Archive for Volunteer

Be Careful What You Ask For.

Posted in Life, Work with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 11, 2012 by urbannight

How often do you feel this way? I do, often.

I’ve been wanting a project at work. There is plenty of work to do, but there is no mental challenge or stimulation.  For a while, that was great.  Several years ago I was severely burnt out from a job where the work conditions changed dramatically over several years.  It went from a job I absolutely loved to one I dreaded so much that I developed eye twitches and my hands would numb up and fingers fold up and I had trouble moving them.  Just the mention of my boss’s name was enough to cause my left eye to go entirely spastic. 

Do a job with no extra responsibility was great for a while.  But now I feel the need for more of a challenge but I’m not ready to leave for a new job.  This summer I said I would like a project and my supervisor took it to the office manager and they were going to figure something out. But things happen and the office manager forgot about it and the supervisor had to much on her plate with two people in the unit retiring and one quitting and then training three new people.  Not to mention, at the same time, her father’s health was deteriorating, he was put in a home, he was getting worse, and then the expected happened and he passed away. 

Life happens.  And major life events do affect what it occurring at work despite what employers would want to happen.  Its natural.  It is part of being alive and human.  To think otherwise in unrealistic.

So she sat down and had a meeting with each of us about what we are doing, how we are feeling about it, and what more we would like out of our jobs.  Again, I asked for some type of project to keep me more focused and engaged with work. 

After she spoke with the office manager, she gave me a project that had been briefly discussed in the past.  I actually had the impression someone already did it when I saw the fantastic binder the second new person got.  It turns out that manual was only for the phone part of the job.  The compiling part still needs to be done.  I was give 3 – 4 weeks to get the first draft of it done.  I get to write the compiling training manual. 

We have two compiling units.  Those of us who do the phones and compile the phoned in losses and the department that handles paper mail, faxes, and emails and compiles those losses.  They get more losses but we take longer due to phone interruptions.  Yet we find that we have the time to go in and help a little with the paper losses.  There was a meeting because the compilers for that other unit are not getting them done fast enough from the moment we receive them to getting them into the review flow to be assigned an examiner.

The customer service/phone unit I am in has 6 people right now, including the supervisor.  I was the only fully compiler trained on the one side of the company and SZ was the only fully trained compiler on the other side of the company.  But we never got fully trained on each others systems.  But we seem to get more turned in on my side than her side.  This means her side is usually caught up.  Two of the other people have been with the company a long time and they were only trained on the very basics of compiling as back ups.  Then we have two new persons.  One of whom has been fully trained on the phones and preliminary set up after a new loss call.  She is just getting started on compiling today. 

This means, most of the unit is only half trained.  We are generally so busy that training on more complicated claims is ad hoc.  This also because the supervisor isn’t completely trained on them.  So if they get something they don’t understand they often don’t have time for someone to walk them through it.  It ends up sitting there until I get to it.  What I don’t understand is why the two compilers in the other unit, both of whom were fully trained and have been with the company at least twice as long as myself in one case and over three times as long in the other case and who are both much faster than I am, keep skipping ones that seem ‘difficult’.  Many of the ones they are skipping are ones I find very easy.  I’m just slower at them. 

The result is they are not getting done fast enough because my priority is to get the ones done from my unit first.  SO the VP of claims decided to make those other claims our third priority.  That used to be helping out in the other clerical workflows to try to keep them caught up.  Because I used to be a backup for importing the new claims emailed in, I’m going to be doing that again.  Which is no problem.  It is easy. 

But now the VP of claims, after hearing about the project I was just assigned at the end of day yesterday, wants me to step it up and get certain portions of it done in a week to ten days.  Turning in individual sections as I finish them.  I dont’ have to do the entire thing.  Just the types of claims that the new people are finding too confusing and therefore skipping.  Part of the set up we do is initial determination of what units get set up on a claim and what type of coverage the units will be under.  This is surprisingly subjective at times.  There are cases in which certain variables can totally change things.  This is where some people are getting confused and start skipping things.

While I find some of them very easy, the minute details made the instructions very long.  The 2 hours a week over-time we had for a couple of months ran out.  But he has authorized me to have 2 hours OT each week to specifically work on this so I can get parts to him quickly and he can run through them with the examiners and figure out what needs to be tweaked.  On top of that, because I’ll be explaing coverage determination in it, once the VP accepts and authorized the final copy, it will be set in stone.  This is to help stop the nit-picking and arguing between examiners who disagree with each other on how coverages should be set up.  That is going to be the most challenging part of this project. 

So I got what I wanted and it turned into something they now want on the rush and at a high priority.  Be careful of what you ask for, you might get and get it in spades.

At least I won’t be bored. But it will be a much shorter term project now.  So what will I do after it is finished?

Have you had one of those days . . . . down the rabbit hole of my mind.

Posted in Entertainment, Food, Politics, Work with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 11, 2012 by urbannight

You wake up and feel exhausted. You feel as if you are just getting off work, not just getting up to a new day. When you get to work, you realize that you are actually in a bad mood that is a holdover from the day before. As the morning progresses, you realize that your bad mood is progressing from bad to foul.

