Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Working for a Living

Most of you who know me are well aware of the reason my blog has died:  I've joined the full time workforce.

On October 17 I began my first day as a Staff Accountant at Community Housing Partners.  CHP is a provider of affordable housing in multi- and single-family units.  Yep - those same subsidized housing complexes I hated in college cuz those kids wouldn't get a job because then they'd owe more in rent.  So they stayed home and watched their DishNetwork.  We'll I've joined the dark side and have come to believe that to provide services to those who need them most you have a waste a little bit of good on the knuckleheads.  To qualify a family of 3 has to make less than 50% of the average wage in the area.  In pocatello the average wage is $45k per family.  Blacksburg?  $70k.  East coast IS more expensive to live, and they have lower working (blue collar) wages.  CHP usually finds properties that were kind of run down, revitalizes them with the most cutting edge energy efficiency available (and pretty it up, seriously I wished I lived in some of these cute complexes) and then provide resident services.  Basically CHP pays for employees to be onsite to help and hold classes for Budgeting & Finance Help, Literacy Classes, Health Care, Job & Technology Training, Home Ownership, and Community Building.  For example, resident services for the elderly properties provides medication help, rides to doctors, and assistance as needed.  In addition to that we have an Energy Services division that is on the forefront of energy efficiency research.  Businesses and states/cities from around the country send their technicians to our location to be trained and certified.  There's a lot more to CHP including home ownership programs, architecture, general contracting, etc.

But really I just wanted to record that I think I work at a really cool place that does good things for {most} people who need it.  I even do accounting for a battered women's shelter and transitional housing.  What I do is I'm over about 20 different apartment complexes -- I monitor the finances and work with the property managers and help with the accounting to produce month end financials.  CHPs in the middle of transitioning to a new software, so it's pretty confusing.  I work with awesome people.  I love my new OCD accounting friends.

PLUS they have flexible work hours.  You choose your hours as long as you fit in your 40.  So my idea was to work 730-400 with a 30 minute lunch and I could meet Ellie off the bus at 4.  It was a really rough transition at first and super stressful.  Ellie's bus actually drops off around 355 so I was missing the bus, and they won't let her off if I'm not there.  So the next week I went in and asked for permission to take a pay cut and leave at 330 every day.  THEY ACTUALLY LET ME!!  Ellie started before school day care on-site at the school, which is pretty cool.  But being a one car family was starting to stress.  Darik was riding the commuter bus to work and biking home . . . and with the cold and time change he wouldn't be able to.  If he rode the bus home he got home at 630.  Which negated the benefit of him taking an 8-5 job here, ya know?

So November was the month of car shopping - and other than having to learn that the market in VA works much differently here than the one back home {by having the perfect car get away} by the end of the month we purchased a car in our original price range that met our stipulation of being larger than a corolla and having less than 75000 miles.  We are the proud owners of a 2008 Hyundai Sonata.  I feel like I'm driving a grandma car everywhere, but it does feel much more tankish and safer than the other one . . . which has been passed on to Darik as the commuter car.  Anyways with the new car I'm up {ideally} at 5 am to get to work by 7.  If we stick to that schedule there's plenty of time for breakfast and scripture study.  As a result I hardly read :( and often fall asleep while putting Ellie to bed around 830.  Darik's really stepped up in helping at home and we could never survive the schedule without it.  I'm super grateful, even though I don't always tell him.

 So yeah.  We're tired, but we're paying off debt and climbing out of our mess and hopefully at the end of it {I gave Darik two years - how long I'd be willing to work} we'll be able to sell our house and relieve so much of the drain that occurs in that area.  Plus it's cramping my style of having stay-at-home mommy friends.

Long story short:  The Lord has blessed us.  We would have never imagined I'd be able to work full time without putting Ellie in daycare and that Darik can put her on the bus in the morning and I can be there when she gets off.

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