Posted in Internal Thoughts Opinion

Why the hate?

This morning I was reading an article about the idea of reducing the work week from 45+ hours a week down to 30. The idea is it would be healthier for employees and allow for a more well balanced work/life experience.

This is all stuff that is fairly straight forward and has been proven in many many studies. Stress and work anxiety is a huge reason for health issues (including cancer), it is also responsible for incredibly stress between partners and family members, almost as much as money is a problem.

All of this seems pretty logical to me. Personally once we get our credit cards paid off when Jello graduates, this might be a great thing to do. We could easily live off 30 hours each and still have a savings.

What caught me off guard was the vitriol that the commenters went on about. How it was only for lazy people, how it would destroy business, etc. Not even addressing the fact that there are countries where this is the norm and it hasn’t destroyed them. I keep wondering why the anger and taking it personally? It just seems weird that people would be so vitriolic.

Do they feel it invalidates the whole idea of consumerism? Does it put to question our desire to chain ourselves to more than a quarter of a million dollars of debt for something we don’t actually own until we pay it off? I have rants about those as well, but honestly I won’t go into that here, they deserve their own posts.

Then again, I know I get push back from possible employers because I don’t want to work 55 hour weeks as a norm (or even 45 hours). I personally would rather get paid less and work a max of 40 hours a week (and honestly once Jello is out of school I would be down for 32).

Does this make me lazy? No I don’t think so, but it does make me different then most of the commenters evidently.

Posted in General Update Internal Thoughts

Anxiety

Woke up early today (but not nearly as early as the rest of the week) a little anxious about the work situation. We are fine with the unemployment, even still have a little in savings, but the string of interviews that haven’t gone anywhere just bugs me.

Now, I completely realize that mid level government jobs are harder to get into, and the fact that I have a 60% interviewing rate with them does reassure me I am not horrible in the eyes of employers. However, I am not used to it. Before getting into this profession I would have a job within two weeks of being unemployed (not necessarily a job I really want, but something). The problem is professional jobs, and more especially government jobs are slow to get, and with the shutdown/budget crises it is fairly hard to get a job. I will eventually get on, but until then I am starting my look at other options.

I have started putting apps out at other non-governmental businesses. I suspect I will get interviews fairly quick. I am going down to the local Robert Half office on Friday. They want me to come in and work for Robert Half (basically a head hunter/placement service/ temp service for accounting professionals). They offer benefits, medical, etc and the person signs up for contracts that are generally between six months and a year between jobs. So it is definitely an option and I think I need to look at it.

I am not sure this is the direction I will permanently want to go, but the timing is sort of good. Wolsey graduates in June (or August if classes don’t work like we hope), that gives me 9-11 months before he is out working. If I am temping like this, he can get whatever job he wants, wherever he wants. This means we can move down to Vancouver, Portland, Seattle, anywhere since I don’t have a job I would consider permanent. So maybe its the perfect setup.

Overall, I think today I am just whining that I am not working at the moment. We are doing well financially considering the situation. I have a great wife, family and overall things are doing well. So maybe I should wrap this up with a “Hell Ya!” 🙂

Posted in General Update Internal Thoughts

Rough

Today is a bit rough. I got a call back from the job I was waiting on and unfortunately I was passed by them. They were very gracious and they want me to apply for the next open position (and it felt like they meant it), but for now I have to surrender over to the person with more experience.

Honestly I am ok with it in a lot of aspects. I wasn’t looking forward to being gone for two months for training during the week (I would have to stay in a hotel). Ok, that was the only negative :).

I do have some even better prospects in the line, but they are for the Feds, and with the shutdown and fighting over money I am not sure when that might come up. This unfortunately leaves me with a few options that don’t make me happy.

  1. Possibly get back in with my old employer, the Auditor’s Office. I liked the job, and the only reason I left was to try out what seemed to be a more lucrative accounting position. The good part is I discovered I am an auditor not an accountant. The disadvantage to this is the first position that “may” open up is December. I would definitely go for this (and would probably do it as my primary target) but the positions are rare to come up, and there is always drama with old employers isn’t there? 🙂
  2. Unemployment Office as an Underground Economics Specialist (looking for people who are avoiding paying taxes). I don’t mind that kind of work, but the quota thing worries me. I was offered the position but the pay was about half of what I was getting paid at the County, there is no way I can swing that. The manager did say she could try and get me up another 25%, still way under what I was making, but we could tread water until Jello graduates. The only other disadvantage is this is a federally funded job through the state. With the shutdown they are not running at all (this also begs the question why is the pay so extremely low when its federally funded, how many “management” do they have in the department that has to split the money they get)?
  3. L&I Auditor position is still possible. They contacted me yesterday and should have an answer for me next week. The problem with them is even less pay then the Unemployment Office (but the team seems positive), not sure if they can even get close to something I can live on (it has to meet the same pay as my unemployment plus $300 after insurance). This is because my student loans will come out of deferment as soon as I start working again.
  4. Temp work, this is possible but unreliable. One of the local accounting temp services contacts me regularly asking if I want to work. The problem is no benefits (which is fine, I can live with no benefits for a few months, try some ACA) but the jobs aren’t permanent and can be changed around with a week’s notice (ok that is also good because I can get out of a job I hate that way). The big worry is pay is all over the board and I can’t be sure how much I will make.

