Monday, September 3, 2018

long term prospects

I hurt my shoulder back in May. It got better, but pain still lingers. I have a long ways until considering retirement, so I've taken a systems approach to the matter. I'm looking at the job ads again. I'm trying to blog on a constant basis to get my mind to better consider my current state. Paying off debts while enjoying life in the present makes the long term prospect of being disabled less dreadful. I'm working towards maxing out 401(k) contributions. I'm not ready to go back to school, but reading job ads makes me wonder if I can do anything other than what I currently do.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Recap of my employment with regards to health care and insurance pt1

In another blog, I touched on this subject, but the focus wasn't employment based. Anyways, between 2005-2006, I was a medical librarian in a hospital library. I had quit a fulltime job working at Target where I had a pension and health insurance. Target sucked, but the insurance was cheaper than the hospital's.
I was laidoff from the hospital. I was replaced by cheaper non-professionals, oddly, when minimum wage increased on the fall ballot... just in time of Thanksgiving and Christmas.
My insurance was through my wife's employer. I forget who we had, probably Humana because my Anthem wasn't accepted at the rival hospital and I had Anthem through Target. I originally got insurance through Target because my wife's insurance in fall of 2003, Medical Mutual, didn't cover my primary physician.
In 2003, we had family coverage from both employers, because my wife was 9 months pregnant and it made sense to have coverage where her insurance had gaps.
Yes, my wife was 9 months pregnant and Anthem accepted her and the claims without incident. Being part of a group insurance policy means "pre-existing" conditions didn't disqualify coverage.
We kept 2 insurance carriers until 2005. I tried to cancel my plan when I totalled my car to save $140 a month, but I couldn't until the enrollment period changed with J's employer in January. Very fortunate, for the well baby coverage on J's insurance was capped at $500, so we would have paid for everything out of pocket when K turned 1 that December. Also, J's insurance changed from Medical Mutual, so my doctor was in-network with new provider.
Insurance through the hospital would have been $140 a paycheck, and we got paid bi-weekly. J's insurance at the time was $140 out of the first paycheck of the month.
I could be wrong. I could look at our w-2s and verify, but why should I for this blog? My memory and word should be enough for you to believe me regarding stuff from 2003-2006, right?
Having 2 insurances seems redundant now, but the gaps in coverage were significant. We had already pre-paid for K's birth by the time we got the 2nd coverage, so we had a significant refund when he was born. When I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in fall of 2003, I used to see a therapist of some sort bi-weekly. I didn't have to pay co-pays when I had 2 insurances. I forget what the co-pays were each time, but they were annoying at the time so probably $20-$35 a visit.
Not sure if it was worthwhile to have double coverage, but it definitely made sense at the time.
Working in a hospital, one would think the insurance would be good if not more affordable... it wasn't. The in-network coverage was limited to those affiliated with the hospital.
Before I got laid-off, K had surgery for ear tubes, I forget the cost, but it was expensive to us at the time. We probably have documentation of the cost, but it was covered by insurance before we had a high deductible so it probably wasn't too hateful by today's standards...
K had a severe speech delay from his inability to hear prior to his getting tubes. Our insurance at the time DID NOT COVER SPEECH THERAPY UNLESS IT WAS TO HELP AFTER A STROKE OR SEIZURE EVENT. Thankfully, K qualified for pre-school when he turned 3 and we got grant money from someone through Help Me Grow so we had private speech sessions. I was receiving unemployment, so I was able to drive K to speech every Friday until the $ ran out. He qualified for bussing, but he couldn't talk and was so little, J felt it best I took him to school and back.
Being laid-off was bad, but it worked out for us in the long run.

Sunday, October 1, 2017


I got my pay bumped up from $12.62/hr to $16.60. Package handling pays less than being a courier, though as a DOT handler, I was already driving and performing courier duties in addition to warehouse package sorting.
Still part-time, but my hours will increase if I'm to be used as a driver and expected to help the sort after being on the road.
I noticed my quasi-dream job has been posted. Pays less. Has more hours and is a bit of a drive, but the benefits for my kids seems intriguing. I'll probably apply and get rejected.
I don't want the job now, so I am afraid of being offered it if I were to apply and interview for it. I hate free will.
In other news, I went  to Biolife Plasma center 8 times during the month of September and made a total of $450. Long term-wise, I know plasma donation isn't a great idea, so I'm going to take off a week. Maybe go one week a month and be mindful of the bonus potentials. Normally, one can expect $70 for a week with 2 donations, so I'll try to get around $1,000 a year.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

blood sacrifice

Waiting for my promotion to materialize has been rather cruel. I hate waiting, but to be told I will be promoted when hr allows it was the line for 3 months and now it's the hr platform holding my pay raise up.
I donated plasma after thinking long and hard about the pros and cons. $300 for 5 visits is a pro enough reason to try it. I have $110 after 2 visits. Travel and other time has been about 5 hours.

