Thursday, August 18, 2005

Job Anxiety

The reason why I'm up so early today is because I'm having a little anxiety about work.

I think I have mentioned before that we have a large loss team at work that I have been thinking about putting in an application to join for about two years?

Our large loss team is excellent. It's the cream of the crop of adjusting. They are seriously treated better than ANY other office in our entire country. This is no secret. Right now I'm handling losses between $35,000-$100,000, and they basically handle $75,000 and up. Same thing as I'm doing now but just bigger houses.

Here are the advantages:

-significantly more money (it's three salary grades above what I am right now)
-all expenses paid, including DSL, phone, fax, post office box, none of which is paid for right now...I'm paying for my own phone line, DSL and fax machine so I can have the privilege of working from home
-completely virtual (meaning that there is no office to report to and I would be strictly working out of my house)
-guaranteed one claim or less every ten days, meaning no more of these calls at the end of the day with "Well, we have a small fire, no one else to take it, can you go? Oh, you can't go, well, too bad, you're going anyway"
-more freedom with adjusting and less restrictions
-more settlement authority
-more help, meaning that they have a central processing unit in Los Angeles to take care of any supplemental payments down the road
-I get to keep my company car
-no more of this overtime nonsense; I work when I want to work and however many hours it takes to get it done, whether that be twenty hours or sixty hours
-I get to collect Frequent Flyer miles which I can use for personal trips, which is wonderful considering that I have family and friends all over the country who probably would like to see my daughter without having to travel to Big D

Sounds great, right? Just like what I'm doing now but with serious perks.

Now, here's the disadvantage...and this is why I've been thinking about it for two years. The territory is much much bigger than the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex that I'm handling now. The states include Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Mississippi.

Which means that potentially, every ten days or so, I could be out overnight.

P and I have discussed this at length for MONTHS, even before I got pregnant. We decided before I got pregnant that me making this move to large loss would be the best thing for us given the perks that come along with it and the fact that it is a virtual position and completely home-based. Granted, I don't want to be traveling, and that's what I've contemplated it for so long, but I really feel like everything else I would get out of it would be worth a few nights away from home a month, and if P is on board with it and willing to give a little extra to support me doing this, all the better. If you remember me talking about him, my old teammate, E, left to go to large loss last summer and did it right after his wife had a newborn. I've been keeping close tabs with him ever since he went, and he said that he absolutely LOVES large loss and that if he had any idea it would have been this good, he would have left a long time ago. He's not traveling as extensively as I would have expected (hence why I have kept tabs on him) and says the work load is incredibly easier. Every week he's calling our office asking if we have any work for him so he can stay in the Dallas area, which is very encouraging.

Okay, so fast forward to where we are now. I decided about a month ago to go ahead and let the large loss people in my area know that I'm finally interested in coming on board with their team. They've been actively courting me ever since I got back from large loss school in October 2003. (My office sent me to learn how to handle the big losses better, which is when the large loss team started dangling the carrot.) The last time they approached me about it was about a year ago when the guy took Queenie and I out to lunch to ask us about joining. Queenie of course told him that she had no interest in joining because it wasn't the career path she wanted (she hated the field) and I told him that I didn't want to join until I had gotten my family started. I emailed the guy, R, a month ago to let him know that I was interested and to keep me in mind, and he immediately responded that he was so happy to hear that and asked if I would be interested in doing their mentor program while I am waiting for the baby to be born and breastfeeding afterwards...basically from now until I am ready to make the transition. What that would entail is that they would pair me up with a general adjuster who I would talk with, ride on claims with, go to their zone meetings with, and who would just kind of "show me the ropes" so that I am ready to go when I am ready to apply.

I told him that I would want to do it, and went to talk to my managers. My immediate supervisor, K, could really care less. In fact, I think he was happy to hear that I wanted to leave. I think he enjoys the kudos that he gets from supervising a high performer, but doesn't like actually doing it because it means reading my claim notes (which are long) and listening to me complain when I don't like how things are going. My office manager, B, was happy to hear that I was ready to move on to the next step and was not surprised that I was ready to, but really wants me to be a supervisor instead. Um, let's see...lose my car, make not much more money, and have to go to the office every day. No, thanks.

