When I made my Plan for Employment Services with Vocational Rehab in the spring, I was only seeking 8 hours of work per week. I could accept a job with more hours, but that was the minimum needed to be considered a successful placement. The job I got should have exactly met the requirement. It is called a .2, meaning 2 days per pay period, or 1 day per week. That’s not exactly how things have worked out.
For the first 4-6 weeks I was supposed to work 4 days per week for training, before being reduced to my regular schedule. This ended up taking about 8 weeks, because I was out of work for 2 weeks after my gallbladder surgery.
Pay period 1: .8
Pay period 2: .6 (missed 2 days due to surgery)
Pay period 3: 0 (completely missed due to surgery)
Pay period 4: .6
Then when we went to my “regular schedule” it was still more hours than anticipated.
Pay period 5: .5
Pay period 6: .3 (almost the correct amount!)
Pay period 7: .3 (almost the correct amount!)
Starting in September, I was told to expect nearly full-time hours due to everyone taking vacations. I worked full-time for the first week and was completely overwhelmed, so I told my supervisor I couldn’t handle more than 3 days in a row. She adjusted the schedule, but I was still working a ton, just with a brief break during the week.
Pay period 8: .7
Pay period 9: .7
Pay period 10: .7
Pay period 11: .8
Pay period 12: .5
Now I have my schedule through the middle of January, and things are looking better coming up after I get through November.
Pay period 13: .8
Pay period 14: .7
Pay period 15: .3
Pay period 16: .2
Pay period 17: .2
I will definitely miss the nice paychecks, but I won’t miss working so much. I have gained a lot more confidence about the job, but still stress out about working day after day. Realistically, I know those nice big stretches of a week to a week-and-a-half with no work are not going to actually happen. It will be winter, so people are going to get sick or not be able to make it in on the snowy, icy roads. I live closer than anyone else in the department, so I’ll be the first one called when they need a replacement. Even so, I hope to stay under a .5 as I’m tired of working over part-time status but not getting the part-time benefits.
Today I had my case closure meeting with Vocational Rehab, and was asked how many hours a week I average. I said this was hard to answer, given that I’ve been working so much but will be working less in the future. Hank said, “Okay, I’ll just put down 20.” Glad to know accuracy is important.
I was a little confused by the meeting. After I got the job, there was one point at which the employment specialist, Joan, contacted my supervisor to get an assessment of how I was doing. There was also a day when we went shopping for a set of scrubs that Vocational Rehab was buying for me. Other than that, I only had contact with her a couple of times to ask questions via e-mail, and we never met for any reason. I also only got a couple of e-mails from Hank during that time to check in on how I was doing.
The gist of this meeting was that I am still welcome to contact Joan if I have any work-related issues, and if I need additional help I can also contact Vocational Rehab and there are things they could do to help me without even reopening my case (and it would be simple to reopen my case if I needed even more help than that). So what exactly changes after my case is closed? I guess that I have to initiate contact if I need anything, but that’s been true all along.