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Second Half


reinventmyself
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I figured a new journal was overdue.  Long gone are the online da*ing experiences and misspelled title of my original journal.  It did serve me well.  Makes for a great way for me to waste an afternoon reading several years of  experiences, missteps and growth.  Some of it cringeworthy.  Yikes.

My new routine consists of waking around 7, getting a cup of coffee and sitting in bed with my laptop and my cat until around 9 to 10.  I do have a lot of time on my hands and I am working on looking at it as a good thing.  The 12 hours a day on a hamster wheel I couldn't get off of are over and adjusting to being still is not easy for someone who's always had this nervous energy to burn off.

I made list of things to do a few weeks ago.  Yesterday, meeting with a trust attorney.  I am proud of myself like a little kid who remembered to do their homework.  I have one more thing on my long list of to do's and as I am writing this it just came to me.  Some medical diagnostic test my Dr. has bugged me to do for the past two years.  Hoping I can get in before the end of year because I have paid my deductible for '21.

I have the employment app on my phone, Indeed.  I have perused it off and on for the past year.  Originally to see if my employer (past) was posting a position for my team or holding it internally for weeks at a time.  Scrolling through it served as a reminder that there was life outside of my miserable job.   I promised myself I wouldn't act on anything until after the first of the year.  Using the analogy with a friend "it's no different than ending a toxic relationship and jumping back into something/anything to just to fill the void"    I need to sit in the space for a bit and get comfortable with it.

I came across an opportunity the other day.  It's a party planning company where they post events in my area. (mostly an affluent area just south of me) where you can sign up to work.  The positions listed, hosts, bartenders, servers, event planning, ticket taking etc.  There was one on the calendar for next week.  It appears to be in someone's home, 40 guests and I think you'd basically be pouring champagne and passing around appetizers.  It's 3 hours for $30hr.  The beauty of this is you only sign up for the events you want to work.  Nothing more.  Mind you, it's been a lifetime since I worked in the food industry as a kid.  But what I liked about it, is I am better on my feet than sitting behind a desk and you get interaction with people.   I had been eyeing retail merchandiser positions, which I have done before.  You can work your own schedule, it's about 10-20 hrs a week.  But you don't really have any interactions with people, unless you are in their way in the store isle.

Of course, the timing of the new variant is a wrinkle in my plan.  But either way, I am not invested and could take it or leave it.   But I impulsively filled out the application and got an email that same evening.  I have a zoom meeting with owner in the morning. <shrug> Why not?

I really wanted to volunteer at our local shelter in the cattery, but there hasn't been any opportunities as long as covid is in the air.

I've been checking out yoga, pilates and barre studios, but again. . it the timing right where covid is concerned?  So, I wait.

Waiting for the cable guy today.  Cutting the cord has been long overdue.  I will save somewhere around $100 per month.  I picked up a small smart tv for the bedroom and I've practicing using the streaming services and staying away from cable the past couple days.  I think I have it pretty well figured out.  The interface is a little frustrating. Maybe just because it's new.  But I can cross this off my list as well.   I only watch the same 5 or 6 channels anyway.  My only regret is I didn't do this sooner.

Evenings are suuuuper long with the time change.  I was walking for at least an hour every night I was home (and not at the bfs) But we are having such an issue with coyotes and some are teaming up and aggressively approaching people in the dark.  I have a neighborhood app and see a report almost every night.  Come to find out some sightings just after I return from my walk. That coupled with never really being able to see that well in the dark, I guess I will dust off my treadmill in my garage.

 

 

Edited by reinventmyself
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I had my zoom interview with the event planning district mgr.  It went really well (IMO).  The application asked for my age and that threw me, because you aren't supposed to ask.  I couldn't leave it blank, so I shrugged and filled it out.  Not knowing if they preferred college aged people or what they were looking for.  As it turned out the district mgr might have a couple years on me and had previously retired as well.  She said I was exactly what they were looking for.  I filled out the background investigation packet and now I wait.

We commiserated over our years in community volunteer organizations, silent auctions and event planning.  She seemed impressed with my recent work experience and with that the interview tables turned and she seemed to be selling me on the job rather than the other way around.  If nothing comes from it, I left with a little skip in my step after having spoken to her.  Not sure how much work there could be in light of covid.  But at least I know there are options out there.  It's been life time since I interviewed for a job and kinda impressed myself as I heard myself share what all I brought to the table. 

