Friday, October 16, 2009

Back to work

This was it- the end of my 6 month vacation from work. I had 6 hours of refresher training tonight and 6 more Friday, during which I will take live calls. Yikes.

I am going back to the same workplace for the seasonal ramp-up, but taking order calls, at least at first. My job used to be taking internal calls from reps, and the escalated customer calls. At first I thought, no way will I ever go back to the old days, but as it grew closer and closer to spending 6 or 8 hours at a time taking order after order, I caved.  When I was asked to go back to the research job, I said yes, but it will be 3 weeks or so before I change over.

 I was pretty relieved when I was able to remember how to place an order - I mean of course I can take the information and by golly, it will be accurate, but there is a mandatory call flow to maximize the time/cost ratio and I worry about that. But, since I am scheduled for just 4 shifts before I switch over, I should make it okay. I would hate to not do the job well. Seriously. I don't want someone telling me I did it wrong. And have to be gracious about it and thank them for the constructive criticism.

Since I told them I had no restrictions as to days or times, my schedules are all over the place, ranging from starting at 2pm to 7:30 pm. Which means my end times are 8pm to 1:30. Another plus to changing from order taking- I will have a more set schedule.   It was strange driving home at 11 tonight- I haven't been out that late in a long time. I've been up, just not out.

And then, adrenaline rush at the train crossing! The back road I take runs parallel to the tracks for a mile or so, then crosses it. Sometimes the freight trains stop there to pick up or leave cars at the siding, which can really mess up the timing of my drive to work. I don't usually leave much margin for error, and sitting there for 5 minutes is not good.

What is equally annoying is sitting there at 11:30 at night and watching the train go by slowly, slowly and praying that the last car will come into sight. Then, just as you watch the car get to the crossing, the entire train shudders to a stop, groans and starts backing up! It is 8 minutes to my house from there. If I turn around and go the long way around to town to get home, it takes closer to 15 or 20 minutes. I sit there and watch the clock, trying to decide when it would have been the ideal time to detour.

So, I drove down that road tonight and saw the train was moving, but couldn't tell for sure in the darkness which direction it was going. As I pulled closer, I saw the giant headlight pointing the same way as I was, and sped up a little. Could I get to the crossing before the train? And how far ahead of it? There is a flashing light but no rail that drops down, so no barrier to driving except common sense, or the train itself.

It turned out that it was almost stopped a good 200 feet or so from the road and the warning lights were not flashing, so I cruised over the tracks safely. Still gives you a jolt though when you see that big light shining straight at you as you cross its path.
That's as close as I get to being a daredevil.


Diane said...

i had to hunt you down to see who bought my paperweight! lol i'm almost sad to see it go. i hope you enjoy it!!! thank you!

so... going back to work after an extended time off... i've had to do that. it was rough at first but i got through it. good luck with your refresher courses and getting back into the swing of things!

i hate stopping for trains too! you really are a daredevil!!

have a terrific weekend! :)

Linda said...

Glad you stopped by, Diane. I'm looking forward to seeing the paperweight in person.