Tuesday, June 19, 2012

On This Sorcery (And What It Is)

In case you hadn't guessed - and considering the subject matter, there's a very good possibility you haven't - the title of this post has to do with that amusing and decently-well-known quip, "What is this sorcery?!" It's something I don't often say aloud, but I think it sometimes to myself and after what's been happening around here lately I think it's something I probably ought to just start saying.

Life is crazy.

I think you never realize why so many people go batshit insane sometimes until you're faced with problems like the mental quandary in the realm of what we're dealing with right now. Not that we're making any life-or-death decisions, perse - don't think that we are, things are certainly not THAT bad - but suffice to say that something new seems to pop up every day, and when that new thing DOES pop up it always requires a creative answer, and as of late we've been sort of taxed when it comes to creativity. So much so that when we play D&D on Sundays we've been having difficulty coming up with new character ideas - but honestly, that's another realm of creativity. I mean the kind of creativity that allows a person to sanely and reasonably deal with a situation without feeling as though the only logical answer is to rip their hair out and try to go hide in a corner without being noticed, which right now is apparently the only option I can see. We're in one of those situations where the world isn't going to stop spinning based on the choices made, but depending on the chosen option, things could potentially improve a million times over - or they could come crashing down rather tremendously and with a resounding noise unlike any you've ever heard.

Naturally, because we are admittedly not good with the decision making process, Hubby and I both are trying hard to try to act like we're mature adults who are able to competently discern between what is important in the long term and what is important in the here and now while in fact only making things harder on each other and ourselves than we need to. The situation is played up to others, or in our heads, as though we are somehow being asked to walk a tightrope over Niagara Falls with no safety net, but with a $1,000,000 reward if we succeed: we know we are doomed to fail, but the idea of what's at the end is too tempting to not try. Of course, things are not even remotely THAT bad, but in our minds I think that's sort of what we're imagining. I can naturally only speak for me, and not Hubby, in that respect, but I think that's close enough.

To explain a little more, here's things from the perspective of Hubby's job:

The pros: The fact of the matter is that Hubby has an amazing job with a small, local company and an amazing boss. He loves what he does and he loves the other four employees and he loves his boss, who would undoubtedly bend over backwards for any of his employees (and he has on multiple occasions). He is only an administrative assistant, but the company owner/boss relies on him to keep the business functional and organized, and asks for Hubby's opinion on major issues often. Hubby is "in" on a lot of the company decisions, with a hand on pretty much everything at any given time. He does pretty much everything, and without a doubt this position has been a huge addition to his resumé that makes it look pretty damn awesome if I do say so myself. The people he works with have become close friends of our's, enough so that we have left our children with one of the guys and his wife one weekend to go on a two-day outing a state away. We love them. We all get together on Sunday with people we wouldn't have met if it wasn't for the guys he works with, and they have a monthly (or so) game day where they all go out and do things they want to for fun, together. They're like family to us.

The cons: Hubby will probably never make more money than he is right now - and unfortunately he isn't making much. If/when minimum wage goes up in our state, he will likely be making minimum wage again, and even that would be actually a huge improvement over what he makes now. His position offers absolutely no benefits, no PTO, no sick days. If he has to take off, he has no option to be paid for it, no matter the reason. He does not get vacation time and is at the office from around 8:30 AM until between 6:15 and 6:30 PM depending on how the day goes. The work has slowed down to a crawl, they are not bringing in much business, and the owner, as amazing as he is, keeps coming up with business ideas that could be awesome but instead end up backfiring horribly on him and the company, driving him into a deeper hole than he already is. He has stated on multiple occasions that he wishes he could pay his employees more, but he is simply unable, and things have shown no real hint of improvement. Because of the position he's already in, Hubby will likely never "move up" in the company simply because there is no position to move up into, and his hours and pay will probably never improve. Also, the company Hubby currently works at is all the way across town, and with only one car that means I have to leave about 45 minutes before I have to be to work just to take him to work, then get the kids to daycare and me to work. It's a lot of extra gas.

The median: We do not need more benefits. My insurance covers us all just fine as it is, and anything extra would be overkill and another deductible to try to meet before anything would kick in. We've been doing fairly well in the gas realm; we've adjusted to the extra running and it's pretty typical for us now. The savings on gas would be nice but probably minimal considering all the other driving that we do.

And from the perspective of my job:

The pros: I make a lot. More than either of us have, ever - I almost make as much as my mother, who has a nursing license and 24 years of experience under her belt, at a nationally recognized hospital. I have a pretty easy entry position at a company that's known for trying to treat its employees right. I have good benefits that I'm not paying out the ass for, and while my job can be stressful sometimes it's actually pretty easy now that I'm getting the hang of it. I like trying to help people and I get to interact with someone different every few minutes, but at the same time I'm at the office with the same group of people every day so I have that familiarity too. I have a space that's all my own, in a fairly laid-back environment where I can wear comfortable clothing and have off the cuff conversations with my friends. I have made us able to finally pay off some of our old bills. Most of all, there is ample opportunity for advancement if I improve and on the same level I am guaranteed yearly raises and "profit sharing" checks in February based on my performance levels. If I am doing well, I get rewarded for it consistently. Best of all, there's always the possibility that I can move to other departments, even become a supervisor if I want, and there is the remote possibility of even getting to work from home at some point if the chance opens up. My work is close to the daycare, and to the school that G will probably be going to this fall, so I can easily and quickly rush to either if I need or want to. Another plus: I have PTO days that I can save up, guaranteed weekends off, a fixed schedule, and paid holidays.

The cons: While I was in training, and sometimes even now, my job drives me crazy. It's often stressful and difficult and I've been cursed at more than once on the phones when someone has called in, and I've only been on the phones full time since late March.

Ugh, I am too frustrated right now in the whole situation to even continue this. My deepest apologies.

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