Update on New Job

The job is going great, I am learning soooo much. I am mentally exhausted and physically run-down, but am loving it!

The people I am working with are (mostly) very nice and friendly, the company has a high retention rate…which says a lot about the work environment. The company is also very good about work/life balance and (I have been told) they do numerous motivational things throughout the year. Perks include Holiday parties (Christmas, 4th of July), free cruises (free for employees, family pays for their spots) and probably a couple other things…I haven’t received my Benefits package yet (I have to finish my 90 day probationary period).

So, this is short because I need to head out the door in a few minutes…sorry I haven’t been posting lately, I’ll get used to the schedule soon.

New Job

Well, I am soooooo exited! The interview I had this past Monday, apparently went much better than I thought because they called back AND I START MONDAY!

I thought I did well in the interview and had high hopes for it, but kept thinking “any interview is good experience for the next interview.” Because I was sure they would have a better qualified candidate.

Anyway, they called back and asked if I could start Monday (July 31). I was informed there is a “uniform” so I had to go out and buy scrubs (I’m laughing about this because I get to work in the equivalent of pajamas!). Sorry, maybe it’s inappropriate, but I was worried that my wardrobe would need updating and I would have to go out and purchase some appropriate shoes, but scrubs? OK, no problem.

The drawback….all training is done in an office that is an hour and 15 minute drive from my house…this is going to make for a loooong week. That is 75 minutes of driving that doesn’t include rush hour traffic, so the drive is probably going to last forever. But, after training, the commute is only about 15-20 minutes, so I won’t complain (too much anyway).

So, here’s to finally getting back to work and earning a decent wage. I can’t wait!

I have NEVER been spoken to like that in an interview!

Well, this is really a follow up regarding my last interview. On Wednesday I had sent a follow up email to my recruiter asking if there was anything else I could provide regarding the position and she replied that she was waiting to speak with one other of my references and then she would set up a final interview for later in the week. YAY!

Later, I answered a call from a…(I hesitate to call him a gentleman because he sure didn’t act like one!) Anyway, this guy, said he was my recruiter’s Manager and he was following up because the company wanted to be sure they were placing the right candidate in the position. OK, good news, right? This would mean I am heading for the next interview, excellent! I really want this one! Good Company, good benefits, good pay, good work environment and only a 15 minute commute!

So, this Guy (we’ll call him Robert to “protect” his identity). So Robert, starts asking a few questions about my experience and education. Then asks why I am “still an apprentice.” Well, Robert, I just passed my exam and I need 2 years work experience or I need to complete the course work (done) and complete my online “Practicum” which I am currently doing (a side note on this…I have to pass all materials and testing with a 70% or higher to get credit). He asked how long I thought it would take to finish my Practicum. I told him probably another 2-3 months (it is a lot of material), and I was having some issues with the program telling me my answers were wrong when they were correct (and verified as correct by Proctors), so I was a little frustrated and had to walk away from the program to “re-group” on occasion. His response “From a management perspective, that sounds like an excuse for just not doing the work.” WHAT!?!?! I explained “I am not the only one having this issue. It is a common problem with users of this program.” So he asked a couple questions about what the maker of the program was doing to correct the issue. How am I supposed to know that? All I know is that when I complain I am told they are aware of the issue and to continue using the program.

Anyway, he continued to tell me I was “making excuses” and how did I expect to compete with people who had “already done the work to remove their apprentice designation.” He then told me he didn’t have “time to finish” his questions as he had a meeting to get to, but my recruiter would follow up with me before the end of the day. I had been on the phone with him for about 15 minutes. Why would anyone call for a phone interview if they know you only have a limited amount of time?

So, I spent the next couple hours all worked up over this guy basically telling me I was to lazy to do the work. Seriously?!? I chose to learn a new profession, No one “held my hand” and helped me study or learn the material! How does this idiot get off telling me I am lazy?! When I told Hubby…oh boy…Hubby was furious. Furious that I didn’t tell Robert to F* off and hang up. Furious that I “let” Robert “belittle” me, and Furious that Robert thought it was OK to act like that.

