robotech_master: (Default)
Training has been going better, the last week or so. We've been working with actual systems involved in doing the kind of work we're going to be doing on the phones (though they're the older, more complicated system that most representatives don't use anymore, because the new one still isn't available to us yet), which has given us the chance to get a better idea of how the whole process works together. But perhaps more helpfully to me, I finally got the chance to sit and observe an experienced Utilization Management representative on the phone for an hour or so, and get a better picture of the kinds of things I'll actually be doing.

I think that hour of listening probably did more to reduce my level of stress about the new job than anything else. The systems she used might be unfamiliar to me, but they weren't anywhere near as complicated as the ones we've been training on. And if I'm not entirely familiar with the processes she was going through, I recognized the same sort of practiced efficiency I worked my way up to in prior tech support or customer service jobs, once I had the chance to learn my way around the systems and processes. Everything seemed like something I could learn to do myself, given time. And once the classroom instruction is over, I'll get more of a chance to learn by doing when I apprentice to one of those experienced workers for a couple of weeks.

There will probably still be plenty of moments where I'm unsure of what to do and have to yell for help in the instant messenger chat room, but those will taper off and after a few weeks I'll be most of the way to being a pro. And that's quite relaxing.

Meanwhile, starting Sunday when I went to see a couple of Roger Moore Bond movies in theaters, and carrying on all this week, I've been bicycling home in the evening rather than taking the bus. It was 8 miles from the Bond movies, and it's 5 miles home from work. The exercise is good for me, and I think the exercising may be helping me sleep a little better. (Though I do still get up in the middle of the night, and at the moment have had to dose myself with benadryl to get back to sleep by morning. But that'll pass, I'm sure.) I can also claim workout credit for it at the fitness center, and once I earn 17 credits I get the use of a locker for a month—at which point I might even try biking in, since I'll be able to bring a towel and stuff so I can shower the sweat off before work. Sadly, I'm not really saving any money that way, as I bought a monthly bus pass. In fact, I'm losing a little money by only using it one-way each day. But the dividend in health, and in convenience of not having to fumble for change every day, is probably still worth it.

I'm also keeping track of my blood pressure on a daily basis thanks to the fitness center. It's a bit high, and I'll be medicating for that once I can see the doctor after my Anthem benefits kick in in July, but I'm sure the doctor will be happy to see how faithfully I've been keeping track of the readings.

Speaking of sleeping, I should go ahead and get to bed. I'm glad to be feeling better about this job. Fingers crossed that the rest of the training goes well and the initial awkwardness passes quickly.
robotech_master: (companion cube)
The job training proceeds apace. We're learning a number of useful things, still out of context, but at least we're starting to get some vague ideas about how they'll come together. I got to work with one of the systems I'd used in one of my previous temp job sessions, and was happy to find I still remembered a number of useful details about how it worked that helped me even though I was using a different part of it than I had in the old job.

Investigated the benefits I'm going to get at the start of the month after I've been there 30 days—as of July 1. Some fairly decent health plans, and less expensive to me than the ACA plan I'm currently on. There's even a Flex account that I can put some money into and Anthem will, too. The problem is knowing how much to put in, especially since it's going to be pro-rated for the half a year since my coverage starts. I'm hoping to get a sleep study done, which might lead to a CPAP machine, which I'll be on the hook for up to the deductible, so putting some tax-free money aside might be useful—but I don't know how much the machine would be, or even if/when I can actually schedule the appointments and sleep study and stuff. It'll be a lot easier to do that sort of stuff once I'm on the 11 to 8 shift, since I'll have those three morning hours in which I can schedule them—but by that time I'll be well past the end of my open enrollment period when I can decide how much to put in. Sigh.

There's going to be a 401K, too. If I contribute 5% of my salary, I can max out Anthem's contribution matching at 4%. It's kind of late in my life to get started saving for retirement, but something is better than nothing no matter when you start I guess. And I think I put something into a 401K at one of my previous full-time employers-with-benefits—Mihlfeld or TeleTech—and I've been trying to get in touch with them to investigate that because I can apparently roll them over into Anthem's 401K if I did. But the Mihlfeld benefits person was out of the office today, and the TeleTech person is overseas and apparently nearly impossible to contact. Meh. Will keep trying.

Here's another fun benefit: for the first time in I don't know how long, I'll get a day off on Monday as a paid holiday, thanks to my full-time associate status. For those holidays that fall after my training is over, I can even choose to work the day at a greater-than-usual holiday pay rate, which will be a nice bonus.

