Wednesday, January 4, 2012

working it out: part I

I figured I was long over-due to do a post on ME - what's been happening to me in the past few months. So today I will tell you (or start to tell you) about one of the biggest things that has been affecting me since early fall.

And that is my job.

For the past almost-twelve years I have been employed by the same company. I started out working full-time and after my first maternity leave I have been working in part-time or casual-time status, ranging anywhere from 1-3 days a week. For the past while I have been working 2 short days a week and doing a little bit of take-home work each week as well. My job consists mainly of data entry and can be very boring and monotonous. But I have always been grateful for it because it gets me out of the house and it helps me make extra income for my family. So I was content.

Back in September everything started to change. I was called into my boss' office - along with my 2 other supervisors - and was told that I was going to have to start taking on some CSR (Customer Service Representative) duties. Mainly making phone calls to customers.

I immediately began to panic. This has always been the one job I did not want to do. I'm not great with people, and especially in a role as a CSR where you are the messenger - sometimes with good news, often with bad - it just gets me all worked up just thinking about it.

I'll tell you that right then and there I wanted to quit. I went home that afternoon and could think of nothing else. I was upset, I was scared, I was super stressed and I just didn't know what to do. Les was supportive with whatever I wanted to do - and I really thought that I would walk in to work two days later and quit. But after I woke up the next day and had time to think and sleep on it, things changed a little bit. No, I still did not want my job to change. I did not want to have to be on the phone with customers and risk getting yelled at. I did not want that sort of a stressful job, no matter how part-time.

And I did take the next day or two to print out resumes and drop them off around town and I even made a doctor's appointment to talk about the possibility of going on stress leave if things at work got really bad. But in the end, I went back into work and decided to just trust God. In an email I sent to some close friends & family, this is how I worded it:

It's always hard to discern what exactly God is trying to say to you in situations like this. Is He putting me in this situation to challenge me and to grow? To possibly try to tackle some of my anxiety issues? To show me that I can do something even when I believe I can not?

Or is He trying to tell me that there are other options out there for me and this is my cue to leave the company I have been with for the past 11 years?

If I up and quit right away - or immediately go on stress leave - I'll never know. But if I say to God, "Okay - I am willing to walk in faith" and try to conquer the roadblock put in my way...imagine the possibilities! If I do feel though that this new position is really putting me over the edge, having the back-up of a doctor's letter will make me feel better about heading into it. But I'll never know unless I try.

It was the hardest thing I have done in a long time to walk back into my place of employment, but with God's help, I did it. I spent that next day in training, but after that? I never had to make a single phone call.

Not one!

My supervisors told me a few times here and there that the next time I came in to work they would for sure be needing me to help out with making phone calls. But "the next time" never came. I was still anxious every day going in to work because I just never knew what to expect. But every day as I left work, having been spared from doing what I dreaded so much, I said a prayer of thanks to God and I was confident that I had done the right thing by not quitting.

Fast-forward to mid-November. I was called in with 2 of the same supervisors and was told very matter-of-factly that they were changing my position to full-time. I could take it...or leave it. They had made mention of this possibility back in September at that other meeting but I didn't really think much of it. One of my supervisors has made that threat for the past few years that my part-time hours might not last, but another supervisor always made it clear that it wasn't very likely.

Until now.

I knew right away that I had to take the "leave it" option and quit. My family isn't in the position right now for me to take on a full-time job. With Les working such long hours - and often away Monday - Friday for months at a time - I'm the only parent my girls have during the week. Before & After school daycare just isn't an option for us. And to think of 10 weeks of summer holidays having to put them in daycare? I know it works for some people, but it's not the choice that works for us.

Thankfully they have given me an 8 week worker's notice, but the end was still looming and it was hard for me to take in. Next week wraps up the 8 weeks notice and after that I will say good-bye to the company that has been my place of employment for 11 years and 10 months. I have very mixed emotions in all of this. Part of me is happy to be leaving the company, especially since I have had some not-so-good experiences with some of my supervisors - not even including the past few months. And as I mentioned previously, my work is most often boring and monotonous.

But the bigger part of me is sad. I don't like change. I like going in to a familiar and comfortable place and doing a familiar and comfortable job and I like seeing familiar faces - my dad in particular, who also works at this company. This company has been a part of my life longer than most people have. And the thing that makes it so hard is that I wouldn't have chosen this.

Most often when someone quits a job, it's because they've found something else and they chose to leave. Technically I had a choice since they didn't fire me - but it wasn't the choice I wanted to have to make. I wanted to keep things the way that they were - especially since I had dodged the bullet of being a CSR.

But God had other plans. And just like I walked in faith back in September, I need to do the same thing now. He knows the big picture. And He will walk beside me as I paint that picture.

So what's next for me? I'll tell you that in Part II....


Kathy and Carl said...

Wow....kind of interesting how God opens and closes doors. I'm curious this path he is taking you on. One thing is for sure, it's never predictable but always a blessing.

Jo said...

Hey Andrea!
I just want to encourage you! I love that you put your husband and family first! You'll never regret that! God definitely has many blessings in store, even if we don't have answers or recognize what the blessings are right away! You're in His hands and everything's in His time...

Pamela said...

wow. I didn't know something so big was on your plate. I can't wait to read part 2.

Roo said...