So, end result…my recruiter never followed up. I ended up sending an email to my recruiter (and the ethics committee of the company) telling her of the “conversation” and how if that was the “common practice of Management” then I was not interested in working with them and they could remove me from their system and not to contact me with future job opportunities. My recruiter did call me the next morning and left a VM (I was in the shower when she called). I called back and got her VM, but she still hasn’t called back. So, I guess that is that, right?

Seriously, am I wrong? Should I have ignored what Robert was implying? Should I not have made such an issue of it? The recruiter works for a placement agency, so I would only have had to deal with them for a couple months until the Client hired me permanently. I have been second guessing myself since I sent that email.

I REALLY wanted that job! But, on another note, I have another interview scheduled for Monday!

 

I’ll admit I was feeling pretty down Friday morning, but Friday afternoon took a turn for the better.

I had a phone interview for a position I had applied for (less than 48 hours earlier), which ended with a face to face interview being scheduled for today. Which I have already done. It seemed to have gone well. I had pertinent questions to ask and the interviewer (recruiter) went into more detail about the position. She seemed happy with my answers and told me she would be setting up another round of interviews after she talked with the references I provided, so I hope the people I chose do me “a solid” and convince her I am a good candidate.

The drawback of this interview is a friend of mine also interviewed for the same position. I believe I am adult enough that if she ends up with the position I could be happy for her, but wonder how she would feel if I got the position and she didn’t. I would be disappointed if it caused a rift in our friendship. OK, scratch that, She called while I was writing…she decided she wasn’t interested and had already called the recruiter to tell her so. So I guess that  solves that issue for the time being. But I worry, a little, about the future. It’s pretty much a given that we will be interviewing for the same positions…We are both in the same field and we are currently both looking for work, and there are only so many positions posted out there.

Anyway, Hubby is giving me a little bit of grief over this already…which is just irritating me. This is a GOOD opportunity, with excellent prospects for long-term (as in retirement) goals. Hubby claims he is worried about the 4-legger since she has never spent “time away from Mommy.” My response is “she’s a dog!” she’ll get used to it. Seriously, this position starts at almost $40,000 a year with plenty of opportunity for advancement. I’d be an idiot to turn it down because of the dog! OK, now that that is off my chest… 😉

So, hears to hoping for the offer!

Feeling Discouraged

What can I say? I am currently feeling very discouraged. This “career” path I chose is much harder than I thought. I keep trying, but when the learning program keeps telling me my answers are wrong, I feel like I know absolutely nothing!

I should probably back up and explain…

A little over a year ago, I decided to pursue a career in Medical Coding…the pay is supposed to be good and there is the added advantage of some companies allowing you to work from home. See, I know a couple people who do “coding” and (in my arrogance) I thought “well if they can do it, it can’t be that hard!” Boy, oh boy was I ever wrong!

I have 2 family members (by marriage) that do coding…neither graduated from high school and one barely speaks English, both do what they told me is coding. Knowing both of them, and knowing that neither of them are that educated and one is frequently so high she can barely have a conversation, I honestly thought coding really can’t be that difficult. (Again, arrogance) but I later found out that neither of them do the actual coding, they do the billing end…

I also, have a friend that does coding (she is very intelligent) and her employer taught her how to code medical charts in less than 3 months. So, again in my arrogance, I thought “Ha! Easy, I can do this, no problem!”

I contacted my friends employer and tried to get in the next “training class” but was told they were no longer hiring anyone without experience or who didn’t have a Certification. So, I looked into training/Certification. Options:

a.) attend a traditional training school over the course of 18 months and pay upwards of $18,000 (and still have to pay to take the exam for Certification)

b.) do an online course for about $3,600 which includes a voucher to take the Certification Exam

So, I discussed it with Hubby and chose option B. I finished the course, took my Exam (passed) and started looking for work while using the “practice” program the course came with. The Practice program has real medical charts that need to be coded for Insurance purposes.

So, I passed the course with a 90% and passed my Exam with an 80%…I honestly thought I knew the material. Apparently NOT! My average accuracy score on coding the practice charts is 57% and each chart is taking me an average of 30 minutes. Now, some employers pay an hourly wage and some pay a production wage (by the chart). All employers have a minimum standard for the number of charts per hour. At the rate I’m going, I wouldn’t even pass the minimum standard for an employer. (Most also require a 90% accuracy rate also).

