July 28, 2012

A Little Lost, but Feeling Certain I Am Heading in the Right Direction

Good Saturday Morning! It is a cloudy day here in Phoenix, Arizona. What a nice change from our normal "hot and sunny!" I woke up early, even though I told myself I would sleep in. My boys were not being nice this morning, well, in fact -- they have been terrible over the past couple weeks. They have been running and jumping, landing on me and on my desk since I change my home office around two weeks ago. I thought the new arrangement would make things better -- give me a better view, more space, etc. Apparently, the boys were not happy about losing their spots in front of the window, and I worried every night about them bounding into the plate glass window (been there done that one before). I got up early today, moved my desk back to the safety of the side wall, and reset things as they once were in the room. The result -- happy boys. I have one of my desk now, and one taking a "tub" on the bed. They seem content. Finally!

On other fronts, I am in the process of downloading Mountain Lion. I heard great things about the OS X update, and I forked over the $20 to upgrade my Mac Mini. I hope it proves to be worth the extra investment. I am for all intents and purposes satisfied with my Mac. I did download Photoshop and Dreamweaver, but my free trial has ended, and now I have to pay to register them. I don't have the $400 to do this (though thanks to my academic discount via UOPX, $400 is a heck of a lot better than the standard price of $1100) right now, so I am not sure what I am going to do until I can pay for them. I also need to come up with about $400 to pay for my son's extra tuition at the CC. Not sure where that money is going to come from either.

Earlier in the month, my parents and son accompanied me to So. California for my nephews wedding. It was an expensive weekend for me -- almost $600 spent just to be there for a four-day weekend. It was nice to visit with my family, but I personally feel that I am strapped right now, and I don't like that feeling. I have some big credit card debt to pay off (about $1100) and I hate having that feeling that I am squashed against the credit wall. I need to make more money, and right now, there is no way to do that at UOPX.

As far as promotions/salary increase opportunities, I think I am SOL right now. I have completed my tutorials and will be doing my best to complete my skill demonstrations. If I remain at UOPX, I can see anywhere from a 3-7% raise. However, I am not certain that this is possible, and there is talk of layoffs, so part of me says "why try?" I don't know what to do right now. I got word back on a job at Apollo Group -- no go -- and some part of me thinks that they already had someone hired (just going through the motions). I also interviewed with two recruiters from Robert Half Technology, and those went well, but I don't see myself being hired by them any time soon.

I am in this very weird place right now. I am trying to let go of everything and to just rest, knowing that God has me covered, but I am worried about tomorrow and these looming needs. Really, the only need I have is to make sure my son can take his classes at school. I can make payments if I have to do so, but I would rather just pay the bill and be done with it.

I guess I am confused about where I should go next. I feel like I am to continue seeking self-employment, but there is something missing from the mix right now. I spent about two weekends relearning how to use Dreamweaver, and Photoshop. I stepped out in faith and bought some business cards for myself (thanks to Vistaprint.com and their $10 special coupon). I need to register Photoshop CS6 and it would be good to have Dreamweaver CS6 too. I spent last weekend learning CSS again, and even created my site at CarolHepburn.com using CSS.

I think my issue is that I don't want to do this work anymore. I have tried to go back into it, but there is a part of me that simply doesn't want to do it. I know I can, I know I can be good at it. I just don't want to do it. Yes, I like the idea of being self-employed. I like working from home, and I am desperate for a break from the monotony of making 100 dials, and being at my cube/phone for 6 out of 8 hours a day.

I have tried to find another job, but I cannot get hired. I feel just like I did when I was at Macy's last year. I had worked at Macy's for one year. I liked working there, but there were parts of that job that didn't work for me. First off, the work was a killer on me personally. My arthritis in my hip flared up, and I lived in excruciating pain. I made next to nothing as far as income, but I had flexible scheduling, and for the most part, I was able to do school, learn cello, and generally survive well enough until something else came along.

I was miserable while I was there, especially at the end of the job. I was bored, my hours often were in the evenings and there were few customers. I was well-liked, and told often how much I was appreciated (very similar to UOPX). I liked most of the people I worked with, and I even liked the managers (some, not all). Generally, Macy's was an OK experience.

I prayed to be released from Macy's, to find a full-time job, and it seemed like my path was blocked. I interviewed, I applied, and I waited patiently for that full-time opportunity to come to me. Eventually, I got hired at UOPX, and started working there last July.