Yesterday, I get an email from R, the zone manager, telling me that they have me on board with their mentor program and that he's talked to B. I'm all set, and they assigned me to E to mentor with, which is perfect since I trained with him when I joined the midloss team in 2003. We get along great and we're friends, plus he's here in the Dallas area which is even more perfect.

So I'm happy. I'll come back from maternity leave, and as soon as I get things kind of settled with my daughter and get into a routine, I'll put in my application for large loss and if they have a position open, that'll be that.

Here's where the anxiety comes in. Please note that I'm basically not working at my office at all right now; I go up there maybe once a week at best, but I'm not up there to hear the goings on and the gossip, and of course, K isn't sharing anything with me.

I had lunch yesterday with a few of my trainees that I have trained, including the girl that is reportedly going to replace me when I go out on maternity leave. In the course of the conversation, they break it to me that my office is basically acting like I'm gone already.


I know they are probably just preparing for my departure and making sure that we have people in line to take my place, especially since I could be starting my maternity leave anytime in October given that my daughter is measuring ahead right now, but it still makes me very nervous, given that I haven't even applied yet! But apparently everyone thinks I'm a shoo-in given my extensive experience. I even talked to my old boss yesterday (pre-Queenie) who left our office to go to large loss and she said the same thing. My office manager, B, even said when I met with him that large loss has called every so often over the last year asking if I'm ready. (Would have been nice if he had shared that tidbit with me!)

So we'll see. I'm sure I shouldn't worry and just concentrate on getting through the rest of this year and bringing a healthy baby into the world, but it's a worry on my mind.

On another note, things with the house are moving right along. My predictions that we'd have contractors here every day are coming true. Yesterday the kitchen guys came to finish up, but forgot to bring the stuff to build the windowsill (shocker, I know!) so they have to come back today and do that. But they did install the dishwasher and range and put up the kickplates on the cabinets and the molding at the top, so I have a fully functional kitchen once again! I even made dinner in it last night! It wasn't much of a dinner since we haven't gone grocery shopping, but it was still good. And we installed the baseboards behind the refrigerator and on one wall. The contractors helped me move the china hutch into place, so I loaded that up. It's going to have to be moved again though when we do the baseboards. I also touched up the posts with paint where the guys scratched them during the floor installation.

After that, we were done. We are both SO tired from all this work, and just went to bed. A lot of this work will be done this weekend, and all we really have left is painting baseboards, installing them, putting up drapes and blinds, hanging pictures, and moving furniture around. We did decide (after a lot of wavering) that we are going to refinish our dining room table, so we're going to hopefully start working on that this weekend. My dining room looks great and I'm getting to really see my beautiful wood floors, but I'd kind of like to have somewhere to eat on other than just standing in my kitch!

We put the Soft Paws on Gabby last night, and she took to it WAY better than Taylor did, which was surprising to me, but I guess it shouldn't have been. Gabby has been with me since college...she has moved with me to a million different apartments, has been with me through the wedding, P, the new cats, the dogs, etcetera. Why I thought she would be fazed because I stuck some vinyl thingys on her claws, I don't know. After I put them on her and fussed over her, she laid beside me and ignored them.

The real test will be MOIRA!

So that's the status. Thanks for coming by, and especially for reading my work babble. It's so nice to have a blog to come talk about this stuff in.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hola Erica. Just catching up in your world. If what you learned regarding your current office is not a HUGE sign that you are meant to tackle bigger & better, nothing will convince you. :)

Go for it. And completely virtual? Perfect for you & your baby girl. Perks galore, more of a challenge, happier days - what's not perfect about that?

Good luck with your little one. Drop by Living Lean and give the gang an update. :)


12:56 PM  
Blogger Erin said...

Erica, I think that's great! I know it's kind of nerve wracking, but it is such a great opportunity that you simply cannot pass it up. And don't worry about the current office. They have to start acting like you won't be there since, well, you won't be there while you're out with the baby. And if you don't get the new job (yeah, right), then you'll just come back and they can deal. :-) But I'm sure it won't be a problem. Good goin' girl!

5:40 PM  
Blogger Sharon said...

I think this sounds just great. Erin is right, it really is an opportunity you can't pass up. And forget about the way the office is acting. Are they jealous much? snerk!

4:35 AM  

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