Sunday, June 22, 2014

My update

It's been quite some time since I've posted, and there's actually some interesting stories behind it all, so I thought I'd give you all an idea of what's been going down around here lately.

I can't decide where to start, so I guess I will go chronologically.  Back in January, I went back to work after the most glorious three month maternity leave of absence.  I have gone back to work after three children, and I have had mixed feelings twice (because I do love being a stay at home mom, but I also really do love my job) and have once dreaded it, and that was this third time. I don't know exactly the reason I didn't want to go back, but it was definitely the most peaceful leave and the most angelic newborn.  In any case, I went back cautiously telling myself I would be quitting in July, if it didn't work out.  The July date was set because I knew I was due for a salary review at that time, and I have been wildly underpaid for a long time, and willing to remain so because (a) they let me work from home, so I couldn't probably get another job with better pay and work from home, and (b) we needed my job to put Greg through law school and to keep us in health insurance.  But now, Greg is out of law school, and we can get health insurance through the state exchange.  So, if I wasn't making a lot more money, we figured we should move closer to Greg's job (where it is also significantly cheaper to live), hop on a more stringent budget, and become a single income home.  Along with the July salary review, our lease expired June 30th, so it would be a good time to relocate if we needed to.

I made no secret of my plans at work, mostly because I wanted them to start thinking about paying me a lot more.  They indicated several times that they thought very highly of my skills and knowledge, and they would want to enter negotiations to keep me, but things were all very up in the air, due to some potential joint venture agreements.  I understood, and stayed in limbo, because nothing was changing for me until July anyway.

Then, in February, my boss decided to quit.  As background, I have worked in the Human Resources department for most of the last 6.5 years, reporting to the HR Director.  Her direct boss was the Vice President of Administration, but the three of us all worked very closely together, including me direct reporting to him on a lot of items that weren't exactly in the HR department.  Keep in mind, the hotel I work for is not a chain, so all the corporate work was done in house, and the company insurance, litigation, corporate filings, and stuff like that, were all things that I was handling with the VP of Admin.  He decided to leave after 37 years at the company.  He originally gave only 2 weeks notice.  That same day, they called me at home to indicate that they would be giving me a version of his job (not a VP level job because that job was from when there were 11 hotels, and also he was an officer of the corporation, and also he had 37 years of experience at the company.  But doing a lot of the same things.)  They also went back to him, and asked him to stay until May.

After I was sort of guaranteed a really good job, I was put in a position of power.  They really needed me because there wasn't going to be anyone else who could do that job.  I went into the meeting about it and asked for such a big raise, I had panic attacks all weekend about it.  But in the meeting, I was cool as a cucumber.  I also explained that while they might want someone in the office full time, and while I respect that they might want and/or need that, I would not be the person for them.  Since I definitely WAS the person for them, they agreed to continue to work with me on my desire to stay at home as much as possible with my kids.

This was all going down in mid and late February.  But, with my boss's agreement to stay at the hotel until May, they were not needing to be in a big hurry to make a decision about me (and I didn't want to push them for an answer because I preferred they give me the answer I wanted instead of the answer right now).

Finally, mid April, they gave me a promotion and a raise.  It was to be effective May 1.  My new title is Director of Administration/Risk Management.  My job description was exactly all my favorite things to do (I wrote the job description, and made up the title.  Seriously, they need me around there.)

Then, at the end of April, I fell down the stairs (not holding the baby, thank goodness.)  I don't know exactly how I fell, if I tripped, or just missed a step, or maybe fainted or something.  It was dumb, and ridiculous.  I was home with the three kids; the two big kids were in the playroom watching mythbusters, and the baby was crying in the crib, having just woken up.  I was on my way up the stairs to get her when I turned around and then fell.  I almost immediately fell asleep, but I had my phone on me, so I reached up to the front door (I landed right by it) and unlocked the door, and then called Greg and asked him to stay on with me to keep me conscious, and call 911 if he lost me, because I couldn't be unconscious with the kids there.  After a few minutes, I felt like I wasn't going to pass out as much anymore, so we hung up, and I called a wonderful friend and church leader, and she immediately dropped everything and picked me and my kids up and took me to the ER.  She then took my kids home and watched them and called another friend who came and sat with me in the ER for a few hours until Greg got home.  My sister left work early and went to go watch my kids.

