Whiplash ~ Back to Reality
*Thanks Katy, not only can you paint, you can write. Love you*
We all have milestones in our lives. Those that are memories and
those that are still to come.
My husband and I have recently passed an 18 year milestone. Our son, Andrew, graduated from high school and is settling into his first semester away at college. We wanted to give him some space once he went away to school and not be one of those sets of parents that talked to their child 3 times a day. We have settled into a range of about 3 days. If he hasn't called us for 3 days we try to give him a call to just check in on him. We wanted him to have the space to make decisions on his own, good or bad, we all have to learn to do it sometime. We miss him very much, and knew things were going to be very different when he left for school.
I have been a stay at home mom for the better part of those 18 years and I knew that I was going to have some spare time on my hands. Since I didn't want to be one of those hovering moms, I thought I'd better come up with something to do with my time. I thought maybe I would look for some part time work, but I needed something that I could be able to take time off from to help my brother take care of our father. My father has been struggling with some serious health problems lately. I really didn't think that there were too many people out there that would hire someone who might have to take off work if they needed to, sometimes for weeks at a time.
A friend was also concerned that I might need something to keep me busy. She asked if I would consider working for her husband who owns an insurance agency. Originally they needed someone to answer the phones and take messages. They decided that it would be helpful if I became a licensed agent to be able to better help the customers on the phone. They promised me that it was a piece of cake to pass the test. They said that they only had one employee that had to take the test twice to pass, but that she was as dumb as a box of rocks.
I went back to school for a week of classes, along with 2 weeks of cramming, with the challenge to NOT be the new box of rocks! When you haven't cracked a book to study for a test for the better part of 25 years, you have some doubts about your abilities. Needless to say I had some anxiety!!!!! I passed the test with some points to spare, I really surprised myself.
First day of work at my new job I walked in assuming that if the State of Ohio says I could do this job they must know what they are talking about right? WRONG!
I was not prepared for the technology part of the job. MY HEAD WAS SWIMMING!!!!!!!! The phones - too many buttons, too many calls, transferring calls, intercom, speaker phone, voice mail... Who's on the phone, who isn't in the office, the boss is always in a meeting take a message. I had just figured out how to look numbers up in my cell phone, so I knew I was in trouble.
Then add the computers (see cell phone comment above).
Don't forget customer service. A customer calls and is hard of hearing, can't read their bill, is confused about why it went up. My options? I have several: 1. Tell the customer they have the wrong number and hang up (by the way they usually call back). 2. Tell them I don't know why their bill went up, which is true but not the answer that they are looking for. 3. My new favorite, transfer them on to someone else (incentive to learn the phone system).
I went home the first day thinking I had no idea I had been living in a cave for 18 years.
I have been doing this work thing for about a month now, some things are starting to click.
I am learning to dress myself all over again, why on earth it takes me 35-40 min to get dressed is still a mystery to me. I have learned to make sure you check your shoes before you leave the house. You guessed it, I'd left the house one day wearing one brown shoe and one black shoe. This week I brought two cans of soda to the office with me only to find that I'd brought one soda and one Coors Light. I considered pounding the beer in the parking lot before I went in since, right before my eyes, I was turning into the "New Box of Rocks".
Because I really don't want to be the "New Box of Rocks", I have an appointment to get my eyes checked. Glasses, not the milestone I had in mind, but better than rocks.