Friday, May 8, 2009

Job Woes

So I'm going to preface this blog by saying that I feel badly for anyone who has recently lost their jobs and I know I should be happy that I even have a job ... but, I'm gonna vent about mine anyway.

I started my current job almost 6 yrs ago. 6 yrs in July, as a matter of fact. This is only my 3rd "real" job and I have been so lucky with all 3 HR jobs I've had. When I graduated college in '98, I was determined to get a job in HR. I had received my degree in HR Management and always knew I wanted to be in HR (My mom was in HR at Coke since I was 3, so it was all I knew.) But I digress... When I first graduated, nobody would hire me because I didn't have enough experience. Blah. How am I ever going to have experience if nobody will hire me? So I started working with some temp agencies, so I could pay the bills until the right job came along. That lasted about 6 mos and then I was placed on an assignment in Houston (I had moved there after college) as an HR Administrator to cover for a girl who was out on maternity leave. It was THE perfect starter job for me. I was the liasion for the Houston office and coordinated with the corporate office in Ohio. I had involvement in some aspect of every HR function and I loved it. I loved dealing with people every day, doing orientations, etc. The girl on leave decided not to return to work (yay me!) so they hired me full time. I stayed there a little over a yr and decided to move back home to Dallas, because my mom has MS and she was here by herself.

So I found a job in Dallas as a Benefits Administrator and it was a good job, too. For the most part. :) I was again able to be involved in most areas of HR and really enjoyed my job. After 3 yrs, I decided to move on (lot of unrelated issues factored into my decision.) And then I found my current job. I was originally hired on here to be the HRIS guru, for a lack of better words. I was going to be paid a lot more money than I was making before, and I liked my boss and co-workers, so why not. The commute was going to be terrible, but the pros outweighed the cons. The company was very family oriented and it seemed like a wonderful place to be.

We got a new CEO 2 1/2 years ago and the company has changed so much since then. My old boss is now gone, and I have a new one (in Houston). I have 2 co-workers that are still here (I'm the only one in Dallas though) and we have 3 new HR folks in Houston (including my boss.)

It was announced a few months ago that my office will be relocating to Houston. Some people are going to be losing their jobs, and others will be moving to Houston. By some grace, I was offered the option to still have a job, and work from home. But was told that my job would be changing pretty drastically. Ok, but I still get a paycheck AND I get to work from my living room - can't beat that kind of deal, right?

Well, the more I'm starting to learn about the direction my position is taking, the more I'm not really excited. In fact, I'm actually darn right worried and stressed about it. I am pretty much not going to be doing anything HR-related anymore- I'm getting all kinds of projects given to me that have nothing to do with HR. And in all reality, they are projects I'm not excited about, nor do I have interest in them. And I keep trying to remind myself that I got into HR to work with people. And I have always loved my job. Until recently. Do I really want to sit on my couch every day crunching numbers and working with stock grants and not having any outside commuication except for the occasional emails that come through? Is that why I fought so hard to pay my bills right out of college, waiting for an HR job to come along?

When do you get to the point where you have to settle, just to make it by, knowing that you're not happy anymore. When do you get to say that you want to do what you enjoy and potentially sacrifice the flexibility you've worked so hard to have? I can pretty much come and go as I please, within reason. I don't come in until 9:00 most days and I leave between 4:45 and 5, so I can make it to daycare before they close. Even as it is, I only get to spend maybe a total of an hour with Alex in the evenings, and most of that time is spent running around the house getting him fed, bathed, then put to bed. Then I feed the rest of us, and around 9:00 is when I usually get to sit down on the couch and relax.

But again I digress....

I know I should be thankful that I have a job. So many people don't right now. On the news just this morning, they said that the unemployment rate rose to I think 8.9% just in the month of April. That's horrible. And here I am, with a fairly well paid job, with lots of flexilibity, and I'm "complaining" about it.

But on the other hand, I miss what it felt like to enjoy my job, and I miss getting to talk to and help employees. I didn't get into the HR field for this.

So as I ponder all of this rambling :) please keep me in your thoughts and if you know of any HR leads in the Dallas area ... feel free to pass it on. Thanks again for "listening" to me vent!

Subject changer ...

