Job Update

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by Mikie, Jan 1, 2008.

  1. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Thank you all so very much for all your interest and support as I've been working and trying to get my schedule worked out. As y'all know, I've tried to live like a "normal person" but had to play the Americans With Disabilities Act in order to keep the store's computer from overscheduling me. The managers have bent over backward to try to accommodate me because they want to be known as friendly to hiring people with disabilities. They have been very nice about it.

    We finally had to resort to my never being available to work Fridays so that the computer wouldn't schedule me on Thurs. and Fri., the last two days of the schedule week, and then on Sat. and Sun., the first two days of the new schedule week. I can't work four days in a row without a break. When I did it, I was in some real pain. It's just too much. Now, I work anywhere from four to six hours for a couple of days and then have a day or two off. It's working out great.

    The physicality of the job, bagging, taking groceries out to the cars and loading them, and rounding up the carts in the parking lot, has been hard to get used to but it's paying off. Now that the hours are just right, the exercise I'm getting is just about right. With these hours, there isn't much pain and I'm getting stronger and stronger. Even strong young guys are stiff and sore until their bodies get used to the job.

    The best part is the interaction with some of the other employees I like and the customers. We have a lot of older and frail customers (it's Florida :) They are soooo sweet and appreciative of every little thing I do for them. So, even though I don't make much money, the job itself is fulfilling in a way one wouldn't expect. I feel as though I have a purpose.

    I can't make more than $940 a month without losing my SSD benefits so a low-wage job is about right. I will likely get raises and should be making a dollar an hour more within the year. I also get pro-rated bonuses, profit sharing, stock and 401K matching after a year on the job. The best part is that I can get off whenever I need to. They have a lot of employees at this store.

    It's just a job and not a career and I can go, do the job, and come home without bringing any job stress with me. It's not unusual for older people to do these jobs for all the above reasons. Many are retired from some good jobs.

    The money I make just about covers the shortfall each month between my bills and my SSD. That keeps me from having to continue to dip into savings. I'd like to keep doing this for the next seven years. After that, my IRA's should be enough. In another 2 1/2 years, I'll be on regular SS and I can make as much money as I want. I may decide by then to try to find something which pays better.

    I scored high on the computer tests I had to take to apply and the computer at corporate spit out an invitation to me to apply for any number of jobs leading to management. I laughed and said to a coworker, "Don't they know I'm an old, beat up woman?" My scores where also high on the vocational rehab tests so if I eventually want to find another type of work, I should be able to. As it is, I've assigned my Ticket To Work, so SS should not be reviewing my case because I'm working. I don't think they will anyway because of my age.

    I know what I'm doing may not be the right job for anyone else. I decided to post this update on its own. Despite how slow the state vocational rehab can be, I do recommend using them for anyone seeking a job. Every avenue helps. I did get my job on my own, but the guy who holds the Ticket To Work continues to send out my resume for other jobs. Who knows, I may find something I like even better. One just has to keep at it and if one job doesn't work out, look for something more suitable. Best of luck to everyone who is trying to work.

    Love, Mikie
  2. victoria

    victoria New Member

    It sounds like a great job, especially in Florida... not sure I could take the colder temps even for the brief periods we get them.

    My DH tried college teaching on a part-time basis, ultimately didn't work out anyway due to pain levels from RSD ... but luckily before SS's 9 month 'ticket to work' period expired.

    but would've ultimately caused problems because they could not understand that the way the paychecks were drawn didn't reflect actual monthly income, sheesh, let alone the fact he had to pay someone else to help him read papers due to his bad eyes, etc... the bureaucracy can really get in the way of itself, sometimes.

    Well, as I said on the other board, being able to be of help to others, especially if possible in person, is really one of the things that give people a lift... altruism is built into our brains the scientists say (most of us anyway) ... I believe it!

    all the best,

  3. victoria

    victoria New Member

    I love your picture of your grandson and his dog!

    Happy New Year to you too!

  4. hugs4evry1

    hugs4evry1 New Member

    That's wonderful news...sounds like you've gotten some of the kinks worked out (both literally and figuratively)

    I'm so happy that you're feeling up to doing this work as I know how hard it can be. I've done it before too.

    Best of luck to you and thanks for the new pic in your profile.


  5. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    I really appreciate your interest and support. My main purpose in posting about this is to show that it can take some real effort to find just the right job. This may not be the job I do for the rest of my working life, but for right now, it's working out for me.

    I saw on TV something about a man who traded in his high-stress working life for a job at Starbucks. He wrote a book about it. It's called something like, "How Starbucks Saved My Life."

    Had my life not changed drastically due to my illnesses, I'd likely still be working 60 hrs. a week til age 70. That was always my plan. Well, y'all know about the best layed plans... Life can certainly throw us curves and we need to be flexible so we can adapt and make our lemonade out of life's lemons. If anyone had told me I would be happy bagging groceries 10 years ago, I'd have laughed at the absurdness of it all.

