My Desk

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Since I’ve been at my new job for almost 8 weeks now, I’ve been wanting to show you a picture of my desk. After spending almost 2 weeks at 2 different desks, I finally was able to get settled in to my permanent location. This is what it looks like:

Items of Note (from left to right):

My insulated milk mug. If you know me in real-life, you know I don’t drink coffee. I do, however, enjoy an ice cold glass of milk with breakfast, and the insulated coffee cup does the trick.

My March Madness bracket. We’ll see how I do this year.

My niece! Or, you know, her picture. I don’t think anyone would appreciate me bringing in a 2mo baby into the office. Or at least not to stay.

My blue/green-dotted pen holder. Actually, it’s a toothbrush holder that I just ran into at Walmart and knew had to be the inspiration for the colors of my desk accessories. All the other colors can be found on this cup.

The post-it on my monitor says: “Though He slay me, I will hope in Him. – Job 13:15a” Perhaps a little morbid for work, but an important reminder and it just happened to be the first verse to jump out at me while I was at work, so there it is. I’ve received no comments on it from co-workers, so either they haven’t noticed it, or they’re too polite to comment.

A Diet Dr Pepper can. Of course. They tend to collect on my desk.

My water jug. I got it for Easter last year from my Mom, probably because it says “bubba” on it (“Bub” or “Bubbie” have been my nicknames since birth.). I drink a lot of water at work, so this definitely comes in handy.

My Lipsmaker. A must-have.

Yes, I have 2 monitors. We all do. And once you get used to two monitors, it’s hard to go back to one.

My jewel-blue mouse pad, chosen to match the decor.

My plant. Having a bit of life about my desk makes me happy! It’s a low-light plant, so hopefully it’ll thrive with me being 50 feet from the nearest window. If not, I ordered a natural light lamp that will help.

So what do you think of my desk? Thoughts about how to make it more “me?” At some point, I want to print out some quotes to put on the gray back.

Early morning for a Non-Morning Person

Today I start my new work schedule. I had mentioned before that I was moving to my permanent work schedule this week, but what I didn’t mention was that my permanent work schedule is also an hour earlier.

I have to be at work at 7 AM today.

If that doesn’t sound radical to you, than you are not familiar with my now-former lifestyle as a non-morning person. I have always found my most wakeful, enjoyable, and productive hours to be between 5 (really, 7) and 10 at night. I have a hard time making myself go to bed if I’ve gotten off my schedule. When I had my old job, I’d frequently sleep in until 8 or 8:30–even 9, on my late days during tax season.

Then, when I was unemployed, well, things got a little crazy. Like 9:30-felt-too-early-to-wake-up crazy. (Still, I’m not a teenager, so I never slept later than 10:30, and only then a couple of times.)

But during my unemployment, I started to consider what I would want in a job. If I could choose my hours, which would I choose? The more I thought about it, the more I desired earlier hours. In part, to shorten my commute time, and in part to better use my day. It always seems like I get more done in an evening if I get home earlier.

So when I was given the choice between a 7-4 and an 11-8 shift, it was no question. I gladly requested the 7-4 shift. I want to be the first one here in the morning (and the first one out). I like the quiet hours where you can get work done without outside distraction.

Perhaps I’m not as much of a non-morning person as I thought.

What to Do with an Extra Day?

What do you when the Gregorian calendar gives you an extra day?

Well, since it’s a Wednesday, you’re probably working like me. But due to a bit of a coincidence, I actually do get a truely free “extra” day. It just happens to fall over this coming weekend, not mid-week. Because all extra days are best over the weekend.

The reason I’m getting an extra day is that my work schedule is changing. When I was hired, I was hired to work Tuesday-Saturday. However, since the whole reason they were hiring me for that shift was to have someone here on Saturdays, they couldn’t really have me work that shift until I were fully trained. After 2 weeks of formal training and 4 weeks of asking a lot of questions, I’m deemed “ready.”

So to make the schedule shift, I have a 3-day weekend this weekend, leaving my Monday-Friday life behind on Friday and starting my Tuesday-Saturday life next week. I’ll happily take a free day, but I don’t really feel I need it. I’ll actually miss being at work, since I really do enjoy my job and my co-workers.

So to get back to my titular question, what to do with an extra day? Well, I’ll be taking care of a few things I’ve been putting off: cleaning the apartment, doing a friend’s tax return, etc. Hopefully I will get some good reading and crocheting time in as well. Nothing particularly special, but a special day nonetheless.

First Week Update

Well, my first week at the new job went well! It’s a big change of pace from my last job, but more importantly, it’s a big change of pace from unemployment. I came home from my first day SO exhausted! Each day has gotten easier, thankfully.