Hence, the discouragement and feeling like a failure. I texted my friend and asked her if she would be willing to sit down with me and walk me through a couple practice charts so I can ask questions and figure out where I am going wrong, but she hasn’t responded to my request yet (it’s been a week).

I looked for a tutor to see if maybe that would help (the closest tutor I could find is 3 hours away). Apparently, no one in my town is interested in tutoring!

The website I purchased my course through isn’t much help…they recommend the practice program or signing up for another course!

So now I don’t know what to do…I realize that “practice makes perfect” but I am finding it really hard to stay motivated when I keep getting failing grades on my practice charts and the explanations given for the correct answers are so generic that they are no help whatsoever! Needless to say I am frustrated and discouraged. I complained to another friend and her response was “you need to pray about it. You need to ask Jesus to help you.” UUMMM, what? I think it’s great that she has that kind of Faith and believes that would help, but I don’t. I don’t have that kind of Faith and I don’t believe praying is going to help. No, I’m not an Atheist, I believe there is a higher power, but I don’t believe “it” takes an active interest in me.

Anyway, I guess I’ve whined enough about this…back to my practice, maybe it will start to make sense?

Update on Ellie

Well, we ended up meeting with an Immigration (adoption) attorney about Ellie. Bad news…because of Ellie being a family member USCIS (INS) would scrutinize our case and the chances of the adoption going through would be less than 10%. Maybe I should back up a little.

Back in May, Hubby had talked to an Immigration lawyer about the immigration paperwork that Harold had filed (about 8-10 years ago) trying to get Michael here. During the course of that conversation Ellie came up and that lawyer is the one who told Hubby that adopting her is simple, since most of the paperwork would need to be done in the DR. That is when I posted this. Anyway, come to find out after we sent $1500 to Michael and he had started all the paperwork on his end, that we have to do all the steps that everyone else has to do for an international adoption:

1. hire an adoption agency (not as easy as it sounds, since the agency must be accredited in the US and the DR)

2. apply to be found eligible to adopt (this involves form I-800A and a fee of $775 for the filing and $85 “biometrics” fee)

3. be matched with a child (we get to “skip” this one since we already have a child “picked.” Although there are still numerous documents that have to be provided to CONANI.)

4. apply for the child to be found eligible for Immigration to the US (This involves form I-800 but no fee)

5. adopt the child in the DR (this can take 9-10 months and cost between $5,000-$8,000 in attorney fees)

6. bring her home-before we can bring her to the US we must:

a. apply for a new birth certificate (this is a US birth certificate so she can get a US passport)

b. get her a Dominican Passport (she already has one)

c. meet the “co-residency” requirements under Dominican law then apply for a US Immigrant Visa (the co-residency requirement in the DR is 60 days…which means we would both have to live in the DR with Ellie for a minimum of 60 days)

Anyway….that lawyer Hubby talked to was…I’m trying to be nice, but I can’t decide if he was misinformed, a liar, an idiot, hoping we would hire him when we found out otherwise or just a combination of all of the above.

So, I did some research and found the attorney we talked to last week. She is willing to help us with the paperwork and charges $2000 each for the I-800A and I-800 as well as $500 for consular processing fees, but she believes we would be wasting our time and money because of the scrutiny “family” adoptions are getting. Apparently, because immigration takes so long to determine visa eligibility people are trying to bypass the wait by adopting family members. (If you would like more info on international adoptions from the US click here.)

Anyway, during this meeting the paperwork that had been filed for Michael came up. Ellie had been added to that shortly after she was born. The lawyer told us our best bet for getting Ellie here was to finish Michael’s immigration. She offered to finish everything that is required (a couple more government forms for Michael and Ellie and all supporting documents) for $1000. So, we have “hired” her.

According to the lawyer, Immigration Visas in cases like Michael’s usually take 10 years. It looks like that is about how long we have been “dealing” with his paperwork, so his Visa should be ready. So, if nothing “goes wrong” Michael and Ellie could be by the end of the year.

