Thursday, September 1, 2011

In a state of flux...but it's been a good thing.

I am never very good when i feel this way. I had avery anxious weekend trying to figure out what i was going to do when my union contract expired, as it did Aug. 31. (They have been bargaining since March!) But i have it all figured out now.

I've been talking on this blog off and on about how I am somewhat disillusion about my job in unions. Mostly it has been with my own union. We have a great contract already.( If i listed all the benefits you would be amazed that someone like me, without a college degree, could have the perks and salary that i do. ) In a word, we can be pretty freaking greedy when we bargain. I always hate the drama of it.

So my union is talking strike because they could not reach agreement Aug. 31 and our contract expired and now we are working under an extension. The big issue is pension plan take-aways because our plan is underfunded. Management thankfully allowed those of us who are eligible to retire (like me) to submit a letter of intent  so that we will be grandfathered to retire under the old pension plan. Yesterday they let us extent the date of our letter too. I have until Sept. 14 to make a decision.

My union continues to bargain. Today i was told it looks like we are headed for a strike.

I cannot in good conscience vote for a strike. I am not even certain in good economic times I would vote to strike, but certainly not now.  On Saturday, on a lark, I applied online for a school job. And within  within two days and working late (and with louielouie's help) I now have all of my paperwork in order, including four letters of recommendations, a cover letter, and a resume. I have done SOOO many resumes for friends, but not one for myself in 23 years. It's not easy to write your own resume. But i think it looks good.

I am applying for a job that is not much money, less hours, even more time off during the summer than i have. I would get to work around little kids. The District  may not be interested because i am overqualified, but it's just the kind of job i want post retirement: not the major responsibility for the office, task orientated duties, face paced.

I suppose it's possible they also might not want someone from the union. I don't know how to let them know i am not a rebel rouser without throwing my employer under the bus and seeming to be disloyal.

There are 3 options and i have a plan for all of them now.

#1 If my union calls for a strike before Sept. 14  i will retire no matter what. I'll buy a Kindle (or an iPad), a sewing machine and join the YMCA again and take bowling lessons.)

#2. If the school calls me and wants to hire me, i will take this new job, regardless of what my union decides and will retire and collect my pension.

#3 If my union gets it done without a strike and the school doesn't call then I will work for one more year and retire in June instead.

I like scenario #3 the best because i may end up with getting to add vacation time to the pension if they get to keep it in this bargain. I wouldn't get it now cause i didn't expect this to happen and i took it all. Plus I like the people i work with and i don't want to have to desert them suddenly.

In the meantime my headquarters boss just called me today to go work a strike build-up of a different school district union -which is what our work is all about. Helping school employees. This assignment is about 2 hours away. I'll be put up in a hotel and gone about a week. This same boss wrote me a reference letter for the job and it was almost over the top. He's always liked me because when he wants to tap me for outside committee work i am always willing. The problem is that it may make it difficult to be in touch with the school district on the chance they do call me. I think i am going to have to get a cell phone!!!!! He did say i could leave as needed if i got an interview.

I have been excited since i made all these decisions on Monday. More so than i've been in a very long time. I realize i've been in a rut and allowing myself to stay where it's comfortable, even though i'm not loving it as much as i used to. It's never good to stay just because of money. So at least, no matter what happens I am going to get off my butt one way or another and June 1st is the longest i will be working there, no matter if i have something lined up or not.

I always feel so much better when i have a plan. I know this is long and rather boring and leaves the participatory stuff out, but then again not much is happening here anyway, and i wanted to put this down for the record so i can read this later a year from now and see where i am.


jojo cucina cucina said...

It just occurred to me that if i am gone for nearly a week i might come home to dead hanging fuschia baskets. I don't trust my husband to water them!!!!!!! Maybe i should bring them with me and hang them in the Marriot. They like shade anyway.

jojo cucina cucina said...

i wonder what else i should be worried about.

jojo cucina cucina said...

Your speed was: 73wpm.

You made 3 mistakes, your mistakes are shown in bold text:

I have to type only 40 wpm on the test for the job i applied for. ABove is me taking a typing test AFTER TWO GLASSES OF WINE.....

