Mother of Necessity

because sometimes, you just have to.


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My Journey: Mom & Dad-Accepting

hugs

 

Onto the next journey which has already been in motion for a while. That’s the journey I am on with my parents.

As we know, when our parents get older the roles can be reversed and we begin to care for them instead of them caring for us.

If you have read my blogs about my folks you know that Dad is a heart patient and Mom has stage 4 Cirrhosis of the liver (non-alcoholic) and a heart patient. Both are in their 70’s, their health is declining and things are getting harder for them to do.

It’s sad to watch such strong, independent, self-assured, and capable individuals decline. Even if it’s just a little bit and one thing at a time.

My parents have always done things on their own. They have remodeled their home, built a garage, taken care of their property, repaired things around their home, planted gardens, raised 3 kids, taken care of 3 grandkids, helped others, worked in their church and have always been the ones called upon for assistance. My parents have been there for so many.

Now the shoe is on the other foot. Now my parents are the ones needing assistance. Granted they are still very capable of doing so many things, but need some help doing others.

As their child I am heartbroken for them. I know neither one of them want to relinquish their independence or admit that they need help sometimes. It has got to be difficult to ask for help when just a year ago they were capable. What a difference a year makes.

I can only imagine their own struggles they have. They say growing old is not for the weak. I am beginning to understand that statement more and more each day.

This journey I am on with my parents will be tough and heart wrenching. The one thing I am sure of is, I will not regret going on this ride. There have been rides that I have taken in the past and regret but this will not be one of them.

With their permission I will be sharing this journey we are on. Granted most of the posts will be about my journey and sharing a glimpse of theirs. I am not looking for sympathy or kudos. I just thought this would be a good outlet for me and maybe a way to help others that may have to jump on the same type of ride.

 Stage #1 (for me)-Accepting the fact that my parents are not invincible. As children and even adults we want to believe that our parents will be with us forever. The reality is most likely they will not.

Accepting that they need your help. I didn’t want to help because I was holding onto my parents were invincible. If I helped then I had to let go of the dream that they would never perish.

Accepting that my own personal priorities will change. My folks come first and everything else is second.

Accepting that my role as a daughter has changed and will continue to change.

Accepting the new emotional roller coaster ride I am on.

Accepting the reality that they are very sick.

Accepting responsibilities that my folks bestow upon me with grace and love.

Accepting hugs out of the blue.  

Accepting the blessing that will come from this journey.

Yes, I did say, “blessings” I know there will be because I have already had a few.
For right now it’s learning to accept whatever is thrown at us.

I know for me, I will do my hardest to find the blessings even in the emotional craziness that may consume me. I will do my best to accept whatever roadblock, downfall, bad day, funny moments, quite times and quality time I have left with my parents.

Sorry this post is not the most positive, I will work on that. I will do my best to keep you updated once a week on this new journey.

Please feel free to comment or share your journey with me.

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My Journey: New Job-Still Waiting

hourglassAfter a month or so of “busywork” on the new job, I still have no clue on what I’m doing. Or what I’m supposed to be doing.

Weeks into the job, I finally got an eight-hour training session on one of the four programs I need to run. The trainer was great, full of energy and kind of funny. She knew her stuff, and when she didn’t, she brought help in. I liked that about the training class. She did move through the training quickly, which I didn’t like, I wish she’d slow down for us old folks to catch our breath.

A handful of us (semi-newbies) were thrown into this training class that had been in process for a week. We were only there to learn the one program.

I was thrilled to finally have some training, even if it was only for the one program. I was excited to learn more about my job, and it was a great change of pace from the mindless work that I’d been doing.

After the training, I go home having a sense of accomplishment, thinking ‘great! Tomorrow, I’ll have the opportunity to start doing real work!’ I even took a few minutes to review the course work that was handed out, and I was pretty confident about starting the “real” job.

Boy was I let down. I walked into the building, thinking, ‘today is finally the day I get to work on the computer program for real.’ NOPE!!! My supervisor informs me, that we are swamped and she cannot pull a person from their job to sit with me. So, back to the “busywork” it is. (Bubble popped). They are unable to provide a timeline for starting the ‘real’ job.

