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Saturday, July 03, 2010

The week in review

This week was strangely out of the routine, as I switch to a new schedule. It's got me a little flummoxed. On the one hand, it was an incredibly light week marked by intensity; on the other hand, I wasn't quite sure what to do with the extra time.

The reason is the new job. I'm still a librarian, of course, and still maintain my twenty-hour-a-week job at the hospital library as a solo librarian. But for the first time in, oh, ever, our system is starting to get into insurance billing as a way to cut costs and ensure our continued work. [There is still no financial obligation to patients or families, though--no co-pays or deductibles, and insurance is only billed with the family's consent. Obviously if someone doesn't have insurance or for some reason doesn't want theirs billed, all care is still provided for free.]

It's a completely new arena for us, and as so often is the case, we are one of the pilot hospitals in a new process. We went live on Thursday. The reason this matters to me personally is that I have been hired as a clerk for another 20 hours a week to enter charges for certain things. What this meant for me is that I was suddenly part of conference calls, had to have training in the computer program's use, and have had to work with the team when issues have come up.

Since it was the first week--and Go-Live wasn't until July 1st--I wasn't needed for a full schedule every day, but needed to be flexible (one day I came in early for a few hours, even though normally I work in the afternoon, for example).

What I found was that the new schedule has some pros and cons, and some challenges.
  1. I work late morning till early evening, which makes scheduling a doctor's appointment somewhat challenging (especially as my optometrist doesn't see patients until 9:30 am).
  2. The natural break in my schedule for a lunch is at 2:30 pm--when the cafeteria is closed. Today for example, I grabbed some mac and cheese at 12:15 pm from the lunch room (I'm used to eating lunch at 11:30, so I've been eating a little something later each day) and ate it at my desk, took a lunch at 2:30 and ate hummus and pita I'd brought from home, along with a couple of deviled eggs from the salad bar.
  3. I haven't been over to my friends' house all week. This means lengthy but enjoyable phone calls almost every night.
  4. The buses only run every hour once I get off work, so that makes errands a little challenging.
  1. I probably am working the best schedule for a night owl who has always worked best from about 10 am-7 pm (I used to work that at the survey research centre, for example).
  2. I'm not standing on my feet 28 hours at the gas station a week. That's now cut down to 8.
  3. Instead of working three 12 hour days and two four hour days during the week, I'm now working 8 each day, so there's more continuity.
  4. It's nice to be there full-time. I feel more connected in some ways to my co-workers at the hospital than I had been (which after 13 years, I thought I was pretty well connected to everyone already).
  5. There's no need to run and catch the bus to another job in the middle of the afternoon. I can take my time going home if a rainstorm blows up or if I need to run errands.
  6. I'm home by 8 pm instead of 11 pm. For now, that means it's still daylight when I get in.
  7. I only have to walk from the store one night a week.
  8. Oh, yeah. More money. And it goes into my retirement, which I've increased to 6% before I have a chance to miss any money that might go in. They're resuming matching our retirement, too, so this is a wonderful thing.
So what did this mean for this week?

Monday I worked at the library, then stayed another hour or so or a conference call. Tuesday I came in at 8:30 and went through some of the process with some people, then worked until about 12-4:30 at the library. Wednesday was the last actual half-day I had, so I went to the eye doctor, got contacts, ordered glasses, and then got my hair cut. (I would have gone over to my friends' house but they were doing something with the family.) Thursday was mostly to schedule; I left a little early once I finished up everything. Today was the same--but I also had a nice neck/backrub by a massage therapist as part of a de-stress thing they were doing at work. That was really nice. She was really surprised how tight my muscles were (they always are; my friend can't touch me without causing pain because of it, but she was really gentle and got them to relax. I really should consider getting a monthly massage. Their group is having a special of $35 for an hour right now, apparently. It's out by Hamburg, so I could get there on the bus. I just don't know if riding the bus after a massage is the best thing; they're kind of bumpy. I used to hate doing so after the chiropractor back in the day.)

What I have been doing that's a bit strange is I've come home, eaten, and then slept for an hour to three after getting home. I think it's because I'm trained to come home, eat, and then it's already time for bed when I was coming home at 11 pm. So I need to get over that. Plus, I was probably sleep deprived early on in the week. I have managed to actually get some reading in, too, though.

So what are the plans for next week? Tomorrow I'm going to the Fourth of July festival that they're having on the third :) downtown, then I work a short (5 hour) shift in the evening at the store. Sunday is completely free; we're not playing the game. I have Monday off, too, so my plan is to go over to my friends' house then, since the buses will run on a normal schedule and I'll get to stay later. I also need to pick up my repaired glasses on Monday. Tuesday-Friday should be my first days at full schedule. (Tuesday will be especially busy, it looks like). Then next Saturday I should be back to the eight hour store schedule, and then next Sunday we should have a game.

I've got part of the notes done from last week's game; I still need to work on those. I'll probably finish on Sunday, since I'll have a free day, and do some cleaning around the house, too. I also have a project that absolutely is due by July 15th, where I'm contributing many entries on ac couple of subjects to an encyclopaedia.

Okay, my computer keeps reminding me that there are updates and wants to shut down (I finally told it to come back and see me in an hour.) I should go back to sleep--it's almost four (but I went to bed at 10. See what I mean?)

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