Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Here We Go Again: Another Bout of Unemployment

David was let go a week and a half ago. It was mostly unexpected, although not surprising considering the problems he had with his latest new boss. What's funny is that this new boss couldn't even come up with a valid reason for letting him go. His excuses ranged from: "because you transferred your phone to someone else last night when a job was going on and we might have needed to get in touch with you" (bogus- it was only for 3 hours while we went for dinner and a movie, he was still able to receive emails, and in case of emergency they could always call MY phone!!) to: "you didn't get an incident report turned in to a client in a timely manner"... even though David had asked for the report (from an employee in a different office) on Friday afternoon, the employee turned it in to his local boss who didn't forward it to David, and David still got it to the client by Wednesday (and the client was satisfied with that.) In the end they basically said "make up whatever reason you want for us letting you go. When people call all that we'll tell them are the dates you worked and what your salary was." Incredible.

It was ironic that we found out that they had to turn down FOUR jobs from two of their major clients after David left- something he would have been fired for!! But, since the new boss brought in his buddy to run the show, it's all good.
Yeah, I'm still rather bitter.

As most of you know, I was working full time with David at this point. I was told that I was welcome to stay with the company. As if. When I found out that they had let David go I immediately quit. I have no use for people who are so arrogant and blind that they don't even notice all of the hard work David put in, much less show any appreciation for it. (That would be expecting way too much.) Besides, when new boss called David to find out why I had "tattled" on him (for reporting a safety infraction) I knew that my time there was limited. I couldn't continue to do my job as a safety officer if I had to worry about what the boss was going to think or do- that's a good way to go backwards in your corporate safety program!!

Thankfully, I felt inspired to put most of my earnings straight into savings and David was given 4 weeks severance so we'll be fine for quite awhile. And...

David has a job interview this morning. I'm praying that it goes well and that it will lead to an offer for a decent job (dare I hope for a decent boss also??!) He already has one offer on the table but it would require him to stay up in Cleveland for the next 5-6 months and could also require a lot of time away from home. Neither of us want that lifestyle so we're really hoping something else comes through before he's forced to accept that one. It's interesting going through the unemployment cycle once again. It almost feels like a regular routine at this point. Unfortunately, in David's line of work it's common for employers to use people for all their worth, wear them out, and then discard them after 2-5 years. It's rare to find people who have been with the same employer for more than 5 years.

At this point I'm feeling pretty well resigned to whatever happens. I have my wants and wishes (local job, no need to move, good boss, good benefits, not working 80+ hours a week for a 40 hour a week salary) but in this country you kind of have to take what you can get.

I try to stay hopeful and positive and have faith that all will work out for the best. It's getting hard though when we keep running into the same employment issues over and over- namely that David is unwilling to be dishonest and that he isn't willing to put his job above God and family. Are there any employers out there any more who believe in being honest and fair, and who don't feel that they own their employees?

Take His Yoke Upon You (Letting Christ Carry the Load)

Matthew 11:28-30
"Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."

During David A. Bednar's talk during the Sunday morning session of General Conference he mentioned this scripture in his talk. I know I've blogged before about my impressions about this scripture before, but this time I had a couple of new insights.

First of all, taking the Lord's yoke upon us still requires us to agree to be yoked and to share the burden with Him. This is not something He forces on us. It's also not something that happens automatically. It is voluntary, but necessary if we want the promised blessing. 

It also struck me that it's far preferable to share a yoke with the Lord than with anyone or anything else. Often in our lives we lean on family, friends, or others for strength and help, and that's okay. We need people in our lives to help us, support us, and teach us. But when we rely too heavily on mortals we end up carrying a greater portion of our burden than is necessary because they don't have the strength or power to carry our burden for us long-term. Sharing a yoke with the Savior enables us to labor under our burden longer, farther, and with more ease than we ever could by ourselves (or even with help from others) because He is lifting the load just high enough that the full weight doesn't settle on our shoulders and weigh us down. 

We struggle under the weight of our own yokes and burdens but the Savior wants to give us rest. He has unlimited power to lift and carry any and all of the burdens we struggle under in this life. When we trade our yoke for His, He takes the burden of ours and replaces it with the the weight of His yoke, and His yoke is easy because He carries the majority of the load. 

As we labor and are heavy laden it feels as though the cares of the world, our own struggles, fears, unhappiness, and negativity weigh us down and create fatigue and weariness. This life is not easy and sometimes it's a struggle to keep putting one foot in front of the other! However, when we turn to the Lord we are given the promise that we will find rest. His yoke is easy and His burden is light- and ours can be too if we just submit ourselves to the only one who is willing and able to gently place His yoke upon our shoulders, and then lifts with enough strength to make it bearable for us. 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Quietly Disappearing

Somewhere along the way I lost myself. And not in a good way. No, somewhere in my timeline I ceased to be and melded with those around me. I slowly, quietly, and sometimes unknowingly gave up piece after piece of myself.

