Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Second Job

Yes, that's right, in these darkened times when there are many more jobseekers than jobs available, I'm being a greedy git and deciding to have TWO at once.

Okay, so they're both part time - the existing one at 17.5 hours a week and the new one at somewhere between "a couple" and "a few" hours - and even the combined pay wouldn't be enough to lift anyone without financial support from a partner out of benefits dependency - but nevertheless.

As you've probably guessed, precise details are at a hazy stage with a start date of "once the paperwork's done", but I've filled in my bit of a P46 and been shown around the system I'll be using so I don't think I'm jumping the gun in considering the job to be a definite thing.

It's very flexible and it's mostly working from home, data entry and envelope stuffing and suchlike, which is why I'm able to take it on. There's no way I could do more hours in my main job, since by the time I crawl into my taxi at the end of an afternoon I am utterly shattered, barely capable of talking, and wincing at every pothole and speedbump on the way home. But the idea with the new job is that once I've got home and had a couple of hours to rest and get a bit of dinner inside me, then if I feel up to it I'll be able to sit up and do anything between twenty minutes and two hours of additional work. And if I don't feel up to it, or if I have something else to do, then I won't. I can stop the clock for a break whenever I need to, and I can take that break in the quiet and comfort of my own home which is so much more effective than trying to screen out the noise and busy-ness of a hectic office. I won't have to force myself to keep going until a taxi arrives, either, which will be nice.

Of course, the first person I called to tell was my mother... of course, her immediate reaction was a comparison to Sister Dearest and her Fabulous Career*. Admittedly I know by now that any phone call to my mother has to include several minutes listening to the praises of SD and her FC being sung, but on this one occasion I really could have done without it - I wanted to play the game where we at least pretend to be proud/congratulatory/encouraging of my hard work and minor accomplishments.

Happily, Steve and my friends are more than capable of bolstering my self esteem when it flags and did a sterling job of being pleased for me. Even my current boss congratulated me, once I'd assured him that it was a second job and I wouldn't be leaving his company (his immediate reaction in the seconds before I'd fully explained that bit thoroughly reassured me that I am valued within the workplace).

I've got a desk set up at home now, complete with two desk tidys, a coaster, and my Sunshine Buddy. I have a wireless mouse but I need a mousemat as it's a glass-topped desk. Well, I say need, it's possible to get by just using a bit of paper. But I'd like a proper mousemat. In fact in an ideal world, I'd like to try one of those ones with a padded bit for your wrist but they seem a bit pricey and I'm not sure how much difference they make. If anyone has any input I'll be happy to hear it.

Access to Work are being their usual cagey selves - you can't determine what help you may or may not be able to get through them until you're fully signed up to the job, have a start date, and have completed an application for support - but I've been told that I am "eligible to apply" for support with this job as well, and have two separate support packages running concurrently, although they'll probably be handled by the same person. I'm hoping to get the same deal on transport (I'll be working from home but I will have to go in every so often) where I pay an amount equivalent to a bus fare, and AtW top it up to a taxi fare because I can't use a bus. Equipment-wise, I'll need to have a good think - as a rule, they'll provide anything that is (a) to be used solely by me, AND (b) an item or a specific version of an item needed because of disability-related reasons. So for instance they won't supply biros but they might supply any of these for someone who has trouble with their hands. Ideas?

* Fabulous Career = working for several large national chains of bookies, encouraging gambling addicts to indulge their addictive behaviour. Since she falls in the narrow margin where she can write her own name but is unable/disinclined to get a different job, she has over the course of several years worked her way up to local management. While I realise I'm hardly a high-flyer myself, I can't get quite as excited and impressed by this as my mother seems to.


The Goldfish said...

Congratulations Mary, it sounds excellent! Considering your health situation, I think you do extremely well indeed.

Emma said...

Maybe they could get you the mousepad?
I used to have the squishy thing in front of my keyboard. It helped a fair bit as long as you could adjust the height of your chair to accommodate the change in angle of your wrists.
Congrats on the job though.

Mary said...

Thanks Goldfish - remember my health situation is offset by: support of every kind from Steve; friendly, flexible and understanding employers; having been lucky enough to get the help I am entitled to from AtW, DLA, Social Services and so on; and any amount of help from bloggers such as yourself enabling me to cope with the practical and emotional issues associated with impairment and disability. I am hardly doing this on my own and promise I resist all attempts to turn me into a stick to beat other disabled people with...

Emma - do you know, I am considering asking them for a more ergonomic mouse but it never crossed my mind to include a decent mousemat as part of that. My chair is a great one, fully adjustable in every conceivable way.

marksany said...

Have you tried a Track ball? I had bad RSI with aouse and changing to a track ball was a revelation.

Mary said...

I've used a trackball occasionally on other people's computers in the past, but didn't really like it... although the other way of looking at it is that I never used one for a prolonged period of time.

erasmus (aka jiva) said...

let me have a root around. I've got a house full of IT crap... ;)

Maggie said...

Great news - am a bit late reading it as have been in Wales since mid July, and tend to not keep up with blogs as much as when at home.

All the best from disappointingly grey and chilly Liverpool

Merys said...

Huge congrats Mary, and I'm very pleased for you! On the other hand, you have a sunshine buddy when you really need a flipflap... tut tut tut

Mary said...

*googles flip flap*

Nah, I'll stick with the sunshine buddy. Possibly a real plant, but I don't want a cactus and the last lickle desktop plant I had kind of GREW uncontrollably and is now the size of a small child.