    For anyone seeking a job--just keep at it and use all your options for finding work. Don't let anyone push you into relapsing. Play the disability card if it helps, even though most of us hate to have to do that. Good luck.

    Oh, almost forgot, thanks for comments on Andy and Nigel. That was at Halloween. Andy is only 2 1/2 but he's the size of a 4 year old and is very athletic. He makes soccer goals, throws a ball like a pro, and can hit baseballs with a bat when pitched to him. Thanks for indulging a little granny bragging :)

    Love, Mikie
  6. Granniluvsu

    Granniluvsu Well-Known Member

    Was so glad to hear that you have finally gotten some good hours for yourself that is good for you. I hope you continue to enjoy your job and that things just keep on getting even better for you this year.

    Big hugs to you,

  7. Rosiebud

    Rosiebud New Member

    my goodness but your grandson is a BIG boy with a BIG dog, both very handsome.

    I've wondered now and again about how you were getting on with your job and I'm glad it's worked out for you and you are well enough to do it.

    I think having a career, a high powered, well paying job is great when you're healthy and younger and up to the challenge but with our dd's a straightforward job that you don't take home with you is best. If I ever become well enough to work again there is no way I would want the job I had before. I loved it at the time but now I'd want something simpler.

    I'm really happy for you Mikie, you've come a long, long way.

  8. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Granni, thank you for your sweet good wishes. My best wishes and prayers go out to you for a very happy year ahead.

    Hi, Fight, I'll check for your post and respond. Thank you for your kind compliments. I may have misspelled something but it wasn't just vocabulary on which I scored highly; it was on the vocational rehab testing overall. They do test vocabulary but also ability to match shapes (not my forte), math, and general logic. I know my IQ has dropped since being sick but as I heal, I may be getting back some of my abilities. In any case, it doesn't take much in the way of brainpower to do this job. I've considered writing a book. It's such a huge undertaking and now, I'm either working or resting :)

    Rosie, thanks for the comments on Andy and Nigel. I hope and pray you do feel well enough to work, if that's what you want to do. It is really nice to have "just a job." I do feel fortunate to have been able to make the progress I've made but it's been a long and winding road, as the song states. I have to look back seven years now just to see how much healing has taken place. Everything with our illnesses takes much longer than we anticipate but progress is progress and I'll take it.

    Happy New Year to you all. I hope it brings everyone all of the good things in life.

    Love, Mikie
  9. pawprints

    pawprints New Member

    Have not been on the computer alot lately, but saw this briefly. Good for you. I think just interacting with people would brighten my day. I love when I have nice conversations with people in stores. Feels like I actually did something positive that day.

    Keep on keeping on!! Saw the interview with the Starbucks guy...he recovered from a brain tumor and loves his job now.
  10. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Pawprints, thanks for adding the info on the Starbucks guy. I think I only got in on part of the interview. I'm sure he is finding that working a less stressful job and interacting with the public is healing. Most of our customers are older or elderly people. Many of them have handicaps far worse than my problems. It's amazing how they keep going despite such problems. It's also inspiring.

    Fight, I have heard that people who write often are very self-discliplined and make sure they write each day, even if only a little bit. I may be able to do this eventually but I work a crazy schedule and until I get a bit more used to it, I think writing will have to wait. It's so sweet of you to say you would read a book if I write one. Thank you.

    I'm going back to CO as my ex is have five bypasses. My kids will be there and it'll be a chance to see everyone. I haven't been there in 2 1/2 years. I wish it were under different circumstances but my ex's prognosis is excellent.

    Thanks again to everyone. Your support has meant more than you'll ever know.

    Love, Mikie
  11. tansy

    tansy New Member

    and i'm sure many will appreciate all your updates work-wise.

    tc tansy
  12. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Fight, I'm not sure what all I'm going to do while out there. I am renting a car, over the objections of my kids who have four of them. They live SW of Denver right at the foothills of the Rockies and I'll try to take some good pics. My goal is to be able to try to ski with Andy next year on the bunny slopes before he passes me up and before it's not cool to ski with Grandma. Thanks for your good wishes.

    Karen, thank you too for your good wishes. I do love this job and the physicality of it is making me incredibly strong. Last year, I injured my knee and Fri., I'm seeing the orthopedic doc. I'm hoping he can help without anything too invasive.

    Tansy, I know your posts have been tremendously inspiring to me and others. I hope it does help to see that it is possible, at least for some, to improve. I used to do corporate planning. You know--goals, tactics, timelines, etc. Well, I applied this to my personal life and have set goals for myself. Little did I know how much longer it was going to take than I had planned. Still, I'm thrilled to have reached this benchmark in my healing. I think it's just as important for people to know the difficulty in achieving goals as it is to know they can be achieved. I try to tell it like it is.

    Again, thanks everyone. Y'all are the greatest!

    Love, Mikie