Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Etc. time

So – I made a big decision yesterday – and I’m at peace about it. A few weeks ago I applied for another position for the company I work for. I’m not going to name the company, but basically it’s an organization that arranges home care for people who have been released from the hospital yet still need nursing care. Or they may need some personal support work or a number of other services. We are like the hub of the wheel and the men and women who visit the homes are the spokes. I work in the intake department so we are often on the front lines. We are open 8 to 8, 7 days a week so this means I have to work my share of weekends and late evenings. My official title is team assistant and I work with nurses and other similar professionals in an administrative type position.

Now for those who may not know this, only a few weeks after Ron died, I found myself out of work. I was not in a good place. But I finally managed to pull myself together and get out looking for work. I was sent to this place, though I didn’t realized until my first day the role they played in my own life. As soon as I did, and this may sound strange to those who don’t believe in this kind of thing, I knew it was Ron still taking care of me.

I love what I do – simply love it. Although it’s more in administration than actual hands on of people, at the end of every day I come home feeling like I’ve helped make a difference in the role I play. I’ve adjusted to the odd hours during the week and even seen the good on each different shift I work. I don’t mind working every third weekend. And I can’t say enough good things about the people I work with. I see them working hard at times in seemingly insurmountable odds trying to work things out and my respect for what they do grows every day.

But the position I applied for is in a different area of the company. It’s in the corporate end of things. It’s a higher category job; I would be making quite a bit more money and I would be using many more of the administration type skills I’ve gained over the years than I do now. I had to take tests last week and went for an interview where I think I did pretty good. So I think the chances of being offered this other job are pretty good.

But still I was torn on what to do if I was offered the position since I love where I am now. The drawbacks aren’t really drawbacks for me. I wanted to have an answer in advance in case I was offered the position and had to make a very quick decision.

And it came to me today – in a peaceful, yet definite way. I’m going to choose to stay where I am. There is a fairly high turnover in the department because it’s not the usual ‘9 to 5’ job so I think they need as much consistency as they can get. It’s more ‘hands on’ then the one I applied for and I think that is one of the reasons why I’m there. Because having gone through what so many of the people we serve are going through myself, I have the understanding and empathy of what they are feeling when they call.

And at this point in my life, I don’t have the ambition to climb any higher. A few years I did and I would have snapped up this job in a New York minute if offered. But things have changed in my life. Priorities are different. And while more money is not a bad thing, Ron left me fairly comfortable financially wise. I can afford to travel to Dallas, to San Francisco, to Washington DC and still rent a cottage with friends. I have a car that’s in good condition and the house is paid off. So making more money isn’t as important as the feeling I have at the end of the day.

Things can get pretty hairy some days. And I ache and hurt at some of the situations I see. But after sitting quiet and listening to my heart, I know I’m where I’m supposed to be.

And the peace I have at making this decision feels very good – even if some people may not understand the choice.


I wrote the above early last week partly to help me through my thoughts. Yesterday I was called into the Human Resource Managers office and she told me I was the lucky candidate and I was offered the position. There were at least six other people that also applied for the job.

I turned it down.

As I left her office, I thought to myself 'self, you just did something a lot of people would consider real stupid.'

What made it even more...... interesting....... is after I wrote the above, I was called into my managers office and reprimanded for something I screwed up on. That hurt - bothered me for days! But in the end it didn't change my decision. While it was hard listening to her tell me she was very disappointed in me, I think I was even more disappointed in myself. I was oh so tempted to change my mind if offered the job, but in the end I knew I couldn't.

And that's a glimpse into what's been going on in my world.


Wendy said...

I've flirted with similar scenarios as upper-management positions have opened up at my job. Chatting with My Man he said, "I'd rather have you happy and us be 'poorer' than have you miserable and us 'richer'."

A lot to be said for that.

Plus, if I had interviewed for any of those higher paying positions, they wouldn't let me buy adult fiction for the libraries anymore. And frankly, I'm not willing to give that up just for a larger dollar amount on my paycheck.

Janicu said...

Wow. That is pretty cool. To be in a position where you are able to turn a job down. It's a nice place to be!

Bridget Locke said...

Boy, do I feel you on this one. Unfortunately, it's applying for jobs I KNOW I'm qualified for and yet never getting them. I do need the extra money and stuff. I want to move out of my parents home, become completely independent and get a life. My parents are wonderful people and I love themd dearly, but I WANT to get out!

I'm glad you're happy with your decision. That's the most important part of it all. :)

Katiebabs a.k.a KB said...

As long as you are fine with your decision, it is all good.

I have turned down some jobs and if I took them, I would be in a toally different place right now.

Kati said...

Kristie - I think it takes a lot of strength to do what you did -- to make happiness a priority. Too many times we get bogged down in what's profitable.

Congrats to you on making the strong (and it sounds like right) choice for you!

Jessica said...

I am very happy for you that you took the risk, won the prize, and decided you were happy where you are.

I did a very similar thing not long ago. I was agonizing over uprooting my family for a job with double the salary and ten times the prestige. Everyone thought I was crazy not to do it.

But I had a niggling feeling all along that it was not the right time. I was at a dinner one night with at the agency where I volunteer, and I was introduced to a chaplain I had never met with the words, "This is Jessica. She's thinking of leaving us."

I chatted with the chaplain for a few minutes, and as she turned to go she looked at me, and said "I hope you stay. You can do so much good here."

I made my mind up that minute and haven't regretted it.

I know you won't either.

ps. And FWIW,this particular reader doesn't doubt for a minute your sense that someone special is looking out for you.

Pamela Clare said...

Kristie, you're an amazing person. I was touched by so many things in what you wrote here -- about Ron still taking care of you ::sniff::, about the important role you play where you are and how difficult it is for them to keep people... On and on.

There's absolutely no satisfaction to be gained in climbing the ladder if the top of the ladder isn't what fills your spirit with joy.

I think the world would be happier if people realized that living is what we're doing right now here, today. It's not what happens someday when everything is finally "right." Finding joy in the moment, with things the way they are, is the art behind living.

So kudos to you for following your heart and being the person you are!

Anonymous said...

Kristie--I was a book keeper for years before becoming a stylist. When I married my husband, believe it or not, I was the "bread winner" of the family. I really did make phenominal money. But it was a boring job. I worked basically alone in the office, only seeing the accountant on Thurdays, when he came in to check what I did. I hated going to work and needed a change.

When I decided to go to beauty school everyone thought I was nuts. But I didn't care, I knew I wasn't happy and happiness is worth so much more than a huge paycheck. Well, in the end, I have no regrets.

I wish you the best of luck :)

Jace said...

Hey Kristie,

At the end of the day, having a peaceful and serene heart is the most important thing. No matter what others say, or how they view you. Be happy and stay strong. :-)

Dev said...

Good for you! It sounds like you put a lot of thought into your decision. The company is lucky to have you.

Anonymous said...

Kristie, it might be that a lot of people would consider your decision to decline the job offer "real stupid." I know it doesn't matter for the world at large but I admire people like you who know there's something more to living than racing to the top and earning money and who take that into account when they make their decision(s).

So, no matter what others might say or think, it sounds like it was the right decision for you. And that's what counts, isn't it?

I wish you all the best.

azteclady said...


You are an amazing, amazing person.

And I completely agree with you regarding finding yourself where you are as a sign that Ron is still looking over you.

little alys said...

*Big Hug* Do what you feel will make you happy. I just turned down a chance to switch whereas long before, I left a high paying job for an entry level/low pay for the environment.

Ron watches over you and we all love ya.

CindyS said...

Congratulations Hon, many people never come to the realization that they are happy where they are. I'm so happy for you.