Librarian’s Last Hurrah

Long before getting pregnant, I started trying to arrange a new job for after the move. It was back in September or October when I first got in touch with the director here at the Navy base library. The director and his department managers were positive on my set of skills and they came up with a great short term archival project (short term because we’re only living here a year). It was just a matter of getting funding approved for the new position. And then it stagnated and the encouraging updates from the library director were coming farther and farther apart.

Finally, after the move but before that first ultrasound, I found out that my job was approved, but as half-time instead of full-time. Of course, they still weren’t able to bring me aboard quite yet, things had to go through HR, blah blah blah, whatever. My old boss had been checking in periodically on the whole ordeal, so when I told her about the half-time offer, she asked if I might be interested in some telework, basically just continuing parts of my old job, to make up the balance of hours up to full-time. I feel so appreciated. I said, sure, definitely, that would be super. Since they are both federal libraries, ultimately I wind up getting paid the same rate for all the hours, and once the various HR departments figure it out, it should be easy enough to share me between the two agencies.

Ok, for the rest of this post, to cut down on verbosity and hopefully save some confusion, I’m going to say “P-Job” and “P-Boss” to refer to the in-person job and director, and “T-Job” and “T-Boss” for the telework job and director. (I know it sounds dumb, but I don’t care.) Clear enough? Good.

While T-Boss and I were still discussing what could be done remotely in archives work, and what sort of equipment I needed them to FedEx to me, that’s when I found out about the triplets. Now I no longer had until September to continue leading a normal (albeit swollen and complainy) life; it would be hard to guarantee any productivity past May or so. I could potentially keep up the T-Job longer, especially since I was already established there and could theoretically still work even on bed rest (T-Job is not stressful). It was the brand new P-Job I was worried about. I emailed P-Boss and told him everything, and I said since it would really be such a short amount of time I could offer, I understood if they were no longer interested. And you know what? He was totally awesome about it. He said instead of doing half-time for the full year, why don’t we “front load” it and I could work 3/4- or full-time for as long as I’m able. So, yay – but strategically, I definitely didn’t want to lose out on the telework offer, since it could be really handy for later on. I told T-Boss everything, too. She was also great and flexible with everything.

I started the T-Job last week, 4 hours a day until I actually start the P-Job. After weeks and weeks of trying to get all the different HR offices on the same page, I finally, unbelievably, am going to show up at my new office on Monday morning. The plan for now is to work 6 hours a day in person and 2 hours a day remotely. Maybe with a nap in between. As I become increasingly useless, I’ll adjust the balance of hours in favor of getting paid while wearing sweatpants. Eventually (probably between 24-28 weeks) I know the doctor will make me stop going to P-Job altogether, and I’ll probably be really ready to listen.

I’m a little anxious about actually working 8 hours a day. In the last two months of unemployment, I’ve become quite accustomed to staying in bed until 9:30 or 10 and then sitting on the sofa in pajamas watching TV for a couple more hours. The dog sure likes this schedule. Monday morning I’ll be arriving at work at 7:30 am… and I don’t even get to drink coffee! Hmm, maybe a little bit of coffee. There are two really motivating factors, though. Of course the first one is money. Hooray for dual income households! Probably everything I make in my 4-5 months of employment will go toward the downpayment on the minivan. Also there’s the nagging feeling that this is my last shot at having anything resembling a career, at least for a good long while. Librarians don’t get paid that much, so day care costs for 3 are pretty prohibitive. If I work again, it likely won’t be until they are in school. By that time a lot of my expertise will be outdated. It’s a fast changing, very techie field, believe it or not. I definitely feel the push to squeeze everything I can out of that masters degree before it’s too late.

Of course, if you’ve been following the news, you know there’s a good chance I’ll be working for exactly one week before I’m back on the sofa all day long.

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One thought on “Librarian’s Last Hurrah

  1. first, i hope (for the minivan’s sake) that you get in more than a week of work.

    it sounds like, although it’s been an awful lot of up-in-the-airs and back-and-forths, in the end it’s going to work out pretty well for you. work out of the home as long as possible and then some fallback when that’s no longer possible – that’s excellent! I hope Monday morning is kind to you…

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