Posts Tagged ‘benefits’

I Raise You One Sick Day

October 9, 2015

For ten vacation days and….

Actually.

I got six sick days.

And.

Clarification that I did not have the last time I negotiated with the family I work for.

I get the sick days, six, to be actually sick.

Um.

I never get sick.

But I do have accidents.

And doctors appointments.

Which reminds me, note to self, my Healthy San Francisco expires this month and I either need to re-up or look at Medical or Obama Care.

I haven’t experience with either, but they are true health insurance from what I can gather and Healthy SF technically is not health insurance, although, really, it feels just like it.

Suffice to say, I am not going to be covered either way here in a matter of days and it’s time to get aboard that boat now.

“Girl, you have some loose boundaries around your money,” my person said to me tonight with a fierce look in his blue eyes.

I know!

I know.

I really do.

But I am learning and also, to give myself some credit, all this stuff is really new for me.

Despite having been a nanny on my own, sans agency, for a long time, it still takes time for me to figure out everything I need and to than go forward and ask for it as an independent contractor.

That’s what I am in a sense.

I am self-employed, but I have contracts.

I have learned that having a contact brings clarity.

So.

Last night when I realized that I needed some more clarity I took it upon myself to reach out to the family and discuss the next step in our figuring out how to best move forward.

I got great clarity and I am grateful.

I did not get a raise.

But.

I got a raise.

It just doesn’t look exactly how I expected it to look.

I am not getting an hourly increase.

But.

I am sustaining my current benefits despite working less.

35 hours a week when I am not in school.

28 hours a week when I am in school.

With some flexibility to add or subtract.

Like next week the boys have off for Columbus Day.

They actually have Columbus Day and the day after off.

Who the hell gets Columbus Day off?

I don’t remember this as a kid, but the school is a private school and it seems that they have a lot more holidays than I ever remember having.

Anyway.

Next Monday I will work 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. as well as Tuesday.

This is a big shift for me since school started for me and the boys relatively at the same time and I have been working 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. for the family.

I go in at 1 p.m. clean up the breakfast stuff, unload the dishwasher, tidy up, do the boys laundry, recycle, compost, trash, prep snacks, meal plan with the mom, go grocery shopping and marketing, mail stuff, pick up stuff, run errands, make dinner.

Then the boys come home at 3 p.m. and we have our afternoon together, then dinner, baths, then bed time when the parents take over.

Although both mom and dad work out of the office at home, so there is much interaction with the parents.

It took me a little while to get used to that, I’ve typically worked for families that were working away from home, but there’s been enough exception to that rule that when it presented with this family I was not completely unprepared for what that entailed.

But I can handle the shifting hours and it does make it possible to see my person again next week who I normally would not have been able to do.

God it was good to see him.

Those twinkling eyes.

Those wise words.

The shared experience.

And a person that I am genuinely myself with, no masks, no hiding, even when I want to hide, I can’t and I am grateful for his love and guidance and I don’t know how I would have gotten through the last year and a half without him.

I digress in gratitude.

Which for digression is not a bad thing.

We talked about the process of asking for clarity, of what it was like for me to ask for the raise, what it has been like being aware of what I need, also the acknowledgement of how I am moving forward completely above-board and all my tax stuff is transparent and how grateful I am for that.

Frankly, it’s a relief.

I still have fear of getting audited for years that I worked under the table as a nanny.

Be that as it may, I needed to do it that way to get by.

I couldn’t have lived in San Francisco had I not.

I have no regrets about it.

But I do have a choice now to stay in the clear and what with school and financial aid, it just feels right.

Needless to say.

It’s called being an adult.

It’s taken me awhile to grow up and grow towards my financial ideal.

I am still short.

But.

I have come so far.

When I think about the lack of guidance I had in money matters growing up, how lacking my family of origin experience was in regards to financial knowledge, despite watching my mother and step-father have hair pulling, knock down, drag out fights, with tables that got flipped over in the dining room, over the monthly budget, I never learned how to handle my finances.

I’ve learned most of what I know in this last decade.

I really have grown up.

There’s still plenty of growth.

But.

I will acknowledge the growth that has happened now.

I accepted the package the family proposed.

I stay at my current hourly.

But.

I get all the perks that I had before when I was working full-time.

I.e.

I still get the same vacation days!

Which is awesome.

As in I get Thanksgiving and the day after Thanksgiving off.

Hello four-day weekend!

I also get the 23rd-25th of December off for Christmas.

Five day weekend!

Hell.

I could actually make some travel plans.

Plus.

I accrue my vacation days the same way, which means, I get the same ten I got last year and I still get the six sick days, which I now know to actually use when I get sick or need time off for doctors appointments, etc.

I’m getting full-time benefits without working full-time.

This is a really nice perk.

And.

We will follow-up with a review at the end of the year where the family has agreed to look at giving a raise at that time and negotiating moving forward from there.

I think it’s a win.

I certainly learned a lot about myself and my process and I am very proud of myself for the work I did.