I really think Alex is close to walking - finally. He will be 15 mos next Tuesday and he will still walk with his walker all day long, but won't walk without it. He will stand next to a wall, putting one hand barely on it for support, but won't let go. The last few days, he's finally started walking with us and his teachers, sometimes with just one hand. I hope soon he'll let go and realize he can do it. He's such a big boy. His teacher said he just needs the confidence to know he can do it. So we're going to be encouraging the heck out of him to show him he can do it. :)

Happy early Mother's Day to all the Mothers out there!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

And so it begins ...

I have always heard that parents are known worry warts. And that they second guess most decisions they make in regards to their children. Well, I am now in that same boat. And I know it's only the beginning.

Alex started attending a daycare when he was 5 months old (before that, my mom was keeping him.) These were the first people, outside of family, that we had left him with. A good friend of mine (whose daughter also goes there) recommended the center, and although I was not overly impressed with the center as a whole, I absolutely loved the baby room teacher. And after all, that's who he is going to spend all of his day with, right? Her name is Ms. Kamlah and I LOVE her. She is in her early 60s and has bookoos of years experience working with babies (12 years just at this particular center.)

Well, my job is going to be changing soon and my office is relocating from Dallas to Houston. Several people in my office are losing their jobs, and by some miracle, instead of losing MY job, the company offered me the option to work from home. That sounds like a dream come true, because I currently have an hour plus commute (one way) each day. And I'm nervous about the changes to my job duties, but that's a whole other topic. The only other thing is Alex's school is currently half way between home and work, and once I start working from home, it won't be convenient at all to get to anymore.

So we made the decision to move him to a new daycare, right by our neighborhood (5 min drive). Fantastic, right? Yea. Except that I feel HORRIBLE for taking him away from his friends and especially Ms. Kamlah. Last night when I picked him up, I was talking to her and there's been lots of changes recently - new director, teachers leaving, etc - and I asked her what her plans were for herself. She said that she would be lying if she said she was still happy there, and that she does not agree with most of the recent changes. But she said that she feels indebted to the babies; they depend on her and she does not think she can leave them. She said (and I completely believe this) that every night when she lays down to go to sleep, each baby's face goes through her mind and she thinks about whether or not she gave that baby enough attention, or if she fed that baby on time, etc. And she is totally like that - she is amazing. She said how hard it is for her when babies move up to the toddler room because she doesn't get to see them much anymore. I almost cried when she was talking to me, because we have not turned in our 2 week notice yet and it is going to kill me to take Alex away from her. He's been there for 10 mos and they know everything he's been through - with his club feet, and his horrible bouts of reflux those first 9 months of his life, and they know his schedule and his personality and his likes/dislikes. It scares me that I'll be now giving him to brand new people that we don't know, and that don't know him.

BUT his new school will be more of a "school" and a better learning environment. I will say that where he is now is basically babysitting - except when he's with Kamlah. She is not his official teacher anymore now that he has moved to the Infant II room, but she is just on the other side of a 1/2 wall and keeps close tabs on her babies that move up. That is very reassuring to me. His new school has lesson plans and a structured schedule and I know in the end it will be the best thing for him- I can only imagine how fast he will learn and grow. And I know it's completely selfish of me to feel so bad about taking him away from his school and friends. But still ...

When I picked him up yesterday, he was playing with his little buddy, Thomas. They are close in age and seem to always stick together. I watched them for a few minutes before Alex saw me, and again, I started to feel so bad about taking that away from him. I know I'm being irrational, because he's 15 months for goodness sake, and I know very well that he'll make new friends, and that his new teachers will be just fine with him.

But I laid in bed last night, almost in tears, worrying about this. This is one of many decisions I will make for him over his lifetime and it is just a very scary thought to know that any wrong decision a parent makes, can rock their whole world. How do we know we're making the right ones??

So please keep us in your thoughts that this probably inconsequential (sp?) decision will be the right one for Alex and that starting June 1st, he will begin to soar and that he will enjoy his new teachers and friends. One major benefit that I will enjoy is the new school has video monitoring, so that topped with the fact I'll only be 5 min away, is a definite plus. :)

Thanks for "listening" to me vent. :)