Saturday, June 11, 2011

Odd turn of events

Last Thursday, I had a job interview. The night before, I was feeling rather hesitant, and not really sure why. The interview went fairly well, I thought, and if anything, I thought that if they didn't hire me, it might have been because I was slightly over qualified. I sent very nice thank you notes over the weekend, and was going to follow up this week.

Yesterday morning, I got a phone call from a number I didn't recognize. It was the HR lady from the company where I'd interviewed, and with whom I'd first met. (She was working from home that day, so the call wasn't the company's main number, which I would have recognized.) I knew right away that I didn't get the job, without her saying more than "we've concluded our interview process." She went on to say that they had made their selection, and she even told me that I was the top candidate after the one who got the job--the person they hired had more technical print book experience than I did. She also told me that they enjoyed meeting me very much and to keep an eye on postings at the company, and hopefully she'd see me again someday.

Many people might be super bummed getting this kind of news, but I was OKAY. I wasn't bummed. I didn't get upset. In fact, it was slightly relieving to know that I didn't have to make a choice! Since I was at work, I couldn't say much to her, but her end of the phone call was honestly one of the best rejection calls I've ever received. In fact, it might have been the only one I've received--just impersonal letters and emails. I thanked her for calling and said "I just have to say that I appreciate you taking the time to let me know." She said something about how she's been on the other side and doesn't want to leave anyone hanging. I wish all HR people and hiring managers followed this practice. I'm sure it's not fun to call people and say "hey, you didn't get the job!" but it is the right thing. I might follow up with an email, just to say thanks again. I had to be so "cryptic" since I was at my desk, I might have come off slightly robotic, lol.

Then we had our health insurance meeting. I went into the room, steeling myself for the inevitable, and when I opened the packet to view the prices...THEY WERE LOWER. For EVERY plan. Finally, someone saw the light and contacted OTHER insurance brokers! We'd been using the same guy for years, and I think he's a modern-day snake oil salesman. My father had used him when my family business needed benefits and was highly displeased with the guy. The new broker is great, the representative from the insurance company was super, too. We won't be with the same company anymore, but I had been on this new company years ago when I worked at a different job.

Now to pick a plan... There are four plans to choose from--HSA, POS, and two HMOs. Yes, they are all lower than what we're currently paying (for almost identical coverage), but there is one that would be HALF as much as what we're currently paying. Before Turtle was laid off, the plan was to go on his company's insurance since it would have been cheaper. That option had been removed from the table, and I wasn't looking forward to going into this meeting to find out that we'd have to pay MORE. It is such a relief to know that isn't what we're facing, and we have the potential to have up to $200 extra a month in our pockets. (We currently pay $441 every two weeks, for two people--just thankful that two people aren't considered a "family" plan.)

I keep thinking that there might be a reason for me to stay at this job. I don't know what it is yet. My boss drives me up the wall, and most days I don't even talk to him, but I am getting to do more and more, I have a lot of responsibility, and I'm actually thinking about asking for a title change pretty soon. I'm thinking July, since it'll be six months since my old boss left. I have stepped up a lot, I have a lot of "freedom," and my relationship with the owners has grown SO much.

My only concern was/is how they'd handle me being pregnant and going on maternity leave. We have our first pregnant employee now (we'll call her Mary, ha) and they haven't been as flexible as I'd hoped they'd be. Mary has worked at our company a few months longer than me, too. I don't know if it's because of her department head (he's kinda jerky and VERY SERIOUS) or if it's the nature of her workload, but I know she hoped for something different. I also know that they can't do more for one than they did another, so...I just hope that they will change a bit once her baby is here.

Another coworker (who is very good friends w/ Mary) and I were talking about what Mary had asked for, what the company was going to do/not do, and our thoughts were similar--while we know that you can't get everything you want, it's still better for the company to treat a pregnant employee super well. Who's to say that she isn't searching now? Or won't search while on leave if she can find something that works better with her new life as a mom? If Mary were to leave, for any reason, the company would have to spend time and money looking for someone to take her place, train them, get them up to speed. During that time, the rest of the department would feel that pinch, people would be stressed. It's common sense. If I were a company owner and had someone who'd been working for me long-term, like Mary or myself, I'd make it so I could keep them around as long as possible. Yes, everyone is replaceable, pretty much, but when you look at the bigger picture, I'd rather keep an awesome employee and let her work 2 days a week from home, vs. losing her and having to start over from scratch. (I don't really know what she asked for, but that might be something I would ask for!)

When I look at my own job duties and what I know, I've been in my department the longest. I know a LOT of random stuff that you just can't teach someone. Besides, the owners don't know all of what I know! I'm valuable! I hope that when my time comes, if I happen to still be there, they will see my value and want to work with me. I do have the advantage of having one of the owners as head of my department--the wife of the couple who owns our company--and they have two kids. Maybe that will be my ace?

1 comment:

  1. Yay! It sounds like you have a positive outlook and that things are going better than expected. Glad to hear about your health insurance. You are right that it costs companies more to hire someone new than to keep a current employee, so they really should be making more effort. But it could be different for you than for Mary, like you said. Or you could be somewhere different by then after all, right? Who knows! :)


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