Saturday, July 21, 2018

Employment Situation

Some of you have seen some of this in a note I posted on Facebook on June 28, and I was able to tell a few of you personally over the past month. But I want to share it with all of you, now that there seems to be a good outcome.

On June 8, I let my employer know I must be off July 1-15 for General Convention. But there are rules. I lacked seniority. I was offered the "choice" of resigning or being fired because of my insistence on serving at General Convention. I was told that if I didn't show up for work on July 1st, I would be a "noshow/nocall," which would mean termination. With the advice of family and friends, I opted not to resign, but to let the chips fall where they might. I served as a Deputy at General Convention, assuming it would cost me my job.

To me, this seemed a bit short sighted on their part. I found it difficult to believe they can hire and train someone to be as effective as I had become over the course of 10 months. But it is what is. I assumed I would return from General Convention unemployed again.

But I did not merely sit around eating the bread of anxiety. I also went online and looked for local jobs. Among them, I applied for a cashier position at the local Target store. [Never mind the ego impact of going in one year from manager of a statewide preservation program to "unskilled labor." Income is income.]

I had an interview at Target on June 29th. It went well. As it turns out, the interview was with a HR person, and I think it was merely meant to weed out those who couldn't walk and chew gum at the same time. She told me I would have a 2nd interview with Chris, who was manager. I thought she meant he was manager of the cashiers and front end staff. Unfortunately, he was on vacation and wouldn't be back until I had already left for Austin. She told me call when I get back and schedule an interview with him. So I went to Austin with no idea of what the future might hold in the employment department.

I spent the entire time at General Convention assuming I was unemployed, but hoping for the best. As you may imagine, it wasn't a pleasant situation.

I got home in the wee hours of Sunday, July 15. On Monday, I called Target. I had my interview with Chris Tuesday at 5pm. He offered me the job. There was a bit of a surprise in this. I thought I was being interviewed for a cashier position. But his first questions were about my experience in sales. I thought that was a little odd. It turns out he is manager of the "soft lines," all the clothing and accessories. That's where I'll be starting. He talked about cross training, one thing led to another, and I said I had first looked to see if they had an opening in the Starbucks when I applied online. He said they never start people in that department, because it is so busy and there is so much to learn and remember, but that it's a possibility.

As Chris said they would, the HR people called me today. I went in this morning, they made the
formal offer, and we talked about a start date. Alas, I probably won't start until about August 1st, for various logistical reasons. It's going to difficult to manage a whole month without income, but I think I can eke it out.

Here are some things that make me very happy.

1st and foremost, I'll remain employed.
2. The starting pay at Target is 37% higher than I had at Schnucks. It sounds like Target might
not give me as many hours to work as I had at Schnucks.  But I think I will come out ok.
3. The Schnucks deli work was killing my shoulder, which is still painful after my broken arm in February. I had begun to wonder how much longer I could physically manage that job. I think
the Target work will be less physically demanding.
4. I will no longer have to show up for 6:30am shifts. (That was especially grim in winter, when it was dark.) The Target store opens at 8am and closes at 10pm.
5. Like Schnucks, Target honors my stipulation that I will not work on Sundays before 1pm, so
the job won't interfere with my church attendance.
6. The Deli Manager at Schnucks was [ahem] a bit challenging. In the 11 months I worked there,
he only said one positive thing to me about my work. Chris at Target seems like he will be a
better manager.

Let me add this. I know that many of you have been praying for me, as I was terrified at the prospect of being unemployed again. I thank you deeply for your prayers. I know that many prayers seem to unanswered ... or at least not in the ways we hope. I don't know why I got this
blessing, but I am deeply grateful for it and for your support.

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