Not sure why I doubted myself.  Possibly due to years of my boss making certain I would always be standing behind him and when there was what seemed like an opportunity to shine, I was set up to take the hit for his wrong doings.  Anywaysssss. . 

Deja Vu Christmas Eve!  My brother's stepdaughter hosting Christmas eve and he and his entire family are on the far opposite spectrum where covid is concerned.   My oldest son refers them as the "Tin Hat" group.  Antivaxers, conspiracy believers.  One terminated senior nurse, one fire captain willing to lose his career in a manner of minutes and move to another state.   

Just the other day, my brother ranting about vax mandates being illegal and unconstitutional.  I don't ever debate him, rather just change the subject.  But after this declaration I spouted "You went to public school, right?  Pretty sure you had to be vaccinated.  For that matter, I'll bet you've vaccinated your dogs too!"   Rarely can render my older brother who has a passion for lecturing, speechless.  But he just stammered and went silent. . and then I changed the subject. 

A month or so ago, this might not have concerned me to this degree.  They have all had covid recently. I am double vaxed and got my booster.  Covid seemed to be fading in the rear view mirror and it seemed like a low risk I was willing to take.  Between now and Christmas it's possible the wheels may come off the bus.  This happened last year.  (or the year prior?)  It's a blur.  I had planned Christmas eve at my house just to uninvite everyone.  Ugh..

 

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On 12/2/2021 at 12:12 PM, reinventmyself said:

The interface is a little frustrating. Maybe just because it's new.  But I can cross this off my list as well.   I only watch the same 5 or 6 channels anyway.  My only regret is I didn't do this sooner.

I quit cable 10 years ago. I don't miss it one bit. When my boyfriend moved in, we hooked up his computer to the TV and streamed from there. Then we got a smart TV. We're on our second now. I agree that the interface is a little frustrating. Not like flipping through the channels or a menu that you can easily scroll through. Still beats cable, though!

On 12/2/2021 at 12:12 PM, reinventmyself said:

I was walking for at least an hour every night I was home (and not at the bfs) But we are having such an issue with coyotes and some are teaming up and aggressively approaching people in the dark.  I have a neighborhood app and see a report almost every night.

Wow, that's crazy. I go for long walks in the early AM. I'm usually out the door at 430AM, when it's still dark. Last week, something big was standing in the middle of the street ahead of me. It was too far away to tell what it was. But I was pretty sure it was watching me, and it didn't move when I clapped my hands and waved around wildly at it. So, you know what I did? I charged it. I ran straight at it at full speed lol. I don't know what I was thinking--I wasn't thinking. I was just closing the distance. I am some kind of crazy person, I swear. Anyway, the creature ran away. 

40 minutes ago, reinventmyself said:

I left with a little skip in my step after having spoken to her.  Not sure how much work there could be in light of covid.  But at least I know there are options out there.  It's been life time since I interviewed for a job and kinda impressed myself as I heard myself share what all I brought to the table. 

Good for you :)

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I don't really know if I believe in signs from those who have passed.  I'd like to believe in them.  Is it because it brings us comfort in some small way?  That they are present even though they are gone?

While going through my moms things after her passing, my brother and I were speechless over the amount of angels she had.  Tiny wood ones.  A couple of them super glued to the tops of lamps?  Most of them so tiny they would go unnoticed. It wasn't until we had to go through everything we recognized the magnitude of amount of them. 

After going through weeks of packing her things and ultimately getting ready to turn the rest over to an estate salesperson, we left the dreaded last task until the end of clearing out her storage unit over her carport.  

She was quite the amazon shopper.  Boxes of new unopened goodies, including several boxes of tiny glass angel ornaments never opened.  I stepped away and gasped, telling my brother to look inside. We were originally amused at the numbers up to this point.  Now we are just speechless. We divided up what I recall was about a dozen boxes, each one with a dozen glass angels and took them home.  Last year I put up a small Christmas tree with nothing but my moms angels.

I am now my mother.  I have little angels discreetly sprinkled throughout my home.  Sitting on my bed, currently accounting for 3 of them in this room. . . oops, make that 4.

My mom wasn't very warm and fuzzy.  I honestly think she had it in her, but didn't know how to show it.  I can only assume the angels brought her comfort after having lost my Dad.  She was also the type of person to tell me, 'Once I am gone, forget about me and get on with your life!'  She was quite a character with a bratty sense of humor.

