Tag Archives: employment

Victory and insights.

So the victory is my midwife is paid in full!!!! Yay! Happy dance and squeals of delight.

I even have a little bit saved for the trip to Acadia National Park in Maine the end of July. At this rate I think I’ll have enough to make the trip. It might be tight, but I can’t say no to free lodging, a beautiful experience, and visiting family I’ve not seen in nearly a decade.

That is wonderful relief.

On an entirely different topic, the insights came yesterday at a mandatory meeting our building had with the President and Vice President of our company. I have to say meeting them was far more comfortable than daily working tends to be. Everyone around me was running around stressing and I just wasn’t. I don’t know why in particular but it felt very comfortable and I even had a good albeit short conversation with the President.

He seems like a genuinely good guy, and the biggest take away from the meeting was that the owners are also good people.

It led to a long conversation with our pastor afterwards. We discussed how a company gets to where they have such genuinely good goals and set out to do good deeds, but end up having staffing and budget issues as I’ve seen. How the low people on the totem essentially still boil down to numbers. And how those ideals fail to carry through to all of the individuals in the organization.

It helped me gain some more clarity on my goals of Atira. The pastor used the phrasing that perhaps a company gets too large to fully understand all of the individual workings and really know it’s people. That the connections that express a person’s value are lost. That sentiment reinforced prior ideas I’d had that Atira should be a singular community. It could spawn franchisee opportunities or literally just help people learn how to start their own communities, but I really don’t want a company of mine to grow so large that the company itself begins to lose sight of it’s intent.

I want Atira to stay manageable so that I know for sure it is helping people both within and outside of it’s structure. I want to know that if all the individuals understand that, the better it functions and the more they can make happen in their lives and in the lives of others.

For instance: I know I want to give homeless people second chances by putting them to work- training and all, but I also acknowledge that minimum wage being just over $7 is highly unrealistic with the inflation we’ve had the last 20 years. I want Atira to be able to sustain realistic living wages for all of it’s staff members, and those with experience and drive do deserve to earn more.

Yet, I acknowledge that in order for there to be profits to divert for other charitable uses, there does have to be positive flow of goods and services being exchanged for properly set fees.

It is definitely a tricky balancing act, and one that though I now can see my employer aimed for, either did not reach or was unable to maintain. I want Atira to reach and maintain it.

Beyond that, yesterday’s conversations and interactions solidified that I have done very well for myself with much less effort than some. I pointed out to the President that I had only ever paid for two boxes of business cards and never did pamphlets or other costly marketing.

I left Facebook nonsense out of that conversation knowing that I had already gotten their attention over that. However, in talking to the pastor I did revisit it. Explaining that I have yet to see any benefit from Facebook, also knowing over 2 dozen people that have tried to use it for marketing. Most of those, myself included had far too negative cost-benefit imbalances in Facebook marketing. Offering up hundreds of free services or visits to get a pittance of mediocre to decent client base. It simply just never netted the good reliable clients that massage therapists, chiropractors, and other care providers survive by.

I count myself fortunate to have seen that pattern and ducked out before giving away too many hours of my life, my work, and my hands, to those that are ungratefully taking advantage of the freebie.

That is not to say I never give away services. In fact to this day I still do. However, I’m much more discerning in my free work. I give to those that truly value it, but otherwise might not be able to afford it. I also give away a fair number of massages to veterans, even those that can afford it. That is where I choose to give, and when someone shows their gratitude in the best way they know or have available, I’m more likely to give them repeat free services. I have one veteran that I bill for about every 4th massage, knowing he’s on a tight budget but that he sings my praises nearly daily. So essentially I do my best to catch him weekly and bill just one a month. That is my avenue for flowing charity for God. It is what I can do right now, so I do.

And besides, not dealing with Facebook took a huge stress off of me. No longer having to consider finding or creating good stock photography, and reducing my concerns of protecting people’s information and privacy. As a sole proprietor HIPAA is a potentially life threatening costly mistake waiting to happen, so I’m glad I stepped away from Facebook when I did.

Anyway, I’m utterly grateful for the whole lot, midwife being paid, meeting upper management, learning more about the company, and especially both the conversation with the President and our pastor.

Another thank you to the Divine for providing more clarity in my days and helping to continually redefine and become more specific with my desires and goals. I truly look forward to brighter days ahead.

Weird, just plain weird.

So I know that God is working on helping me. How I know is things just keep getting stranger by the day. I keep repeating “I see that things are changing, I’m doing my best to trust, and I’ll do whatever you want me to and do my best to see the positive in everything.”

I just wrote last night, but it seems today has brought more twists and turns and I need to process. I have the time because I’m house sitting for a good friend who also happens to be a fellow massage therapist, which means we trade quite frequently. It’s great, her style is very similar to mine, and we mesh well on many levels. Her pooches even love me, so she asked me to sit her dogs knowing it would give me another opportunity to skip some driving. I’m much appreciative. I feel much more rested when my day doesn’t involve 3 hours or more of driving. So that is how I’ve managed to fit in not one, but two blogs this week.

So, that’s not really weird, just amazingly helpful. Where is the weird then?

