There Is No Winding Down

“To achieve great things, two things are needed: a plan and not quite enough time.”
― Leonard Bernstein

Three weeks from today will be my first day in nearly five years that I don’t have a full time job. Getting there is equal parts exhausting and frustrating, but strangely not in the least terrifying. I thought I would feel more panic or at least fright about the future, but there’s none of that.

The legal team at J.’s future employment has started the ball rolling for our visas.

We have short term housing worked out.

J. has a current job.

I’m getting braver by the day about diving back into freelancing.

Stress-ZebraStripesAll good things! No, the trouble is not the future, it’s (as it often is) the present. Getting from here to there. The proverbial now.

My trainee is still struggling mightily and there is so much out of my control when it comes to her training. I can’t force people to hold certifications to suit her time frame, I can’t even always get her to commit to the training time I want. I had to arm wrestle with administration to get what I have now, and the whole experience has been an lesson in a lot of energy expended for very little thanks. I may have to post about that next.

Training itself is challenging, and not just because my trainee has very poor retention! She constantly makes little mistakes and errors – from typos to major data storage snafus – that she does not catch herself. I fear even running to the vending machines now because I’ve come back to find her giving a patron majorly incorrect information, and once stopped her from disseminating highly confidential paperwork. She requires constant supervision. Lest you think I’m being too hard on her, these are things she should already have experience with as a dispatcher, it’s not new aspects to her job at all. I can see why they are trying to find her a new position, but I’m surprised they think giving her mine is a way to minimize damage.

It is the end of my semester and my supervisor is truly swamped with trying to get her assignments completed, and so she is not as available for me to address concerns with her. It’s not her fault, but the business culture of my office is (unfortunately) rather dog eat dog and I honestly worry about being blamed for my trainee’s lack of knowledge once I’m gone and no longer able to respond to such criticism. That sort of thing has happened to others in the past and I’m anxious to avoid being another casualty of it.

My new 6:30am drop off time is seriously hurting. I’m in a perpetual state of nearly-but-not-quite sick and due to the way schedules fall out we often don’t get home until after 6 or 7pm at night. At which time we need to cook, clean, and run any number of other errands. Last night I didn’t get dinner on the stove until nearly 9pm – the hour I wanted to be in bed. Speaking of dinner, a diet of pizza and cereal because we have not been able to make it to a grocery store during normal business hours isn’t helping. Dinner was a heavy duty vegetable minestrone to combat fears of scurvy!

Three weeks from today is going to be a good morning! The next 20 days are going to be stressful in the extreme. Perk me up, kittens, bring me your offerings of humorous tidbits, words of wisdom, or even commiseration as I do battle with elusive retailers for the MP and rewrite another section of my manual for my trainee!

8 thoughts on “There Is No Winding Down”

  1. Sounds like they should have done a better job vetting your trainee or she’s a good embellisher. She’ll figure it out or they’ll get someone new, definitely not on you.

    1. Oh, no, they didn’t vet her at all! The administration just made the decision and didn’t even open the job to applicants. The problem is she is making a lot of mistakes in her current position, but they are (admirably, I think, in some ways) trying to keep her on until she can retire. The goal was to get her in a place where she could cause less damage – so they are putting her in charge of records, student hiring and wages, media relations, and keeping officers certified. Which, in my opinion, significantly ups her damage potential, but no one asked me.

  2. While I admire your efforts and concern, she’s not your problem after 3 weeks from now. Give it your best and let the chips fall!

    As for scurvy, no 24-hour grocery stores? Late hours? Fresh Direct delivery? Worst case, I’d try to stock up on lots of soups, fresh veg and fruit (make smoothies; take to work) and focus on your Fab Future!

    1. It’s true. I just sometimes struggle with things outside my control. This whole experience is making me wiser about it, I hope!

      That’s what we did last night: lots of smoothie ingredients and a truly monstrous pot of soup! J. laughed to see it and said we’d probably be eating it for the rest of April. “That’s the plan,” I said, slightly darkly. Soups and smoothies get one through a multitude of challenges!

  3. Things may not work out the way you want them to, but at least you can hold your head high and know you tried your darndest. Easier said than done–a lesson I’m constantly trying to learn. Good luck!!

  4. Waiting is the hardest part. I remember giving my notice just a few weeks before I had my son. I was relieved to be in LABOR and out of the work force, so I figure I didn’t really love my job.

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