Now, 3 years later every time I am dusting or moving an angel around, when I come across it, they are often missing a wing or both.  I am pretty careful with my things.  No explanation why I can't keep these little treasures safe.  I get mad at myself at times as to why I can't protect these little angels with better care.  It just doesn't seem to add up. 

The other day, getting out some decorations, I come across a 3" acrylic night light of my moms.  An angel no less.  It was placed in the cupboard above my fridge last year.  I go to get it and there are absolutely no wings on it!  I pull everything out of the cupboard looking for the wings and they aren't there. I can guarantee that it was put away intact.  From the downstairs powder room to a cupboard 5 feet around the corner, that is opened no more than twice a year.  Where did the wings go?

I put up a small tree this year that doesn't require ornaments.  I tie one small glass angel of my moms as a topper and sit down that evening to enjoy it.  Within 20 minutes that angel dramatically threw itself to the floor and shattered into a million pieces.

After cleaning my out my garage a couple weeks ago I come across a Christmas lighted yard sign.  One you can hang.  It's pretty large.  "Happy Holidays"  With the orientation of my townhome I just can't find a place to hang it.  I test it out and it works beautifully.  It just so happens to be 5 feet across, the exact same size as the front picture window at my bfs home. I offer it him.  We double tested it and ran to home depot for hooks and extension cords.  2 hours later and then another hour until it's dark and Ha in Happy won't light up.  ;/  Bless him for spending a few hours the following day trying to revive it to no avail.

I swear she's messin' with me.  A broken wing here and there maybe, but to this degree can't be a coincidence?   I know she'd be really mad at me that I am still sooo sad over her leaving. She was that 'No tears!' mom.   But in reality she was just as much as a softy as I am.  She just always tried to hide it.

 

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I haven't heard a word from the event planning company. I received an email copy of my background check, so I know that's done.  At the same time she said they wouldn't have much work until after the first of the year.   But I can't help but think the holidays would be their busiest time. 

I see a couple events this month on the calendar, but they were staffed prior to my interview.  I can't help but think that they might have had some issues staffing them and now with Covid rearing it's ugly head they aren't getting much business.  Because based on what I have seen, I am not sure why they were hiring to begin with.

I wonder if I would just be considered an extra resource in case they run short in the future.  Never the less, I either didn't get the job or there isn't work to be had.  I was still instructed to set up an account profile, including all my banking info for direct deposit.  There is no rush, but if I don't hear from them within a few weeks I will reach out and ask some questions.   I don't care for them to have my banking info if they don't intend on using me.

In the meantime. . .cutting a long story short.  While talking to my youngest son, he's recently developed quite a good friendship with a coworker.   His wife is managing an equestrian center 10 miles from where I live.  She's a trainer and somehow took on managing the entire center in the last year.  She has two part time employees who are also trainers on site.  She's about evict the woman who leases a good part of the center for pony rides and petting zoo and run it herself.  I guess the person who's been doing this for years is mismanaging it and there are some safety issues. 

This is a city owned center and they are under the microscope to turn this center around in the next two years or lose it.  The ponies and zoo are the great community resource and without it running well, they don't have any other way to give back to the city.   Her plan is that the person currently in the office handling daily operations with take on the pony rides/petting zoo project (seems funny as I write this)  

She's recently had 2 community events. One for Halloween and another " Christmas Cowboy" fair where over 300 attended.

I would take over the daily office work, part time.  This position will evolve slowly seeing the transition isn't even in the works at this time.  But merely in the planning phase.   I will go in next week to train for a couple hours with the office person, Randy.

There is one more person that works for her on the weekends.  Without having met the two other women my challenge will be to take orders from young women that are my sons age.  I've supervised young people for lifetime.  The lines seem to be a little blurry on who does what.  The director (Sonja) telling me that the office person Randy responds to emails as if it's her and signs her name.  Sonja inherited managing this center and they've been making it up as they go.  I must say they seem to have a pretty good system.  But now the office person Randy will train me and who will I report to and in what capacity?   I know myself well enough that I could easily slip into my supervisor role and problem solver.  I will need to learn to take orders and keep my mouth shut.

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I went in yesterday to equestrian center to meet the person who's job I will be taking over.   Mind you, this all a little premature seeing the changes won't happen until the end of next month.  But I spent a couple hours with her going over all my duties and a loosely described training.  I should be paid for my time at this point, but things are pretty blurry and unclear at this point.  I am trying to be patient.

