Thursday, April 09, 2015

Suboptimal

First of all, thanks to everyone who responded to the survey in my last post. That is the only non-suboptimal thing in this post: I was thrilled with the number of responses, and am now convinced there is sufficient interest to go ahead and start developing the course.

If you would still like to take the survey, please do! More responses will help me better define the content for the class, and you can give me your email address if you want to be notified when the class is ready for enrollment.

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Last weekend was a very busy one, since it had both Pumpkin's 8th birthday (and attendant party) and Easter. I was so busy getting ready for the party and buying things for the kids' Easter baskets that I didn't really have time to stop and think about the fact that I now have an 8 year old... and I still haven't had that time. No doubt I will eventually freak out about how old my first baby is getting, but right now I'm still BUSY-BUSY-BUSY (as Pumpkin's favorite hamster, Humphrey, would say).

I have a big deadline with my main client and a couple of smaller deadlines on another small contract I picked up. I should be in bed right now, getting a good night's sleep in preparation for a very full day tomorrow, but I miss blogging and wanted to write a post. so here I am.

Obviously, it was suboptimal to have such a full week right after a full weekend, but it couldn't really be avoided.

I am starting to think this small contract I've picked up was maybe not such a great idea, though, and that was something that could have been avoided. The effective hourly rate for this work is significantly less than my usual rate. The work is not hard and is fairly interesting, but it requires time, and I am finding that it is squeezing out the time I should perhaps be investing in more long term growth projects.

It is, however, alleviating some money-related stress, so perhaps it wasn't a mistake. I don't know. I wonder if I might have lost my nerve a bit too soon. Perhaps I should have held out for better paying work. I think that balancing short term money needs, my (and Mr. Snarky's) tolerance for risk, and my need to be investing in projects that can build a more viable long term business is going to turn out to be one of the biggest challenges of this new career path. I'm trying to remind myself that I'm new at this, and be gentle on myself when I do suboptimal things.

Note I said "trying." I don't always succeed.

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As stressful as this week is for me, it is nothing compared to the week the mother of one of Pumpkin's friends is having. Due to a staff change at our before school care program, she is scrambling to fix a child care gap. This is not my story to tell, so I will not go into details, except to say that the easy, obvious solution is not available to her because she has an hourly job instead of a salaried one. If she could work 15 minutes less four days per week and one hour more the fifth day, all would be well. But she can't do that, because then she'd trigger overtime pay on that fifth day, which of course her company does not want and will not authorize.

So she is scrambling, and may even be forced to change schools. We're helping where we can, but since the only way we can help is to have an extra couple of kids in our house for our entire morning routine, our help is unfortunately fairly short term in nature. I'm hoping she can find something long term before our ability to help comes to an end.

I'm thinking a lot about how the overtime law that is supposed to protect employees is really, really not helping her. I don't know what the solution is. If we took away the law, I have no doubt that some employers would abuse their employees. I can't think of a way to rework the law that would prevent that while still allowing the flexibility my friend needs.

And now I really do need to get to bed. So, I have no pithy conclusion for this post. Another suboptimal thing!

2 comments:

  1. mary d6:31 AM

    That overtime law is a California thing. In most states, you don't trigger overtime until you've worked more than 40 hours in a week, as opposed to the 8 hours in a day in CA. I thought it was stupid when I lived there, lo these many years ago, and still think it's stupid, for just this reason. No flexibility at all.

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  2. Update: my friend told me this morning that she's moving her kids to a new school. I'm sad for her. I'm sure the new school will be fine (possibly even great!) but it is rough to have to move your kids with only two months of the school year left.

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