Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A Big Sigh of Relief

Just a warning, this post has very little to do with weight loss, and more to do with my work life.  It happens.

A little background.  Ok, actually, a lot of background.  Some of you might know that my degree is in English/Professional Writing and that I have a minor in Public Relations.  (Ha.  I bet you never guessed my degree is in writing, especially considering how I like to blab on here.  But I promise, when situations call for business appropriate written ramblings, I can deliver!)  I graduated college in December 2004, and have worked for the County since.  Trust me, I tried to get a job in my field.  I interviewed all over the place...I went as far as Iowa!  But no one wanted me.  (That's a post for another day.)  So at the County I stayed.

After working for the County for a couple of years, I realized that looking for a job in my field wouldn't really be worth the effort anymore.  Sure, I wasn't getting paid a lot, but I was making decent money, I have really good benefits, a pension, I participate in a deferred compensation plan, I get a bunch of vacation time, sick time, personal time, and there are a bunch of holidays us County people celebrate....most places in the private sector couldn't offer most of that.

Anyways, most of you know that last year I changed jobs not once, but twice.  All still within the County.  Up until February of last year, I had worked in the Courthouse, but decided I needed a change.  I was in the office for five years, doing essentially the same thing every day.  I felt as though my skills were not recognized, and I also realized that I had no future staying in that office.

So I transferred to the prison.  (Tomorrow, actually, would be a year to the day that I started at the prison!) I thought I could handle it.  You have to have that "off" sense of humor to work there.  You have to be tough.  You have to not take any crap.  I thought I could deal.

Ha.  That was probably the most miserable seven months of my life job-wise.  I felt like I constantly had to prove myself.  There was so much bickering among the workers, and administration refused to step in.  (Trust me....there was a ton of other crap that I'd rather not get in to here.)  But it was a raise in pay, so I sucked it up.  And looked for a way out.

Thankfully, the job I have now opened up.  (Lookie there, I'm actually, finally, getting to the point of all this.) And I've jumped in wholeheartedly.  I've taken on more responsibilities than I ever thought I would in a county job, and I'm making this one my own.

I contacted our Information Services Dept., and they're going to install Publisher on my computer.  I'm working with the Volunteer Services Coordinator to design invites for a recognition ceremony that is hosted yearly.  He has a theme in mind, and I'll be able to design invites for him and have the programs mirror the invites so everything matches.  Previously, they picked a design online and ordered everything.  I am GIDDY with excitement about this.  Document design was one of my favorite things in college, and I took just about every class that addressed it.

I'll also be able to use Publisher for different events that I help coordinate, like the Employee of the Month Luncheon or the Employee Anniversary Recognition.

So. Flipping. Excited.

Anyways, more about the job.  I'm now a member of the Wellness Committee, and one of my duties was to try and bring Lunch & Learns to the building where I work.  (A lunch and learn is funded by our insurance company.  We offer interested employees a free, healthy lunch, and while they're eating they listen to a presentation on a health related topic.  Today's topic was "Heart Disease," and next month is "Back to Basics.")  The nursing home is in an entirely different town than the Courthouse, and the employees where I work have been unable to participate in a lot of the activities the Wellness Committee offers.

I'm trying to bridge that gap.  And let me tell you, it hasn't been easy.  We have contracted employees, part time employees, employees lunching at different times, some getting half-hour lunches, others getting full-hour lunches.  How the heck was I going to manage offering a Lunch & Learn?

After some coordination with our insurance company, I was able to get a speaker to offer two 30 minute presentations instead of one hour-long presentation.  I contacted our dining services director and together we came up with a healthful menu (1/2 and oven roasted turkey sandwich, some really tasty veggie soup, fruit cup and a little pasta salad).  I contacted our housekeeping department and they had the room set up with tables and chairs, and handled switching out the table cloths in between sessions.  I contacted our IT Dept for a projector, and Staff Development for a projection screen.

I had been stressing all this weekend, hoping everything would work out.  That I didn't miss anything.  That the presentation wouldn't last too long and that people could get back to their units on time.  I was a nervous wreck this morning.

Turns out everything went well, I got a ton of positive feedback, they loved the food, and they're looking forward to next month's Lunch & Learn.

Holy crap.  If that isn't Public Relations, I don't know what is!  And this is all extra....on top of my normal job duties.

I've really come to believe that things work out.  It took me eight years since graduating college, but I'm finally doing stuff I really enjoy.  

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