She was very sweet and I felt very comfortable with her.  I will give these young women initials.  R, is the person I will be replacing as she will transition to another position at the center.  S, is my sons friend's wife who is the director of the center. who I met with last week.

The older I get the more I listen to my gut.  I don't always know what it's telling me but I do take note on how comfortable I am in someone's presence.  I didn't feel comfortable in S's presence.  I wrote it off to being interviewed, which is something I haven't done in 19 years.  It wasn't a remarkable feeling, but something I took note of.  I was somewhat caught off guard that she didn't ask anything about me during the interview, but more or less was selling me on the position.  I have to learn to put my previous work experience behind me in some ways, because the horse stable isn't exactly a corporate environment.

And though I have interviewed countless people, is suspect she hasn't.  During an interview you have a small window of time to glean any information from a candidate that you might hire and work alongside of for several years.  You use that time wisely.  But I walked out without her knowing much of anything about me.  I did try to interject at times, but wasn't very successful. . Odd.

I am thrilled to be in a more a casual atmosphere, so I need to adjust my expectations.  I left that meeting with not really knowing how many hours she needed me or what my pay was.

I could ask, but it's standard that conversation is something they initiate.  Not something I have to pull from her. I wasn't even entirely convinced I had the job, but was invited back to train with R and *see if it's something I like.

I spent the two hours with R and she seeing she isn't in charge, she isn't the person to ask.  I did catch on that she works 12-5 m-thurs.   It's not my preference to commit to four days in a row, but I have to remember that employers aren't looking for someone who wants part time work, on my terms, and if I am in mood to do it that day. haha. 

All in all, I really liked everything I saw.  There is just enough busy work to keep busy.  I loved walking around the facility and had to keep my enthusiasm in check.  I wanted to pet each horse that ran up to greet me. I had to bite my lip when I had to side step a bunny in my way.  A high pitched "awww, how cute!" almost spilled out.  They have a new barn cat project with new little houses they haven't placed yet that made really happy in a funny way as well.  I loooove the idea of deciding which pair of jeans and sweatshirt I will wear daily and won't miss picking up my work clothes from a dry cleaner ever, ever again!

Mostly women horse owners and every single one who's path I crossed smiled. Who isn't happy hanging around their animals?  Another odd thing that if I am the person in the office they go to, why wasn't I introduced to a single person?  Again, is this just my expectation based on personal past experience?  Just because it's what I did doesn't make it so.  (I keep telling myself)

I was really impressed with R and I will look forward to working with her.  The conversation and vibe was effortless.  S came in the office towards the end, the vibe changes and S asked R why something on a work order either wasn't done, or wasn't on the correct form.  Though a typical moment in a working environment, I was uneasy with S's somewhat accusatory tone.  R created the process of the work orders and this was newer service that center provides the border, the work order is on an entirely different form of a different color and then added to a list that stable workers respond to.  Of course the question had to be asked and why the loop wasn't closed, but several eyes are on each w/o and the job could have been dropped by a number of people.   But S seemed to be dressing down R in my presence.  It could have waited 5 minutes seeing I had my purse on my shoulder and keys in my hand.  Based on what little I saw, I can safely guess it wasn't R's fault.  But nevertheless, it was not the way to handle this on a several different levels.  I got a sense the timing wasn't a coincidence, but more of an opportunity for S to impress me in some way. She did, but it wasn't good.

I stalled for a moment wondering if S would want an opportunity to speak with me, she left abruptly, so I got in my car and acknowledged it was this very vibe I got from S in the initial meeting that made me uncomfortable.  I hope this was an isolated incident, because I won't take to some young woman speaking down to me. Let alone in front of others. Again, I am going to need to adjust my way of thinking coming from being a supervisor in a different environment, to rolling with something more casual.  But I have my limits.

So, as of today I still don't know when they need me next and what my hourly wage is.   The good thing is I am in position that if goes either way, I can shrug it off.  I did say goodbye to R and we glossed over the transition time and I said I will be in touch with S for future info.  There's a little part of me that thinks S should be reaching out to me to clarify things. Anyway, we swing into the holiday, so I can use this time process all of this for the remainder of the week.

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  • 1 month later...

I did end taking the job and they were really flexible, basically giving me any hours I wanted.  For the time being I am working Th, Fri 12-5.

There is still this transition period and the timing isn't entirely known.  I will ultimately take over either next week or between now and March?  So, for the time being R and I sit together and at times there are long periods of silence and not enough work for the two of us. 