So, here’s to not getting excited (again)!

A Week of Ups and Downs

What a Week!

So, travel to Mexico for the Wedding was uneventful…except the plane was disgustingly filthy…so didn’t use the bathroom or accept drink or snack service (I was afraid to!)

The Wedding was Beautiful! The resort…what can I say? The resort was a disappointment. The room was very nice, but the shower-head wouldn’t stay on the wall where it belonged and the door didn’t seal well so water ended up all over the floor every time! The food was disappointing as well. Not once did we see any “local cuisine” everything had been “Americanized” so there was no adventure when eating. In my opinion that is half the fun of traveling! Why are you traveling if you are not trying the local foods? Anyway, all in all, the trip was (mostly) worth it, but I seriously doubt we will ever return (at least to that resort).

We got home Sunday night, so Monday was spent doing laundry and running to the grocery store. Hubby had taken Monday as a vacation day so he was home. He ended up doing some research about Ellie’s adoption and found out it’s not as simple as we originally thought it would be. (There is the shoe I was waiting for!)

Anyway, we are required to fill out some forms (Government type) and have a Home Study done. We are also supposed to enlist the “help” of an adoption agency! We don’t need an agency! We do not need someone to find us a child! So, I’m a little upset by this, but have been trying to find an adoption attorney…most of the adoption attorneys in the area only do “domestic” adoptions, so I am really having to dig to find one who can/is willing to handle an international case. I have contacted about half a dozen (2 can’t help, and I’m waiting for responses from the others).

As far as the Home study goes…this just irritates me to no end! Rant warning…

So, some random stranger gets to spend about 30 minutes with me and gets to wander through my home, then gets to decide if I am fit to be a parent?!?!?! Yes, I understand this is for the child’s safety and well-being, but when someone gets pregnant, does anyone wander through their home and tell them they are or are not going to be a fit parent? And how do I know the person doing the Home Study isn’t biased? OK, rant over.

Tuesday night, Hubby’s Brother (William) called. He asked if we would be willing to take his 15 year old daughter for the school year. This is good news! We were already trying to figure out how to get her here. She is a good girl and so intelligent, but because she is 7 years older than the next child, she ends up being babysitter, nanny, nursemaid, etc. Her Mother also expects her to do any household chores that she doesn’t feel like doing, so Hubby and I don’t believe Lily is getting an opportunity to actually be a teenager. I’m not saying Lily is being abused, but after her Mom got cancer she really stepped in to help ease the load and her Mom now just expects her to continue shouldering it. Yes, Wendy still has some bad days (she’s in remission, going on 3 years), but I don’t believe a 15 year old should be taking care of the house and her siblings as well as going to school. Especially when her Mother is capable of doing her job…as a Mother!

Anyway, of course we told William we would be more than happy to have Lily stay. So I spent part of yesterday researching the school district and looking into the different programs offered. Lily wants to be an OB/GYN…and some of the schools in the area offer “pre-med” type curriculum’s. Most of these require pre-registration (which was due last Feb) so I’m trying to find out if they make exceptions for students who move into the school district after the cut-off date. William said “standard course-work is fine” and he doesn’t want me “to be inconvenienced.” But this is my niece we’re talking about…If she wants to be a Doctor, I am going to do everything in my power to make sure it happens!

Well, I guess that about catches you up on my week…Back to my research and studying!

 

Could be interesting

So, we leave tomorrow for the wedding. There is a tropical storm in the Gulf that we may be flying over. Also, I have decided to leave my tablet at home (this is MAJOR since I am addicted to it).  I figure I probably won’t have time to “play” so I don’t see the need to bring it. I’m also hoping that a forced separation will help break the cycle of me playing with it constantly.

So, “entertainment” for this vacation will be a novel (or two) and a book of Sudoku puzzles. HHMMM, definitely going to be interesting.

Anyway, I’m totally stressed about this trip…mostly because I still have to pack, but can’t do that til I drop the dogs at the boarding kennel. If they see me with a suitcase they freak out, so to save my sanity and theirs, I’m waiting to pack.