Sunday, July 23, 2017


I've been on the road more than I expected, especially given I was told I was being kept in the station for my protection. I've been on the road daily since I was told I was only going to be used in an emergency.
May only have been 8 days, but I've been putting in longer days. Normally post-peak, I got 23.5 hours a week. The month of July, I'm racking up 6 hour days regularly. I had  3 days last week during which I took a 30 minute break.
32 hours in a week isn't much, but considering it's 133% of my normal schedule, and I'm a parent running around before work... it's tiring.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Day to Day schedule meh

I don't exactly drive much at work these days. I drove 3 times last week. I drove 3 times all of June. I guess I'm less of a hazard in the station as a handler team lead the whole shift rather than only partially.
Not an ideal scenario I want, but I feared it to become a reality when I got the team lead gig.
I get all blame and no extra pay, so being team lead is a bit of a shitty deal. Wouldn't be so bad if I got paid courier wages, but I doubt that will happen anytime soon. I'm too prone to take off mirrors and such to truly be a courier. Not driving hurts my parking ability, which is my biggest liability.
Long term, I can't do what I'm doing beyond a couple years. Physically and financially, I need something that isn't hard on my hands and adds more to my checking account.
I have no idea what I'm doing day to day. I'm team lead, but I don't feel like one given my team not being much to lead, and my not knowing when I'll be on the road or not.
There's worse things. It takes a job to get a job. I am not my job, so I can move on if the opportunity presents itself.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

perfect world, settling, and systems thinking

When I graduated from library school, I had lot of hope. I did well in grad school and had a relevant grad assistant job, thus figured I was employable in my field.
The world was different then. 9/11 happened right before I graduated, and by the time I was out of school the economy was in a recession.
I was under the impression that the baby boomers would retire and open up positions, but library work doesn't pay great enough to retire early and is easy to do until you are well past retirement age.
It's sexist to say, but librarianship is a woman's field. Management within the field isn't dominated by women though. It may be 50/50, but the numbers favor men in promotions to directors and branch managers.
I sensed resentment when I interviewed for jobs.
I didn't get a library job until 15 months after graduating. I was desperate and expanded my search and took a part-time job 90 minute drive one way. I worked 15 hours a week and spent 9 hours in a car. Gas was cheap and I didn't have kids, so I was hoping to piece together a couple jobs and get something full time closer to home. I got fired at 90 days. I wasn't a good fit. I shouldn't have tried for something that had no long term logical sense to it for I burned bridges by having my references used. When I failed, they looked bad.
I failed. I moved on and took an overnight shelving job in retail that was close to home. I was going to be a father, so I wasn't picky. By the time my son was born, I was able to have a flexible schedule.
I always worked hard. I was always willing to do what was asked. I worked 6 days a week. I worked every Sunday for 2 years straight. 2 days a week I came in and worked 3 hours. For a year, I unloaded trucks. Working Sunday, a day without trucks and only 1 shelver, I learned to shelve all the departments and picked up on how to do backroom stuff. When the backroom had an opening, I got it and didn't unload a truck ever again.
After I was doing well in the new position, I got hurt and put on worker's comp.
It was unavoidable since my crushed finger required surgery, but I was treated differently afterward. I wasn't able to do backroom stuff until I was cleared to use ladders again. I had to shelve again. I shouldn't have been working, but I was doing what I could.
Somehow I got a librarian job and gave 2 weeks notice.
The library job seemed perfect, but I wasn't exactly a good fit and got laid off.
I got a severance package and unemployment just in time for the start of another recession. I exhausted my unemployment when I got another job in retail. Only worked 2 days a week, but it was money. After a couple weeks, I saw a job posted in the Sunday paper for a part-time librarian. I applied and got an interview. Interview was a few minutes long, but I was offered the job and asked when I could start.
The hours conflicted with my new retail job. I was going to give 2 weeks notice, but they were like, "don't worry, thanks for coming in."
I think I have to have another shelving retail job if I ever want to get back into librarianship.