At any rate, after this first week of training, I'm really looking forward to that 3-day weekend!
robotech_master: (cube drop)
So, here I am. Day before I begin my new job at my old workplace. Jitters and stuff. )

Anyway, that's all from here. Starting tomorrow, "They call me the working man / I guess that's what I am."
robotech_master: (unicorn-dancer)
More life changes, but of the good kind this time. I got a job! )

So that's my good news, and boy am I ever relieved. I hope nothing goes wrong during the background check process. I can't think why it would, but you never know. I also hope my replacement Social Security card arrives by the 22nd, since they might want to see it.
robotech_master: (Default)

So, I imagine everybody is wondering how my first day at work went. And I'll tell you. But first, I'm going to drop back in time to Wednesday, when I went in to check out and immediately fell in love with my potential new apartment.

Apartment, hoooo! )



Fingers crossed everything goes all right with that apartment. It's everything I could possibly want!

Then I had my first day of work. )

Anyway, it's just about time for me to head out. I've decided I want to start my work days at 8:30, at least for now, since that cuts down the distance I have to bike for the bus each way. Maybe once I get moved into my apartment, or decide to work from home or somewhere closer like the library, that will change.

robotech_master: (Default)
I recently got word that my apartment house has been bought out from under my bankrupt former landlord, and received notice that if I have a written lease, I will be permitted to stay until the end of it, but otherwise, I'm going to be moving soon. (If I ever did have a written lease, it has long since vanished into the mists of time. I've been living here for twelve years.)

So, sez one of my brothers, you're going to be moving anyway. Why don't you move to Indianapolis, where your other brother lives? Oh, don't worry about the job thing, we'll help you find one. (I haven't heard how the other brother feels about this idea yet, and I can't even guess whether my parents will think this is a great idea or a terrible one, though I expect they will all soon let me know.)

Yeah, like it's that easy to find another job. If it were that easy, I'd have something in my degrees now, instead of making ten bucks an hour helping people with their TVs over the phone, and doing a bunch of paid writing on the side to make ends meet. Thank you, college, for saddling me with fifty grand in debt and still not landing me a real job.

It's so hard to tell whether this is really a good idea. On the one hand, it would be nice to live in a big city like Indianapolis, that much closer to where a lot of my friends are on the east and southeast coasts. On the other hand, Springfield is the place I know by heart, with the things I love in it. 

It would be nice to have a better job. Certainly the one I have now is easy enough, if a little soul-crushing, and I regularly receive high acclaim in my performance, but I have a dream of someday getting something higher-paying that only someone in my degrees could do, not something they could teach a high schooler off the street. I would guess Indianapolis has better prospects than Springfield for something like that. (Even if it's absolutely horrible to drive in. Seriously, Springfield traffic in no way prepared me for the rat's nest of multilane one-way streets that is downtown Indianapolis.) And we are just about to get into the insanely busy part of the year, so if I'm going to leave, this would be the time to do it.

I wish I knew what to do. This is the kind of decision that you can't turn back from. If I move, I've thrown out everything stable in my life for an uncertain new future filled with the agony of job-hunting and knowing I'm going to be a drain on my brother's resources until and unless I find one. If I don't, I've missed my chance and I'm stuck in Springfield for the foreseeable future.

Keep the bird in the hand? Or go for two in the bush?
robotech_master: (Default)
So I got a job. I haven't mentioned this in the LJ, as I really haven't felt the urge to write in it much lately. Haven't had the energy. To be honest, I don't feel like I have the energy even now. But I finally realized, if I don't sit down and do it, it won't get done at all, so I figure I might as well tell the world what I'm doing.

My job is with a company that aggregates and processes Less-Than-Truckload shipping accounts for various businesses and trucking vendors. It handles a lot of major accounts, in fact, including (of all things) Focus on the Family (though that's not one I normally work with). I'm data entry, at $8 an hour. I sit at a computer all day typing in the vital statistics from trucking company invoices (invoice number, date, amount, type of cargo, expense account codes). I got it through a local temp agency, and if I do well enough at it they'll hire me on "for real." It's not exactly the most strenuous work in the world, especially for a good typist, and I'm picking up some great ten-key skills. I can even get overtime (at time and a half) if I want it. It's not the highest-paying job in the world, either, but it's bringing in twice what my unemployment did per week, so I can stop falling behind on the bills and even come out a little ahead every month if I'm frugal.

Why the job makes other things in my life hard, and grumbling about a medical study. )

In other news, this week City Utilities is observing "Ride Your Bike to Work Week." How are they doing this? By giving people with bicycles free bus rides. After you get done laughing at the irony, you can reflect that it will encourage the people who would bike part-way if they could. As for me, given that I take my bike to and from work on the bus anyway (as an artifact of my having to change busses twice to get from home to work, going from work to home will drop me off about half a mile away unless I want to spend twenty minutes longer on the bus), at least it will save me a little money.

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