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Archive for July, 2014

Have you guys tried Clothes Mentor?

July 28th, 2014 at 11:10 am

Thanks fgor all the encouraging feedback regarding negotiating for a better starting salary. I tried to follow the advice. I tried to play hardball. But the guy just said that was the salary and I can think about it. So I thought about it for a few hours and took it. I have accepted the position. I'm trying not to dwell on the negatives. The negatives (bad hours/ harder quota based job/difficulty getting time off/starting over with same pay and now no seniority at former company) will rear their ugly head over and over I'm sure.

I'm enjoying the positives for now. I went SHOPPING! I'm actually not a big shopper, but once or twice a year I'll get a shopping craving and buy everything all at once. Today I spent almost $200 but I got tons of clothes for my new job and a new purse.

There is a store called Clothes Mentor that buys gently used clothes from people and resells it. This was my first time stopping in. I loved it! I'm not partial to wearing a strangers old clothes- but I guessed people also brought in new, unused clothes with tags attached. (Clothes that never fit once purchased/gifts/stuff that just never got returned). I was right! I was able to find really high end brands like DKNY, Loft, White House/Black Market with tags still attached and the items were $10-$20 each. It takes a lot of concentration not to get sucked into cute clothes and only search for original store tags- but I enjoyed the hunt. New favorite store.

The purse I found at TJ Maxx on clearance for $28. I really wanted a $128 purse at TJ Maxx...but could not justify it.

And that was the end of my shopping spree. So I'm set for my new job.

I have created a new monthly budget to reflect the new income. I'm still tinkering with it though.

The job interview...pay is not good and the hours are really bad.

July 23rd, 2014 at 05:22 am

Ok, had my interview yesterday. My fears were confirmed.

The pay is a few hundred dollars/ year more than my old job. The hours SUCK. And the job is harder.

I don't know what happened. I just froze up when they told me the pay. I just quietly said "ok" and then he moved on.

So I'm not really feeling this job.

I need this job. But I'm already dreading starting this job.

I'm really disappointed in myself, frustrated in general. I thought writing would make me feel better but it is not.

Job Interview Today...Comments Appreciated

July 22nd, 2014 at 06:54 am

I am checking in. It's been a few weeks. The latest on my mind has been finding a full time office job. The equestrian job has peaked- I really appreciate getting to turn my hobby into a job- but I'm ready to turn it back into a hobby.

Last week I went and visited my old employer. Its a large multi-building university and I spent several hours going from office to office to catch up with everyone. I put the word out that I was looking.

The VERY NEXT DAY the university President called me and said he had just been handed a resignation letter and would I be interested in an Admissions Assistant job? Heck yeah!

So we set up an interview for today. I would be reporting to someone new. Several of my old colleagues have worked with this guy- though I never have. So it was explained that this is kind of a "meet n greet" to make sure everyone gets along.

The job will have quotas. High pressure deadlines and (if its like my previous work environment), lots of scapegoating. The intense work atmosphere is what made me hesitant to return to the working world and instead seek out a barn job.

But talking to old collegues- the pressure has really calmed down since I've been away. Apparently it all came to a head right after I resigned and there was a lot of turnover (and visits to HR). It took almost a year but now things have quieted down and become more fun.

And even if it's stressful- I enjoyed working with these people who became my friends. I enjoyed challenging myself and feeling like I was improving my resume.

And I want to eliminate my $1000/month private health insurance bill.

So today I interview.

I spent $115 on a new suit. It was 60% off- so I look like I'm wearing a $250 suit! It makes me feel good to wear it. Like "well one less thing to worry about- I don't have to think about how I look."

Now for the salary. UGH. I was hired right before a freeze on raises at this company. So although I worked there almost 4 years- I only received a 3% raise once (big reason for my resignation!).

Then a few months after resigning- the company restructured their pay scale and raised everyone's salary to match competitive raises. So I'm hoping they will just offer me $2-3k over my old salary. And then if I'm able to negotiate anything (which I have NEVER SUCCESSFULLY been able to negotiate salary), it's a bonus.

If they offer me my old salary then I'll be starting out disappointed which is not how I want to start this job. Feeling defensive and unappreciated.

I know the President looks at it as saving his budget to get me a cheaply as possible. He is very smart and intimidating. I've learned that I cant faithfully try to "prove my worth" and think it will get recognized and be rewarded with a raise or promotion.

I tried that tactic last time and was told several times that they would not promote me because I was already doing the work of a superior, so there was no need to promote me and hire someone below me. I was managing both jobs on my own. And the company couldn't justify a pay raise without a title change. UGH it was maddening!

So I just want to start out making the money I would have earned if I had stuck it out to work through the "competitive wage" increases.

I am optimistic because I talked with a co-worker- (who is my potential bosses boss), and she said my new job is considered a level above my old job. Although totally different departments- this new job is a small step up the corporate ladder. (So small that I thought the job was a parallel jump.)

