Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Working Girl

After almost 14 years of retirement I have gone back to work. Having spent all of my working life in the creative side of high tech, and the last 14 years doing all manner of volunteer work and blog writing, not to mention birthing and raising three boys, I am now in the field of real estate management, investments and documentation. It sounds a lot like what my husband does. In fact, I get to see him a lot during the day.

After my first week, I both made my mark and realized there are some challenges to jumping back into office life. There is now a coffee machine in the office, I'm learning lots of interesting things like how hard it is to evict squatters running a meth lab on your property, and I have a new respect for the letter carrier who deals with the massive amount of correspondence coming and going on a daily basis. Our company pays the salary of at least one full-time postal worker with the amount of postage we go through. In fact, if the job at the office doesn't work out I'm going to apply to be the letter carrier serving the office.

It is an understatement to say the last three years have not been kind to us and our industry. We've gone from a high of eight employees to one. And now me. I'm pretty busy. It's a good thing I don't have any time to stare out the window because my view sucks. I look out on a fence and a stucco wall behind it. But what this job lacks in view, it more than makes up for in flexibility, which is pretty much the most important quality in a job for me. I bring my dog to work, and I leave every day at 3 o'clock to pick my boys up from school and taxi them around.

After more than a month, the part I am really finding difficult is coming home at 6:00, 7:00, or later and then having to prepare dinner. In the past I had the luxury of shopping for and preparing dinner early in the day if the afternoon was busy. I am finding that it is a challenge to keep everything stocked and healthy food on the table for dinner. I am constantly sending my husband texts (SOS milk emergency) to stop and pick up a gallon of milk on his way home .

I wasn't sure what to expect, going back to work, with the added strangeness of sleeping with my boss. I've waited to write about it because I am still figuring out how I feel about it all. It's going OK. It is nice to use my brain and my skills in a different way, to feel productive and have a sense of accomplishment. I understand a lot more about the day-to-day operations of my husband's company, and I am able to be a real help during a time that my help is needed and appreciated. Maybe this is a good balance for me, as my children are needing and appreciating my help less.

So as I go about my transition to working girl, I will be sure to share stories about the office, and the characters that come in (like the one who operates a medical marijuana establishment and comes in smelling strong enough to give us the munchies). I've seen tears, panic, anger, lawsuits served, lives in shreds and lives being rebuilt, and that's in just one month in the office. I promise to be nice to Jenn, the star employee, helping to hold it all together. I can't piss her off, she makes a mean panini and there's no way I can do her job. Plus she lets me tag along to bingo night at the Italian Men's Club.


Anonymous said...

Ah...how I can relate. You are now walking a path upon which I have marched for years! So much to say and so little time. Boy, do I owe you a phone call now. Working wife blessings from your sister-in-law and sister-in-employment!

Mrs. L said...

Hey, I don't have kids and after working a full day it's hard for me to get that dinner on the table for both of us (in a timely manner and without lots of processed food!). I'd be lost without my weekend planning, shopping, cooking sessions.