I don't do change. I've said this before, but I have had the same car since I learned to drive, the same guy since I was 17, and the same job since I was 16. I'm 26 now, and basically my life has been fairly constant since I was in my late teens! Yeah, there have been the major life things such as getting married and finishing school, but in areas that I actually make a choice, once I make it I tend to stick with it. I feel like I am a person who adapts well to new circumstances, but I guess I don't just seek change out.
Well, it's time for a change. Today, after nearly 10 years, I turned in my resignation at the office where I work. That is the "big thing" that I have been hinting about for several weeks now. I'm quitting my job.
Now I realize, for some people--especially people in their early to mid 20s, changing jobs is basically like changing clothes. It just happens as you get different kinds of experience and move around before settling on a career choice. Most of my friends have worked at at least 5 different places which is hard for me to imagine! I, on the other hand, have only ever worked at Pediatric Associates. Yeah, there were a few part time church or CRU childcare things thrown in the mix, but those were always in addition to my main job or for just a week or two at a time.
I started working at PA when I was sixteen. I had been a patient there since I was two years old, and at that time was getting allergy shots 2x a week. I figured that it couldn't hurt to try to work there since I was already in the office so much! I remember exactly how I approached it...I was getting my allergy shot, and I asked the nurse who was administering it: "Do you ever hire people who are under 18??" That's all I said! lol. Well, thankfully my doctor and the nurse liked me and a few weeks later I filled out an official application and met with the office manager for an impromptu interview...I was sick that day and there to see my doctor and I was wearing jeans with holes in them! I remember asking the office manager about the dress code and she looked me up and down and said "Well, not ripped jeans!"
I went in after school every day except Thursdays since the office manager was off and did menial tasks like filing, copying records, shredding old documents, pulling insurance documents and sorting mail. I would work extra time when school was out and it began to be like a little family for me. And best of all, if I was sick or needed allergy shots, I just had to walk down the hall! The craziest thing about those first few months was that I was not even driving yet, so my parents would pick me up from school, drop me off at the office, and then pick me back up one hour later! bless them!
It carried on that way for several years, through my senior year of high school and then through college. I picked up more responsibilities over time and they liked me and even agreed to let me take 6 weeks off to go on a mission trip to Russia. Around that same time, there was some sketchy stuff going on with the manager and by the time I was scheduled to leave she was gone and the office was in shambles. I thought I wouldn't have a job when I came back, and they even talked to me about letting me go, but I persevered and stayed on. By my senior year of college they had decided to create a new position for me, and during my last semester I was promoted to "Billing & insurance specialist" though I had no experience whatsoever, and only 2 weeks of training! I ended up training the next manager and eventually was promoted to the position myself. (A big step up from formerly sitting having to sit sideways at a filing cabinet for my workspace!)
Since graduating college and becoming the manager (or "Office Coordinator" as the position is officially titled) I have caught mono (most likely from the patients) and developed some probably permanent health conditions; dealt with a roof literally being blown off the office and the subsequent move to and from a temporary location; drama of all kinds including some directed at me; major employee turnover; the retirement of a physician and the adding of a new one; learning and eventually mastering the insurance systems; being cussed over past-due patient accounts; being cussed over divorce/custody drama; being cussed over the on-hold music...maybe I exaggerated that one a tiny bit, but you get the idea...I could go on, but this is already a very lengthy post ;)
And you know what? This may sound kind of sad, but seeing my coworkers and physicians/bosses truly upset over my decision to leave, I feel like it was all worth it. I feel truly loved and appreciated. Instead of being excited that I'm leaving, several of them have actually cried! All of them have protested (some threatened to kidnap my little Butchy if I didn't change my mind!) and even the doctor that I thought would be jumping for joy to get rid of me offered to let me have a shortened schedule if I would stay.
So why am I leaving?? Because we have been blessed. We have had our financial burdens lessened which has made the need for my salary go away. And after much prayer and crying and wondering and money crunching we felt that this was God's way of providing so that I can try to get healthy. Getting me out of an environment where I am constantly exposed to sick children can only help my health. At this point I feel like I have tried every other alternative, but nothing has truly, permanently helped. How can I go forward without trying every possibility to get better? I would always wonder "what if" had we not made this decision. Especially if this allows me to be able to eventually be healthy enough to raise a child. My doctor had already said that working after having kids was not an option for me, at least not for the first few years, so I am just taking a bit of extra time to prepare for that.
And what am I going to do now? I have some plans. I am not getting another full time job and I will hopefully have some time just to rest, but I feel that I have already "talked your ears off" (in reading/writing form of course) so you'll have to stay tuned to learn the most exciting things that God has provided for my future!
**By the way, in case you haven't guessed, I didn't get to the TWD post for this week, though it looked quite wonderful. You can still see everyone else's White Chocolate Brownies here.