Not bad.

jojo cucina cucina said...

I just thought of something else ... without me Brian won't remember to take his laundry out of the washing machine and put it in the dryer. So after a week it's going to be pretty ripe.

I better tell him not to do any laundry while i'm gone.

He will actually like that.

jojo cucina cucina said...

If i order some stuff from Amazon and Garnet Hill today, will my husband bring in the boxes from the front porch? Will he remember to check the mail in our locked box before it gets overstuffed?

jojo cucina cucina said...

AND he won't remember that it's Tuesday for Recycle and this week is recycle week, not Wednesday Garbage week.

He also got cell phone minutes for the phone he bought me awhile ago that i didn't want. ... it only has 60 minutes of cell time. Just what i wanted. I don't plan on keeping it past the week.

Anonymous said...

Groovy abou tthe decisions....I wrote you on the Tuesday Aug 23 post for some reason


Anonymous said...

crappy about my typo - geeesh! No 40 minutes on wine for me

susieatl said...

My house looked like a tornado hit it when I got back. Amanda forgot to take out the garbage, left all the dog bones and toys spread all over the floor and an opened bag of skittles was behind the t.v.. Not sure what she was doing but cleaning was not a part of it.

I'm excited for you that you made your decision. I hate being in flux. My job can be that way a lot and it is draining. I'm always having to think about the direction we need to take. I'm lucky though..I have some great people who are pretty forward thinking but at the same time have loads of common sense.

And you need an IPhone or Droid. You can turn off the ringer and never answer it if you don't want.

Anonymous said...

Darn that Amanda...sorry I missed you but you sounded busy Susie! Did you enjoy Seattle?


jojo cucina cucina said...

Hey Charr!!!! Good to see you. You too, susieatl! AFter you left i read about whales in Puget Sound! Dang it.

If i ever really got a cell phone i wouldn't tell anyone the number! LOL....

Amanda forgot to take the garbage out!? I hope Brian does better. The Skittles must have been your dog's Skittles? LOL....

equeyaya said...

tomorrow is our trash day and a holiday, so i have to wait until Thursday to put my trash out.

it sounds like things will work out okay whichever option you end up with, jo. congratuations for having a plan and options. i've been in my job for 23 years, too. and while i'm nowhere near ready to retire, i am starting to consider some second career options.... that's still quite a way off though.

i had a wonderful weekend hiking in the mountains. Two 9-mile hikes in two days. I love the challenge. And I had fun!

louielouie said...

Jo, have a great time you’ll enjoy your time away. The garbage will be just fine; so will your online shopping boxes. Sometimes my boxes sit on our front porch for several days.

I am taking a breather before my guests start trickling in. Everybody is coming from someplace else so I don’t expect early arrivers. Everything is good to go but the grilling, I am not stressed. Em will be here soon with the ice so we will have cold beer, that’s all my family needs for a good time.

louielouie said...

ooo you should put up a new post before you go something labor day or back to schoolish.

What was the best thing about back to school when you were a kid? I'm sorry to say that for me, I think it was new shoes!! Plus I always had one store-bought dress for the first day; usually red plaid.

jojo cucina cucina said...

I am already here and checked in. I have to get to the office in about a half hour to meet everyone. I have a full kitchen, cool. Not that i will be cooking since i can voucher all of my meals. But i like having a frig. It's HOT here.

The best thing i liked about back to school. . . . was nothing, because i was almost always a new kid and i hated it. And my clothes were usually all wrong, even if i did get new stuff.

eque, THAT's a lot of hiking! yikes. I never got into hiking. It's hard enough to keep up with running.

louie, have a good time with the family and Nick! I'll keep you posted this week if i hear anything. I did call the district on Friday to let them know I was on assignment this week and that i would be checking my email and phone a few times during the week and would be available to return to Tacoma if i had to. She was really nice. I do now have a cell phone number but i'm not bugging them anymore. I don't want to appear desparate. If they email me, i'll get it.

It's nice sometimes to let things out of your hand and just wait to see what happens. Have a great labor day everyone.

sam said...

testing, testing, will this post?

Seriously Jo, I read your blog regularly but getting a comment to "take" has been impossible.

sam said...