Cat Released From Bag

A week or two back, between being busy, stressed and blinded, you may recall I alluded to something going on here that was a bit of a big change.

I'm not going to go into too much detail, but the general basics of it is this.. I am trying to get back into work, and have started a little ball of snow rolling down a big hill in a hope that within the next couple of weeks, I can start a training course.

The job is working from home, and is very flexible.  I will have to do a minimum of twenty hours a week, but I can chose the time in blocks of thirty minutes between 7am and 11pm, Monday to Saturday.  It's a Customer Services job too, which I KNOW, and I will be counted as Self Employed.

I've been sitting on it and going through everything about it for a few weeks now, and would have started things sooner had my son not attempted to remove my eye. I've got a friend that does it, so she has been getting a constant barrage of questions, emails, queries and everything else from me on a regular basis.  Luckily for me, she's happy to help, and has been providing me with all the information I need, links, documents and everything else.

The hardest part is the actual set up... I have had to submit myself to a Background Check (to make sure I'm not a murderer or something I suppose!) - which I passed.  I've had to fill out forms, submit a three-minute voice recording of me talking about me, I've had a twenty-minute phone interview, I've had to dig out old job information stuff from previous employers... And Friday, I had to sit the Entry Exam. It was a self-paced course, 20-30 hours of study spread of 7-10 days, followed by an exam with a two hour time limit, which you could take a maximum of four times.

After eight to ten hours of study and doing the exam in twenty minute, I passed first time on Friday afternoon.

I now have to join another company instead of setting myself up as a Limited Company, wait for the opening I want, do that training course, and away I go... The one I wanted I missed literally by two days, but apparently it opens up all the time every couple of weeks.

I'm really hoping it all comes together and takes off.  Kellie has been the most supportive and understanding person on the planet, but she's also been my hand-holder throughout... I didn't want to see it, jump in and just go for it - I needed her to take the step back and look at it from the angle of someone from the outside, and ask me questions about it that I might not have thought about. She has been there when I've been blabbering on about it, she's been there when I've gotten cold feet, she's been there when the panic set in because I had to do something...

Because it's a Customer Service job, there's a few more things I need to sort out - a separate phone line and broadband account, a separate computer (which will probably just be a hard drive I swap in and out for work), a proper "Office Phone" and headset...

As I'm going to be Self Employed, I will also have to sort out my own National Insurance and Taxes, but our local tax office does free courses on Self Assessment. The other bonus is that all the expenses I am paying out count as business expenditure, and change my taxes for the better.

NOW I'm rambling... As I have been for the last week when talking to Kellie about it.

Why now? Well, Kellie has now gone part time in her job, and while we're still OK for money and stuff, a few extra pounds every month - and the pay is GOOD - will make thing even better.  Plus, saving for a wedding isn't cheap, plus Kellie has her arty-crafty hobbies that she's hoping will take off and try make some money from it - she's already got people ordering a years-worth of cards, even from someone in Dubai!

Our main conversation has been Kellie telling me not to take it if it's JUST for the money. We used to get by on a quarter of what we have now, so it's not like we're struggling. I WANT extra money - I want to be able to get Kellie driving, to take the kids out for the day, to go on weekend breaks without worrying about where next weeks bill money is coming from, to save for our wedding, and have a better quality of life for all of us.

I've been "Off Sick" for ten years. I still pop to the shops one day, and then spend two days trying to recover. My doctor has said recently that I should qualify for Disability without any issues at all, so that's another route that is being chased this month as well. But on the other side of the coin, I am SICK of people looking at me like I'm a little bit of something brown on their shoe when I say "I've been on Incapacity for the better part of a decade" thanks to the various governments making it seem that those of us claiming Incapacity are all benefit frauds, scroungers and liars.

I feel bad that Kellie has to go out and work while I stay home, I feel bad that the kids want or need something and we have to tell them no, I feel bad that I can't just pick everyone up and go out for a meal somewhere, and this job can fix all that.

I am, however, being very very careful.  You will notice for one I've not named any names at all.  And I'm not going to.  I'm also not counting my kittens before they've hatched.  I may well start the course and it'll all go pear-shaped and I won't pass. Lots of little speed bumps are in the way before I can say "Yes, I am working!"

The next course is a daily thing, six weeks of Monday to Friday evenings, no absence allowed or you fail. So it does mean that weeknights are going to be on hold for me till mid-late-November, and that Kellie will have to do bedtimes for the kids (mwhahaha!) but assuming I pass, I can start work straight away and book my hours as I need to. Contractually, I will have to do a minimum of twenty a week, with at least two hours on both Monday and Saturday, but that is really no hardship. Once the kids are in school, I will have the day to myself, so can do 0930 till 1500 Monday-Wednesday, 1000-1400 Thursday-Friday, and then four or five hours on a Saturday - that's 24-25 hours straight off.  If we want a bigger pay packet, then I can do evenings as well, and Kellie has already said that, while it might cut into time with her or the kids, it will mean the other time we have together will be BETTER as we can do things that we want to do.

I am excited, but I am also very very nervous. I've not been in a workplace for ten years... Granted, I'm not going to "a workplace" with the new job, but still. Nerve-wracking stuff.

As I said, I am keeping my hopes at a low simmer - I don't want to assume I'm going to ace it all, assume I'm going to get everything done, dusted and sorted, and assume it will be plain sailing.  But I AM hopeful. I can do this - if I can work in the Telewest call centre (especially on the day and following months after taking over the London Franchise, WOW was that stress to the nth degree!), I can do ANY customer service job.

Thanks to everyone that offered advice to me week-before-last on Facebook when I was asking about grants and what-not - I was hoping to get some help with the start-up costs, but it looks like I'm just going to have to do it all one bit at a time. It's not a lot of money, but it's money that could be spent elsewhere. Again, it's just a case of baby steps and doing each thing as it needs doing... I need to get an office phone, a headset, a phone line/broadband install and a new hard drive for the computer (because their Workstation Requirements are actually quite amusing, even though I can understand the need for security and safety for clients data), but again, one thing at a time.

PLEASE keep everything crossed that this goes as smoothly as I hope it does... I will post more about it under the "work" label when I know more about what's happening.

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One Response to “Cat Released From Bag”

Adullamite said...

Good luck with that!