Things in my life have come to a point recently. Not in a bad way, I think, but in some ways it really feels like the ending of a chapter of my life, and the start of a new one.
I just got hired at a long term care facility (LTC) recently. On that day my scooter was also stolen, making getting to that job a little harder. It's only 7 miles away, and the pay is the best I have ever had at any job, but right now we have 1 car for 2 grown adults to get to work. Odds are we won't get that scooter back, and while it was a fun means of transportation, it wasn't practical long term.
However, a part of me really enjoyed it.I've always been an odd duck, and driving a 49cc scooter around town at age 40 was enjoyable. I have always been a little left of center, so to speak. I don't usually have a lot of issues with other people, and I like other people, but I never completely fit in in a crowd. Driving a scooter just seemed to fit, because while I got a lot of weird looks I also had a lot of people, most of them a little left of center as well, who liked the scooter. It worked, but it wasn't something you usually saw.....just like me.
It was good on gas, about 90 mpg, and it went about 44 mph with my 200+ frame driving it, so around town it was great. But when it rained it kinda sucked, and when it got cold it could be down right brutal driving it even short distances.
The new job pays more than $7 an hour more than the rest of the places in town hire in at, and $5 more per hour than the big cities in FL hire in at. However, there is a reason they do this, of course. This facility is a state of the art, brand new building. They have a lot of IV's. a lot of patients on vents, and working with those types of patients requires more skill and knowledge. Also, they want to hold on to their staff once they train them.
The woman who hired me looked right at me at the start of the interview and said " This place is pretty high stress. If you don't do well under pressure, or have issues dealing with high levels of stress from time to time, you might want to stop the interview right now and go somewhere else.". I wanted to hear more, but to be honest I was a bit taken back. I appreciated her honesty, but most high stress places are high stress because of the management, not because of the job.
My skills are a bit rusty, and i have never worked any long duration in LTC. I did a lot of work in mental health, which has it's own stress levels, but this is a completely different kettle of fish. I need to get IV certified ASAP so I can start next week, and their next course is mid February. SO that's an expense I wasn't planning on. I have never worked with vents, and I told them that, but her response was "You'll learn quick enough around here.".
Most likely I will be working 3p-11p, and that means I have to pretty much give up one of my favorite pastimes, pool. Right now it's a little out of control, because I picked up a Monday night team so I could stop playing 2 other nights. Then, the teams I was going to leave, (Tues and Thur nights) picked me as a co-captain, and revamped their lineups to accommodate a high level player/handicap.....me. I couldn't just up and leave at that point, you know? I also play in a tournament I occasionally help run, on Wed night. So that's Monday, Tuesday and Thursday for league, Wednesday for tournament, and occasionally a Sunday one as well.
Too much pool. I am finally shooting well again, and winning money, but I am playing way too much.
And working at an agency, my sleep hours are all screwed up. I am often up at 4am, waiting to be sleepy. I sleep until 1-2 in the afternoon, because if I don't I might fall asleep at a patients house working for hospice.
This job will pay me over $50,000 a year, and will reset my sleep patterns, my time off with my wife, and my hobbies. It will more than likely mean I have to quit all of my teams for league and possibly stop playing well all together. It means no more staying up late, no more wandering schedules, no more driving 2 hours to a case. No more weeks with 8 hours when slow times hit.
It means no more vacation when I want one, no more flexibility in working. It means higher stress, more work, and longer hours, and more direct supervision while at work. It means state inspections and a higher patient load, about 18 patients per LPN.
It's a lot of good things, and some bad ones, all rolled in to one. and it feels like an end of an era for me.
I go to play in the Best of the Best tournament today in Gainesville, a ranking I won last session for the 12th time. I'm playing the best players in central FL for an $800 pool cue and a lobster dinner. It's winner take all.
And after today, my life changes for good, one way or another. This could be everything I have ever wanted for my wife and I....a new house, a career rather than a job, and financial stability for the first time in my life. Or it could be just like Penney's was....a cherry job at first, which turns into a nightmare.
Kwea, do you mind if I drop you an email with questions about nursing? It's a possibility I've been considering for a couple years down the road and it would be nice to get an experienced perspective.
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