUT!
  • Josh’s brother calls on a Wednesday to invite us to his wedding…Friday.  This was supposed to be the day Josh got terminated, but because of this call he had to push the appointment back.  Yes, they made an appointment with him to terminate him, but he was told they would be working out some issues with his boss.
  • We enjoy Chris and Katie’s wedding on the steps of the courthouse in Crown Point.
  • On March 9 I post this on FB: For the first time since shortly after our move back from Scotland we have money in the bank! After 4 years of working to get out of debt we did not ask for it feels SO good to have a few bucks that are not already claimed for bills.
  • On March 19 Josh was terminated (Josh’s comment at the beach: I didn’t have to work for my creepy boss anymore!).
  • I have no choice but to continue working at the same agency that chewed Josh up and spit him out.
  • Josh’s amazing staff came together and gave him a great going away party on their own time.  We are humbled by the love and support they show.

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April:

  • Classes end.
  • Josh is trying to get out of social services so not applying for those jobs, but he is not being considered for anything else because he does not have specific experience. I want to go up to those haughty HR people and tell them my husband is so ingenuitive he can make a Popsicle stand in the arctic successful and they are missing out!

May:

  • Josh finally starts getting unemployment.  We watch our finances slip back to their previous state of debt.
  • Josh continues the job search, trying to get out of social services.  After countless emails saying he will not be considered for a labor or manufacturing position because he does not have the experience he goes back to applying for social services positions.
  • Camping!
  • I enjoy meeting with high school friends Tiph, Jil, and Steph at Steph’s production of Listen To Your Mother.

June:

  • We celebrated my grandparents’ 60th wedding anniversary in Michigan.

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  • We enjoy our cousin Kristina’s wedding.
  • Josh is offered a job to start mid-June.  Neither of us feel good about it, but it is a job.  Josh tries to negotiate for more time off because of his experience, since they will not budge on the low pay, but they say no.
  • We take a road trip to visit a dear friend in North Carolina.  We love to travel but had not had the money to for the last 5 years.  We love nature and mountains and this was just what we needed.
  • Josh has an interview for another job the day we get back from NC.
  • I take my client on her vacation to Amish Acres where we see “State Fair”, eat out LOTS (I have the best ever root beer float, and I don’t like root beer!), shop at Shipshewana, and go on a horse a buggy ride.
  • I put in my two weeks!
  • Josh starts his new job, but is offered the other and quits after 4 days (He has yet to be paid for that one!).

July:

  • Josh starts his NEW new job.
  • I become advocate for Verda, who was previously my client.
  • Blueberry picking!
  • I enjoy occasionally meeting with Verda and her staff for coffee/lunch/ice cream.
  • We enjoy the LaPorte County Fair.
  • FIREWORKS!!!
  • Josh, Stacey, and I organize  help set up for Chris and Katie’s wedding (and party hard afterwards!).

August:

  • We enjoy our summerly get together at our place for our lunch club.
  • We fly (for the first time since we moved back stateside!) to SF to visit Stacey.  We had a wonderful apartment in San Rafael, enjoyed many restaurants (YAY restaurant.com!), and got in lots of nature with hikes along the coast and a visit to Yosemite.
  • Classes begin.
  • Josh is working lots of hours.

September:

  • Camping!
  • We join a great new small group.
  • I start my Thirty-One business!

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  • We say good-bye to our Brazilian friends Eduardo and Natalia.  😦
  • I have my first Thirty-One party.
  • Josh is working lots of hours, but he gets his first raise.

October:

  • We celebrate Josh’s birthday at his favorite place because he can get whatever seafood he wants (Red Lobster).
  • Camping!
  • I have several Thirty-One parties, but everything starts to become a blur because of classes.
  • Josh is working lots of hours.

November

  • We celebrate my birthday, but we had to squeeze it in quick because I didn’t really have time to celebrate.  We didn’t go out anywhere.  Josh surprised me with a beautiful lemon and raspberry cake he made and decorated.
  • Stevie had some of his artwork in ArtAbility.
  • Thanksgiving!
  • Josh is working lots of hours, but is caseload is changed to be more local.  He is allowed $300/mo for his expense report.  This was not even covering his mileage.

December

  • I feel like I am about to die as classes wind down.  I pulled 2 all-nighters in a row to complete a project.
  • Classes finally end!  I didn’t think I would make it!
  • Josh’s work finally starts to slow down and he is offered another raise.
  • Christmas!
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Looking

February 17, 2010 at 7:16 pm (Employment, Job Satisfaction, working midnights) ()

I had every intention of talking about our Chicago mini-vacation today (it was a good time!) as this is the only day I have the afternoon off, but I just got word that this is my last week (Friday) at the group home and there are no other positions at other group homes open.  I will be transfered to a department which would not be my first choice as a DSP.  Good news is I will not be working midnights, though they are always in need of midnight people and I might get asked to do them. 

So now instead of uploading pictures and such, I will be looking intently through job listings and trying to remember agencies I can look up.  If anyone has any suggestions for NW Indiana and Chicago, I will take them!

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CRASH!

February 8, 2010 at 9:12 pm (Healthcare, Job Satisfaction, working midnights) (, , , , )

After such an amazingly normal time off I went back to HR with my release note and the recommendation from the doctor that I not work midnights.  I was hopeful after the communication I had with HR last week that I could just be transfered to a position that only worked days.

Well, it didn’t work out that way.  I was told they did not have to accommodate the restriction and if I didn’t want to work midnights they MIGHT be able to transfer me to another group home or I would have to find another position available and apply for it.

I have spent the last week looking for other positions.  Right now I feel like I would take almost anything.  I am looking in Chicago because it seems like my chances would be better there, but to make the commute worth it I would have to require a higher wage than I am making now (which is pretty low, so it wouldn’t be too hard).  Anyone know of anything???

It would be a dream if I could find someone working in statistics that would be willing to hire someone aspiring to work in statistics, but doesn’t yet have the education or experience and let me shadow and train.  I would be willing to take a low pay for the experience and to just be able to get right into the field I am dying to get into.  But like I said, that would just be a dream.  People don’t do that anymore.

I’m looking at hospitals and universities.  But even secretary or clerk positions require experience and certifications.

I found a perfect fit as a resource specialist at a hospital, right in line with something I did in Chicago!  But I couldn’t even advance to the application because I don’t speak Spanish.  😦  I had hoped they would let me learn.

So I am technically released to work, but since I wasn’t on the schedule I am forced to use vacation time for today and probably tomorrow.  Wednesday we start our mini vacation!  The idea of our holiday is a little less thrilling to me now that I don’t know what kind of a job, IF I will have a job when I come back.

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