Working for Money

I don’t mind working, I have plenty to do.  Unfortunately, the work I need to do doesn’t pay the bills and I am required to actually go out of the house to work for money.

I decided to temp until I found something I really want to do.  Last September, I took on a temp job for a few months that paid reasonably well for down here, but was exhausting and mind-numbingly dull.  I was too tired for anything after work.  I had a few months off and did stuff around the house and went on holiday.  After the holiday, I started another temp job.

Although this job was a no-brainer admin post (meaning that my experience meant that I could jump right in), the pay was terrible.  People expect a lot for nothing.  There were a few upsides in spite of the crappy pay and that was:  it was local, the people were pleasant, and the environment was interesting.  I was working at an Adult Care Centre run by the council.  I can’t tell you much about it because I signed a confidentiality form.  I had never worked in a place like that before.  It was a real eye-opener.  I have huge respect for anyone that works in that environment.  Their pay is terrible too.  The only people who I think enjoy their jobs at the centre are the care workers, even though they complain about pay and no relief.  My observation tells me that the supervisors are too busy with damage control and risk assessments and filling in mountains of paperwork to really enjoy themselves at work.  They used to be care workers, but now have become paper-pushers.  I don’t see any fun in that.

Even though my pay was poo, it was money, and that meant that I didn’t have to tap into my savings too much.  Going on the premise that gratitude gives you more of what you want, I was trying to be grateful for a job while so many have none.

Working as a temp can be a real eye-opener.  Sometimes you can find your dream job, or you end up knowing what you don’t want to do.  I learned that I would prefer to work in the private sector.  The public sector has too many micro-managers.  I do not need to be micro-managed.  Some people do, but I don’t.  It isn’t very nice having someone looking over your shoulder all of the time.  It stresses people out.

After that contract finished, I had a week off to do some painting and getting things done around the house.  Then I started another job.

This time I am doing admin at a Nursing Home.  I did a test drive last weekend to work out my route.  At first I was a little bit concerned as I went through an area that was a little bit dodgy.  However, when I found the place, I was relieved to see that the place was fairly new looking.  There was no way that I was going to work in a place that was yukky.  This place isn’t.  There are renovations being done and it is quite nice for a nursing home.  The people who manage the place are very nice.  The problem was that there wasn’t anyone to tell me what to do or how to go about it.  They were left without an admin.  Hmmm.  This did not look promising.  By 10:30 am, I was ready to leave as I didn’t know what I was supposed to do.  I felt useless.  Feeling useless is not something I feel very often, if at all.  I pride myself on being organised and efficient.  My agency should have warned me.

After staring into space for about 10 minutes wondering what I was supposed to do, I finally called Head Office and asked someone in HR to put me into contact with another administrator from another home to talk me through some things.  My role would normally involve payroll, but my manager was going to deal with that until I could get up to speed with the finances.  She spent all day learning how to do it as it was her first time.

I managed to speak to another admin to help me get through the invoicing.  Then I spoke to Head Office and got onto someone in accounts.  It may have taken 2 days, but I have now mastered this aspect of the role.  It is straightforward, but time-consuming if not kept up to speed.  I had to do the same for reconciling the petty cash and banking.  I ended up with phone training as it isn’t straight forward.  It took me a whole day to do it.  I still haven’t reconciled the resident’s money, but I made a start by Friday.  By the end of the week, I feel I have made some headway.  In between dealing with all the finances, there are the phones which can be busy, and dealing with other admin duties.  The list seems endless.  I am meant to stay on until they find someone new.

After what started out as a disaster, things are moving along into some semblance of order.  I wouldn’t mind working there permanently even though it is a bit of a journey.  Unfortunately, the pay is poo.  I worked 5 days and one of those days paid for my petrol.  It hardly seems worth it.  I discovered that before the Nursing Home was taken over, the lady who used to work there actually got a decent wage.  Now it has been taken over by a very large charity and the pay band in this area is the lowest for the rest of the country considering that we pay London prices for a lot of things.  There are procedures and documents for everything.  There are deadlines for everything.  This big company likes to micro-manage.  It is unfortunate as it stops people from getting on with their jobs.  The ladies who manage the home are fairly new too.   They want to run a nice home and care for people.  Unfortunately, a lot of their time is dealing with paperwork.  That should ease off once they get to grip with new procedures.

Paperwork is an irritating aspect of most jobs.  If you are not used to dealing with it, or you leave it too long, it can bog you down.  I usually don’t mind it as long as I know what I am supposed to do.  If I know what to do, I just get on with it.  That is just the way I am.  I get on with things.  Every company does things differently.  I don’t mind learning new things.  However, when running a business, there are also a lot of similarities.  Therefore, I can go into any type of business and just get on with my work as long as I know how they want me to do it.  I am always learning something new.

