Thankful to be employed

I'm one of those lucky people who was over-employed during the pandemic. I was working at least five gigs at the same time, and one part-time job that was 100% in-person went from a couple of days a week to more, at times several days in a row, because they had to limit the workers in the company. I also had a part-time job that became at-home a year before the pandemic because there was a shift from a W-2 situation (where I had to work in-person in an office) to a 1099 situation (freelance). So between those two part-time jobs, I was working essentially full time. I also was teaching online and in-person, and I did freelance digital work for a couple of companies. So at times I was working up to 80 hours a week, and I never dipped below 40. I can't believe I was able to do all that and never got sick or missed a day of work, nor miss deadlines or anything. I even filled in for other people who were sick. Now that I work a mere 50 hours a week, I look back at that time and am amazed I handled it all without even feeling stressed. I guess I really liked working to the max and was running on adrenaline. 

Then last year, the almost impossible happened when I got a full-time job. I had been working at the same company part time for seven years, and sometimes filled in for someone who eventually left for another opportunity. After freelancing, working part-time jobs, and running my one-person business for several years, it was very weird to have to go into work every day at the same place. I thought the office politics and other drama would be a nightmare because I was tied to one place. But it's been wonderful. My coworkers and boss are fantastic, and I like the work. I've met new people and have had a great time. I feel a sense of satisfaction and peace and actually feel successful. I'm not financially successful, but I have zero issues, which is worth a lot. Everyone I have to directly interact with is responsive and responsible, and they're all really nice people. I have zero stress, no drama, nothing negative. I'm also totally in charge of my work flow; I don't have to work within someone else's framework, which is very satisfying. I didn't know that I'd totally enjoy being in control of my own work flow, but now that I've experienced it, I want to keep working in such a situation. It's very satisfying to decide how to do something, who to ask to do it, when to get it done, etc. I always get everything done early or on time, and because it's on me and I am able to accomplish it, it's even more rewarding. Also, my boss leaves me alone because he trusts me, and he also doesn't mind that I have a personality. I don't have to fake introversion to survive. And a nice bonus: I have a large office with a view. I often don't turn on the lights so that I can see the sun, and when it becomes dark, the city lights are my wallpaper. The whole situation is unbelievably great.

I've also been teaching, and because one school has consistently asked me to teach and the classes fill up pretty quickly, I can no longer teach at another school. I'm lucky that I was able to teach at both schools for a while. Now that I have a full-time job plus teach some classes, one school keeps asking me if I can teach a class over there; every semester they ask me, which means a lot because it's nice to be needed, but at this point I only have time for subbing. At the other school, I'm having a great time teaching because I really like the students, and my bosses there are supportive as well. So right now, I have the full-time job and the teaching, which still makes me over-employed but not at the level I was at earlier this year (the W-2-turned-1099 part-time job ended in the summer when my boss retired). And I don't work with any difficult people or jerks (and this is where I want to plug the excellent book The Asshole Survival Guide, which everyone should read).

I'm not talking about my work situation to be publicly fake. I'm seriously glad that I'm still employed because some people have lost their jobs or they've had a tough time during the pandemic. Because of all the negative news and the changing economy, I sometimes worry about what's going to happen. I hope I'll continue to work for the rest of my life because I have no plans on retiring; there's still a lot to do.

p.s. e-book version of my debut novel (I'm working on a second one) is still at Amazon, and the price for the print version has been reduced: buy at the Eckhartz Press site.


No worries

A lot of people are now saying "no worries." It's a trendy phrase that I wasn't going to comment on until I heard someone use it in the wrong way. 

This is what happened: I made an appointment, which was cancelled a day before. I rescheduled the appointment and arrived a bit early. As I was waiting, the receptionist said that the person I was waiting for was going to be late, and asked if I could reschedule for three hours later. It wasn't the best situation, but I decided to go to the gym and get something to eat to make the delay worthwhile. I said okay, and the receptionist said "no worries." Let me break this down.

Receptionist: Sorry, she can't make it on time. Can you come back at 3:45?

Me: Okay. I'll see you later.

Receptionist: No worries.

Hmmm. Why would she say "no worries" if I'm the one who was inconvenienced? After all, this was the second cancellation from their end, so I should be saying "no worries." I didn't even say anything to prompt her to respond "no worries." I just said "okay."

But it didn't stop there. I was walking back to the place to go to my newly scheduled appointment, when my phone rang. It was half an hour before the appointment was supposed to start.

Receptionist: Sorry, she can't come in. Can you reschedule another day?

Me: What about tomorrow?

Receptionist: No, she's not available tomorrow either. She's not available until Wednesday.

Me: I work all day and night Wednesday, so I'm not free. 

Receptionist: What about next weekend?

Me: Okay.

Receptionist: No worries.

Again, nothing I said would prompt her to respond "no worries." There were now three cancellations. The last cancellation was right before the rescheduled appointment, and there was no reason for me to be in that neighborhood; I'd gone there just for the appointment. This would be a more appropriate use of the phrase:

Receptionist: Sorry about all of the inconvenience.

Me: No worries.

But there was no apology from the business for me to respond to their flakiness with "no worries," though I don't use that phrase anyway. I think the receptionist has heard "no worries" so often in our culture that she's made it part of her own speaking style, but it's really supposed to replace "no problem," which I still use. Maybe the newer trend is to just say "no worries" independent of a context because it's become cool or something. Btw--it's a phrase that came from Australia, at least according to Meghan Jones from Reader's Digest (I inherited a subscription from my mother-in-law and still subscribe).

Now that "no worries" has saturated the speaking culture, I'm wondering if there's room for a new trend, such as saying "de nada."