Last few weeks of work have been weird and uncomfortable. The job itself is fine, I don’t mind finding people avoiding taxes and honestly for the most part I don’t mind nailing them. Unfortunately it isn’t my job duties itself that is bothering me.
My work schedule is killing me. In order to drop my 3 hours of commuting to about 1.5 hours I need to leave the house by a few minutes after 5am (meaning I have to be up around 4am). This is bad enough, but on top of this I get anxious about work, if I get anxious and I need to get up too early, I end up waking up even earlier (around 2:30 am after going to bed around 1030pm). Now, that last part isn’t my job’s fault, it is just a program bug in my head. However this is resulting in my being exhausted all the time and not wanting to do much but nap. Although on a good point, I might be exhausted but I am not depressed anymore from my other horrible job.
I found out today that I won’t be considered for part time telecommuting for at least three more months (originally a month ago I was told February). This is frustrating, especially so since I took a 25% paycut because of the flexibility of this job. However, it is turning out there isn’t much flexibility. It is ok though, it will keep us going until Jello graduates.
The next problem is training is all over the place. I can do the audits, but the fine details are still not completely explained to me and results in a fairly steady stream of “please do this again and do it “x” way”. I never have to repeat this, but it bothers my own sense of self that this keeps popping up because I wasn’t told how to handle specific circumstances.
What worries me is that both the nitpicking and the moving back my date of telecommuting by months came after I mentioned in passing my husband’s proper pronouns of he/him. I can’t say for sure my boss realized what I had said, but the behavior has changed since then and alarmed me. In all fairness though, my agency is undergoing some upper echelon changes so maybe it is that as well. That would almost be worse as it would be a sign that the agency itself is going downhill and that would be bad.
I have talked to my husband and will continue to use the she/her pronoun forms until my probation is over in May (I haven’t come out to my work on the transition, they had interviewed me before Jello had decided to go all the way so at the time I had talked about my wife). I absolutely HATE doing this, hate hate hate, but I cannot risk being able supporting my husband financially until he has graduated and is working.
There is a possibility I might get a call from my old job at SAO (at the Seattle office, which is about thirty miles from here), I am kind of hoping that it works out, but I am not holding my breath.
However, even if they don’t hire me I think I am going to start putting apps out. Low pay with no flexibility is not something I want. The job is interesting, it is a combination accountant/auditor/private investigator but the payoff is just too little at the moment.
Well today was my first day at my new job. My official title is Underground Economy Auditor (Tax Specialist 4). Basically I am responsible for investigating and auditing businesses that are not registered with the state or are not paying the proper unemployment tax.
I do have a quota system, meaning I have to do five audits a month (but no money recovery requirements, I just have to investigate at least 5 a month). The things to look for are businesses that seem to have more employees then they report, or new corporate officers that they haven’t waived their unemployment insurance (or a dozen other types of things). Casual labor I guess is a big thing.
Now, the commute initially is about 1.5 hours in each direction. The job itself is only 27 miles away, but the traffic is so bad it takes about three times longer than it should. This is one of the biggest things that was worrying me, it means my 9 hour day becomes a 12 hour day due to traffic (8 hours plus an hour lunch).
My superior though was awesome though. After being very warm and friendly she immediately approved that my work schedule switch from 8-5 to 6-3. Now it does mean I still have to get up at ungodly early (430-445) I save almost an hour each way in commute time. I should be home before 4pm instead of 630 or later.
I also found out (and this is the coolest thing) that once I am fully trained I get to telecommute three days a week. I will still have to drive a lot, but that is directly for auditing and is directly towards my time at work (as opposed to 3 hours a day before and after work). The idea that eventually commuting only two days a week to the office made my day.
I guess I am the only UE Auditor in the Tax office I am at, the rest of the staff are TS 3’s and they are responsible for investigating claimants and businesses that are officially registered. They get a list of places and people to audit. I have to find my own people/businesses (after all I am looking for people who are either not registered or haven’t registered changes, not something that the office knows about).
It does make me a bit nervous, but I am told that the UE Auditor for Seattle has found enough leads in his area to “last a 100 years”. So evidently it won’t be hard to find places/people to audit. I am a bit uncomfortable that I get to choose and then audit prospective problems.
It isn’t that I can’t handle it, but rather a bit nervous about that kind of power to determine who to audit (an example given to me is a restaurant that seems to have a lot of employees and when I look them up in their registration they have registered less employees I can then consider auditing them). I don’t think I would abuse that ability, but I worry others would.
I have stopped looking for other work at this time. There are a few fed jobs I would take though. I would happily audit for the DoD, or work as an IRS agent (btw this job is perfect work background to get into the IRS), but other than that I think I will try this job out. The perks seem pretty cool, a good work/life balance. The only downside is a 25% pay decrease from my last job. However, Jello and I can get by until he graduates, then its party central baby!