Friday, July 23, 2010

How quickly things can change!!

I switched shifts today so I was on the 9 to 5 shift rather than the dreaded 12 noon to 8 shift. I toddled off to work, thinking it would be a normal kind of a day considering I'd be headed for a weeks vacation and this would be the last day before I left. But as things turned out, it was the last day I worked in that department!!

I haven't said a lot about where I work - and will only give the bare bones here. But it needs a bit of a back story. Just over four years ago I was working somewhere else on a contract. I really liked it there and was hoping that I would get hired on full time. But then Ron got sick and I took time off to be his caregiver. After he died, I was all set to go back when I got a call from my supervisor. To make a long story short, while I was off, they decided to let all contract people go and since I was a contract person, that included me. There I was, having just lost my husband of almost 32 years and no job. Both my sons had moved out of the house by then so it was just me. Not surprising, I started falling into deep depression but finally a few months later I gave myself a kick in the pants, got myself in gear and signed up with a temp agency. After I had finished the testing (and passed with pretty good marks) they told me they had an employer who was looking for someone with my kind of skills and after sending them my resume, this place said for me to start the following Monday. I didn't know that much about them, but when I went in for training, the person I was replacing for 3 months while she had surgery, told me that they arranged for home care for people who were released from hospitals or from walk-in clinics who needed visiting nurses or who were in their last stages of life and other various health care help.

A weird feeling came over me as I realized that they were the ones who arranged for the nurses to come into our house to help look after Ron. While I had serious issues with some of the things that happened at hospitals, the home care they gave him was excellent. In fact, that's who we chose for any monetary gifts people wanted to make. So when the girl I was replacing was telling me this, I knew that it was Ron helping to take care of me. At the end of the three months, I was told they wanted to hire me full time. I've had a number of jobs over the years, but none were as emotionally fulfilling and the people so nice as there. They had a position in mind for me in the Intake department - the start of the whole thing department - for people coming onto the program and I've been there ever since. While no job is perfect, this one has been so good that the not so good occasional stuff has been far outweighed by the job satisfaction I feel at the end of every day. I was a part of helping people, instead of working for a company concerned by profits.

I've been very happy where I've been, but one of the few other departments that interested me greatly was the Supportive Care department. This department looks after clients and their families who are at the end stages of life. There was an opening a year and a half or so ago and I applied but it goes by seniority and someone with more got the position. Then that very person got pregnant and here in Canada, maternity leave is a year. She went off on maternity leave a couple of weeks ago and again the job was posted and again I applied and again someone with more seniority got it. But it wasn't a "right fit" for the person who got the job and she decided to stay where she was and the job went up again. And again I applied for it, thinking I wouldn't get it, but still thinking "what the heck".

The posting came down yesterday and today I got a call from the manager of that department saying I got it this time!! And because the job has been vacant for a few weeks now, they want someone asap to fill it. So, it turns out that as soon as I go back to work after RWA, I'll be going straight to the Supportive Care department. I found out just after lunch that today was my last day in the Intake department. I have rather mixed feelings about it. I love the work I do and I adore the Case Manager I work with. And I quite like all the other Case Managers and my fellow Client Service Assistants. And now that I have quite a number of them reading romance - well, it's tough leaving.

But I also think I have a lot to offer in the department I'm going to. As someone who has lost the most important person in the world to them to cancer, I have the empathy for those going through it themselves. I believe everything happens for a reason and I think one of the reasons I didn't get it before was because it wasn't meant to be at the time. And the good thing is it's only for a year and when the girl on maternity leave comes back, my old position in the Intake department is guaranteed to be there for me.

And the really strange thing - I start my new job almost exactly to the same day that I lost Ron. He died very early on August 4th four years ago and I start working in the Supportive Care department on August 3.


ReneeW said...

What a great story.. I remember what you went through with Ron and I'm so happy things are working so well for you now. You have come a long way and I'm sure you will be amazing in your new job. Ron would be so proud of you. Good luck and lots of hugs.

Hilcia said...

Great story, Kristie. Congratulations on the change. Things that are meant to be and all that... :) This one was meant for you. I hope you enjoy it as much as the Intake Dept. You'll be wonderful, I'm sure.

azteclady said...


Ah woman, what a brave and generous person you are.