I have been running around like a crazy woman the last few days trying to get last minute items picked up as well as getting a haircut, a mani/pedi and finding a place that could repair Hubby’s sunglasses. Which I did manage after going to three different places! and only because the very nice lady at the third place suggested the “eyeglass repair” shop! Why didn’t I think to Google “repair” shop? Oh well, it’s done now and I now know where to go next time!

24 hours and counting…Hubby has been asking since Monday if it’s time to go to Mexico yet! So glad we are getting down to the wire on this. Yes, I’m stressed but I wish it was tomorrow already! I’m starting to get impatient and just want to get there.

So, Here’s to Britney and Robert! May you enjoy all the Joys of Marriage and be Blessed with a lifetime together!

What makes a “Friend”

Websters Dictionary defines friend as “one attached to another by affection or esteem; a favored companion’ and defines acquaintance as “a person whom one knows but who is not a particularly close friend.”

I have found myself pondering my “friendships” lately. Why do I often feel as though I am the “casual friend”? You know, the one you call when no-one else is available or the one you invite because you feel guilty that you haven’t talked to in a while.

Recently, someone I consider a very good friend posted a Happy Birthday message to a mutual friend. In the post she went on and on about what a “Wonderful Person” and “amazing friend” the other one was, and on my Birthday all I got was “Happy Birthday.” (OK, yes, I’m jealous. Yes, I’m a little upset.) But this got me to thinking, am I not a good friend? Am I missing some essential quality that makes someone think of me as a wonderful or amazing person? I have always considered myself to be a good friend to those I know. When one of my friends is sick, I am the one who takes food, or picks up medicine at the store and no, I don’t expect to be “paid back” or expect the favor to be returned. I do it because I care. I am the one who will drop everything when a friend needs help. I am the one who will bake those cookies you love, just because you have a craving, or make a keepsake quilt for your child. Aren’t these things a “friend” would do?

Is it time for me to step back and really look at our friendship? Is our “friendship” one-sided? Now, this is one of the girls from Naples. I have known her for 17 years! We have been through a lot, but now, I feel like she only calls when she “feels guilty.” Yes, I understand that life does get in the way, and we are all busy and do have separate lives. But at the same time I feel like I am the “convenient” friend, because she knows I will drop everything if she needs something. So, again I ask “Is this friendship one-sided?”

Am I the one who doesn’t understand “friendship” or am I just letting myself be taken advantage of because I have a soft heart or a misplaced sense of loyalty?

Low Carb Diet

So, Hubby decided he needs to lose weight (before it becomes a health issue). HIS IDEA!

I’m behind him 100%. He suggested low carb, so I did some research, and sent him a list of “good options” and foods to remove/avoid/cut down on. Let’s just say…he’s not happy about it. Especially the “no/limited starch” thing. This is a man who grew up eating rice daily…Rice is a staple, and if I let him he would eat it for every meal!

Also, he is a sugar addict, like 3 tablespoons of sugar in his morning coffee addict!

Anyway, he wants me to “clear out the pantry” but I won’t. I believe he needs to just learn some self-control when it comes to choosing foods, filling his plate and snacking.

Now, I did make a low carb dinner for him…it did not go over well. He was “hungry” and “unsatisfied.” I made baked chicken and a huge salad. No starch. He said we needed potatoes or rice or at least a piece of bread. Sorry Honey, those are starches!

I don’t think the “diet” is going to last…why? you might ask. Because right now my Hubby has no will-power! Seriously, the first few days are the hardest! OK, maybe the first week or two, but you do adjust! I cut out alcohol and let me tell you, I went from drinking 1/2 to a whole bottle of wine a night to having a glass of wine maybe once a week. The first night was so hard, the first week was rough, but I did it! (I actually cut out alcohol for an entire month to begin with.)

I really don’t understand why he thinks eating a low carb diet is going to be so hard, he stopped smoking cold turkey…5 years ago and hasn’t had one since. I don’t see that this is that much different.

Anyway, not sure how long this will last, but I don’t mind. It gives me the opportunity to incorporate more veggies into our diet. Maybe I can get him to eat more veggies and just slowly wean him off the rice and potatoes.

Here’s to trying anyway!