I had a great first week at my new job!
Monday was Labor Day, so I only had a four-day week to get started. Mondays are also staff meeting days, so I still have that to experience since we didn’t have one on Tuesday instead.
I had help on Tuesday. Mallory, a sweet college student who had helped fill in during the summer, helped me in the morning. Martha, the second former office manager helped me that afternoon. She’s an amazing teacher! She filled me in on things I wouldn’t think to ask about, and she made sure I could do several things on my own. At some pint during the day, I noticed the phone cord was all twisted and tangled. Ugh! Pet peeve! But I decided not to bother with it since I had assistance throughout the day.
I was on my own all day Wednesday. I took that opportunity to work on getting the bulletin and inserts for this Sunday proofread and polished, questions asked, details finalized, etc. I also had a Monk moment. Not being able to stand the twisty phone cord any longer, I unplugged it and straightened it out.
Thursday morning I finalized the bulletin and printed a sample copy, only to find I hadn’t set the printing guidelines for one of the inserts. Thankfully Martha had planned to come in that afternoon to help me with anything that had cropped up! She guided me through setting that up, then helped me print out the 300 copies for Sunday. Later on she took me on a tour of the church, making a point to show me all the many storage closets where various things were kept or could be kept. We’ve been at that church for 10 years, but I never knew there was that much storage!
Martha came in again Friday morning so she could introduce me to our bulletin folder, Pat. Pat is a sweet little (4’9″) 89-year-old church member who has been folding the bulletins almost every week for 20 years or so. She stood at the corner of my desk and folded the bulletins, stuffed them with the inserts, then put rubber bands around the 6 or 7 stacks of them to keep them from sliding around in the bug box we use to transport them to the sanctuary. I had planned to start going through the various file drawers to see what was in them and get them organized to suit me, but I didn’t want to get into that too deeply because Brian, one of our church members who handles most of our IT, was coming to get me set up on my own account on the computer. While he worked at my desk after lunch, I went into the workroom and started an afternoon-long project.
The worst part of the week was our morning routine. I took the boys to school every day (and will continue to do that next week) because Billy is in the middle of comprehensive exams. (He’s spending most of his time either testing or holed up in his library cubicle reading and preparing. Work hours have been reduced to early mornings for now.) I got up before 5:30 every morning, and by the time the boys started getting up at 6:15, I only had 10 minutes of quiet time to myself. For the whole day. I’m going to have to start getting up earlier… Once they got up and started getting ready, it was time for me to get lunches ready for all of us for the day. Sandwiches are easy; salads and homemade “lunchables”, not so much. They’re not hard, just time-consuming. Every morning, we were out the door by 7:04 at the latest. After I dropped the boys off at 7:45 or 7:50 (after sitting in the car in the parking lot for a few minutes), I headed on to work. Early. I don’t have to be in until 9:00, but I was in as early as 8:10 a few days.
Picking them up from school is okay, but it cuts into my lunch hour. It’s about a 15-minute drive to their school from the church in regular traffic, but I ran into a construction zone on my regular route there the first day. I texted a friend who works at the school to let her know I was running late. I halfway expected to see Jacob sitting there waiting for me… Thankfully the carpool line was still there – and I ended up not even being last! I’ve been looking for and trying different after-school routes to find something quicker. I just may have found it yesterday. It’ll take a few more run-through a before I determine that.after I get the boys, we go straight back to the church, grab our lunches from the refrigerator, and I eat mine as quickly as I can so I can get back to my desk. Thankfully I won’t have to do that on Mondays, and once Billy is able to help out, maybe only on Wednesdays…
The after school bit is a little tough for Jacob. He’s used to being able to ask me for help with his schoolwork whenever he needs to. No more. He’s finally starting to understand that I can’t stop my work every few minutes to help him with a math problem or a history question. It’s taken several serious talks from me and from Billy – as well as a threat of day care in the afternoons. Yesterday was much better. Still, I’m glad I only have one more full week of it.
Hopefully when things get to “normal” I’ll be able together into a more productive morning routine. As it stands now, I’m barely cooking suppers and laundry isn’t getting done until the weekend. There’s no time in the morning, and I’m too tired in the evening. It’ll balance out before long. All in all, I’m glad for my new job and Jacob’s school opportunity (which he is liking by the way).