End of summer news

My last post was work related and so is this one. Yesterday I accepted the position I had applied for. This moves me to a new floor, with new attorneys, and a massive amount of work in front of me. If you’re curious about the work, search “juvenile life without parole” and read about the Supreme court decisions that came out in January. Some people are already being released from prison. My job will be to assist attorneys in identifying the mitigation needs and adequately offering that information to parole boards and judges to get new sentences or parole. In a 6 person unit, I’m the only non attorney. The other person they hired to be a mitigation specialist is an attorney. I’m feeling some kind of incompetent because I’m no legal mind. I’m sure I’ll be fine, though, because I catch on fast. 

I’m really excited to be doing such unique work. Also, a huge pay raise (tens of thousands) helps me relax about the significant amount of work required. Lots of work should equal more money, right? There will be travel across the state and that will mean we need a second car. I’m not rushing on that though because they told me that travel will be months away from now. I start Sep 6th as long as I get my current case load under control for someone to take over. 

My current unit does have a new Chief who started a few weeks ago. He is very charismatic and people are drawn to him. We had a nice chat 2 days ago and the next day I get the offer. He’s sad to see me go and I am sad to see what he’ll make of the unit. I’m also sad to move away from my office mate. He’s really been my support and we are each others “person” at work. I hope we’ll be able to have lunch sometimes. 

Our travel bug continues. We are off to Washington D.C. for a day trip on Saturday. Labor day weekend we’ll be in Cleveland visiting our best couple friends and meeting their kids first the first time. We are so, so excited about this! At the end of September we are going to Minnesota for a week for two weddings. That’ll be fabulous and I’m so happy for my friends! 

We celebrated 6 years of marriage last weekend. Hard to believe we have been together so long but I can’t imagine it any other way. 

Hopefully I won’t wait 2 months to post again.


Let’s catch up

Things are strange at my office. Several department heads were demoted, fired, or motivated to retire. There are so many managerial job postings right now! My director was demoted after 30+ years leading the department. She’s 70 and very hurt by the change but will continue on with the office in a lesser capacity. For now, we have no leader. That’s strange. 

I applied for a position in a new unit, one I’ve been following and training for. It’s a 3 year grant position which is fine with me but there is heavy competition. Attorneys are applying for the same jobs that social workers are! Only 2 positions are available in the first year and then 2 will be added in the second and third year. I feel nervous after hearing what a micro-manager the department heads are. I barely survived that type of manager when I first started here. Hopefully I’ll get an interview and will have a decent chance at one of the positions.

Last year I went to several grad school open houses to figure out if I wanted to get a higher degree. I need change either in the form of a new position or a new career path altogether. If I don’t get this new position, I’m applying to grad school. I’ve set my heart on doing something rather than being stagnant. In the coming months we’ll know what I’m actually going to be doing with my life. 

I went to a hot air balloon festival last week!

Buried my MIL with her parents in Burlington, MA on June 18th.

Ocean City,NJ         I got so sunburnt. A month later and I’m still peeling skin!

Career meanderings

Would you rather have a steady job at a stationary location or a free lance type position with changing work and lots of travel involved?

I’m thinking very long term here and what I might want to do with my life after a few years experience. I have limited opportunities working where I am. If I want to continue this work I’ll need to leave my agency because there is no movement, advancement, or raises. We don’t have enrichment training or refresher sessions, we work independently with zero accountability to supervisors. I want to know I’m doing my best work but, with no oversight, how do I know what needs improvement? I’d like to get proper supervision and improve my performance.

I’m thinking of eventually gaining enough skills to be a private contractor. Has anyone here struck out on their own with a marketable skill set? But doing so would involve traveling wherever the cases are and setting all relevant people. Perhaps it’s all a dream.

Life is busy

I’ve had a lot going on, friends! My social calendar has been overflowing and work has been intense also.

In September we hired a new Chief so the honeymoon seems to be over and we keep hearing about changes. Slowly some things are changing but she, the chief, promises big changes and a new direction for the office. Attorneys and support staff are all on edge. No one knows what’s next. I’ve had a run of cases that have been work-intensive. It’s nice and I don’t mind being busy.

Every weekend has been full of friend time and activities. When did we become so social?! I haven’t even been to church since December! This weekend we went to PostSecret Show and it was amazing. If you haven’t found the website before now, you have to check it out. It was so moving and overwhelming to experience that with hundreds of other people. I’d definitely go again and recommend it to others.

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Ode to a social worker

I’m dealing with a bit of compassion fatigue at the moment and trying not to drown in the sorrows of my clients. I don’t know how it has gotten so bad but I just realized it today. So many days of bringing all the baggage home with me and not being able to get past it. It’s overwhelming. I haven’t felt like this about my job since I started over 2 years ago. I hope it’s just a slump from several rough cases recently.

On another note I’m on the short list to be a “test case” for a new program our office is starting. I’d be the first person in my unit to be selected for this job but it’s something that will be happening to everyone over the next year according to gossip. I think it’s awesome and was excited to be talked to by superiors to feel me out and see if I’d be interested. I was recommended by several attorneys which made me happy. The other candidate is my office mate whom I really love to work with. We know that we do stellar work and get compliments from attorneys all the time, even if our direct supervisors don’t acknowledge our good deeds. There is no time for when this new program will go into effect but they will keep me/us posted.

