Saturday, March 19, 2011

Here Comes the Sun

When I left work this morning, there was frost on my windshield and I turned the heat in my car WAY up.  When I ran to the store a few minutes ago, I had to turn the AC on.  I love this time of year!  Tomorrow is the first day of spring, but for the next month or so, in northern Illinois, the seasons will overlap.  It should be close to sixty for the next couple of days, and then snow within the week.  Meanwhile, the world has that mushy, muddy smell that promises thunder storms, squirrels in the yard, and BBQs.  In the words of the great (and super sexy) Barry Manilow.. "Looks Like We Made It!" Another winter under our belts.  This one flew by.. but maybe because I started a new job the first of October, and there was oodles to keep me busy.

The office where I'd been a supervisor for Bank of America in the credit card and loan department for over ten years closed last December, so I was job hunting for a while last year.  Toward the end, the bank was running a little bit scared, I think, and policies changed... customers were frozen out in their attempts to keep their heads above water, and I didn't feel good about the work that I was doing at all.  The maps say that the Rockford stateline area has some of the highest unemployment in the country, and it makes sense since we were a huge industrial city for years.. but the factories all closed down, sending workers back to school or into jobs that were unfamiliar.  I had my eyes open, but finding a different job wasn't likely.  Eventually, though, the office closed its doors and we were all set free to find new digs.

Some of my coworkers found other banks, and a lot of them went into Chicago to do everything from fashion work to landscaping.  I looked for a while, and was offered a few jobs that didn't fit.  I was worried for a while that I'd end up in Chicago too, and that made me SO unhappy.  Rockford is already too big a city for this middle-aged, barefoot country girl.  Dammmmit.  Anyway... long story short (too late?) I was driving around and applying for jobs one day with my stack of resumes in the back seat and my notebook with directions to the jobs that I'd mapped out in the front seat.  I have no sense of direction, so Map Quest is my friend.  As I was driving down a bumpy back road, looking for the next place on my list, I was praying.  I asked God to find me a job where I could be a blessing to the people that I worked with, and a job that I would feel blessed to have too, and not guilty for raising rates and pulling loans.  Some redemption, you know?  Just then, my notebook fell on the floor on the other side of the front seat.  There were no curbs on the road, and it was too narrow to pull over, so I took the next right hand turn to pick it up.  Pulled over.  Got my notebook.  Fixed my hair.  Looked up and saw a sign for a children's home.  I went inside and applied for a job.. filled out forms for a background check and DCFS clearance... finished my running and went home.  Almost a week later, I called them and asked why they hadn't called me back yet and they offered me a job. 

The bad thing about working for a non-profit is the pay.  The good thing is... everything else!  I love it there.  I work in a cottage with nine teenage boys, all with autism and other developmental disabilities.  I'm on the NOC shift, but they don't sleep much, and there is never, ever a dull moment.  Things have a way of working out. 

I had a point in mind when I started this, but I lost it along the way.  It had something to do with spring, I'm pretty sure. 


  1. Yep, I soooo hear ALL of this. Winter coat in the morning to go to work and no coat at all after 11 am or so.

    Plus there is the job change. Went from office work that I hated to caring for clients in their home which I love. The office paid better and I really, really, really don't care.

  2. Kristin:

    Sounds like you are happy in your new job. Sometimes that can be more important than the pay.

  3. That's great, Sherry! Loving what you do is worth more than a pile of dollars. :)

  4. I am, Whit. And you're right.. it can be!

  5. Kristin,
    Funny how things work sometimes. Congratulations on the new job. I've been doing the caregiving gig for quite awhile and while the pay stinks, there is something priceless about such things as drawing a smile from a person who rarely smiles.

    (Oh yeah. Think how much worse your pay would be if you worked for a for-profit.)

  6. Just have to add a word about the game I like to play here on blogger. Take the security "words" and try defining them. My original comment required me to type in "butracke" which I assume is a gun rack for one's personal caboose.

  7. Ahh yes, Spring a change of seasons. The end of one and the commencement of another. Maybe that relates to you post and mention of your new job?

    Good Luck!

  8. Thanks, Mr. O. I'm really loving the work... and slowly getting used to the night shift. :)

  9. Illumination Guy:
    I think so, yes! A change of scenery is always nice. :)