Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Life Changes

Today I accepted a new full-time programmer/analyst position with a wood products company in Eugene, and gave my two-week notice with my current employer.

Roughly three months ago my employer reduced my hours (and pay) by 40%. Otherwise known as a partial layoff. The reason given was dollars. Government budgets are tight everywhere and the particular services I am employed to support are not bringing in the revenue to justify the cost. And I was the last one in my group to be hired... so that made me the first to go.

If you count both of my stints with the ESD... I've worked there for a total of 9 years. By far longer than I've been with any other programming job. Most of the people I work with have been there that whole time. My coworkers have been great. And no matter what else has happened... it's the people I work with that made the ESD a great place to be. I'm definitely going to miss that.

So a new chapter is beginning. I'm moving from a government job back into the private sector. And this is not only a private sector job I'm taking, but it's in a family-owned business. About as far from a government job as I'm likely to get.

I mentioned to my new boss today that I might experience a little "culture shock". But I made sure he knew that I fully intend on stepping up to the plate and doing a good job for them. One of the notable things about my new boss so far... it's obvious that he really *wants* me there. They are totally glad to get me. That's a nice feeling.

Regarding the culture shock... at the ESD we are limited to 40-hour work weeks. At my new job, they are scheduling me for 48-hour weeks right off the bat. I will be one of two programmers... and the other guy typically puts in 50 hours a week. But the job is salary... so 48-hour weeks pay the same as 40-hour ones do.

They don't award sick leave at my new job. They just figure if you're sick, you're sick. I guess with overtime being the norm, they assume you'll make that up and it will still work out in their favor.

They are initially going to have me working four 10-hour days in the office, and one 8-hour day from home each week. In addition to the mandatory overtime, I will have a one-hour commute each way. That's going to make for some long days. Each workday that I'm in the office will be about 12 hours long if you include the commute. I haven't figured out how lunch will factor in. At least I will only have to do that four days a week.

I feel like I'm making a big leap. Not really sure what I'm getting myself into. Not sure how it will all work out. A lot of unknowns. But I have high hopes and a sense of adventure. I am feeling pretty good about a challenge. I think I will probably find out a few things about myself in the process.

My wife has also taken a new job. She has one day left to work on her current job before she starts on with the office of the state fire marshal (part of the state police). I will see if I can get her to blog a little about that.

~Elden