Wednesday, July 30, 2014

| Bennies & The Jetz

I got hired for the purposes of being a Dispatcher, but before they even let you try to start learning that, you have to go through training on all the other floor positions/jobs. So, I've been training on the call-taking side of 911 since March, starting with the non-emergency desk all the way up to 1st Queue (you take nothing but priority/emergency calls all shift long). Thankfully, the pay while in training is enough to pay our bills and put food on the table, even with Michelle being unable to work (don't get me started ranting about the last 9 months of doctors that have been glad to take thousands of dollars in fees and provide next to zero clarity/solution on what's going on). The benefits are absolutely ridiculous. I didn't think these kinds of benefits even existed anymore. When I went through my onboarding March 31st, they said I had to fill out a stack of paperwork so my benefits could start on time.. and I asked if it was 60 days (hoping), or 90, or 6 months, or whatever.. and she paused for a second, looked at me and said, no, these all start tomorrow, April 1st. *cue look of shock*

So we're filling out papers for health insurance, dental, vision, life insurance, disability, pensions, 401k stuff and things and we get to discussing what it's going to cost, coming out of our checks. *brace for impact* She says, "Ok, it's going to be $80 a month.." That's amazing, just $80 for myself to get all that covered? So I ask.. ok, so how much to add my wife and kids onto all this? "No, that's for all of you." *me with the blank stare of disbelief* ... I had her repeat it like 3 more times because I was sure there was no way that was right, lol. Then later on she said, "oh wait, I was wrong on the out of check cost for you on your benefits" (me thinking, ahh, thought so, here we go) ... "I forgot that the company kicks in $40 a month towards your benefit premiums, so it's only $40" (yes, I made her repeat that 3-4 times too, lol)

Anyway, long story short, (too late), I'm really enjoying the work. It's extremely challenging intellectually trying to remember all the rules for the 11 different agencies/townships we service, keeping pace with the hysterical callers is always fun), and there's a certain satisfaction in being able to genuinely help people and get them aid when they need it most.

Weirdly, it almost increases the pressure I put on myself to perform at the highest level because now I'm absolutely horrified at even the thought of not making it through Dispatch academic/training/testing and losing this job. This is the kind of job I could see myself putting in 25-30 years into and retiring from. In the "even better news" category, once I get moved from call taking over to Dispatch, I'll be working 4-on-4-off, 3-on-3-off schedule, so I'll have about 14 days a month off!

I dream of a life where we're not struggling to pay medical bills, make rent and still eat.. and instead have leisure time / expendable income for things like TRIPS TO CONS OMG. :D