Sometimes I gave willingly- like when I would opt to do an activity my husband or daughter wanted to do when it wasn't something I had any interest in. Little bits of myself were given away as I tried to be strong and supportive of my loved ones. Those are the kinds of things you do when you love someone.

Other times I've given my time to help someone in need. And many times I've sat and listened and cared, gladly exchanging those pieces of me for the peace it brought to those who needed someone to be there for them.

But there were many other times that I gave up big chunks of myself because it took too much energy to say otherwise. At times it's seemed easier to capitulate than to speak up and say "No! I deserve to have my voice heard. I matter too!" Too often I find myself trying to find a way to fit myself into others' lives, changing my needs and desires like a chameleon, attempting to blend into what's expected of me. Too much of the time I've acted out of fear- fear of abandonment, fear of not being good enough, fear of not being accepted, fear of standing out.

Taking a hard look at my life today though, I see that what matters to me isn't what consumes most of my time and energy. I'm not saying that I should be selfish and focus only on myself and what I want- but when I deny myself so much of what I am at my core, I place myself firmly on a slow path to oblivion. Soon I fear that I'll fail to exist entirely. All that will be left will be an empty shell, molded into whatever is wanted of it.

The question is: how do I find myself again? How do I remember who I was and what I wanted in life? How do I sing my song after having no voice for so long?

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

It's been HOW LONG since I last blogged? Yikes!

It's nice to finally have a day during the week when I don't have to work and have the house to myself to enjoy the peace and quiet. I've missed that. I miss having time to just sit and read, to think, and to blog!
Things have been extremely busy for both David and I lately. I'm working mostly full time now (with the exception of a rare day like today) and he's been putting in 80+ hour weeks. Often it feels like our entire lives revolve around our work...and it's not such great work that that ends up being a good thing!

Back in December David got yet another new boss. This guy came in and spent one month at the other offices and then proceeded to sit down in a management meeting (to which I was invited) and explain how he was going to change things...this would be the best way for this, and that would be the best way for that...and by the way, now the regional managers are also in charge of emergency response and all other work in their offices. WHAT?!?! Because having one full time job isn't enough?!
Well, I'm part ashamed and part impressed that my quiet self actually blurted out at that point "That's bulls**t!!" Needless to say, this new boss was taken aback. He turned around and asked me what I meant. When I told him that he has no idea what he's asking of these guys his response was "No, I guess I don't." Duh. The man never even came out to our office to see what it's like! He was basing all of his judgments on offices that are totally different in set-up, operations, and scope of work!
Thankfully, about another month and a half later this boss came out to our office to evaluate some employees on specific job skills. While he was there he was finally able to see David constantly on the phone, taking care of clients, jobs, and employee issues...nonstop. The turn-around in his attitude has been amazing and appreciated. Wouldn't you know it- he finally realized that we weren't being lazy or unproductive...we're swamped!! Legitimately! Thankfully they've now hired a logistics guy for our office, which will hopefully ease the burden a bit.

Work literally has taken over our lives and it needs to let up enough that we can have time and space for friends, hobbies, and quiet time together. Especially now that spring is right around the corner. As much as I hate the dark mornings that daylight savings brings, I love the extra light in the evenings and I'm looking forward to warmer weather so I can spend some enjoyable time outside again. Looking at my flower bed yesterday, I was happily surprised to see my lily of the valley starting to push leaves up through the soil.

Spring really is my favorite time of the year. Winter is so cold, so dark, and so long...and spring comes in and erases all of that! I love watching the world around come to life again- seeing the buds on the tree, hearing the birds singing again, feeling the lift that the sunshine gives my spirit- it's all beautiful!

In other news...Aimee and Alex have moved much closer to us. They bought a house in Wintersville (about 5 minutes drive from us.) It's been nice having them in town. We've been able to get together a lot more often (which still isn't THAT often because of our work schedules) and it's especially nice when we can have dinner together.

Aimee is also serving in Primary with me now. She's one of my counselors. It's fun watching her use her creativity and I appreciate the different ideas she comes up with. I'm very blessed to have her and Tanya, my other counselor. They're both really talented and awesome ladies!

That's my life right now. Lots and lots of work and not much else. I'm praying for relief soon so we can get away for a couple days soon. I need the rejuvenation that some time in the woods can bring, away from all the stresses, noise, and pressure. I'm thinking a cabin in Hocking Hills would be the perfect cure for my ills right now. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. :)