Saturday, February 7, 2015

♫♪ Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes.. .♪♫

♪ (turn and face the strain...) ♫

Well life got pretty crazy for me.  I can't even wrap my mind around how I'm going to do this.  But, challenge accepted!

I needed a job.  I applied several places and looked around for something I was qualified for - not much at this point.  A B.S. in Psychology/Sociology don't get you nuthin'.  It didn't look particularly hopeful, except maybe going back to Kmart like my high school days.

During a visiting teaching visit I mentioned my job search to my "sister" and the place she works came up.  I knew many people who work at Underwater Audio, but nothing about them except that they sold waterproof ipods or something like that.  Meh.  I envisioned mostly sales and/or customer service phone jobs so I wasn't interested initially.  But my friend said her job was a "Button Pusher" - she literally pushes buttons for her job.  I thought, "that sounds incredibly boring, but I've always been comfortable with boring actually.  I like just getting lost in my thoughts."  Right after I got home from that visit my friend emailed and said, "We're hiring right now and scheduling interviews for next week..." (this was a Thursday)  "...Email your resume and last school's transcript to xxxx..."

Transcript?  Um, why?  Apparently they use that to see if you're a hard worker or something.  BAM.  My resume is bleak from having been home for the last 10 years.  But my transcript?  I graduated with a 3.94 GPA, Magna Cum Laude.  I wish I could send that to other places instead of a resume, lol.  Still, I had to finish that barren resume right away (!), and I sent out my first draft as a final draft early Friday morning.  That evening I saw the HR lady among many other Underwater Audio people at a baby shower actually, hahaha.  Seriously, this place employs almost entirely LDS people.  The jobs are mostly advertised by word of mouth I suspect.  I don't think they ever need to post anything.  It was pure coincidence (or was it?) that I was looking for a job and spoke to an employee during a time they are actually hiring, considering they don't advertise these available jobs.

Anyway, I was asked to come in for the interview the following Wednesday.  I still didn't know what they really do there.  I didn't really prepare for an interview because I figured I'd be a shoo-in for pushing buttons, right?  I got really nervous though because, well, it was still a job interview.  Eek!  I sat down and was given my first question and almost stood up saying "Thank you anyway for your time" and walked out.  Sigh.  I was asked to give very specific answers about experiences dealing with others in a group situation where we had to work together and problems arose.  Things like one person being confrontational or whatever.  Not what I would do, what I did do.  The specific situation.  I bet I paled visibly.  Uh, I can not think of a single time when that has occurred.  Definitely not recently.  Did he think the group setting of me and my kids at home counted?  Not only have I only been at home the last 10 years, but even the jobs before that were not group ones.  I've only had jobs where I was the underling, taking orders. And although he usually hears experiences related to school group projects - most of the employees are college students, some high school - in my case I wasn't given many group projects online and working with others that way is very, very different. (My experience was that we were basically ALL adults returning to school later in life and ALL motivated to do well, to work well together, to carry our own weight.) So I fumbled along trying to come up with experiences to answer the questions.  This wasn't going well.  But I had to say something.  Finally several questions in I mentioned something in my answer about doing my schooling online and that changed everything.  Whew.

Finally the questions ceased and  Mr. W pulled out a paper showing me a letter he'd gotten from someone because their licensed image had been used on the Underwater Audio blog and they wanted $850 for that copyright breach.  I started to worry I was being asked to take care of that, but instead was tasked with going through and investigating all the images on the blog and looking for any others that weren't public domain.  I was nodding, "O.k, sure, no problem."  but thinking "I have NO idea how you do that, or even what public domain means!"  At that point I was escorted to the HR room where it was explained what my current task was to that lady, and that Mr. W would be thinking in the mean time about where he wanted to put me long term.  And I was given the paperwork to fill out right then and there.  Soooo, apparently I was hired.  For what ultimate position I didn't know.  And I had been leaning towards going the in-home babysitting route instead of a out-of-home job.  But this one kind of swept me up in a current before I had a chance to consider the offer.  So, o.k.  I guess I had a job now.