Albeit I could have done without the unnecessary drama I brought on myself through anxiety and miscommunication about my vacation days and sick days.

Growth.

There’s always more to do.

But I have to acknowledge the work I did too.

That’s a part of it all as well.

Grateful for the experience.

Even when it was painful.

They say pain is the touchstone of spiritual growth.

I can second that opinion.

And raise my sick days to that notion.

Plus a couple of long delicious weekends in the not so distant future.

Winning.

But Mom!

September 27, 2014

I don’t want to go to school today.

Hack!

Hack!

Cough.

Sniffle.

Sneeze.

I actually do want to go to school tomorrow but I don’t at all either.

I will be getting up a half hour earlier than I have all week-long to go to an open house at the school I am looking into for graduate work next year–the application for the fall semester 2015 opens November, that’s just a couple of months away.

And the open house was heavily recommended by the admissions officer I spoke with on the phone just prior to leaving for New York.

September is turning into quite the month for me.

Ending a job.

Beginning a job.

Burning Man.

New York.

Graduate school investigation.

“Honey, why don’t you take it easy for a day or two, sit back, put up your heels, relax, this new job is taking it out of you,” he said to me on the phone earlier when I checked in.

In between the end of the work day, grocery shopping, and doing the deal at Our Lady of Safeway, I made a phone call to get some perspective and clarity.

Mostly, I think, I just really needed to check in with a human voice that was not one that I work for.

Not that I don’t like my new job.

I do.

I really do.

It’s just been a big, full, overwhelming at times, transition.

I had my first day all on my own and it was great.

Full.

Busy.

I never really had down time.

But I did have time to find things and make things and help the mom prep for the weekend, run to the store, food prep, cleaned out the fridge from the week, recycled, took out the garbage, did the compost, took out the diaper pail, cleaned the kitchen from breakfast, put away the dishes in the dishwasher, took a walk with the youngest boy in the morning when I first came on, negotiated lunch time with him, read stories, put him down for naps, organized the bedroom, the nursery, and rearranged the books in the older boys room.

And that was before I had my own lunch.

I was just sitting down to eat my lunch when the little guy squeaked.

Oh shit.

Then I remembered the other nanny had said that he often would do that, sit up, babbble a little bit, then re-settle himself and sometimes sleep for another half hour or more.

Yes.

I was able to eat my lunch and navigate through my calendar and make some notes about the boys schedule and my schedule in the next few weeks–I’ll be helping some extra hours next week and also the week after–one will be in regards to the eldest boy having a school holiday for two days and the other is a work trip function for the dad.

Then it was time for the nap to be over and the snack to be had and the milk and a snuggle with grandma and grandpa.

Then mom was home and the oldest was back from school and we had an outing to the park and to the book store with the grandparents.

After that I went with the family to Sugoi Sushi on Valencia and had an amazing meal en famille.

Watching a two-year old eat sushi rice is an incredibly messy and entertaining time.

I also felt very much a part of the family and needed and wanted and that was great.

At times the boys have done some push back in regards to certain things, behavior at the playground, some playful testing of my boundaries, but really they seem to be adjusting super well to me and I to them.

That’s not to say that there were a few moments when I was exhausted and wondered, will I be able to make it the year.

And it’s just the first week, which means, it gets easier, I will establish routines and systems and I will navigate my way through.

When we got back to the house the mom wrote me a check, my bonus, for $300 to help me transition until next week when I get paid from the accounting firm they use.

I am so grateful to be working for people who appreciate and care for me and support me as I support them.

I feel really lucky.

“They are lucky to have you,” he told me point-blank.  “Really lucky, don’t forget that.”

I won’t.

But I am grateful too, to have this opportunity that seems to be working really well for me to pursue a graduate school goal as well.

So.

Despite not wanting to get up early tomorrow, my first day off from a full and busy week, the alarm is already set for 7:30 a.m.

And I will get up and shower and get my breakfast on and go.

The one thing I may decide to do differently is not take my bicycle.

It will mean that I have to be on MUNI much longer than my bicycle ride would be, but I think the ankle needs a break.

I had to take some ibuprofen pretty much as soon as I walked in the door and I have been icing it the entire time I have been blogging.

It is doubtful that I can take the entire weekend off from my bicycle, but I can take tomorrow off.

Sunday will be my day of rest.

I have nothing planned.

Just grocery shopping and making food for the week, which is a chore, but one that is quite helpful in making my week smooth and easy.  I’ll probably stay out here in the Sunset the entire day and just market and cook and read magazines.

That’s the plan for the weekend.

It always feels like a lot of work, and when I acknowledge it, it is.  I worked a new job for 40 plus hours this week, rode my bicycle back and forth to work every day for the first time since I injured my ankle (13-15 miles every day), went to do the deal every night, wrote morning pages every morning, and blogged every night.

No wonder I am tired.

I suppose I best get used to it.

That’s what I hear graduate school is all about.

More work.

And that’s cool.

I would rather work it out than not.

I’ll see you on campus soon!


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