A few observations:

  • Working for a tech company kinda feels like coming home. I’m definitely not the nerdiest person in my department. I’m not sure I’ve ever worked with fellow nerds before. I mean, our printer’s name is “Alderaan.” I didn’t even know that was how it was spelled…
  • Speaking of coworkers: they make the job. They’ve all been incredibly helpful and proactive in helping me to understand everything (or everything I’ve been able to absorb so far!).
  • There’s a lot to have to learn (the software and all its functions as well as the solutions to a lot of the more common errors), but the learning is going well. Already know WAY more than I would have thought possible to learn in a week.
  • I’m thankful to be trained alongside another newbie. It’s nice to have someone else to bounce questions off of. And we aren’t the only newbies…two more people will be starting in a week, so soon I won’t even be the least experienced!
  • So yeah, we’re growing. So much that our department is moving to an office across the street today to a more permanent temporary location until they find a place large enough to bring the whole company back together. I only had my desk for a week, but I’m going to miss it.
  • Or not…I was right next to the kitchen with free snacks, drinks (Diet Dr Pepper!), and where people frequently congregate. Probably not the best place to be long-term. My new desk is farther from the action, I think.
  • Pretty much everyone I work with is in the same age bracket as me, which leads to interesting conversations. When asked what snacks and drinks we’d want at the new place, one of the guys said, “Surge!” Hadn’t thought about Surge in a long time…
  • I love my new schedule. I’ll actually be working an hour earlier (7 AM!) when I’m fully trained, but I’m going to like it. Getting up before the sun is weird for me, but I’m getting used to getting up and exercising in the dark and then getting into work before everyone else. (Yes, I used “getting” 3 times in that sentence, but I’m too lazy to fix it.)

All that to say, I’m very thankful for my job. It’s amazing how much more you appreciate something when you did without for a while. But even if it wasn’t for that, this is a great place to work and I think I’m going to enjoy what I’m going to be doing.

First Day

The apartment is clean, my purse is packed with plenty of Lipsmaker, and my first-day outfit is pressed (just kidding…I don’t even own an iron). What could that mean?

It’s my first day of my new job!

I’ve been looking forward to this day for a while. Sure, there is some anxiety of the unknown, but I’m hopeful and excited to see what new challenges and friendships are in store for me here. I’m excited to be able to grow with a company and learn new skills.

When I get a chance, I hope to give you reflections on my first day/week. After being able to set my own schedule for almost 3 months, I know my first week will be especially exhausting, but in a good way.

Final Reflections on Unemployment

Well, after two and a half months off, my unemployment ends Monday. So what I have I learned during this season?

1. God is definitely sovereign. He kindly overrode my own plans for my life, giving me something better.

2. Planning is good and necessary, but don’t be married to your own ideas for your future.

3. I can live on less income than I thought. Going to take advantage of this in the next couple of years to save up for long-term plans.

4. I thrive on a schedule and am rather helpless in forcing myself on a schedule without concrete items on my calendar.

5. Just because you have more time to read doesn’t mean that you will. I can almost guarantee I’ll read more in my first month at work than in the last month of unemployment (four books read).

6. My time is not my own, so I shouldn’t selfishly spend it on myself. Same is true of money.

7. Blessings freely given by God are more precious than anything you can try to grasp for.

I’m incredibly thankful that this season is over, but I wouldn’t want it to be different if I had a do-over. I can honestly say I’m closer to God and to others than  I was two and a half months ago.

How to Avoid Becoming a Daytime Television Aficionado

Perhaps I don’t have a realistic view of the average unemployed person, but it seems like as a whole they watch a ton of daytime television and complain about the economy a lot (wait, that last one is pretty much everybody).

Whether that is true or not of most unemployed people, I don’t know, but I definitely don’t want it to be true of me.

I have big plans as to how I’m going to avoid treating my unemployment—however long it may last—as a vacation or excuse to do nothing. I want to set high standards for myself, because I know that I will only meet whatever goal I set, not ones that I never thought to make.

So what are my goals? First of all, I plan on leaving the house every “work” day. No excuses. Since I don’t have internet at home (though I do on my phone…so I won’t miss an email from a potential employer), I will be going to the library everyday to use their Wi-Fi. This will allow me to look for jobs, email résumés, and of course, post to this lovely blog.

On most days, I’d also like to go somewhere else each day, though this isn’t a must. I have a good friend who will soon to have a baby, so I can help her and hangout with her. I can volunteer more now, and I hope to pick up some odd jobs here and there, which will also help to stretch my savings. I hope to add some interviews into my schedule regularly, but we’ll have to wait to see about that.

Besides not being home all the time, I’m also setting high goals for what I want to do everyday, even on top of my regular goals. I need to take this opportunity to take care of things that I’ve been putting off. I also know a novel that is just waiting to be finished up…

Basically, I don’t plan on treating this time as a vacation. I’ve had plenty of vacation days this fall (in part because I knew that I had to use them up!). I still have work to do, even if no one is necessarily going to pay me for it (but you’re welcome to!).

I believe that God has a plan for my unemployment, and it’s not just that I find a new job.

Half a Brain

This week’s Challenge to Women is a good one. So good, that I don’t want to give it only the half of my brain I have left after a work day (ha, I accidentally typed “death” the first time) that started voluntarily at 6:15 and spent printing, collating, and assembling 65 160-page binders (that’s over 10,000 pages). I had help from our intern, but any day started that early is long. I’ll be doing the same thing tomorrow, Friday, and possibly Monday.

Truthfully, it’s really neat to see these binders come together, binders that we only started writing last Thursday, and were only thought of a few days before that. I’m thankful that my job isn’t like this all the time, but it’s fun occasionally.

All that to say, check in next week for the next challenge. Thanks for understanding!