Someone else had been having an interview before me and had been walked to the door with I think an "I'll let you know" kind of goodbye.  I was hired on the spot.  I think I was basically hired before the interview even started, I had to just not completely botch it.  I suspect that my transcript, and the fact I actually have a degree and am no longer a college student, set me up as a candidate to skip the line, so to speak.  Not only was I hired in a way that appeared "I know I want her, I just don't know which position", rather than a usual hiring for a specific position, but also the marketing department seems kind of like the elite, coveted one.  Considering my almost complete lack of job experience, and totally zilch experience in either marketing or html, it is a remarkable blessing that I have landed where I have.

Here's the scoop: this business was started and is run by a father and son team.  I used to babysit the son actually.  Never thought he'd someday be my boss, lol.  Anyway, they sell ipods that they've waterproofed, and waterproof earbuds.  That's it.  Everything is done in this building and shipped all over the world. They sell on their website and Amazon. The employees, like I've said, are almost all LDS college students.  They work flexible hours around their school schedule and the bosses are pleased with that.  Apparently they specifically wanted to create a business where college students could work to help them accumulate less debt.  Lots of people work there briefly before and after their missions, for example.  It's a great place for the limbo stages of life.  So yeah, check!  I was told I can work from home, although he wanted me mostly in the office at this point.  And he asked I work at least 15 hours a week.  A super minimal amount of hours (relatively speaking) and ability to work from home?  Where else could I have been given such a great opportunity as I enter into this working world from this complicated stage of life?  I feel really blessed by these aspects alone.

I knew my first task was technically considered being in the marketing department, but I didn't know if I'd be moved to, like, shipping or manufacturing or whatever eventually.  I arrived on Monday SUPER nervous, and was instructed in button pushing (much more complicated than I thought, actually) and worked on that until the bosses came in and I could go over what I'd learned about reverse image searching, the difficulty in locating the original source and copyright info on a given image, and the fact that I was pretty sure ALL the blog images were taken willy-nilly from Google images.  That's right ya'll, I did my research.  I'm a learner. :-)

Anyway, this is far too detailed.  What I meant to say was that everyone there seemed to have already heard the rumor that I was in the marketing department.  It was assumed that's where I was to stay even though I wasn't so sure.  But you see, I only briefly met one other person from that department and when she'd come in all the other employees were shocked.  They hadn't seen her for a while.  So apparently, the marketing people work almost entirely from home, and I think when they DO come in, they kind of do their own separate thing from the other departments which mingle with each other. So this last week, being my first, I was going in at 8:30 and being the only one in person for my department, and I hadn't met any of the others IN that department, and the bosses don't come in until after lunch.  So I felt a little out of place in a way.  I sit alone in this little messy office - the boss' office - while everyone else floats around within their own departments or helping in others, chatting and laughing as they worked.

Still, I'd say this was a great "soft-start" for me.  Because I had to wait hours for my bosses to arrive the first couple of days, I took the opportunity to make myself useful in and learn things from other departments.  This helped me meet the other employees and begin the "coworker" relationships, which wouldn't have happened if I was only at home or immediately tucked into that little office.

You know what?  I think I am really going to like it there.  I didn't know a single thing about sourcing images or copyright stuff, but I know quite a bit now.  It feels exhilarating to be learning something new and problem solving.  I didn't know how to create a link within an image caption so I was shown how to do that in the html code.  Wait, what?  That's right folks, I'm practically a computer science nerd!  I'm thinking there are more coding lessons to come.  We've encountered some design issues which the boss is still trying to solve, but I sat with him as he attempted different things, explaining to me what he was trying as he went along.  I can tell that I about to learn about a lot of things I previously didn't know at all.  And it feels wonderful to be stretching my brain in new ways.  I have never been super into housework and the daily Mom tasks.  I mean, I love the results of the work and I love the feelings of helping my kids or whatever.  But I'm definitely not compulsively drawn to these things.  I know many people who feel compelled to clean their house before they can think, for example.  I can totally ignore the mess because I'm drawn to the thinking time right away.  Like, I enjoy working out the logistics of a busy schedule and the satisfied feeling of thinking through all those details.  I like researching every.single.item I purchase to death.  I have felt SUPER stressed trying to balance my home responsibilities with 3 less week days, and SUPER stressed worrying about childcare stuff and dealing with commute time crunch.  BUT, when I've been at work, I really, really like having those hours to just learn and think and research and work.  I did not think I would enjoy "working outside the home".  I loved doing things on my own schedule, being my own boss, taking my breaks when I wanted, etc.  I always assumed I would be miserable having to live on someone else's schedule of when I can eat, when I can come and go, answering to someone else.  So I'm really surprised to find that I like my job.  Huh.  AND, an added bonus, I'm appreciating the home days a lot more too.  Because although I like my job, I still DO love the home perks I mentioned.

