This blog is for Jim Marventano's family and friends to review his status and updates while he goes through treatment for Stage IV Colon Cancer. We can beat it together!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Back to the Drawing Board

So, guess what? I got a job. Actually, I got two jobs.

Job #1 - Online marketing and website management for my previous boss, Kimberly. I've mentioned Kimberly in a post or two before. She's my life and work mentor. She's smarter than all y'all. And she can shoot pool and play darts with the best of 'em. And she's interesting. And she taught me A LOT about keeping my trap shut and my game face on. (Some of those lessons I clearly need to brush up on.) And she's very self-actualized, which I have tremendous respect for. I have respect for anyone that sets a goal and then actually accomplishes it. Kimberly doesn't just talk the talk. She walks the walk. Anyway, Kimberly owns a franchise of a business down in Jacksonville called Tutor Doctor. So I'm going to be doing some marketing, etc. for her. For those of you who didn't know me before I moved to a Norman Rockwell painting, I had a pretty successful career in IT. I did product management, technical writing and end-user documentation.

Job #2 - I got myself a job as a nursing assistant. Yee haw! My classes paid off and I got a job offer. Not only am I state certified to bathe and feed people (people that aren't my offspring - because heaven knows they don't have a test before we become parents) but I'm also qualified to earn .50 cents LESS an hour than I pay my babysitter! *sigh* I knew the pay would be low. I wanted to be inspired. And I AM inspired when I see how amazing those caregivers are. Man, nurses and CNAs hustle. They work for that dollar. And I'll be darned if not nearly every single one of them throughout Jim's process wasn't completely amazing and giving and compassionate. (Except that male nurse at Northwestern. He was a jerk. I'm looking at YOU - in the Interventional Radiology Department, buddy.) So, they're offering me fifty cents less an hour than I pay my babysitter to work on weekends. Oy. That's time away from my kids.

When I started this process I dragged my feet and said that I couldn't POSSIBLY go back into IT. Because I was burned out. Because I'd had it up to my eyeballs with a lackluster development process and with people who couldn't take ownership for their work. ...And maybe a little bit because I'm scared that my skills are WAY out of date. And yet, when Kimberly called with this opportunity, I am brimming with ideas. With the need to see her business and how she talks to her customers and meet the kids who have had amazing results with her in-home tutoring business. Because if I made an investment in my kids' academic future, and I had to hand a check to one person, it would be Kimberly. (Or Judy Howell. But I digress.)

I wanted to help people the way they helped us. I wanted to be inspired. I wanted to be that comfort when someone needed it. Or that smile when someone with cancer was having a crap day. When I interviewed for the job, the woman smirked at me and said "Um. You must have made a lot of money in Atlanta. You're not going to be making that here." And I knew I wouldn't. Everyone has to start somewhere. And when it's with no experience, somewhere is better than no where. But at this rate, I'm actually LOSING money and I don't get to stay home with my kids.

AND I'm actually feeling excited about working with Kimberly on the Tutor Doctor stuff. Because I'd report to Kimberly, and no one else. If I screw up, it's all on me. No pointing fingers. No office squabbles or personality differences. I'm looking for a job that's interesting but I don't have to climb a corporate ladder. I don't want water-cooler chats. I don't want to hear anyone's opinions or ideas unless they come directly from the person that's hired me. Basically, I just want to do my job to the best of my ability.

So that means eating the nursing assistant courses I took and chalking them up to good experience. At least for now. It means blowing the socks off Kimberly and Tutor Doctor. I'm disappointed. I'd imagined myself working as a CNA part-time and going to school to get my RN. I imagined studying hard and really getting into the classes. But the reality is I'd imagined that from 8-5, Monday through Friday. Not on weekends and times when I'd have to pay someone more to stay with my kids than I'm making.

It feels like I keep starting down a maze track, trying to get to the end, and hit another wall. This maze that is my life certainly doesn't match the picture they held up for me when they roped me into this whole "being an adult" thing. Granted, I LOVE being an adult. Hopefully I can mimic one of those trained rats that knows how to get to the food after a couple of tries. If someone wants to send me the playbook on how this is supposed to work out, that would really be helpful. Because it sort of seems like I'm drawing the maze *and* trying to figure out how to come out on the other side all at the same time.

Hey Jacksonville. If you haven't heard of Tutor Doctor or Kimberly, keep an eye out for them! You've got a bored widow in Wisconsin who's itching to market a business and a boss she believes in. And who just wants to find her way out of this maze to get some cheese...