Lorraine said...

Congrats Kristie. It really is like pennies from heaven.

You're so fortunate to be able to do this job for a year and have your old job to go back to. It's also a great opportunity for you to convert more people to the awesomeness of romance novels.

Best of luck!

Leslie said...

Wonderful news and a beautiful story. You've come so very far. I'll bet Ron would be proud of you. :)

Phyl said...

I started reading your blog shortly before Ron passed away. What a wonderful continuation of that story. Congrats on the new job!

Rose Lerner said...

Congratulations! The job sounds like a perfect fit, and I agree with you that that work is so, so important. When my mom was dying, her hospice nurse was incredibly kind and helpful, and made things easier for us at a really tough time. Good luck in the new department--I'm sure they are a bunch of romance readers waiting to happen!

Kaetrin said...

Congratulations Kristie! It is always nice to work in a job you enjoy and for an employer you can respect and support.

My father died in October 2008 - he'd had some mini-strokes over Christmas 2007 and got some dementia and couldn't live alone any longer, then he fell and broke his hip and, then he forgot he'd broken his hip (because of the dementia) and fell again and broke his leg and then had a heart attack on the operating table and then got a pressure sore on his foot which never healed and got very nasty. He eventually died peacefully in his sleep but it was a pretty rocky time and I appreciated compassionate help when it was offered. We were quite lost and needed help to navigate the aged/health care system to make sure he was getting the best care possible, especially because he couldn't advocate for himself.

I think your clients will be very lucky to have someone like you to help them - someone with compassion and the life experience of losing a loved one after a long illness, who will treat everyone in the family with care and respect.

Marg said...

Kristie, I can't believe it has been nearly five years. You have done amazingly well, and this will be yet another step forward for you!

Good luck in your new role. I am sure you will do really well precisely because of your own experiences!

Marcella said...

What a wonderful story, Kristie. I admire you for your courage and the job you are doing. I wish you lots of happiness in your new job.

Rosario said...

Congratulations, Kristie! I hope you love the new job. Just think, a whole lot of new people to convert to romance! :-D

vi said...

Congrats on the new position. I have just recently discovered your blog. Your blog is positive and upbeat and when you do not like a book, the criticism is insightful not vitriolic. I am sure this is how you are in real life too.

I cherish the stamp story and look forward to similar stories on your new department. Have fun at RWA! Can't wait to read the feedback!

Lisa Marie Wilkinson said...

You bring such compassion to the job that you will be a wonderful asset to the Supportive Care department. My step-father passed away from cancer several years ago, and the hospice people were angels in the process, offering kindness and compassion at a time when my family needed it the most.

Lisa Marie

Anonymous said...

Kristie I am thrilled for you, there has been a lot of inner strength coming out since Ron's death that will only benefit those you help not to mention your sense of humour which will help people going thru the worst times of their lives. best wishes
Lori Berry

Wendy said...

LOL - I was going to say what Rosario did :)

This is great news, and a great opportunity! You'll be able to get your feet wet in this department, try it out, and have your foot in the door should a full-time position open up down the road.

ZOMG - and I'm seeing you live and in person in less than two days! SQUEEEE!

Mary G said...

Congrats Kristie. I think some things are meant to be. Ron is definitely your guardian angel.

Lea said...

Congratulations Kristie!

That is wonderful news, I'm delighted you succeeded and got the job you've been wanting.

Enjoy your vacation!


Susanna Kearsley said...

Kristie, what great news, I'm really happy for you. I, too, believe everything happens for a reason, and having lost one of the most important people in my own world to cancer nearly five years ago, I know what a great difference a caring person can make at the end of things, to everyone. I'm sure you'll be touching a whole lot of lives in a positive way in Supportive Care. Way to go.

CindyS said...

Congratulations Kristie! I can't believe it's been 4 years - so many changes and challenges you've gone through and faced. I'm so very happy for you!


orannia said...

Thank you so much Kristie for sharing such an emotional and heartfelt story. Congrats on the new position. Definitely seems like it's the right time and I wish you all the best. And it's lovely you'll be able to go back to your previous position in 1 year or...who know what will happen :)

And I'm sure your romance reading colleagues will hunt you down in your new department (assuming you're in the same building :) Once you get the bug... *grin*