Don’t get me wrong I will do “busywork,” all day, for the next twenty years, as long as I know that is my job. But knowing I was hired for a different position, makes me feel less productive than I should be. I am very grateful for this job, and I will continue (with a smile), with the “busywork” till they are ready for me.

I can’t wait for the chance to shine a little. Until that day, I will continue to make friends, learn as much as I can from my co-workers, do what I am told, and do it very well.

Abiding my time, grateful for new experiences, adventures, lessons to be learned, and leaving my comfort zone. Before I know it, all of this awkwardness will be in the past and everything will have worked out the way it is supposed to.

AS A SIDE NOTE: The team is beginning to warm up to me, or I to them. Things are still a little odd at times, but they are getting better. People are beginning to carry on conversations with me, and a few are even laughing at my sense of humor, or maybe just me. Either way, I’m okay with it.


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My Journey: Job Searching-Success!!!!!

celebrate

After 10 days of waiting I finally got a call. The bad part is I missed the call. The call came in last Friday at 7:35 pm. I had been sick that week and left my phone on vibrate. Somewhere around 8:00 pm I check my phone and see that I had missed ‘THE” call from a company.

I listened to the voice message and it said they have some ‘good news’ for me. I called the person back and left her a message and apologized I was not available.

I had to wait till Monday to see if I had a job. Just another weekend…WAITING. Did I mention I am not good at waiting?

Monday rolls around and I was waiting all morning for my call. The call finally come in around noon. I was informed that I am being offered the position. WOO-HOO!!!!

She (Tina) continues to tell me what I will be doing, what shift and days I will be working and my pay. That’s when my heart sank. Everything was what I wanted until she mentioned the pay. It just wasn’t where I needed it to be.

I asked if there was any negotiating on the pay scale. She asked me what I was needing and informed me that she’s not sure if the company can offer me this rate.  Tina then says, she will talk to the hiring managers and see what she can do.

So there I was once again…waiting. I was holding my breath and ready to have a nervous breakdown. It’s been 3 months of hard work searching for a job and I have one true offer on the table.  A good job with a good company.

I am thinking to myself…..I can’t afford to take this job but then again I can’t afford NOT to take this job.

I wait for 45 minutes and Tina calls back. They came back with a counter offer. Still not quite there but a lot better than the original offer and almost what I asked for.

SUCCESS!!! I have taken the offer for the position and I start very soon. Now to fill out all those consent forms, go through a back ground check, a drug screen and read through the benefit packages.

I am excited and scared at the same time. Excited that I have a new job, scared about all the changes I will be going through.

I want to thank all my readers, friends and family that have supported me on this journey. Your encouragement, love and support have been a blessing to me.


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My Journey: Job Searching-Phone interviews

telephone

Part 3:  Phone interviews.

This week I had 2 phone interviews. YAY!!!! I am moving right along on this job searching process. Looking for a job is like having a job. You got to get up early to be on top of your game. I should explain how you get to a phone interview first.

You’ve got to do your research and find the right website to find a job. Once you do that then you can start applying for jobs online. If you are lucky you may hear back from 1-2 of the 67 companies you applied for and they will set you up for the next step (hoops they want you to jump through).

The next step could be filling out an application which follows a silly questionnaire, online. It also could be one of those assessments I mentioned in the last blog about job searching. You complete those and again wait for a response. Sometime the response is within 24 hours or it could be weeks.

A response from the company is exciting till you read the e-mail and realize it’s a denial letter saying they appreciate you applying but you are not what they want or do not qualify. 

So you wait and continue to apply for jobs. Then you get an e-mail. Now this one says they like you. Now you may have to take and assessment at this time too or they will say in the e-mail they would like to talk with you and what is a good time.

This is the e-mail you have been waiting for. So you schedule the perfect time of the day where you know you will not any distractions so you will do well on the call.

Lots of prepping, hoops, and waiting to do just to get a phone call from a company you contacted 2-6 weeks ago.  Yes, I know…I am not good at being patient.

Now it’s an hour before the call. I put on some nice clothes, do my hair, make sure my breath is not yucky, get my resume and references together, make sure I have a pen and paper ready, clean up the living room and wait for the call.