While writing this post, I realised that I am going to have to put aside the fact that I am getting crap pay and working 5 days with one day going for petrol and focus on the good things instead.  I actually like what I am doing .  I am being useful and people are grateful that I am there.  I am creating order out of chaos.  I can only do my best with what I am given.  I realised that the only person putting any pressure on me at the moment is me.  Everyone is aware of the situation and we are all doing the best we can under the circumstances.  I shouldn’t complain about anything.

I was telling my sweetie what it was like on the first day.  I also got an e-mail from ‘The Secret Scrolls’ telling me I shouldn’t complain as it will stop me from getting what I want and to offer gratitude instead to get more of what I want.  Talk about serendipity!  So, I no longer complain.  I merely make observations.  I don’t get frustrated.  I get paid to do a job.  I chose to do it.  If by doing a job I learn what I want instead, I can focus on that instead of focusing on problems.  I have been asked if I would like the job.  I said yes, but only on certain pay conditions.  One can only ask.  I would love a job like this closer to home.  Who knows what The Universe will bring now that I am putting this out there?

I have been feeling better about work knowing there is an end in sight, and that I will make it easier for the next person to take over.  They won’t have to go in cold like I did.  If I do my best, regardless of the pay and circumstances, chances are that I will get a very good reputation as a worker and will be put forward for more work.  A good reputation can be priceless.

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Back in the Groove – With Art

Creating art has taken a bit of a back seat lately.  I have been painting a lot of furniture.  I love painting furniture.  It is creative and practical.  I’m a practical lady.  Besides, I have all of this furniture in my house that needs painting.

The creative process has many forms.  People, whether they realise it or not, are very creative.  They just need to find out where the creativity lies and work out what they are good at.  I am quite good at painting things for practical use.  I am learning to develop my artistic side – to make something just because it looks good or interesting or beautiful.

I find it challenging to make something from nothing, just from my head.  Painting walls and furniture is easy for me.  Working out what to stick on a piece of paper or canvas can test you to the limit.  That is why I like to paint things.  I like to paint things that I see like fruit and flowers.  It is easy to get a hold of these things.  Sometimes I paint things from photos that I have taken.

Photography is another aspect of my art.  I don’t just take holiday snaps.  I don’t just document aspects of my life.  I try to capture something seen from a different viewpoint.  I take a picture to report.  I take a photo of something because I think it is interesting or to use as an example as part of my writing.  After many years of scuba diving, I have only just gotten into underwater photography.  It is a challenge to take a picture of a creature without damaging the reef in the process.  I am surprised at the many newly qualified divers who take pictures without getting their buoyancy under total control first.

Since I started painting just over a year ago, I sometimes use my photos as inspiration to make paintings.  Since my diving holiday in August 2012, I have taken some underwater photos that I wanted to make paintings of.  Not all of the photos are great, but they give me ideas, many ideas!

After working on a mirror that I just couldn’t for the life of me get to grips with, I started a new painting instead.  I had some fun paint that I wanted to try out too!  So this is what I painted…

Red Sea Squid

This is an acrylic painting on A4 canvas.  The canvas is one I had painted earlier in the year that I was going to use for something else.  Obviously, waiting had its advantages.

I saw this Squid in The Red Sea on a dive with a friend of mine.  I hadn’t seen one before.  There were a few of them in the water.  This one looks like it is in a defensive pose.  Because this fish is fairly translucent, it can be tricky to see in bright sunlight.  This photo was taken near the surface.  You can’t really tell from the picture how iridescent the fish is.  However, because I had seen the fish, I could try to portray this in a painting.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t get a really great photo of my painting.  The fish shimmers and floats.  I used special paint and mediums to make it so.  Here it is again…

I am really happy with how it turned out and I had great fun painting it.  I am now working on a series based on my diving photos.   Just don’t expect your normal fish paintings.

Random Photos of My World

It was a glorious Spring day on Sunday!  So, I went for a walk with my ‘big’ camera for a change and this is what I saw…

Hearts and Rainbows!

Before I actually went out, this is what I saw.  I see the hearts every morning as they live over my bed, but the rainbows I only see when the sun is shining.

More Rainbows
Lilacs

As well as being one of my favourite colours, Lilacs are one of my favourite flowers.  I just wish that they would last longer than they do.  I just love the smell of them and they remind me of my childhood.

Anemones
More Anemones

I just love the colours!

Towards Beachy Head
Making Friends

These two pups were having a great time together.  It was a joy watching them and it made everyone smile that walked past.

Three Boats
The Eastbourne Pier
Bandstand Renovations

The upside to the renovations taking place is that all the concerts will be free on the beach! 🙂

Tulips
Red

I don’t know what these shrubs are, but one can see them everywhere.  I love how the top part of the shrubs are red with the new growth and the rest of it is green.

So, what did you see on Sunday?