Thursday, June 26, 2008

Finally!

So *knock on wood* I think Jerad is getting a new job. I know, I almost peed too. He has been at his current job for almost a year now, and its been a hard year for us. Its a great job (and by great I mean he likes a few of the people there and loves his supervisor which is GREAT), but thats about it. Before he started we talked long and hard about if it was the right thing and decided to try it for a year.

He had been working doing various things, mostly construction. He was working with our friend Taylor remodeling a restaurant for $40/hr. He also worked for my dad. Depending on what he was doing there were a lot of days where he would work for 6 hours and make $600 or $800. Yeah, in a day. They would also have slow weeks but it wasn't really a problem because he could just do something else. He also worked on and off for a framing company when he needed work. Or he did side jobs on his own. He could always haul stuff for people in his big old truck if all else failed. Life was good. We got spoiled.

Basically, he made a ton of money and got to write his own schedule. I work 4 ten hour shifts, Monday through Thursday. So if we wanted to take a 3 day weekend and go to Disneyland, Monterey, Oregon, Camping, whatever it was no problem. And we could afford it. When I got home from work, he was home and we could always eat dinner together. Weekends were always date night. Depending on where he was working he could meet me in the middle of the day for lunch, he used to stop by my work all the time to say hi. Like I said. Life was good.

Then he got an offer for a temporary job driving forklifts at night for a few weeks. Well, if you know Jerad, it was like someone was paying him to play. So, the plan was he would do that at night for a few weeks and we would have some extra Christmas cash. Then they offered him a job. Not just driving forklifts, doing other maintenance stuff. We talked and talked about it. It was for A LOT less that he had been making. At least half. Probably less than half. About a third. BUT, it would be guaranteed hours. And they said he could work as many overtime hours as he needed. Also he would be getting benefits which was something he didn't have before. Then there was the chance of moving up... so we decided to try it for a year and see how it went.

Well, this last year has been hell. Its not the job itself. For the most part he likes it. Its how it effects the rest of our lives. Now I am the major bread winner. Which is fine, I could care less who makes more as long as we can pay our bills, eat, and tuck a little away. Oh, but Jerad sure does. It drives him crazy. Budgeting drives him crazy. He hates the phrase "hmm, we can't really afford that babe." I don't think we have gone to Disneyland ONCE in the last year... not that all couples are entitles to go to Disneyland or anything. Its not that we flat out can't afford to go, but we try to do things like put money in savings and keep our credit cards paid off instead.

Now, if we are super lucky we get to have lunch together once a week. And to make up for all the money he doesn't make at work, he works one or two days doing side jobs on the weekend or at night. The first 8 months or so he worked there he worked most nights too at his job also. Even now he still works at least 50 hours a week and sometimes more. He has been to my work twice in the last year. He is so busy that he didn't have time to make it to the eye doctor for his yearly apt. Yeah, his disposable contacts basically disintegrated (he has been wearing glasses again and we are going today for a new contact prescription). He "doesn't have time" for a teeth cleaning. He "can't get off work" to go to the DMV. So instead if things need to be done in the middle of the week I take the time off. Which frustrates me to no end. Yes, I make more yet I am the one that has to get time off of work to do his errands.

With everything that I went through with the miscarriage last year, and now all the health stuff this year he couldn't take off one day to go to the doctor or hospital with me. Because they always have something sooo important going on that they neeed him for. Or they give him tons of grief for asking for time off.

It is really hard on him. And I'm sure frustrating to be working way harder, doing way less rewarding work, for way less money. To top that off the other guys in his department are lazy and don't do as much but get paid way more. Yesterday morning he got a phone call at 6:30AM from a contractor... at home asking him a question (this happens a lot). He doesn't get paid extra for that kind of stuff.

We started going back to school last fall and (well, I started back and Jerad started for the first time) and he did great. I think he got a 3.8 GPA. This Spring semester because he "had" to work a few Saturdays at his job helping them do a few major moves and "had" to work a few nights doing the same thing, he missed exams and ended up with a 1.5. Thats right. He is now on Academic Probation. If he had passed those classes, he would be 1/2 way done with his AA right now.

I start the accelerated program for my BA at Colombia this spring and then the Teaching Credential program after that. I need to save up a bunch of money between now and then so that I don't have to take out student loans. Obviously, I can't save up money while things are the way they are now because I am basically supporting both of us.

Jerad kind of talked to his supervisor a little bit and his supervisor basically told him that he would be up for a raise in January. Well... that doesn't really work. January is a long time away. Last time he got a raise it was $1.50. If he gets that again, then he will be making $1.50 more than not very much... So, we've been looking at other jobs and in about 30 minutes found about 20 that all paid at least $5 an hour over what he is making now. Most of which had health insurance. The plan is, if his current job can't offer him something to make it worth him staying before January then he is going to get another job for now. Or go back to what he was doing before. Then this fall he can take the last welding class he needs and in the spring get a welding job which is something that he LOVES and pays well.

I think our relationship will really improve. His stress level will go way down. He won't be running himself so ragged. He will feel better about what he's doing. I'll be able to save money for school, we will have time together again. We have been together for over two and a half years now and last night we both agreed that the last year has been steps backward instead of forward.

Needless to say I am very very very excited that he is being proactive in improving things and I didn't have to put a gun to his head to do it either. He finally figured out on his own that most of the stress in our relationship stems from issues that arise from his job, and that he could do better. Waaaaaay better. Also I think he got kind of excited about having the time and money to FINALLY fix up his project car.

So, cross your fingers for us. I know its not going to be how it used to be, but, hopefully we will actually have the time to "date" again. Cause that would be nice. Or, if not at least he can buy me shiny things to distract me.

1 comment:

Rachel said...

Hi Steph! I am a friend of Beth's, so I read your blog (which I love by the way!) whenever I read hers. And I just wanted to tell you that I graduated from Columbia 2 years ago with my bachelors in Business. It is a great program but the scheduling thing (and Theresa) can be a little confusing. So, if you need any assistance from someone who has been through it, feel free to let me know! Good luck!!! Rachel Hunter