I got to work with 15 minutes to spare this morning, and knew I needed to punch in about 10 late for having gone over the previous day. I proceeded to leisurely prep for my day knowing I was essentially working off the clock, but knowing full well it was my choice. I was essentially going through the craft room seeing what was available for the crafting activity later in the day. I became so engrossed in my explorations finding cool things to work with that I ended up clocking in nearly 30 min late, not just the 10 initially planned. Not a big deal, and I figured my day would provide the opportunity to correct that, which sure enough it did.

That was just a taste of weird. In the crafting activity I set out to provide options, ones that I had seen done at other buildings where I do my massage work. I thought surely that one of them would be welcomed. After laying out all of the supplies and describing the choices, I looked around to a silent room of blank stares. NOTHING! Really!  So, I proceeded with plan B and began walking through how to make a wreath using a simple wire frame. If no one wants to participate, then live action crafting show it is.

About 3/4 of the way through making the wreath a person to my right is grumbling about how she doesn’t think it is going to work or look nice. Then the woman directly across from her starts complaining about why are we just sitting here and not doing anything. I replied directly to her that it was because I brought out materials to do a myriad of crafts and gave 5 specific examples and a room full of adults couldn’t tell me anything they wanted to do. I then explained that they were all adults with opinions and desires, and that I was doing my level best to provide them with enjoyable activities, and that they could provide constructive input and offer suggestions instead of just complaining or sitting like bumps on logs. I then revisited the initial offer choices and asked her directly if she wanted to do any of them, at which point she said no. I said fine then, does anyone want to do any of them. I got 2 responses out of a group of 10 people. SO I proceeded to help the 2 people complete their choice and then moved on to finishing my wreath.

Employees thought it was hilarious because the one that complained the loudest apparently does that to everyone, I then ended up having a discussion with my co-worker about how instead of having comedy hour at my expense they could offer up suggestions or help. She said it really wasn’t like that and they meant no foul- really just finding amusement that I was essentially one of them, being treated the same way by the resident. I said well, I can understand where the humor comes in, but that they could have filled me in on the potentiality of that, and ways that they as staff have learned to diffuse the situation. Reiterating that I am the newbie still and I simply don’t know these things because the faces are still relatively new to me, I simply don’t have a full understanding of their backgrounds yet. She conceded that I had a point, and we came to an understanding of some possibilities of how to catch me up to speed. Also, she did let me know that if Aids are not busy I can ask them to help (something I was unsure of and explained to her that some of my buildings that is off limits and not even possible).

In the end I think that even though I got frustrated it was ultimately a good outcome and the discussion with my co-worker was definitely fruitful.

Later, I ran into the lady that recommended me for the position (now my boss’ boss) and I told her all about it. She said that there will always be those days, and did reiterate that some of those things will die down once I do get a better grasp of the people I am working with. We had a good discussion about many of the factors that contribute to moments like that. She then let me know that the person that switched from my position, to take a position with the other side of the building, didn’t come in for work and that they were again down a person. She confessed that the other employee had gotten overwhelmed with the position she was in, and they didn’t know if she would be back. I gave an apology and said let me know if you need anything. At the end of the day I went back to ask her about my time off request for the December Choir/Orchestra performance, and upon leaving I got a nudge to be more specific about my earlier comment. I told her that I realized it was between them and the employee, but that if the other person wanted their job back I was willing to switch or do whatever was needed by the company to help with that. She asked me if that was affected if it meant working 5 days a week, and my reply was simply I’d make it work. I said that “I just really wanted you (boss/friend) to know that I would be willing to do whatever is needed of me” (echoing my internal dialogue with God). All of this was in knowing that I took the position because of divine influence and I am really doing my best to follow the rabbit trail. As soon as, the words left my mouth I felt the classic tinglies down my spine that have always acknowledged that I did/said the right thing. She then confessed that her and the building director had actually had a conversation about that possibility the previous week, before the employee failed to show for work.

I finished my day out showing the residents, at least that were interested, my favorite show. “Kindness Diaries” on Netflix.  I had talked about it earlier in the day and they were interested. As I showed the first 2 episodes, they were hooked, they actually stayed awake (all but 1) and they would comment on things that were going on in the show. It may have helped I served cake and tea while watching the 2nd one. Surprisingly, my complainer from earlier became quite chipper and content. It also helped my mood at lot to have a touch of “Kindness Diaries” in my day. Ultimately they were so interested that we ended up watching 5 episodes back to back and having a volley of discussion occasionally.

So, essentially my day had some odd time glitches, an uncomfortable exchange with my charges, and ended with the possibility of getting a sideways promotion and some feel good TV.

I have no idea if I would get a raise, but I do know I would get more hours. It would make for stable adequate income and once we were moved and had finances straightened out (budget), I could begin to slowly eliminate some of my massage work. I’m not sure the extra day a week would be enough income to completely drop all of my massage work, so I probably wouldn’t. Also, there are 3 buildings that I am getting along great in anyway. So those 3 contracts I would probably keep alive and going as long as I could manage. Though it has occurred to me that I need to renew my liability insurance and re-up my CPR certification to keep doing my massage work. So many things, so little time!

I have no idea where this ride is headed, but it seems I keep holding on and finding faith that it is headed toward the great things I’ve asked for, for so many long years. I simply can’t explain the odd synchronicity any other way. I’m just constantly looking for the path of least resistance anymore, and it seems at every turn something strange launches me toward the next interesting step. If nothing else life has definitely gotten more interesting!