I struggle a bit with being in the submissive position, taking direction from someone younger than my own sons.  She is the age of the staff I used to hire, manage and train for a couple decades.  It's also unnerving learning something new after years of being confident in what I did and not even having to think about it.  Now I find myself taking copious notes and afraid of making mistakes.  I find myself reflecting on the young people I trained and sensing their insecurity learning something new to them.  I always felt bad for them and tried to make them feel at ease.  Now I am them and it catches me guard.

The first week R was really good at sharing details.  At 26 and having been there 10 years, this is the only job she's ever had.  She is quite an asset, a 'can do' person and a bit of an overachiever.  Having said this, I can tell she's having a hard time letting go of the tasks I will be doing.  The second week, I find myself watching her quietly doing the job I will be doing and having to pull information from her.   I still don't have access to the front gate, the combo for the front door lock, the combo for the file cabinets that file paper work in, or a user name and password for the accounting software.   I find this very odd.  I am however trusted with the bathroom code. . lol

Though I have years of office mgmt experience, I do not know their culture and why they do the things the way they do.  Example: She asks if will be ok by myself while she leaves to check on the 'something' brought to her attention.    Most boarders and barn workers text or email info.  She received info not privy to me.  She returned and pulled out a work order and filled it out. She began texting others and left again just to return and not say a word.  I waited for some sort of info, yet she opened her laptop and moved on to something else.   I finally asked what happened.  Apparently, the workers will notify the office if they see a lame horse.  She went to assess it, drew up a work order and contacted the owner.  The owner responded and the incident was documented.   Mind you, I had to pull each one of these steps from her.  In her absence, which could happen as soon as next week, I wouldn't know to do something so remedial.  And so on and so on.

Someone made an appt to tour the facility last Friday.  I tagged along listening to all the details R shared with the prospective boarder.  It's my 6th time there? and I am just now learning important details of the facility that wasn't brought to my attention and I wouldn't even know to ask?  Such as, there is no electricity in the back 3rd of the facility?  Certain arenas are only open to trainers and not boarders.   etc.  

That and I have not been introduced to a single person.   I guess it's a maturity thing?  But in light of the fact I will be the boarders point of contact going fwd, they have no idea who this new masked women is who sits or stands quietly in R's shadow.  At one point two mature women came into the office.  They were close to my age, very friendly and asking R questions.  At one point one of the women awkwardly stammered "uhm, Im sorry, but my name is *** and this is***.  Who are you?"  In a way acknowledging the fact even though I was the one sitting behind the desk I was not included or introduced in the conversation.   I am not much more than R's shadow.  It just gets awkward. 

There is a volunteer who comes twice a day to tend to barn cats.  It's adorable to watch the cats march in front of her as if she is some sort of Pied Piper.   R and I meet up with her and I just stepped fwd and I step fwd introducing myself  " Hi, my name is ****"  She responds warmly with her name.  "Nice to meet you.  (I proclaimed to make a point) "I will working in the office a couple days a week"  Geez. . .

I am trying to patient.  But I will mention to her my concerns this week if she continues doing the work while I sit and end up playing with my phone out of boredom.   "You could leave as early as next week and in your absence I won't be prepared if you continue doing all the work and I sit and watch and have to pull the info from you"   Well, maybe not those words exactly.  But. . .   

It has been mentioned more than once that they expect I can figure out the accounting software on my own.  I am not familiar with Quickbooks and though I can figure it out, without knowing why they bill the way they do, not to mention the dozen or more exceptions to each rule, I feel I could be set up to fail.  Not intentionally, but at the same time I doubt they've trained anyone before.  They've only taken over managing the facility a year ago. 

That and when R moves onto her next project, from what I see she will have sooo much on her plate it might require me to work more than I plan to.  I see a little of myself in R, when I was younger.   The "I can't say no, and I can do everything myself" personality.  I anticipate her attempting to try and do everything but she'll have so much going on, I'll be interested to see if that's at all possible.  I am thinking the two days is enough for now.  Possibly a third. But the office position is typically 4 afternoons a week and with not much to be done in the mornings before I have to leave, it's in reality 4 full days a week that I don't have desire to commit myself to doing. 

Other than that. . I do enjoy the environment and the outlet it provides me.  It can be a good fit.  I just have my concerns and I am trying to be patient.