I was really lucky, I fractured the radial head, but in a direction that meant no pins, and because it was close to the elbow, I couldn't get a cast, which made showers and stuff easier, although it made things a little more painful for a while.  I honestly did have a few really terrible days, but I really was much improved by a week or so later.  I didn't take very much pain medication, which was lucky.  I started using the arm like usual about five days after the accident, although I couldn't bear very much weight on it.  Note: nursing a wiggly baby with a broken arm is rough.  I had significant mobility back in my arm by three weeks after the break, and now, about 7-8 weeks after, I can almost straighten my arm, and do almost anything, although I still have some pain.
A friend of mine was teasing me about stopping and taking a selfie, but this was the next day, not before I went to the ER.  Two more things that are hard to do with an uncasted broken arm: brush hair and button buttons.  Greg got me ready on this day, but I also had a friend who came over did my hair on several occasions while I couldn't reach it.  Thanks, guys.
Okay, so this takes us to the end of April.  My promotion becomes effective May 1st.   May 3rd, my company entered a joint venture agreement with a new company, and the asset sale was effective June 1.  I now work for a new company, one which has a very competent corporate office in Colorado.  My job does not exist in the new company.

Lest this be the longest post ever with no point, I will bring you to date.  Hank, the VP of Admin, left the company as planned on May 15th.  Alma, the HR Director, left the company unexpectedly on May 31, deciding not to continue on with the new company.  Genie, one of our two HR admins, left the company May 31 as well, as planned, as she had gotten into grad school and was moving.  So, this leaves me with a job (undefined) and the company without a working HR Department.  I stepped in, and have been running things for nearly a month.  In connection with all this, I have been working 5-7 days a week in the office.  I know that most people do that all the time, but I haven't had a regular job in the office for about six years, being more than 75% working from home for the last 4 years.  So, it has been rough on me, and it's been rough on my family.  But, we are trying it out to see how it works. There is still no official word on what is going to happen, but the new company recognizes me as someone they want, even if we aren't sure in what capacity.  They have also been really nice about wanting me to be able to go back working from home, at least some.  This week, I will be working from home 3.5 days, and next week I will only go into the office twice.  It's a work in progress, but I have invested a lot into being successful at work, so we are going to do it until it doesn't work anymore.  (Plus, before all the upheaval, we happily re-signed our lease, so that will just make it slightly more difficult to transition to a single income for now anyway.)

Oh, also, I sort of still work for the old company.  In fact, on Friday, they made me a corporate officer of that company.  Funny how things work.  When I told my old boss, and he laughed.  From temporary receptionist to corporate officer in 6.5 years.  He became a corporate officer after 7.5 years (he started as the HR Director), so he was teasing me about beating his record.  It isn't exactly the honor of the year, seeing as a month ago, the company sold many of its assets and transferred all its employees to a new company, but hey.  Something to stick on my resume.


Laura Marino said...

Sorry about all the drama Rachel! Sounds like a whirlwind that I'm sure at the very least, you are grateful to finally be through and have answers. Crazy how things worked out with the company! I wish you all the best with your new position and hope you can get more days at home with the kids in time : )

Amanda said...

So much transition! I think the appropriate thing to say is congratulations on the promotion and on being a rock star at your job. :)

*Janae* said...

Wow Rachel! Work sounds so crazy! Congrats, I guess?? lol

Just make sure you are happy with what you are doing because that is all that matters!

Nicole said...

What a crazy 6 months for your family! Good luck with it all, hope things work out the way you want them to!

Austin and Jennifer said...

Lots going on! I'm glad you had such an angelic newborn through all this!

Kiersten said...

Wow. That's a really big deal. I'm so glad that you've found something that works so well for you; you definitely deserve it. But I'm so sorry about your arm! And I love all the new posts about your sweet babes.

tawnya said...

Holy cow! That all sounds...tiring. Very tiring!