I have been loosely looking for other employment but if I am going to switch roles, I’d stay where I am to see how the role changes. I look forward to the challenges and working with a smaller group of people but we’ll see. I’m sure I’ll write more about this if/when it happens.

October was an awful month. I got sick the first week of the month and am just now feeling better. I ended up with bronchitis and took all the needed meds to get over it. Finally, I have a small little cough that remains but I’m not nearly as exhausted as I was and my lungs aren’t heavy. YAY! So glad I got that flu shot. haha. On the up side of all this, I did adhere to the diet plan my Dr suggested and I’ve lost ~7lbs in a month! Hope you are all staying healthy and on your toes. It’s that time of year.

Supervisor Update

It’s been over a month since I wrote about the leadership change at my office, so you might want to refresh your memory by reading this post. It is official that someone within my department was promoted. She made an awkward “thanks and let’s move forward” speech once it was official. Meanwhile, the outgoing supervisor is out on medical leave for a knee replacement. While she was out, her office was moved and the other person was promoted. I’m sure she has been made aware of the situation because the rumor mill says she’s not pleased that her work BFF was promoted.

The person who was promoted is not the person who said “I could do a better job than you” but is just as bad. She has been in the office for 25 years and is a lead gossip. She’s one of those people who lives for work, has no outside family or friends. She’s got her nose in a lot of business that is not hers and is fake nice, which drives me nuts. So far she isn’t acting very authority-like.. that’s good right?

I am slowly job hunting. We are also in the hunt for a house so I’m not going to apply for anything until we get settled in a new home because who knows where that will be. I’d really like to work closer to home because I secretly hate my 1 hour commute- I only live 11 miles away but traffic is always difficult. So, we’ll see how all that pans out.

Friday finally

The last 3 days were really hard. I was sucked into a client situation that can only be described as “emotional vampire.” It wouldn’t end and there were new things to deal with every day. I’m finally decompressing.
This weekend I’m determined to let it go, not dwell on it, and prepare myself for new ventures on Monday. Oi vey. one adventure ends and another begins.

I’m being more open about my fertility issues with anyone that asks. Rather than skirt away from comments about us having kids, I’m being real about the struggle. No sugar coat or shaming here. For years we’ve kept everything private from our real life acquaintances. We’re out there now. It’s kind of a relief. who knew I’d feel so liberated?!

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Comprehending the incomprehensible

There is work drama.. surprise!! My supervisor who has a bad reputation for being a hard-ass, judgemental, and for making every new person’s life hell is stepping down from her position. I don’t know the specifics but I get the idea that she was told she couldn’t do the direct supervision and she decided if she couldn’t do it all she’d demote herself. So, soon she will be just another social worker in the unit.. after 15yrs as a supervisor! She says she is looking forward to having a lighter caseload and being one of us. I’m nervous. I’m extremely uncomfortable with my supervisor becoming my coworker. I don’t even know in what world she’ll fit in as “one of us.”

Today they started interviewing internal candidates. Two of the head bullies applied. This is also very stressful as both of them do not have any love for me since the 2014 summer drama went down. They were leaders in the “Billi should not be ethical” movement and said some really awful things to and about me. I am seriously thinking that I will be job hunting if either of them becomes my supervisor. I can’t imagine either of them will be professional enough to not bring all of their gossipy negativeness into the position. One of these women actually moved to a different unit after the summer drama, telling our director (supervisor’s boss) to her face “I could do a much better job at this than you.” Please let us hire an external candidate, that’d be great!

I am in need of no stress during my delicate time, this is not helping.

who is invited?

Do you recall my summer work drama in which several people quit and my life got easier? Well, today was our unit holiday party. The director invited those employees to join us. Yes, she did! She didn’t tell me this. I found out when I saw them come in, together, shortly before the party. Like wtf are you doing here?

I was so anxious that I wanted to throw up. It was about a half hour before the party and I could hear them greeting people and going office to office. They skipped past mine, of course. I wanted to escape the party all together. But I went, head held high. I ended up sitting across from them. Strangely they didn’t sit at the table with us, but in a outer ring of chairs. I kept catching their eye and it was hard not to sick my tongue out or some other 3rd grade reaction.

One of them, my “friend” who turned on me, stayed in the office for several hours afterward. She was looking through old files and socializing. It was very inappropriate. It was extremely uncomfortable for me to have her in my work space when she is just a visitor. I smiled at her each time our paths crossed and tried to appear unaffected. I wonder how I did.

On my way home now, to forget about all my ills.

Things I haven’t thought about

Time seems to have flown right by since we were wrapped tightly in baby-making stuff. My body is still in a weird place of not being “regular”. It has been really annoying that I am all over the place and have random aches in my lady bits. Not okay!

I have also postponed finishing my grad school application. No good reason for this other than I am too lazy to write my personal essay and order my transcripts. It’s been pushed on the fall 2015. That’s, okay right? That give me the time to think of something awesome to say. haha. Plus, I’ll be less stressed next fall, I think. We will be closer to moving into a new place and I won’t be so involved in this church leadership stuff. More free time = happier student!

I had a really great time in Seattle, not thinking about work or my usual daily life stuff. I find it very useful to have time away from my life. Sounds weird, right? But it really helps me to relax and feel not burnt out with the usual routine. I do miss my hubby and dogs and personal space and I think being away helps me to appreciate my life more. I am lucky that about once a year I get the chance to go somewhere away from home by myself. C goes away for work once or twice a year also so it’s even-steven.

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