Overworked, Under Paid, Overwhelmed

Time to Get it Together!

So I’ve been on this new schedule where I work four ten-hour days per week for a while now. It has it’s pros and cons. The days are definitely long, but there’s no extra commute time since I work from home. I do love having that extra day off per week, too! :D My scheduled hours on three of the days is what presents the only problem. I’m not done until 6:00 PM (or later if a phone call comes in last minute, which means I don’t really have a set time to clock out for the day). So dinner planning is even worse than it ever was with varying likes and dislikes (more dislikes than likes). Toss in the mandatory overtime and you can see why I’ve been a bit overwhelmed.

Being at least visible to the family for a decent amount of time on top of my schedule has pulled me away from blogging, jewelry-making, and photography. I could blog from a laptop to at least be present and not hidden away in my office, but I like to use photos in my blogs. Photos are on my desktop computer. I could make jewelry upstairs, but then I’d have to drag everything up there and then bring it all back down when I’m done. It’s easier to leave  it all together and to be able to leave it out so I can easily pick up later where I left off. Likewise with photography – Photoshop and Lightroom are on my desktop computer.

Making decisions has also become harder than ever because I don’t want to disappoint anyone. Trying to decide on what to have for dinner or where to go on days off that will please everyone (and not break the bank) is completely overwhelming to me. So I’ve decided I need lists. And I need to take the time necessary to make those lists. AND I need to not feel guilty about taking that time or feel silly because I need such lists. This could be what I need to remove some anxiety from my life. So I would appreciate not only support but also help in maintaining and adhering to such lists.

The first thing to tackle: Food

I spent some time this morning creating lists of things to keep in the kitchen for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The most difficult, of course, is dinner. I hate that we’ve been doing the “free for all” thing for dinners due to schedule differences, and I miss having real meals for those who will actually eat it all at least a few times per week. So I also went back to my weekly meal plan lists and completed four weeks worth of those. Days can be switched or substituted along the way, and Saturdays are left blank for ideas or possibly dining out, but at least the ideas are there. This will all make it easier to make grocery lists and hopefully drop our trips to the store back down to no more than twice per week. I know some can shop only once per week or less, but fresh produce hasn’t been staying so fresh very long lately. Also, I hate waiting for meat to thaw or forgetting to remove it from the freezer in the first place. I like fresh! :)

To that end, I’m also looking for ideas to deal with the late hour I’m able to even start dinner. This morning, thanks to Pinterest, I found an idea that I’m going to try on Monday. Crock Baked Potatoes! It doesn’t take long to cook up some chicken breasts on the Foreman Grill to serve them with either. A little salad on the side and VOILA! Full meal deal! :)

As for the under paid part of the title of this post, it would be worse if I didn’t work from home. I’d have to update and maintain my wardrobe as well as commute to and from an office building. That alone would increase my insurance from my current “light use” status and increase the gas and wear & tear expenses for my car. The company claims to have done research and feels that the salary for CSRs (customer service reps) is right on par with other companies. They should revisit this because they are erroneously considering our department CSRs for payroll purposes, but we are Trust & Security Specialists. The work we do is far different than the other departments. I’ve trolled the internet for metrics from reliable sources (not ask.com or answers.yahoo.whatever type sites), and there are jobs with similar descriptions out there that pay a lot more than what I make. I don’t want to change jobs and work in an office building, though. So if you’re a coworker reading this, don’t worry! I’m not leaving my job! :D

So today I’ve taken some time to make a few lists, search the interwebs for dinner ideas, and blogged. A bit of weight has already been lifted. I think I’ll stop while I’m a tiny bit ahead and go shopping with the girls now. Baby steps! I’ll tackle something else tomorrow morning.