New Position

2014 has really turned out to be an amazing year for me.  I got engaged, we got our domestic partnership, Callie got my insurance benefits which led to full coverage for IVF, we became foster parents, we got pregnant with TWINS, we moved into a bigger and better apartment, and we got married!  I may have been ridiculously stressed but more so than ever, ridiculously blessed.  This has been the best year of my life, hands down.  The only thing that I have been struggling with are the hours at my job,and how a swing shift has turned me into a narcoleptic crank pot who will simultaneously fall asleep on the train while cursing out the lady next to me for reading her bible quietly out loud.  I’m a church goer, but the Jesus whispering was just too much that day on my 3  hours of sleep in 3 days!

My schedule is the relief shift, or the relief shit as I like to call it.  Basically, what happens is that I work other people’s days off.  I work for the NY commuter rail (I literally work on the railroad), and it’s a job that needs to be covered 24 hours a day.  Just because the trains don’t run for passengers 24hrs a day doesn’t mean they don’t run all day and night.  There are employee trains and freight trains, deadhead trains and garbage trains.  I announce every train, at every station, every day (with the exception of Fridays and Saturdays which are my days off).  Sundays I work at Grand Central from 7am-3pm, but because there are no trains that will get me there on time, I have to take the train out at 5:30am and sit in the office for about an hour waiting for my shift to start.  Mondays and Tuesdays I work 5:30am to 1:30 pm which is great! I love being able to get out early, especially in the winter when the days are shorter, so I’m still able to leave and enjoy a few hours of marvelous sunshine. Wednesdays and Thursdays though, I work the overnight shift from 9pm-5am.  This is where the schedule gets a little crazy.  I get home from work around 5:30am.  It takes me about 15 minutes or so to fall asleep.  Then I have to get up at 7am to get Mary ready for school.  I don’t get back to bed until about 8:15am, once I’ve gotten her dressed, fed, and dropped off at school.  I sleep until about 11 (if I can even fall back asleep!) and then get up to clean, cook, do laundry and whatever other chores I had to put off during the week.  On a normal week, between Wednesday and Friday, on average, I would get approximately 7-8 hours of sleep on 3 days.  Normally, it was less than that.

Before Mary came into our lives, I LOVED this schedule! I’m one of those people that really values their alone time.  I like to read and listen to music (loudly!) uninterrupted.  I like to go hiking and spend time fishing on my own.  It’s a way for me to maintain my sanity and do the things that I love that perhaps Callie isn’t to crazy about doing.  It also gave me enough time to get things done around the house, pamper Callie with surprises and “our time”, make special dinners, and still have all of Saturday to spend our whole day together with family and friends.  Since Mary, it has been difficult to do any of those things.  It’s a different kind of life.  Not bad, just different.


With that said, I work a union job, where we have a bidding and bumping system.  Bidding:  Every week a “bid sheet” goes out. This is a list of all available jobs.  You get two bids per year to bid for whatever jobs you want.  If you get it, that counts as a bid.  There are P.E.P. (partially excepted positions) available, but rarely. I’ll explain that later.
Bumping:  At some point, you will get bumped out of a position by someone who has more seniority than you.  This has a sort of ripple effect.  The less “time” you have, the more likely you are to get bumped, and getting bumped means possibly being an “extra”.  I’ll explain that too.P.E.P: These jobs are exempt from the “bumping” part.  You can hold these positions indefinitely, unless you break some rule, or have a poor work ethic.  These usually pay really well (anywhere from $30-50/hour), are reserved for people with more time (usually with 10+ years on the railroad), and usually have weekends off, which are PRIME in my field.
Extra:  A position that has no set schedule, but is guaranteed 40 hours/week.  You can basically be given a schedule at the beginning of the work week (Tuesday) and it can be a completely different schedule by Thursday.  You have NO LIFE as an extra.

I started as an Extra as a new hire in July of 2013.  My shifts were constantly changed, I was on call all of the time, and it was really causing some issues in my relationship.  I watched the bid sheet every Wednesday like a hawk!  By March, I interviewed for a P.E.P position and in 2 weeks I officially had a P.E.P. job.  I was one of the few people to ever have one with such little time under my belt.  My pay was increased significantly, but the sacrifice was the Relief shift, which of course (see above) was horrible.  Since I began this job, I have had my eyes open for another P.E.P.  One with better hours and perhaps better pay.  It took 8 long months before one opened up.

