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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

....or maybe not?

Well, the saga of the new job continues.

I talked over the position with my potential new boss, and some aspects of it aren't what I had expected.

*The salary is less than I make now, "but only for a couple of months!" and then "we'll give you a raise after that if everything is working out". That's not what I was told two weeks ago.

*The work week will not be a sweet 32 hours as I was told at first, but a full 40. (Not that I mind a 40 hour work week, but that means less money for more work.)

*There will be a whole lot of travel on a regular basis. I'll be reimbursed for mileage for in-state driving, but it will be a whole lot of wear and tear on my (new) car. And a few times a year I'll have to fly to other states. Which will of course be paid for, but I hate the thought of being away from home that often. Call me silly, but even a night away from my husband and dogs makes me homesick. Knowing that I'll be gone for several nights several times a year bothers me. My home life means everything to me, and even if it makes me a weirdo, I just hate the thought of being away so much.

*There will be a pre-employment drug test, and then random drug tests from time to time. I'm offended at the very thought of that. It's not as if I'll be flying a plane or driving a school bus, for Christ's sake! What a ridiculous invasion of privacy. My biggest objection is that I'd have to supply a list of medications I take, and that's no one's business. (I take antidepressants for OCD. I'm not ashamed of it, but it's not my boss's business.) Also, if I used recreational drugs (I don't, but if I did) as long as I did it on my own time and didn't show up to work impaired, again, I don't think that's anyone else's business but my own. It would be understandable if I worked in the medical field (and had access to prescription drugs) or if others' safety was at risk (again, if I was driving a bus or flying a plane) but since none of those things will be a factor, I don't think I should have to supply bodily fluids at my employer's whim.

*And the last thing: there would be a 6 month probationary period. During which they could fire me for any reason whatsoever. I know that someone else was in the position for about nine months last year, and when I asked why that person left after such a short tenure, I was told "she just wasn't a good fit". That's scary.

But. When the woman offered me the job at the end of our discussion, I said yes. I should have asked for time to think. My head was spinning and I was excited and nervous and not thinking clearly. Now I'm wondering if this is really the right job for me. I don't have to go do any paperwork until next week (the last discussion took place over the phone) and so I'm trying to decide what to do. I feel terrible about the prospect of calling them back up and saying "never mind" after jumping through so many hoops to get this job. And a former boss and two former coworkers of mine gave me wonderful references--I was told that all three took the time to really elaborate on my strengths and that they all gave me glowing recommendations--and I feel like I'd be letting them down to refuse the job (that's silly, I know).

Adding to my angst, the day that I was offered the job and said yes, I went in to work and got my ass handed to me yet again for nonsense and work politics. I regularly get blamed for things that aren't my fault or are out of my control. Somehow I've always been a bit of a scapegoat and the dressing down I got on Monday afternoon was truly unfair and undeserved. For the umpteenth time I left in tears. I'm 40 years old and I've never had a job (until now) where I leave crying on a regular basis. Part of the problem is that I'm easygoing and generally kind to everyone, and I hate conflict and confrontation. I'm too quick to accept responsibility and blame when I feel I've offended or inconvenienced someone and people take advantage of that. I know, on an intellectual level, that I'm a great employee--hardworking, dependable, friendly, and responsible--and my recent job recommendations are a testimony to that.........but my self esteem takes a hit every time I deal with another conflict at this job. And the whole time I was thinking, "I could give notice and quit right now! To hell with you assholes!" but of course I didn't. I'm not an impulsive person and especially not when it comes to something as important as my job security. Because even as miserable as I am at the bookstore, I do have a certain amount of security there after 4 years and if I truly had serious issues there is an HR department I could appeal to for help. So far I haven't said anything about the new job in case I decide not to take it after all.

So now I have a decision to make and it's not an easy one. I have anxiety issues sometimes anyway, and my anxiety level is waaaayyy off the charts right now. I haven't been eating, or sleeping, I've been tearing up at every little thing, and sometimes I almost feel a panic attack coming on. Yesterday at work my heart would start to race, I would start sweating, and then I'd get dizzy. Change is hard for me under the best of circumstances, and this set of circumstances is far from ideal.

On the bright side, my husband has been so wonderful to me. He keeps telling me how proud he is of me, no matter what I decide. That he supports me 100%, unequivocally, always. He calls and texts me at work sometimes just to say "I love you" "I'm proud of you" and "I've got your back no matter what!" Marrying him was the best decision I ever made! His love and kindness mean everything to me, and I know that with a happy home life like I have, this other stuff is just that--stuff.

So what do you think, my dear blog friends? I would love some feedback from you. I'm not talking about this with anyone in my day to day life because I want to keep things private until I reach a decision. Should I stay (and continue looking for a new job) or take the risk and try this new position that I'm so conflicted about?


  1. It's worth remembering (with any job) that you can sack them, just as easily as they can sack you. Maybe you should take the job, but inform that woman that you're going to give them a three month probationary period to see how they behave as employers; if they fail, you leave.

    1. Haha. I should tell her exactly that! :)

      (All joking aside....unfortunately, no job here in the states means no health insurance....which I carry since Gregg is self employed....and no health insurance means you're up shit creek if you get sick. You're lucky if you can get seen by a doctor at all without insurance, and even a minor illness can ruin you financially if you DO manage to get treatment. Since he's had cancer in the past I can't afford to quit a job without a very, very good reason.)

    2. Maybe we should consider moving to the other side of the pond. Where health care is a separate issue from one's job. And where people aren't so gun-crazy and violent. I'm very disillusioned with USA. Which makes me sad, but it's the truth.

  2. Hi Jennifer, my gut feeling when I read this is don't take it. Nothing worse than having a job that is going to be a worry. I like staying home at night too in my own home and nights away are a real no no. Rachel

    1. Thank you for this, Rachel. Not only do I appreciate the feedback, but I feel better knowing that someone else understands how I feel about being away from home and doesn't think I'm ridiculous for it.

    2. I think we both share the importance and love of our home life and our dearly beloveds Jennifer! Also if the thought of the job is already causing you anxiety I would just put it all down to experience and move on.

  3. I was impressed and touched by your comment on John's blog this morning (well, morning here in New Zealand) so I popped over. (I also was curious as to where in the States SC is!) Forgive me for jumping right in with both feet, but you did ask for feedback...and my immediate gut feeling is don't take the job. It seems to me they deceived you at your interview, with the work hours, salary and conditions. Who knows what other tricks they're going to blindside you with? I agree with Rachel.

    Anyway, all the best to you whatever decision you go with.

    1. Thank you for the feedback! And welcome....I'm glad to have you here!

      I've decided not to take the job. I think they've been less than honest and my gut is saying "no". I will continue to look for a new that feels right. :)

  4. The drug part...back in the day, they only tested for benzos.