Now, we are good for at least three more months. I have unemployment into January and we could go a couple more with no money if needed. I am trying to avoid that option (and would definitely work as many part time low wage jobs to avoid it).

So I am just a little anxious today. I didn’t expect I would get the OIC job, but it is a disappointment. I will put off Unemployment Office until next week and see what L&I says. Although that wouldn’t matter since the UE job is federally funded and probably put back a few weeks due to the shutdown anyways.

So the world isn’t over, I still have about half my time with unemployment left and we can get by on it (this is without any extensions). I just wanted to bitch and whine to any who would listen.

 

Posted in General Update Internal Thoughts

Work Update

I have been unemployed for exactly three months now. I figure I will go into detail on the problems of my old job once I have a new job and am safely employed.

Yesterday however I had something unusual occur. I have had four employers circling me as a possible employee. One of them was a job that was relatively low pay (about 40% pay cut for me) but it sounded cool when I applied. I went into the interview a couple of weeks ago and found some things I didn’t like about it (once again I will go into it when I have a new job for reasons that will become clear later in this post). After the interview I decided I did not want that job, unless I had no other options (and then I will still go look for something else after starting for them, unless I am stunned and find I like the job).

After that interview I had an interview with the Insurance Commissioner as a Financial Examiner this last Monday. Basically I would go in and audit insurance companies and brokers (especially brokers) and ensure they are abiding by state law. I want this job, it fits with my personality and is better paying then my job as an Assistant State Auditor. I was hoping they want me as well.

So on Tuesday I got a phone message from the job I don’t want, asking me to call them. Since I am on unemployment I have to be careful about refusing work, although this job is fairly low pay and lots of travel so I am sure it would be considered acceptable.

I avoided returning the call on Tuesday, and on Wednesday the Insurance Commissioner indicated they wanted me to come in for a second interview the following Monday. Bazinga… That is the job I want and things are looking optimistic. Right after I got done talking to the OIC, I got a call from the job that I don’t want. I figured what the hell, I would answer.

Now, first let me say that the manager for the job I don’t want seems nice. The parameters of the job is what made me unsure, not the people that interviewed me. She was happy to hear me answer and told me they wanted to hire me. She seemed surprised when I asked up front what the wages offered were. She told me, and they were about 40% less then my last job. I told her that wouldn’t work for me at all.

I guess I was spurred by the fact that I had that second job interview, so I  pushed it. I told her that I couldn’t accept the position for less than 25% increase on her offer. She seemed surprised (not mad, just surprised) that I hadn’t hesitated for asking for money (this is a state job, so I know what the benefits are). After a few moments where I explained that I knew what the payscale was and that they would have to start me higher on that scale (they were trying to offer the lowest scale). I explained I have a certain level of income I need to support my spouse and the fact is her offer after taxes would be about what I make on unemployment. After a few minutes she said she completely understood.

This is where I followed it up with another item. I told her I wanted to be up front and that even with the increase I couldn’t give her an answer at the moment. I told her that I was a finalist with the Insurance Commissioner and that the payscale for them started at about where her agency ended (and I probably wont be offered the lowest). She seemed surprised and impressed. The impressed part is what surprised me the most. She seemed even more eager to hire me. She told me she understood, they really want me and she would go to bat for me with HR to get me an increase. She just asked to let her know when I know if I take the OIC job, then she can push for a raise for me.

The whole reason for this post is that it was weird. I was dismissive of the offer, countered with a number 25% higher then what she offered and told her even with that she was my second choice. She was even more interested in hiring me.

Wolsey was there the whole time listening (my spouse for those who aren’t familiar). Wolsey said I had a lot of confidence in my voice and that the prospective manager’s response is really common for that kind of confidence. I am not normally confident, and it was a weird feeling that I was so uninterested and dismissive that someone wanted me even more after that. Wolsey explained this is why sometimes assholes get really interesting and highly sought after mates, because the confidence exuded is what people are attracted to. Wolsey suggested I keep doing that with everything.

I guess that was my first real bout of self-confidence in over a year (my last job hired me on October 8, 2012 and my confidence and self outlook has suffered greatly since accepting that job). YAY for self confidence.