I bid for it, sent in my resume, and got called for an interview.  I had my interview last Friday.   The two interviewers really made me feel comfortable which made it easy to answer the questions and not stumble nervously on my words.  It wasn’t even 10 minutes into my train ride after the interview when I got a phone call.  They really liked me and wanted to know if I was still around to meet with their Supervisor.  Since I was already on the train, they asked if I could come back on Monday after my shift.  I agreed and shot over there Monday after work.  I met with the supervisor of the HR department for about 10 minutes.  We talked about a ton of random stuff, but mainly parenthood and the twins I have on the way.  She was so excited about that.  We shook hands and I was on my way.  About 1 hour later, I got a phone call to see if I wanted to accept the position, which I of course said “ABSOLUTELY” to.  In my new position, I will be the one creating the weekly “Bid Sheet”.  I will be communicating with all of the departments, all of the supervisors, all of the higher ups.  My new position is “P.E.P. Assignment Clerk”.  I will be meeting with any displaced employees and helping them to retain new jobs.  I will be in charge of knowing all of our union rules, basically 5,000+ employees and their seniority date, what EVERY job is and it’s job description.  I will be meeting a lot of people, dealing with a lot of personalities, and more than likely, loving every second of it.  I get a pay raise, smaller office staff (vacation days for the year are picked on seniority so finding some {good} days after 33 people go before you is difficult) and the best part: Monday-Friday 8:30-5! SWEET!!!!!!!!!

Starting 11/19/14, I will have my own cubicle (where I can put up pictures of my beautiful family), and I will be able to have a normal life with a normal sleep pattern and normal days off.  I will be making enough money that Callie being a stay at home mom is actually an option now.  I can hike on Saturdays and take my family to church on Sundays (which we miss terribly).  Saturday children’s carnivals, and Sunday dinners with our parents.  Saturday game nights with friends, and Sunday walks in the park.  It looks like 2014 is going to end as amazingly as it started.  Life couldn’t get any better…

40 thoughts on “New Position

  1. Wow! This new position really comes at the perfect time doesn’t it? 2014 has truly been super amazing for you, and I’m sure that you deserve every ounce of it. This new role sounds perfect for you- both in your strengths and abilities, but also in the schedule it affords you. Wow wow wow! Good job my friend!

  2. Wow!!! That is so wonderful!!! I’m so happy for you, Callie and your little family! What a blessing to be able to feel some relief in your schedule plus a wage increase is always awesome!!! Can’t wait to follow your amazing journey for many years to come!! Congratulations!!!!!

  3. Wow how awesome is that?! They say good things come to those who wait. It seems like your time has come. I’m so happy for you. May God continue to bless you! You and Callie seem like amazing people and you deserve nothing less than the best.

  4. Woo! This is really tremendous. The relief you feel must be overwhelming. I’m so glad you were able to find something better for you and your family. You earned it, friend! Way to get it.

    Sending congratulations your way. The Queen is ecstatic for you both! (She knows how hard that work thing can be.) 😉

    • Thanks! It is a GREAT thing, and an easier transition than the old schedule I had…it’s gonna be fantastic to make plans and not worry about whether or not I would have had enough sleep…counting hours for sleep is no fun! Give that Queen a huge hug from us! Every time we see her, we are like, “She’s so damn cute! I just wanna hug ‘er!”

      • You having a more solid schedule will also help to keep the babies on a schedule, too. It’s an added benefit that will definitely make it easier for you guys. One of the main reasons I don’t work is so we can have more flexibility and can see each other more. It’s easy to work around The Queen’s schedule but both schedules (plus baby care) would have been pretty difficult for us. 🙂 So excited for you!

    • Thanks! It really is much better than before. The only thing positive about the other schedule was that we didn’t have to have anyone take Mary to school, but now, Callie’s mom will have to take her, and I will have to sign her up for afterschool program. I have to pay $260/month BUT we get reimbursed. The reimbursements take forever though! Only while Callie is on bedrest, so probably the next 3-4 months or so…but she LOVES the idea of staying home…she really detests her job, so she is trying to figure out what the best plan is…

  5. Congratulations!! I have worked overnights and weird shifts, too, and I know it plays havoc with everything. I’m so glad Callie will get the chance to stay home with the kiddos!! Very happy for you!

    • I think that’s her favorite part about this whole arrangement…she HATES/Loathes/despises her job, and has been wanting to leave for a long time…better hours and better pay is giving her even more incentive…now if only we can figure out how to get her fired from her Director position and get some unemployment…lol!

  6. I’m so happy for you! I am waiting for something similar to this to happen in my life! Send your good job vibes my way!

    – Cade

  7. Congrats times a million! This sure sounds like the best year ever ever!! So much good stuff and your new job is the icing to a big cake! you deserve it!

  8. Pingback: A Whole Year | thechroniclesofanonbellymama

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