Ok, I know, I am over the top but I want to feel like I am having a face to face with this person. I want to feel like a professional. I want to be prepared for anything. See, I’ve been telling you that I am an over-organized person. Now it’s in black and white for proof.

I get the first call for the interview. This young man was not enthused at all. He’s monotone, and kind of sounds like Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh. I think to myself, well this is not going to be good. He already has his mind made up.

That’s when I figured this would be a great opportunity to show off my skills as a customer service phone representative.  I put on my customer service face and began to treat him like a bad caller from my last job. I was upbeat, had a smile on my face when I spoke, I even made him laugh. I did what I could to make him feel better. I wanted to leave him with a good impression.

I must have done something right in that phone interview because he invited me to have a face to face interview.

YAY!!!! On to the next phone interview.

I have to say, these phone interviews are intimidating. You have no clue who you talking to. You can’t read their body language or facial expressions. You don’t know if they are mufti-tasking and not really listening to you. It’s a little stressful.

The next phone interview was amazing. This woman was personable, attentive and had a great personality. We hit it off within the first 2 minutes of our conversation.

We were going through the questions she is required to ask of me. When I answered one of those questions, I slipped and let my real personality come through. I made a sarcastic remark and quickly apologized and said that my personality sometimes forgets that it has a brain attached and has a mind of its own.

Thank goodness she had a sense of humor because she laughed and told me she was glad I slipped.

Kim is her name and she and talked for over 40 minutes. The interview was supposed to be about 15 minutes long. We surpassed that.

We talked about what I had been doing this past year since I hadn’t been working. I told her about writing a couple of books, helping families get organized, writing the blog and taking photos.

Kim was so sweet she asked about the blog and I shared the website information with her. While we were talking she went to the site. She loved it. So now I have a new follower just because of a phone call. 

Needless to say, Kim invited me for a face to face interview too.

I did learn that it’s best to be yourself and let your personality shine through. The phone interview is the first step where you can impress the company you want to work for.

Still learning, growing and embracing this whole new process. Some things are better than others. But this one was pretty good for me so far.

I guess the next entry on the job searching process will be the face to face interviews. This should be fun..…I hope.


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Adventure: Dog Show

Photo by: Mother of Necessity

Photo by: Mother of Necessity

My family knows I’m a homebody. I usually don’t go to a lot of outings where there is a crowd of people. So when I got an invite from a cousin to go to dog show and help her, I even surprised myself and said “yes”.

I am not an animal person. Don’t get me wrong, I like most pets but I just don’t have that passion for the fur babies.

My cousin, Betty came to pick me up. I see that Betty is holding her Shih Tzu, Lucy. I opened the car door and there setting in my seat is a Shih Tzu name Rosey.  I picked her up, got in the car and held her in my arms for the drive. What a sweet puppy she was, not wiggling around or even wanting out of my arms.

Betty and I chatted during the drive and she found out that I wasn’t an animal person. I think I freaked her out for a minute or two. I bet Betty was thinking: what did I just do, inviting her to come help me when she doesn’t even care.

"Rosey" Photo by: Mother Of Necessity

“Rosey” Photo by: Mother Of Necessity

Betty was awesome. We talked about what I needed to do in order to show Rosey around the ring. She gave me some insight on what to expect since I had never attended a show before.

We talked about Betty being a volunteer at a rescue for Shish Tzu’s.  She sure does love this breed. Betty is very passionate about her babies. I can’t blame her. They are awful cute.

We make it to the fair grounds and unload the car. To see both of us holding dogs and trying to get things out of the car was a site. It reminded me of the old black and white comedies, like Abbott and Costello.

We finally get things in order and Betty begins to groom (primp) the dogs. Rosey did not like this part. Lucy was great. Lucy liked all the primping and attention.

"Lucy" Photo by: Mother Of Necessity

“Lucy” Photo by: Mother Of Necessity

We had a few minutes before things got started so I set back and began people/dog watching. These folks take things very seriously. I can see how dog shows can become a career. Everyone was engrossed in the pets. Grooming, practicing commands, and practicing the walk in the ring. It’s all very time consuming and takes a lot of patience.

