Saturday, April 10, 2010

Ren has a job!

Yes! It’s true. Two months after being “laid off”, yours truly has been hired by the non-profit Kids’ Center! It was quite a bumpy road; a process lasting 3 weeks.

I received a call from Human Resources on Wednesday extending the offer to join their team as the administrative assistant to the facility manager.

“Thank you. Problem is, we haven’t even discussed wages, schedule and other benefits” I told the woman from HR.

“We still need you to take a TB (Tuberculosis) Skin test, and hopefully you can have the results back by Friday so you can start on Monday. In the meantime, let me review your file and get back to you with the offer this afternoon” she said.

I was at a standstill. I had a job…… but no wages. Can I Facebook the good news? I immediately called my dad to let him know that I had both good and bad news.

“What’s that?” he asked.

“The good news is that they’ve decided to hire me. The bad news is that I have no idea what they’re willing to pay me! I’m still lost!” I said laughing.

He was extremely proud and congratulated me over and over again.

“Oh wow! You don’t know how great these news are! This is amazing! Congratulations! I am so happy!” he exclaimed. Things with my mother weren't as exciting though. "Oh that's good. So you can't babysit the girls anymore on Mondays and Tuesdays I take it?" she said.

I went to have the TB skin test administered that afternoon at a walk-in clinic at the pharmacy and later went on campus to study for a test. The HR lady called me later that afternoon as promised and began going over the benefits.

“We offer a 403B retirement savings plan (similar to 401K but for non-profit organizations) health, dental and vision insurance at low cost. 17 days of Paid Time Off a year. And I’m sure you’re waiting for the wages…..” she said.

It was better than what I had actually asked for in my application and discussed in the interview.  You can imagine my surprise. It amounted to a 12% increase from my previous salary. I actually got what I wished for.

The next day, I went into my regular job and slowly broke the news to all my colleagues and bosses. The President was saddened by the news of losing me but smiled and wished me good luck. The Executive V.P. mentioned that she was happy for the good news and let me know that I had been a wonderful asset to the company for my duration there. At the end of the day, I parted with many hugs with everyone and exchanged phone numbers as well.

One of my boss asked me if I’d be willing to come in for a couple of hours if there was ever anything extra they needed help with. I hesitated at the thought.  “I can’t promise I’ll be able to. This will be a full time job, and I go to school full time as well, including the weekends. But you can always call. I may not answer right away, but I will get back to you.” I hope she got the hint. They’ve been doing fine without me anyway for two months, so I can’t imagine what they’d be calling me about.

But hold on- it gets more complicated!

I went on Friday to get the TB skin test evaluated before going to turn in paperwork for the new job and was given bad news: I tested positive.

How can this be??

The physician told me the next step would be to see my doctor and be referred for chest x-rays. When I told him it was for a pending job, he gave me a few numbers of doctors around the area that might be able to see me in today. I called a few, but most of them charged over $70 for the visit, and who knows how much more for the x-rays. I called HR and my new boss and told them the bad news. My new boss told me to come in anyway for the meeting with HR to see what they could refer, but that this in no way meant I couldn’t work with them. It just meant that the process may be delayed, and if I really had the disease, I’d have to get treatment.

“It’s okay. I went through it too when I first came here. Don’t you worry” he reassured me.

Oh thank God. I was scared this would mean no job!

HR told me this would push my start date back by a week if I got x-ray results on time. They just needed a yes or no on whether I had TB because there were kids around the center, obviously.

I drove to a low-cost clinic down south and walked in to see a doctor.  I paid a total of $55 for the visit AND the x-ray which came back negative. The doctor gave me a note to give to my employer and almost 3 hours later, I was free again. I called HR to let them know the good news, and she scheduled me back to come see her on Monday and finish the paperwork then.  We didn’t discuss if I’d be able to start on Tuesday, but I’m hoping that’s the case. I’d hate to waste an entire week.

So there’s the conclusion to a very….. chaotic week. I’m hoping this weekend will be good.

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