22 June 2010

Work Plans

Here’s what I’m thinking about today: work, and how to do less of it.

So, my partner has been laid off and working only sporadically for the last year and a half. This is hard on both of us. Partly because of the money, of course, and partly because of the self esteem (for her) and the resentment (for me). I’m trying not to be resentful, really I am! It’s just that I hardly ever get to just hang around at home and I would love to do that more. I can tell you one thing for sure, if I had all the time off that she does, the house would be cleaner, the laundry would be caught up, the tv would NOT be on… but, to be fair, the grass would not be cut, the weeds would not be pulled… etc. She does the chores she likes. And, she cooks dinner about 95% of the time. Thank the goddess for that, otherwise we might starve. I hate to cook.

I have 16 years of service at my present employer. How did it rack up so high? Day by day, I guess. I was only going to work here a couple of years…. So, my thought now is that I will stick it out for 4 more years and get to 20. At that point, I would like to either work here part time, say 20 hours a week, or work somewhere entirely different. I won’t be old enough to collect retirement for a few more years, but I’ll be getting close. The more sensible thing would be to work here part time, since I’ll be accruing time off and sick leave at the highest rate and have all that seniority. I might look into a job share position. Ideally, I’d like to work two 10s.

The other option I am considering is training for medical coding. A lot of coders work from home, even those in my archaic department. Work one day in the office and a couple of days from home. That would be do-able.

Back to the girlfriend: she wants to do something different, and I think that is a good idea. She has been in construction for 30 years and it has taken a toll on her body. She is getting too old and stiff and sore to keep up that kind of physical work. And yet, she doesn’t want a sitting down job. She really is not an office worker. Her thought now is to work with animals, which would be perfect for her. She is looking into dog grooming, which at first I felt ambivalent about. But, what the hell, it’s her life and if that would make her happy and bring in enough income, what do I care? So she comes home smelling like a wet dog – that’s what showers are for.

She is also going back to community college just to explore some other options. This is huge for her. She hasn’t set foot in a classroom for a very long time. She is pretty nervous about it but willing to go. I’m very proud of her for that. Tonight is her first class!

So, I told her that she needed a 4 year plan. She needs to pick something and get it going well enough to pay the bills in the next 4 years. Then I can move to my part time plan and have a little spare time to futz around the house. We’ll both have a 4 year plan. I think it will work.

Here's to the future!


8thdayplanner said...

I am in a similar place as you. In fact, my employer is probably going to offer an incentive to retire early, but even with that, it is less than I take home now and my partner only works part time. (I struggle with the resentment that she has her summers off.) With college costs now a reality, I keep running the numbers but still see myself in the same place.

Its nice that you and your partner might have some options. Change is good (if you can afford it :)

Anonymous said...

A plan and good communication between the two of you is so important. Resentment keeps getting uglier until you can't even look at her so it's really great that you're both on the same page moving forward. You told her what you need and she seems to be taking the steps to get there.

Jen said...

I am the unemployed one currently, however i have been interning in my desired field 3 days/week...the other two I spend job hunting and cleaning and organizing...I feel this is important to ward off the possible resentment.

Good for your special friend putting herself out there... it is scary breaking new ground. And props to you for your 4 yr plan!

Grumpy Granny said...

I completely hear you on the resentment. G isn't laid off, of course, and I certainly don't begrudge her the military disability she gets, but there are times when I think, will I EVER just be able to sit for a while and not worry about having to get back to work?

Kudos on your thought of working from home, too. I have been doing it for 4 years and really can't see myself back in an office type setting ever again. I've also been thinking of adding coding to my skill set, so if you find out anything good, please share! ;-)

Also, kudos to your g/f for taking a big step for her. I firmly believe that education NEVER stops, whether it's a classroom, OJT or whatever. I think keeping your mind open to learning new things is the best way to stay young.

Good luck to both of you and keep us posted!!


Anonymous said...

I loved this post since it seemed so real and made me think of what my future might be like(I'm in college). Thanks for sharing your life w. your readers. You two are great role models. Please keep posting!

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