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3 hours ago, reinventmyself said:

At 26 and having been there 10 years, this is the only job she's ever had.  She is quite an asset, a 'can do' person and a bit of an overachiever.  Having said this, I can tell she's having a hard time letting go of the tasks I will be doing.  The second week, I find myself watching her quietly doing the job I will be doing and having to pull information from her.   I still don't have access to the front gate, the combo for the front door lock, the combo for the file cabinets that file paper work in, or a user name and password for the accounting software.   I find this very odd.

I wonder if this has to do with the fact that her work experience has been limited to this one place. I worked for a family-owned company a couple of years ago, and the sons were like that. They were fully grown men in their 50s though, so it was really weird and unexpected. They both had limited insight and didn't anticipate things that 'normal' business people anticipate. As I got to know people in the company, I learned that both sons had very limited experience outside of their dad's company. 

4 hours ago, reinventmyself said:

Though I have years of office mgmt experience, I do not know their culture and why they do the things the way they do.

Welllll... having been a longtime patron of (and occasionally a worker in) various stables, I can attest that stables have their own pace and rhythm. Things happen on farm time, or horse time. It can take some getting used to, but it is quite nice. I never worked in the office, though. 

I hope things work out for you there!

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I worked yesterday and return today.  Currently committed to two afternoons a week and anticipating them asking me to pick up another here soon.  I was fretting about what to do when the time came and whether I wanted to make that commitment.  Not picking up an additional day may render me not as useful to them and I'll need to be prepared to step down so they can find a better fit.

After yesterday my decision is clear and I am no longer fretting about it.   When originally offered the job, I did ask about the amount of work I can expect. Because my two previous visits there, one afternoon was super quiet and the next one just a little busy.  I voiced my concern about there not being enough work and let them know up front that I am not a good "clock watcher".

As it turns out, there really isn't enough activity to justify giving up my time to sit and play with my phone for a few hours at a time. They clearly need someone in the office in the event of the phone rings or a boarder stops by.  But it doesn't mean that happens.  It's very sporadic.

The whole purpose of getting a part time job during retirement was for an outlet and stimulation.  Rambling around my home all day isn't a healthy head space for me, but I at least have the option to leave.  Sitting in an office/trailer alone, bored and unable to just walk away isn't a going to be a good fit.  I can handle (and enjoy) the two afternoons.   But definitely no more than that.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Well, just another wrinkle in the plan.  The goal of R moving over to another project and taking over her responsibilities has been stalled indefinitely.  Too long a story to go into, but the city got in the middle of it and the tenant to be evicted in order to do this large project is being protected by the city.  At least to the point where there will a formal lease agreement drawn up by the end of Feb.  The lease will be month to month and if she violates the conditions formally in writing, only then can she be evicted.  This can go on indefinitely.

I went in last Thurs after all this came to light and left pretty angry and frustrated.  There has been this painfully slow process of R passing the baton to me.  But even with that, it's been starts and spurts.  Now she's pulled the baton back and Thursday I sat there playing with my phone watching her do what little responsibility had been granted to me.  Part of me gets it.  This is her job and without another one to transition to, she wants to keep it. I sat there feeling that frustration swell up inside of me.  Why the hell am I here watching her do her job?   I am retired and have the privilege of being selfish with my time (well that's what I keep telling myself)  This is not at all how I want to spend my valuable time.

I'm pretty certain having come off a bad experience with my past job, my tolerance is super low.  It's similar to dating too soon after the ending of a toxic relationship.  I chose not to say anything because I didn't trust myself to be diplomatic about it.  I went home and cooled off and when returning for my Friday commitment I decided to not say anything then either.  I acknowledge that I hadn't done everything I could do to turn this around, but rather sat there passively and watched it happen.

To this day R has never given me codes to get in the front door office. The combo to the file cabinets, username and passwords for software.   Up til now I've chosen not to ask, more curious as how long she'll withhold these things.  I suspect it's a control thing.  She had stepped away for about 20 minutes and with S (director) in the office about to step out, I told her that I could l not leave to do somethings that needed to be done because I didn't have any of these codes or passwords.  I would need to lock the office door when I step away.  She seemed very surprised I wasn't privy to these and casually rattled them all off to me.  

Friday, I decided I had to at least be assertive and try to turn this around before I offer to step down.  After all I am hired to do a job and I am going to do it, even if it means I need to cut off R at the pass.   I arrived early and R didn't know I now could get in the office myself, instead of passively waiting for her to show up and unlock the door.  Imagine the look on her face!  I spent the day cutting her off from doing things that are assigned to me.  But in the end, this is not remotely enjoyable playing this back door power struggle with a young lady that is more than 10 yrs younger than my oldest son. 