This show was for the UKC (United Kennel Club). This is where the dog is judged and given points based on their placement in the show. It’s a big deal for all involved.

"Ribbon Table" Photo by: Mother Of Necessity

“Ribbon Table” Photo by: Mother Of Necessity

It’s our turn for best in breed. Since I have never done anything like this, I make Betty go first so I can mimic her showing Lucy. Betty and Lucy did so well. Now it’s my turn. I take Rosey around the ring. I think I did pretty well for the first time out.

Lucy takes first place and Rosey takes second. Not too shabby.

The second round for best in breed for companion class. I am watching others show their dogs and I realize I did something wrong in the first round. I had Rosey on my right side not my left. I know a rookie mistake. The rule is to always have the animal between you and the judge. I did not know this rule. But I do now.

Rosy took first place and Lucy came in second this time around.

The third and final round was for best in show for the companion class. This is where all the small dogs are judged at one time to determine the best overall. Poor Rosey and I didn’t make the cut on this one. But Lucy and Betty did. They finish third in the Best in Show Companion class.

Not too bad for a rookie never showing a dog or even attending a show before. I hope I got all those classes and best of’s correct. If not, I apologize to the UKC folks.

I have gained a new respect for dog owner’s, they are so proud and committed to their pets. This was a great new experience for me and I had a blast. I would do it again.

If you want to check out or donate to the help Shih Tzu rescues, please click on the links below.

Facebook Page:  https://www.facebook.com/sassshihtzurescue?fref=nf

Instagram Page:  Sass_Rescue

Website:  http://sassrescue.com/

"Rosey" Photo by: Mother Of Necessity

“Rosey” Photo by: Mother Of Necessity


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My Journey: Job Searching-Assessments

 

testHere’s the second part of the job searching adventure. I think I will be giving updates on the search till I find the right job. In the last post I talked about my frustration about the process of submitting an online resume and online job search websites.

Today I am discussing or more likely disgusted about online assessments.

Again this is something new to me. I am used to being tested on-site and in a face to face interview, not in my home.  Tests used to be about the job, not your personality, thinking skills or your IQ.

A couple of weeks ago I was asked to take an assessment for a job. This test took almost 2 hours of my time. RIDICULOUS!

I was applying for a call center inbound call position. The first part was 4 simulated calls that had a 3 part question, where I had to navigate the system correctly and give the correct verbal responses to questions. Each call was timed for my response. I was given less than 2 minutes to complete the navigation for a multiple step process and respond correctly to the questions. This part for me was simple and I did great. No big deal, I have done that type of stuff for 13 years.

The second part was a personality Q & A.  Which took almost 40 minutes to complete and had over 35 questions. Really, how much can they learn from these questions? Don’t they realize that most people lie on these things anyway and give response they think the company wants to hear?  Anyway…… I answered all questions honestly.  Again, no biggie, we’ve all taken those kind of tests.

The Third part was on critical thinking. Still a Q & A type of test this part had over 30 questions and it took 40 minutes or so. It was pretty easy. Some of these questions are just weird.

EXAMPLE:

2 supervisors were having a contest.  The first supervisor said that John came in first and Sally was third.  The second supervisor said that Sally was first and Mike didn’t place at all.

Both supervisor are incorrect…….which statement is true?

  1. Sally was second and Mike was third
  2. John was second and Sally first
  3. Mike was first and Sally was second

This is nuts!!!! What kind of question is this? To me this was just logical thinking. If both supervisors are wrong then the only correct answer is “C”.

But seriously, who in their right mind comes up with these questions?

The fourth and final step of the assessment was about the job. This was a timed test to answer 20 questions in 10 minutes. That means I had 30 seconds to answer all the questions.

For each question they give you a graph that has codes and what the codes mean. There was 10 to 30 different codes for each graph. Some of the codes were alpha and numeric and some were just one or the other.

As soon as you clicked the next button, you have 30 seconds to read and understand the coding and then answer 4 different questions based upon the codes. All answers required more than 3 codes.  Crazy, I know.

