Way back in 2017, when I started to face the fact that I had to go back to work full-time, I was having a real crisis of confidence. I hadn’t worked full-time in four years, and I left my last full-time job to go on Short-Term Disability, which turned into Long-Term Disability, for my Bipolar Disorder. During that time I applied for Social Security Disability (with a lawyer), was turned down, appealed three times, and was turned down three times. So, really, I had no choice. I had to figure out a way to support myself.
I was desperate not to go back into IT Desktop Support, which I was totally burned out on. I got an opportunity to get some IT Security education and certifications through a grant program, and I jumped on it. Unfortunately, despite the certifications, I wasn’t able to secure a full-time job in IT Security. I had one three-month contract that was a total dud, then I spent about four months unemployed, trying and trying to get a job in IT Security, and finally had to face the fact that I had to work in Desktop Support. It was like my worst nightmare.
Then it got a little worse. I got a job in Downtown Denver – a 48 mile commute each way, an hour and a half to two hours each way. But the people were great and I started working on my gratitude. Gratitude for everything in my life – my family, my friends, having a home (even though it was a shithole apartment), having a job. It helped my attitude A LOT. I was exhausted all the time from getting up at 3:45 in the morning, but I just kept on going.
Then, out of the blue, a recruiter called me about a job in my town, another Desktop Support job, that paid significantly more money. I would have to make an excuse to miss work to interview for it, but how could I not apply for this job right here in my own town?? So I interviewed for the job, and by the end of the day I had a job offer! This was in May, and the contract only went until June 29th. But I was desperate to stop commuting, and I thought that maybe the contract would get extended. So I took it.
I was never told there was a chance of the contract being extended, and I was never told there was a chance of there being a full-time job there. I just kind of went to this job on a hunch, or faith. In fact, all of the Desktop Support staff, except for one person, had been laid off, and contractors had been hired. Morale was low. Attitudes were bad. I made it my mission to have a positive attitude externally, no matter what I might be feeling on the inside. I wasn’t going to feed into the negativity. I was going to be grateful for this job, and I was going to shine a light of positivity, kindness and willingness.
About a month into the job, my contract was extended until December. What a relief that was!! I wasn’t prepared to be unemployed again. One of my co-workers, also a contractor, had a HUGE chip on his shoulder because he hadn’t been hired full-time, even though that possibility had never been presented to him. He disrespected our boss to an extreme that I found shocking. Eventually, he was fired. Ever since then, the remaining three of us in Desktop Support have been working a lot of overtime. My paychecks are great! But sorry you haven’t heard from me. I’ve been a bit depleted.
In August, we opened the Tech Hub, which is a walk-up counter where you can get IT Service. I call it the McDonald’s of IT Service. Let’s be honest: EVERYONE IN DESKTOP SUPPORT HATES THE TECH HUB!!! But once again I decided that I wasn’t going to stress my boss out by bitching about it. Plus, the Tech Hub is just part of the job now, and I have to deal with it. So I needed to work on my attitude. So I have worked on cultivating an attitude of positivity and service. This is my opportunity to get to know the people at my company, and to extend kindness and even compassion when they are having an issue.
At our company we do have a Service Desk that is for 1st Level issues, and the practice has been that employees should call the Service Desk when they have a problem, and if the Service Desk can’t resolve it, they escalate it to us. I should mention that the Service Desk is in Malaysia and a lot of our employees don’t like the real-or-perceived language barrier. Well, all of that has gone out of the window now that there is a Tech Hub. People aren’t calling the Service Desk for shit, they’re just coming to the Tech Hub!! So, our tickets have gone way up. While on a trip to California to meet with upper management, my boss very surprisingly got the go-ahead to hire another full-time employee!!
So this brings me to the present day. Of course, I applied for the full-time job. I had a spectacular interview with my boss. I asked her if she had anything she wanted me to address as far as how I do the job and her answer was “Frankly, no. I think you are rocking the job!” That was a very happy day for me. So, I got a call from a recruiter from the company on Friday to let me know they are preparing an offer for me!! My boss let me know “unofficially” (because she’s not allowed to let me know officially) that I got the job!! I am so excited to have a “real” job with paid time off, benefits, 401K, all the trimmings. I kind of feel like I’ve come full circle. And I’m very, very grateful!!! It’s been a rough road, but I’m grateful for where life has lead me, and I’m excited to see where things go from here. Ah, it’s good to have HOPE!