An order needed to be placed and the invoice with all the info is in a locked cabinet.  I mention the request for the order and R tells me - she'll take care of it.  Without missing a beat, I get up from the desk and unlock the file cabinet with the code she had been withholding, pulled the invoice and made the call. R was speechless.  And so on. . .

I don't report back until Thurs and taken this time to mull it over.  I suspect more of the same and if needed I will talk to S and in the nicest way offer to step down and they can invite back at a later date if and when the project moves forward and they still need me.  I am not 100% convinced, but hope the job will be something I would want to do, IF R moves on and stops sitting behind me looking over my shoulder the entire time I've been there and wrestles me over what little work there is to be begin with.

I scratch my head wondering why they are willing to keep me and pay me for doing very little and now reduced to not being much more than being an indefinite bench warmer.

These two young women remain naively optimistic, but maturity has taught me to hope for the best and plan for the worst.  If after March 1st and a formal lease in place, this difficult tenant needs to break her lease to be evicted.  No crystal ball when this can happen but I confidently suspect if the tenant trips up there will be a 30 day notice to vacate, which pushes this to April.  Add in difficult people often don't leave quietly.  Add in she needs to move 3 dozen plus animals and random property items scattered over a couple acres.  The plan is to mow this entire area down and rebuild it.  At best the absolute earliest this can be realized is end of April, May?  That's only if she breaks her lease immediately.  And all of this is an overly ambitious estimate.

Edited by reinventmyself
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29 minutes ago, reinventmyself said:

I don't report back until Thurs and taken this time to mull it over.  I suspect more of the same and if needed I will talk to S and in the nicest way offer to step down and they can invite back at a later date if and when the project moves forward and they still need me. 

Did this already happen, or is it something you plan to do this week? 

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That makes sense. 

5 hours ago, reinventmyself said:

I'm pretty certain having come off a bad experience with my past job, my tolerance is super low.

I get it. I'm still getting my head on straight after the last two jobs I had. I think I've finally stopped jumping at shadows, though. I hope. lol.

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19 hours ago, Jibralta said:

That makes sense. 

I get it. I'm still getting my head on straight after the last two jobs I had. I think I've finally stopped jumping at shadows, though. I hope. lol.

Well, I sure hope so for you.  You've been through your share!

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I go into work today.  I need to acknowledge that my confidence is low.  I kinda don't recognize myself.  Rereading what I've written about this new job, there is another way to look at it and I don't know why I haven't been more assertive and spoken up by now.

I suspect the bigger picture of being isolated, miserably working from home for 18 months took it's toll.  Almost 2 decades of my previous career ending so badly.  Chatted with an ex coworker yesterday and I immediately I go to this anxious, uncomfortable place just hearing about the current drama.  I knew my situation was bad, but my current reactions surprise me and it's even more clear how awful it was in hindsight.

A couple of health issues that has me falling behind in and not involved with my larger social circle due to covid differences and my now slightly elevated risk.

The old me would have resolved this awkward work situation and wouldn't for a minute continue to sit passively not knowing where I stand or at least addressing the elephant in the room.

I've just kinda lost my mojo, along with some of my social skills.

I've resumed golfing with some of my friends on Wednesdays and catch myself with nothing to share. I went with a friend to another friend's home for lunch on Tues.  I catch myself pretty much silent and only listening.   I did share the work dilemma and their take is that the young ladies are intimidated by me.  Which is sort of funny.  They might have been intimidated by the old me.  The current me has gotten lost somewhere.   I am still trying to find her.

It won't always be this way.  Trying to go easy on myself.   I need to be prepared to make a move and speak up about the work situation.  I am not going to continue on these terms.

(it helps putting this in writing)

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Would you feel comfortable saying "I'm a bit unsure of what my job responsibilities are. Can we sit down for a few minutes and discuss what each of us should be handling?"

I wasn't being given any feedback at my current job, so I asked my manager for a feedback meeting. He was impressed that I asked. I think it made him look at me in a different way. I came across as proactive and invested in the position.

I understand where you're working is going to be run differently than a large corporation (where I'm currently working). But some clarification, said in front of the woman who keeps taking over your tasks, might be helpful.