Kieran I think is struggling with these changes though.  He's also been sick and apparently has a pretty painful ear infection, so maybe that's the real issue.  But he's been very clingy to me lately.  I had Wednesday off after working the two days before it - my first two days - and Kieran just wanted to sit on my lap basically the entire day.  I had a TON of housework I "needed" to make up with how busy I've been lately, but I knew I had to put Kieran first.  It was nice to sit and snuggle and love on him and assure him I was here for him.

So anyway, that's my life now.  I am still trying to figure out how to do all this.  I sunk into a panicked bawl Wednesday night as I thought about how much I hadn't accomplished that day at home, and needing to go back to work the next day.  Thinking about how overwhelmed I already have been and now putting so much more on my plate.  3 days a week doesn't sound like much and isn't compared to a total, but I already feel like I'm on the verge of drowning under my responsibilities.  My calendar is booked every single day with all the places people need to be and all the tasks I'm supposed to accomplish to run a home, to manage a family.  Losing 3 week days and only having 2 for ALL appointments and housework and everything?  Ack!  I still don't know how I'm going to do it.  Thankfully, I know God is here to help me.  For starters he gave me the best Mom ever and other family and friends to help me get through this.  And I am SO thankful I found a job I can enjoy.  The people there are wonderful.  Not a single foul word or inappropriate comment.  They all talk about Institute and splits with the Elders and Conference talks and just generally good things.  They are welcoming and kind and helpful - I couldn't ask for a better work environment.  I was VERY excited to learn last Thursday that I will be staying in the marketing department and they have plans for me.  I don't know what they are, only that I will be working closely with "the kid I babysat" ;-) on these assignments which leads me to believe they don't intend for me to just write blog posts from home (which would be fine too) like most of the rest of the marketing people. I was told I'd be taught new things as I worked with the boss on whatever these assignments are. I'm super excited to move forward with that, picking up new skills and knowledge.  So scary-new changes, but also exciting-new changes.  Lots for me to do these days.  I'm getting a serious lesson in time management, lol.  Hopefully I'll learn that skill real soon.

And in the mean time, after reading all these blog posts about the merits of swimming and searching through thousands of images of pools, I'm now seriously considering becoming a swimmer. ;-)


Kelly said...

Wow! I'm excited to hear about all the stuff with your new job. It's probably a overwhelming transition no matter what, but it sounds like you've got the best of everything to help ease the way.

note about babysitting - here the govt only pays $2.50 per hour per kid - so you can make more if the parent can afford to pay you more, but it won't be much. So unless you LOVE kids, it's not really a fun job. Plus to legally watch more kids than just one family's - you'd have to have a childcare license. Bleh. You'd make more money getting up early and doing a couple paper routes (the reason I did that instead of babysitting when we first moved to Medford).

As for keeping up with housework - from what I've observed this is the hardest part of being a working mom. You are so good at figuring out schedules and stuff, I'm sure you will get things in line at some point, although you'll probably never feel like you've caught up - ever. Wish I could be more helpful for you. Love you MILLIONS!!!

jill said...

I am so ecstatic for you!! Sounds like it's such a good fit---and with some flexibility which you wouldn't have in other situations. AND a good environment! Wahoo!