Ok, so the plan is to prepare for the job interview.

But what I REALLY need to prepare for is the disappointment if I wind up with my old salary or a few hundred dollars more.

I have not been called in to interview anywhere else that I have submitted an application. The job market is not really jumping for me right now.

BTW- I pulled a muscle (s) in my shoulder/neck area at the barn the other day and I'm on muscle relaxers right now. I'm a bit woozy as I type this so forgive any ridiculously bad spelling. I'm hoping this woozy feeling wears off by interview time! Otherwise I'll have to take something to wake up!

So about that "follow your passions" job...

July 2nd, 2014 at 05:33 am

Hello Everyone,
I've been periodically reading blogs but not posting. I have not had a long period of quiet time where I could put my thoughts down. So I have been bottling up all my thoughts and activities.

But now the baby is quietly playing on the kitchen floor with cooking ware, and husband is asleep.

Hmmm where to start.

Husband had his experimental stem cell treatment. It went GREAT! He came home in more pain than normal- the Dr told him it will take 2 weeks for the injections sites to heal. I was at the end of my tolerance level for his pain and "I cant do anything" mantra- so him coming home MORE helpless made me so angry.

But in a few weeks his attitude turned much brighter. He was more helpful to me- getting off the couch to bring me a drink, going up the stairs multiple times a day. Keeping the house a little less cluttered.

And then one day I came home to see the baby playing in the kitchen. Husband cooking spaghetti, the house was vacuumed & mopped! It was wonderful! I felt like I was getting back the man that I married. So he is recovering and healing in minutia ways. But it feels like huge leaps for me when it's not an argument just to take out the trash.

In other news- my equestrian job is going great. I have really become part of the team and I am competent at my job.

HOWEVER- the pay and other sacrifices are just not cutting it for me anymore. I'm looking for an office full time job.

I know. After all that fighting with the husband!

This job was meant to provide me with an ease-in to working after having the baby. In an uncertain time when life was changing rapidly- I wanted a stress-free job where I would be just as happy at my job as I was being at home. With a newborn baby I was going to give up horse riding and working at a barn would be my way of not giving it up. But also not taking time and money away from the family to pursue it. So overall I have enjoyed it the last 6 months.

BUT- my body is much older than I "feel". Doing manual labor day in/day out is EXHAUSTING. My body just screams at me when I come home from work. I'm so stiff and achy. I cant keep this up. No way. This is a twenty-somethings job.

And I never see my friends. I work every weekend until 8pm, and every holiday. I'm off on random weekdays. Requesting time off is kind of a drama-fest because people have to cover. I reserve my requests off for visiting family and husband's medical treatments. I've never had so much trouble making plans with friends. And missing out on everything (like cookouts for 4th of July). It seems trivial but I was really lonely in California and I place a lot of value on being with my friends and sharing in their lives.

$10/hr does not stretch nearly as far as it did the last time I was earning this kind of money. I'm making $1050/month and over $200 is spent in gas commuting the 25 miles to work. My windshield has broken twice driving on the highway in my commute. Relatively inexpensive costs like a $40 broken windshield really set you back on such a limited income. And forget the big costs. I took my dog to the vet for annual shots and a year of heartworm protection- $420! That was almost 2 weeks pay! No way do I want to kill my body for 2 weeks to pay for a few vaccines.

And so I got to thinking about the budget. How could I make the money stretch? Our largest monthly expense is the private health insurance. It is $980/month.

If I worked full time at the barn I could get health insurance. It would probably be $4-500/month for the family. So if I work an additional 10 hrs a week I could cut my health insurance bill in about half.

But then I figured if I'm working full time why not go get a salaried office job making more than $10/hr? Plus the benefits of getting holidays off and working in heated/air conditioned rooms?

I initially started working 30/hrs week because I didn't know how husband could take care of the baby without me. It was hard for him. We had to figure out a lot of stuff. But now he's got it. I can work full time and he'll be fine.

And the riding...I'm not riding everyday at work. And I'm not riding at the competitive level I want to be. So its not as satisfying as I had hoped. I'm ready to let it go for a little bit and enjoy my home life more.

So it was a good 6 month transition back into the working world.

With that said- I've applied to a job at my old company. I'm a little hesitant because that company is very high pressure and disorganized. I know I'll get roped into lots of regular overtime and stress. And I'm uncertain I can get my old salary back. I'm talking with people and it seems I was at the top of my pay grade for my skills. If I start a new job in a new department I might have to take a 5-6k paycut. Which is still about double what I'm making now.

I also applied to another company a bit further away- half hour drive- with a definite $6k pay cut from my old job. but I'm hoping it will be less stressful. It's a govt job.

My office job skills are so rusty at this point. Just spelling is a struggle. I'm nervous to get back into that environment. But confident my computer/business skills will come back quickly. I hope I don't make too many mistakes in the meantime!

So that's what I'll be doing for a while. Applying to jobs.