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Complications of life

Complications have arisen with my mother’s relocation to Adelaide next month. Mother is elderly, frail and won’t fly. Fair enough. So, relocation by road. She doesn’t drive. That’s what daughters are for. 🙂  Again, fair enough. And it’s very likely that this will be her final trip, so we daughters are more than happy to comply with the request for the Road Trip.And of course, the Sister, being a filmmaker, is using the opportunity to add material to her project. All very good.

My sister is partly disabled and lives with severe, chronic pain. This limits her time sitting in a vehicle (be it a car or a plane). Hence her request for me to join the trip. When my job came up, Sister was happy to continue on organising and assisting Mother. Time has passed, there have been the inevitable delays but now we have definite dates and the house in Adelaide will be clean and ready for Mother & Sister’s occupation in August. I was sadly prepared to drop my participation in the Big Trip in favour of my new job. Now, a complication has arisen.

The Sister’s physical limitations are more severe than first thought. She’s spent some time doing practise driving trips, speaking with her various therapists and doctors. The upshot? The Road Trip goes ahead, as it must. BUT … my presence is now required. I don’t mind. As I said yesterday, it’s a terrific artistic opportunity for various film & writing projects. But now, the pressure’s on me to fly over.

Which all leads to a little re-write on that part of my job application where I declare what holidays & travel I have booked for this year. Tap, tap, tap … a phone call or two … more tap, tap, tap, save. The Tassie trip can be pushed back as late as December if necessary, and the Relocating Mother Road Trip must go ahead in mid-late August. Think I’m pushing my luck with the job? Have a feeling I’ll be relegated to casual pool for the organisation (which is fine and highly acceptable). That’s what I’d do if I were in charge.

Working girl!

June 20, 2009 Leave a comment

I have a job! Thanks to an online acquaintance who passed my resumé on to somebody in his office, I am now working as the casual replacement for a sudden vacancy. Nice office, assorted friendly staff and the work itself is fine.

Now I have to decide whether to apply for the permanent position. The position itself needs to be staffed full-time but the boss is prepared to consider job sharing arrangements. Scanning the duty statement and selection criteria I see there are a few tasks that hadn’t been mentioned during my first couple of days. Applications close on 8th July. I’m quite happy to work the full-time hours with the 20% casual loading for these few weeks.

I doubt I’d want to work full-time on a permanent basis. Job sharing is an attractive option. As is the alternative suggestion that has been put forward – staying on the office books as their “temp”, covering sick & annual leave. Very attractive, but would it provide enough cash flow? Perhaps marketing myself as a permanent “temp” would be a viable option.

Selection criteria. Thought I’d spend part of my weekend composing my answers to those dreaded dot points on a job description. There are only 7 essential criteria and 2 desirables. Reasonably written too, that’s not often seen. Theoretically I should be able to type up my responses within a few hours.

Going through the duty statement again I see the job is potentially overloaded but that’s not unusual these days. Judging from what I have seen over my first days in the job, there is quite an ebb and flow to the work. A lot of ebb if the browser’s history on the desk computer is any guide! J

I’ve only been working a couple of days yet that is enough to ensure my weekend is being spent completing tasks I’d normally fit in during the week. Catching up on laundry (no, I won’t get up an hour earlier to get it done mid-week, not in winter), determining the week’s menu plan (and ensuring that complies with certain dietary requirements) and grocery shopping. All the household/family chores. Then there’s finding “me” time and “us” time. Managing a bit of that in a rushed manner today. Only some of today has been relaxing, some of it has been time pressured.

If I win the permanent position, then I won’t be able to participate in a Big Road Trip in very late July – early August. That’d be a shame, but I can cope. L  The bigger lifestyle impact would be on my upcoming September trip to Tassie to see my daughter. But the boss is hoping to take her leave during September. I could re-arrange my flight dates at little extra cost as long as I’m quick. It’s been more than a year since I have seen my youngest child and thus, I am not prepared to cancel the trip. Not only would I be disappointed, but she would be quite devastated.

Choosing to work as the “temp” would mean I’d have the freedom to do both Tassie and the Road Trip. That is extremely attractive.

Sheesh. The job ad says 3 referees. What is this thing Australia has for references for jobs that are not at executive level? It’s not as though a prospective employee is going to offer up someone who isn’t going to speak highly of them. Three. I can only offer two. And I think one of those has moved out of town. This is what I get for being too much of a hermit and living a quiet existence. I’ll work something out.

It’s not the sort of job where I will come home of an evening and want to share my day with my partner. I can see where this will be good, for it also means once I walk out the door at the end of the day, that’s it. I won’t be dwelling on my day nor taking work home with me. Nice.

The physical setting of the office is one of the nicest I have encountered. Complete with lovely garden. That’s a big plus. I’ve mentioned the friendly, mainly female staff. My boss is passionate, enthusiastic and happy about her work and the organisation. All very big pluses.  Extra big plus for the casual dress code!

I don’t think I can truly determine if I would like this job permanently until I’ve at least taken and typed the minutes from the upcoming staff meeting this Wednesday. I hate minute taking. Especially when you’re new and don’t have the background information that aids understanding.

I’ve noticed there seems to be a reasonable amount of staff/client socializing. Not a lot. But some. And that’s just not my scene at all. If my hours are 8.30 – 4.30 then that’s all you get from me. Feel free to ask, occasionally I’ll accept, but most of the time I shall decline. Depends how I feel on the day.

I’m thinking I’ll offer my services thus:

  • Job share @ 0.5 FTE (5 days per fortnight: 3 days + 2 days)
  • Job share @ 0.4 FTE (4 days per fortnight)
  • Part-time, doing 1 day per week
  • Casual temp – covering sick, annual & training leave etc

Now back to those selection criteria.