- Regular hours! I go in early-ish but not too early (8:30am) and get off just after the rush of school dismissal is over for the day (4:30pm). No more crazy changing retail shifts. No more working nights. No more weekends or holidays! I can't believe how much having regular working hours has reduced my stress levels. Life feels so much easier now. It's great having regular, set times for meals and sleeping. Physically, I feel better.
- The atmosphere of respect and professionalism among the staff. One thing that was strange at first was being called "Ms. Barlow" instead of "Jennifer" and calling all of my coworkers "Mr. or Ms." instead of first names. Everyone is careful, polite, and somewhat formal in their interactions with others....but they also manage to be friendly and warm at the same time. It's a wonderful change from the last place!
- Looking forward to the upcoming holidays (even the small ones like Labor Day) and the time off I'll have. Gregg and I have even started planning a camping trip with the dogs to Huntington Beach State Park over the Thanksgiving holiday in November!
- Seeing my husband at work when he comes to take care of the aquarium. Finding out that the library staff (the tank is in the library) and the custodial staff all love him and think he's a great guy. (He is). The aquarium itself is beautiful, about 90 gallons of water full of vibrant green living plants and small schools of colorful tetras. I'm proud of it, and proud of my husband for being the "fish guy" who cultivates it!
- All the little surprises that come with working in a very visible, important part of the community. For instance, during the week before the students came back to school, two separate churches came out and provided large, delicious breakfasts for the staff. On the first day of school, the office people (I'm the receptionist) got a huge edible arrangement of fruit from a fancy shop in town. A local greenhouse/nursery emailed all district employees discount coupons. The State Fair in Columbia will be giving us each two free tickets for admission next month, and on and on. All of my coworkers who have been at the school for any length of time are used to it all and take it in stride, but I can't help but be delighted each and every time!
A little surprise handed out to new staff members yesterday.
So cute!! And ironic, since I'm married to the "fish guy".