Needless to say…….I failed this part of the assessment. There is no way my old school brain can comprehend the graph, codes and match the correct codes to a question in 30 seconds. I needed at least 90 seconds. My brain just doesn’t work like that, or that quick anymore.

The sad part is, I am not going to be given a chance to prove myself all because of a silly assessment that I know I could pass if it weren’t timed. This company will never know how good I could have been for them. They missed out, all because of a goofy test that truly does not measure my capabilities.

Thank goodness I haven’t come across that type of assessment since then. I have taken a few more but those have been pretty much routine.

I understand the purpose of these tests are to help weed out the unbelievable amount of idiots out there. It also hinders those that are qualified but don’t do well in a testing atmosphere.

Back in the day these types of questions were asked by the interviewer or manager. I guess that skill is no longer needed in the workforce. But this poses the question: If that skill is no longer needed then who is really smarter in the interview process?  You or the interviewer. Because if they don’t hold these skills, what are they looking for?

As you see the job search continues and each hoop I have to jump through gets me closer to an interview and a job….I hope.

I know one thing. This is a great learning opportunity I have. It is teaching me to embrace the ‘tech world’ and to be more open minded to new things.

Wish me luck. I am hoping the next segment on the job searching blog will be one that says, I have a job and I am on a new path.

 

 


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And So The Job Search Begins……Doubts

finding a jobWell, the time has come. I have to start looking for a real job. I have been hiatus for over a year and my money is running out. I have enjoyed my time off. I have gotten to explore myself a little more. Started blogging, wrote two small books and started back with my photography. I have organized my house, went on a vacation, visited family and relaxed. I am not looking forward to the job search. It’s been over 14 years since I had to apply for a job.

I have so many doubts about my skills. I am terrified since I do not have a college degree or any higher education. I am scared no one will hire me because of my weight.  Don’t get me wrong, I know I have some great work skills but the doubt comes in because I may not have the right skills that are needed in today’s world.

I really don’t know what I want from my career at this time. I have questions:  Do I want to work in the same field (customer service) or do I want to try and venture out of that comfort zone? Do I want to relocate? If so, where do I want to go?

I do enjoy customer service (I’m good at it) as long as I am really helping a person. I enjoyed my last job helping people with their medications and insurance. I made a difference to many people. I liked that tremendously. What I didn’t like was the company I worked for they forgot that we worked for people, real people that were searching for help. The company looked at the customers as a number and the bottom line.  The company got lost in sales and profit, they forgot about their own mission statement.

I don’t want to do meaningless sales, or a dead end job. I want to help others. I want to grow as a person in my job. I want to make a difference. It can be a small difference but I still would like to have that impact. How can I do this and make a living? (Seriously. Any suggestions?)

I have started putting in my resumes to several companies this past week. Now there’s something new to me. Applying online, that is something very simple and easy but still foreign territory for me.

I am used to going to each company, speaking to the HR (human resources) personnel and then calling every week to check on the resume/application. There’s a whole new process involved now and it’s all online. What a huge difference 14 years can make.

Making a new resume was difficult too. The style of the resume is different, the wording is different, and the format is different. It’s all new to me. You now have to have key’ words that help you stand out. You have to be unique but not so unique that you are not taken seriously. Did you know that you only have between 15-30 seconds to impress someone with your resume?  Did you know that if you don’t have those ‘key’ words they will dismiss your resume?  So much pressure to do the resume right.

It’s a new work world. I have doubts whether there is a place for me in it.

I would love to blog, take photos and write for a living but I know I am not a professional at any of these things. (((SIGH!)))

Here I am searching for what I want in a career. I am still searching within myself on what I want out of life and for my life. Searching myself if I want to relocate for a job.  Searching for joy in a job. Searching for a job that will add to my happiness.  So much searching to be done, all the while doubting my abilities.

Here I am asking for help. Here I am leaving my comfort zone. Here I am trying to stay motivated. Here I am trying to add to my happiness and self-worth.  I may have to re-read my own blogs just to get through this (insert big belly laugh).

The best part is, in my heart I know everything will work out in the end. I WILL find the right job, I WILL be in the right location and I know I will still be blogging and taking photos.

It’s the journey that gets ya……and so the journey begins.