I too would really dislike having nothing to do all day. I don't want to be crazy busy, but just sitting all day doing nothing is very demoralizing.

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38 minutes ago, boltnrun said:

Would you feel comfortable saying "I'm a bit unsure of what my job responsibilities are. Can we sit down for a few minutes and discuss what each of us should be handling?"

I wasn't being given any feedback at my current job, so I asked my manager for a feedback meeting. He was impressed that I asked. I think it made him look at me in a different way. I came across as proactive and invested in the position.

I understand where you're working is going to be run differently than a large corporation (where I'm currently working). But some clarification, said in front of the woman who keeps taking over your tasks, might be helpful.

I too would really dislike having nothing to do all day. I don't want to be crazy busy, but just sitting all day doing nothing is very demoralizing.

the outstanding questions are when this transition might happen?  And they can't answer that.  (they might not see it but from where I sit, there is a slight chance it may never happen)

As far as who's job it is to do what, that line is definitely blurry.  R is doing it Tues and Wed.   When push comes to shove, it is her job - until this unknown transition happens.  I have pointed out her more than once that she needs to share with me what's going on, rather than me being put in the position to pull things out of her. That doesn't seem to work. I am not going to alter her sense of ownership over this position.   

Everyone's advice is to involve the director.  But these two young women are good friends and I've learned nothing good comes from throwing someone under the bus, no matter how subtle you are.  I too worked in highly structured corporate atmosphere.  One my many reasons to leave was even with all the structure in place, things like this rarely went well.   At least as a supervisor I had the power to change things.  Now in a subordinate position with inexperienced young people, it's messy.  My conversations with the director suggests that she assumes I am up to date on everything.  For that matter she assumed I would need no more than 2 days training and here I am well into my second month being kept in the dark about some things.   Risking shining a light on a power struggle she isn't aware of isn't going to go well.

Unless I walk in the door today and get updated on some fast changes, my plan is leave on a good note and let her know that there really isn't enough work for the both of us. (she assumes I am doing it all) and I'd be happy to return when and if they need me.  Who knows how I'll feel about it then?

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I had to chuckle.   Last week R asking if I could pick up this upcoming Saturday.  I immediately think to myself "To work in an office where I can't get in and answer problems I don't know how to fix because you just continue quietly handling them and not either letting me know what steps to take or who these people even are?" 

 Uhhm No.  I am going out of town anyway. 

(I can get in now, no thanks to her)

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I'm supposed to be "assisting" another office with some of their work. They also have told others in the office that I'm handling those tasks. However, they have not trained me AND I don't have access to the required portals. But every week they email me asking if the tasks are completed! And every week I reply "No, I haven't been trained and I don't have access". Yet the next week I get another email asking if I'm finished.

I can't imagine how these people got their positions. They come across as absolute bubbleheads, asking the same question over and over.

So I feel your pain.

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3 minutes ago, boltnrun said:

I'm supposed to be "assisting" another office with some of their work. They also have told others in the office that I'm handling those tasks. However, they have not trained me AND I don't have access to the required portals. But every week they email me asking if the tasks are completed! And every week I reply "No, I haven't been trained and I don't have access". Yet the next week I get another email asking if I'm finished.

I can't imagine how these people got their positions. They come across as absolute bubbleheads, asking the same question over and over.

So I feel your pain.

Uhg.  Just reading that makes my hackles go up.   That's so awkward.

Everything keeps pointing towards *I retired for a reason.  

 

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1 hour ago, reinventmyself said:

Chatted with an ex coworker yesterday and I immediately I go to this anxious, uncomfortable place just hearing about the current drama.  I knew my situation was bad, but my current reactions surprise me and it's even more clear how awful it was in hindsight.

One thing that strikes me is the level of stress that you feel over this job. Do you think the stress could be a force of habit, leaking over from your old job into your current situation? I'm not sure why, but I got the impression that this job was sort of 'busy work' for you to enjoy during your retirement.

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7 minutes ago, Jibralta said:

One thing that strikes me is the level of stress that you feel over this job. Do you think the stress could be a force of habit, leaking over from your old job into your current situation? I'm not sure why, but I got the impression that this job was sort of 'busy work' for you to enjoy during your retirement.

💯%    I totally get my reactions are spilling over from my previous situation and my now lack of tolerance.  And you're right again. I had to admit to myself that I was looking for something enjoyable and this is not enjoyable.   It could be if something's changed.   But I won't have the patience to see you through if it happens in a couple months from now.

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