Monday, February 6, 2017

Thoughts on Adulting

So I should probably write this down.

“First Day” as an employee with Fluor Idaho LLC. Having mixed feelings. Insurance costs with this bigger company are going up, which explains in part the big bump in salary I was offered when I got the job. SO that’s a blessing, I have to remind myself – getting the extra money to cover the extra expenses. Good news is, by my rough calculations, even with the increased costs, I’m still coming out ahead with more money per week than before.

And that’s all without having to learn to get along with new systems or personalities or whatever – tomorrow, after slogging along at the Sawtelle Street Facility, training in the morning and my regular job, such as can be accomplished here, in the afternoon, I go back to RWMC tomorrow as if nothing had happened. Same good people to work with. Same old systems I already know. All with a little bit more money in my pocket.

Then there’s this: [name redacted], the boss of bosses in Document Management, came by today to see how I’m doing. He’s a good guy to check in with me. He also told me that about a year ago, when Fluor was taking on the contract, I almost lost my job. They were going to come in and get rid of all the subcontracted employees. But [name redacted], who was the boss at the Accelerated Retrieval Project at the time (and is still around in a very similar capacity) said “All but one.” They wanted to keep me. And [first name reacted] said he was good with that. “I wasn’t going to fight it,” he said. They wanted to keep me too. If I weren’t such a shy person, I’d ask [second name redacted] why. Maybe I will one of these days.

So maybe with the stress and the added expense, moving over to Fluor will be a good thing after all. I mean, I have to look at it that way; there’s no going back. And this is the path forward that I believe will help me keep my job in the future. It’s the way the wind was blowing a year ago. All I need to do is maintain my ability to do what they want in the timeframe that they want it in. I’m pretty sure I can do that.

So I feel a little weird, sitting here typing these thoughts out, a little loopy from a sinus cold I’ve been trying to fight off for the past few days. Didn’t want to miss today.
And what a day it’s been.

I won’t deliver a play-by-play, as that seems dull and it’s all so much of a blur I don’t remember it all. I will hit the highlights.

They took our ID badges. That felt weird. I’ve had that ID badge for nearly 11 years, and to be without it made me feel all nakey. Especially when they dispatched us over to Willow Creek to get new badges. I knew going in it wasn’t going to work – they always want to see the old badge. Sure enough, got sent back to Sawtelle sans badge, with two other new hires in tow who happened to show up at Willow Creek as I was leaving. Found out they had indeed sent our old badges over to Willow Creek (why we couldn’t be the deliverymen, I don’t know). Went back a second time all the while repeating in my head the name of the lady who had our badges. Got there and the badging system was down. So went back to Sawtelle and again had to have the HR rep come let us in again because we can’t get in without a badge. So you understand why I was feeling so weird to be without one.
Third time was the charm, since I came back with a new badge that resembles the old one in every way except it says “ICP” across the top rather than “NW”. Not feeling so nakey now. And it even let me back into the building. Proof in the pudding, however, will be whether I can use it to get back into RWMC in the morning.

Hoping I get back to feeling settled. I hate the newness of having to sort through insurance options and retirement and all that. It’s one of the not-so-fun parts of adulthood. There’s no going back, though. Once you enter the hood of adults, you’re in that hood until you either croak or slip into the even deeper anxiety vale that is senior citizenship.

Never, kids, be in a hurry to grow up. It’s not worth it.

On the greasy plus side I did sneak over to McDonalds after badging. Could still use more to drink, but I’m not leaving this place again until I can leave and go home.

Any dream I might have had to quitting teaching at BYU-Idaho has faded, as insurance and other expenses gobble up the raise. Not that I’m ungrateful for it – I am. So grateful. And grateful I have the opportunity still to supplement that income. I did have to fill out a conflict of interest form with Fluor regarding my teaching at BYU-Idaho, and since I haven’t heard anything back on it, I can assume they saw no conflict and I can go about working there until I decide it’s time to go. And I may never do that, given the income opportunity.

Oh – almost forgot one other thing about badging: About a year ago, I started the paperwork, fingerprinting and photo-taking process to get the new and improved ID badge, with computer chip that will eventually allow me to log in to my computer in a way that will likely prompt me to forget my ID badge at work. I don’t necessarily understand why this is such an important process, but the good news is it’s still full steam ahead. I can likely anticipate an email in the next few months asking me to come get my new badge to replace the new one I just got today. Yes, the government does indeed work in inscrutable ways. I just know it’s typically my luck to have such things end in a bureaucratic backwater where the paperwork gets lost and nobody really cares to find it again, so it’s good to know the machine is still thoughtfully chewing on my ID request.
My cubicle mate for the day has just left. I’ve got at least another hour before I can sneak out. For some reason, folks in town don’t get paid for their lunchtime, so they stay a half hour later. Last time I was in town I managed to sneak out a little early. I may not do that today, just to make nice with the bosses and other folks who got me this job.

All this anxiety reminds me of a few things:
  1. This job does not define me. I am who I am whether I work here or not. It helps finance me, but it does not subsume what I am.
  2. This is STILL better than working in newspapers. In fact, every time I feel even the slightest bit of stress about this job, I remind myself of that. Because it’s the truth.
  3. I’ve had this job for a long time. Just today I opened up a document revision form to fix a document last revised in 2008. Last revised by ME. That was a FREAKING LONG TIME AGO. IN fact, I had to look carefully at the 2017 date I was putting on the form because for a few moments there I was sure it was wrong.
  4. 2005, the year I left newspapers, is still a watershed year in my life. But the sting of it has long since been overshadowed by the joy of 2006 when I got this job in its first form, and the sting has faded ever since. No matter the stresses of 2017, they cannot overtop the stresses of 2005. Which feels like ancient times now.
  5. I will probably continue this list ad infinitum, so I’m going to stop now.
I can fully imagine myself writing another little note like this in the future when some other momentous thing happens.

And maybe I can say this about adulthood: It evolves, kids. What being an adult means changes with the years and seasons. Once you feel accomplished in one area, you move on to the next, finding in the years to come that the area giving you stress a while back now doesn’t even matter in the scheme of things. Maybe that’s how God gets along. He’s just had so many experiences, he just knows what to do when the time comes.

And I might get a little taste of that, someday.

Or it might turn out something like this:

"I will kiss you good bye. [mwah, mwah] You will drive off in your new car, which should rightfully be mine, and then I will have my hearing before the sanity commission, and they will set me free. And then [arrow with plunger sticks to forehead] I will kill you."
Adulting right there, folks. But without the killing.

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