Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Figuring Out Work

With adoption, there is no "due date", no months of planning ahead.  There are just time lines, three to five months, six to eight months, ten to twelve months, etc, etc.  This unknown makes work and the timeline of leaving work very difficult. 

I told my boss about our adoption plans back in February.  He's a planner and a worrier so I knew it would make things a lot easier the more time I gave him to prepare.  At the time, I didn't know whether or not I wanted to come back to work, but there was plenty of time to figure that out.  Then in May, I let him know about our decision to adopt two kids and the definite choice I made to quit work.  With two kids, I couldn't give him a specific maternity leave time frame and date of when I'd return, which I didn't think was fair to my boss or the company.

At that time, the earliest we could travel to get the boys was September (we didn't actually know who the boys were at that time), but as with all adoptions, that was just the best case scenario.  Like any businessman would, he planned for the best case scenario in order to avoid the chaos that was ensue if I only had a few weeks to hire/train someone before leaving.

You see, my company is very, very small and I do almost everything.  I am the receptionist, office manager, human resources department, junior accountant, executive assistant and event planner, among other things.  This is the reason why I felt the need to inform my boss of my plans earlier than most people would.  There is really no way anyone could begin to learn what I do in two weeks.

Well, with my boss' plan for the best case scenario, I started training my replacement a few weeks ago (this was also before we knew who the boys were).  As soon as we accepted the referrals for the boys, I went to my boss, showing pictures and updated him that the new time would be between October and December if everything went smoothly.  Needless to say, he was surprised.

Over the weekend, Eric and I talked about what should be done.  My plan was to leave just before we brought the boys home, but I didn't want to stay on staff if I was only there for a paycheck and didn't have a job to do.  I couldn't ask that of my boss, it wasn't fair.

Come Monday morning, I sat down with him and expressed what I was thinking and what Eric and I had talked about.  I let him know that I was more than happy to be done with work in September if my replacement was ready.  Adoption was OUR decision and with that comes an unpredictable timeline.  I wasn't going to expect my company to cater to my needs because something in the timeline shifted.  My boss assured me that there would be things to do around the office, but to be honest, I'm not so sure.  I would rather find stuff to do at home than twiddle my thumbs at the office just for a paycheck.

The only fear I have with leaving earlier than necessary is the lack of things to fill my time.  I just don't want to sit around online (which I know I would most likely end up doing, to be completely honest).  But thanks to the ever-creative Katy, she pretty much started a list for me of things to get done.  1) Christmas shop now, just in case I don't have the time to do so after the boys are home 2) Continue with my new found hobbies of jewelry making and sewing 3) Knit more, especially for Christmas presents 4) Complete all the little projects around the house that have been pushed to the side and 5) Get the boys' room ready for when they arrive.  And I could always make the long trek downstairs and visit my lovely friends and all the babies there for daycare.

I guess I will just have to wait and see what happens.  I definitely want to stay until mid-September to help my replacement send out the information packets  for next year's events.  After that, I will have to evaluate how she's doing and see if my boss really has stuff for me to do.  To be honest, my replacement is catching on remarkably fast.  I get pretty bored doing the day-to-day stuff, since she pretty much has that down.  I'm just here for the things that come up sporadically and the in-depth learning needed for the State requirements she needs to know.  But I won't get into the details of my work.  That would take all day to write and I exhaust my brain enough training my replacement.

It's crazy, training someone is actually REALLY hard.  Everything you can accomplish in almost no time, now takes much longer since you are directing someone who doesn't have a clue what is happening, what you are doing and why.  Really, it takes a crazy amount of patience and slowing your brain down to do things in steps.  I think it may even be more challenging than being the new employee and learning everything.  But like I said, she is catching on quickly and I have no doubt that she will be just fine.  And everyone makes mistakes in a new job.  I really think that that's the best way to learn sometimes.

Well, today is my last day at work this week.  I have tomorrow off as usual and Friday morning we are going camping with a bunch of friends on North Manitou Island.  I am super excited since I have never been there.  Maybe I get wild and bring my camera and take pictures.  But we'll see :)

Happy Wednesday!

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