This was my morning. I can’t say I dreamt about work.

I actually had a dream about jumping through hoops to get a volunteer job at a library. One that would put me in place for when a paid opening came along. I had to make nice with and get a bunch of criminals to approve of me. This seemed odd. Italy kept coming up as well. When I finally woke up, I had been in a card game that I had never played before called Around the World. Certain cards represented certain countries. Whoever had the highest cards for the countries and got the highest score for the hand won the hand. I had a cheat sheet since I never played before. Italy was represented by a lot of the club cards. I was on the third country, which I can’t remember now, and the symbols on the cheat sheet were three pillars. One pillar had a flame over it, one had half a flame, and the other had no flame. I had no idea what that meant and which cards could be connected to pillars. What was going on? Was the library run by the Mafia?

At that point I just got up. I didn’t want to dream that dream anymore. But I felt exhausted. I was so tired last night that I fell asleep shortly after 9:30. Then I couldn’t sleep in the middle of the night. I was up from about 1 – 2 am. After that, I slept for about 4 hours and 20 minutes more. I guess that means I was about 10 minutes shy of 8 hours. Or does it not count since I was up for an hour in the middle?

Half way to work, I realized I forgot to take my blood pressure medication. So it didn’t help when I realized I was in a really bad mood. That always raises the old blood pressure. Having a few non-work related conversations w/ coworkers has helped a bit.

Reading news media is not helping.

How about the South Carolina governor who decided rape victims and battered wives were a distraction from real issues and who denied funding for things that would help them? And this official is a woman. A woman who thinks rape and domestic violence are not important issues.

This reminds me of the women who fought hard AGAINST allowing women the right to vote. It catapults her into the ranks of women who believe in holding other women back, women who believe that a woman’s place is in the home, not working, and unable to have their own bank accounts or get loans without written permission from their husbands.
I’m shocked she ran for office and she claims her focus is on jobs. Oh, I guess she is in office to support a male agenda and to yank women back to their status from the 1940’s. She will help create jobs by keeping women in the kitchen, barefoot and pregnant, whether they want to be or not.

Am I being too harsh? I don’t think so.

There was another political article I wanted to rant and rave about, but now I can’t find it and my mind is drawing a blank.

It’s been one of those days. I know a storm is predicted, I wonder if we will get it sooner than predicted. My head is killing me and two Excedrin didn’t put a dent in it. If anything, it is getting worse. On one hand, I really want this break in the hideous heat. On the other hand, I could live without the headache. The heat was so bad that I skipped all 4th of July events this year.

I’ve had it up to my eyeballs with the heat and from what I’ve been reading in my research, this may be the way weather is going to be. People have been talking about finding ways to slow down or reverse global warming since the 70’s. Governments have been trying to come to agreements and failing. Businesses have been fighting it tooth and nail because they don’t want the cost of having to install new systems. I’ve been saying for years that I believe we are nearing the point of no return. Now the scientists are starting to say that we are approaching the point of no return.

I can’t fall asleep if it is over 72 degrees. But I think the real problem for me is humidity and the heat index. I didn’t have this problem back home, in the Northwest, where we didn’t have AC. But even 90 degree weather didn’t feel that bad without humidity. I never even heard of a heat index until I moved to the Midwest.

Also from the news, if a person has to have a friend get her a disposable phone, get her parents involved, and hire 3 different law firms in order to get started on divorce proceedings, there has to have been something really really wrong in the marriage. And since most actors and actresses do joint custody when they split (or so seems to me), it seems significant that she was putting everything in place in secret and going after sole custody.

Normally I don’t really care about these people. They are just people who happen to have a way overpaid job. Too many of them develop an attitude of entitlement. I like the down to earth ones who don’t seem to let fame get in the way of their personal and family life, like Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell for example, and seem to retain that ‘real person’ quality that so many other actors and stars loose.

Maybe it’s because I just don’t care for Tom Cruise, maybe it’s because there seem to have been (viewing from the outside) manipulation and control issues in the marriage, but I can’t help but wonder just what was going on with them that caused Katie Holms to be so secretive and go to such lengths to get herself out of that marriage as quickly as possible once she broke the news to Tom.

Okay, I’ll be honest, it is actually an overwhelming curiosity of which I am somewhat ashamed. While I’m at it, I’ll take a moment to ask SOMEONE out there to tell Britney Spears that blue eye shadow went out with the 80’s and we really don’t want it to make a come back.

How did I end up in entertainment news on my lunch break? Speaking of lunch, it was catered today because one woman was on her 40th year here and anther on her 20th year here. They had really good catering picks for a change, at least one of them. I got food poisoning at the other about 6 or 7 years ago. Either way, good one or bad one, I still say that if your plastic fork snaps in half when you try to pick up a bite-sized piece of chicken then it was a bit overcooked.

Well, this has been a rather meandering post, going from one thing to another as it pops up. I’ll call it good for now. Lunch is almost over.