It has been one year for me, one complete cycle. I worked at Macy's for one year, and now UOPX for one year. I am in the same predicament. This job is draining to me mentally. I spend my day in a cube, tied to the phone, and while I do get to talk with students, and help them with decisions about school -- most of my day is sitting around waiting and TRYING to look busy (exactly what I did at Macy's -- resorting, cleaning and other general busy work so that the store manager saw you were "actively" doing your job). I am bored to tears, frustrated, and every night I come home and collapse with exhaustion.

Macy's was exactly the same for me. I came home at night, and plopped into the chair, unable to move. My body ached, my legs throbbed, and the pain was searing. I took Advil, put heating patches on my muscles, and limped to bed at night. The only saving aspect was that I often had the day off (working nights and weekends). I could recover somewhat before the next shift.

At UOPX, I get up every morning at 5-6 a.m. and I drive the 25-30 minute drive into work. I plug myself into my phone and login to the ACC (contact center). I wait for transfer calls, but while I wait, I do busy work. I call people who don't want to be called. I make anywhere from 60-100 calls a day. I also progress students who do want to go to school. I call and leave a lot of voice mail, and I then follow up on their application.

I come home from work exhausted, and I usually have to go to the grocery store after work or hit Walmart before I can go home. I make dinner, and then I plop into the chair and fall asleep. I am in bed by 8:30-9:00. My day starts over, and until the weekend comes, I drag myself through and try to keep a good attitude.

I like my co-workers a lot. We laugh and we have fun. I don't make boatloads of money here, and without much hope for promotion, I don't see a solid future. I see more of the same. I hear stories of people who are in my same job, posted for every job opportunity through HR, and getting no where. It is difficult to move up, to move out. I was lied to about that, and I try not to dwell on it much. I was told that I could move into another position in 6 months, that there would be a lot of opportunities for me once I got into the job. This is not true. There are jobs, but it is all about who you know, and often the jobs are competitively shopped.

I don't like my job. I don't like the work, and I don't like that I feel stuck here. I want to do something different, but I don't see any way out.

I wanted to teach college or so I thought. I tried to get hired as a teacher, but no one wants me -- I don't have teaching experience. I tried to get hired in web design/technical support, but again, no one wants me because I don't have verifiable proof of work. I have an old and outdated portfolio. I have rusty skills. Sure I can update them, but there is part of me that says "this was the old me, the past me." I don't want to go backwards in time. I want to move forward, to move up, to do more exciting things. I want to use my Masters degree, and I want to have opportunities to try new things. I don't want to sit infront of the computer and design websites for people. I don't want to do this work.

This is the crux of my problem. I don't want to do this work because I have spent fourteen years doing it. There are still lingering memories that haunt me, and it reminds me of my old life. I am single now. I am supporting myself and my son, and this life, this old way was all tied into my marriage and my life with my husband. I don't want to go backwards, I want to go forwards. I want to do something different.

I have prayed and asked the Lord for His Will, and I know that web design is part of His Will for my life. I have permission to do it, and I know (well, He has promised me) that I will be blessed in it. I am hesitant, not that I don't believe His word to me, but rather at the thought of being totally reliant on Him to provide -- outside of an employer.

I am struggling to do what He has asked. I have completed my task list, and yet, I am stuck. I say I am ready, that I have let go of UOPX, and that I am willing to do this work. In truth, I am not. I don't want to do it. I have no other choice. I see no other road open to me. I can stay where I am and continue to suffer in the pain and mental stress or I can let it go and get on with the work. I can say "Ok, Lord -- I will do this work, even if it is not pleasing to me or I feel unqualified to do it." Yes, I have to choose to obey to Lord even though I don't want to do what He is asking me to do.

Dear Lord,
I recognize that I am stuck in a job I hate. I know that there is no way out for me at this point in time. I have applied, I have interviewed, and I am getting the same old run-around. I can either wait another year and try again, or I can be open to letting you show me the way out of this situation. I let go, Lord. I let it all go. I am tired, and I am fed up with my life as it is. I want what is best for me and for my son. I know that only you can provide me with the best. Therefore, Lord, I rest and trust that you will provide for me this day. I confess this now, and I ask in the power of your Name for this to come to pass. Make a way for me today. Amen, so be it, thy will be done. Selah (pause and calmly think about that!)

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