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Major Job Problems, and I Haven't Even Started Yet?!

shihtzulover

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 30, 2010
Messages
717
I'm sorry for this huge rant, but I'm really upset right now.

Many of you probably know that I have had a lot of job drama in my life lately. I made a thread about my last job, and I made a thread about my new job situation. I was finally offered a job in a city that's about 1.5 hours from my current city, so my fiance and I decided to move. It seemed like the perfect opportunity for me to learn a lot and then move into a higher position, even though I am a bit overqualified for this job, and even though the pay is lower than anything I've ever gotten in this field.

My fiance and I have spent several weekends traveling to the new city, and we have put down large deposits and arranged movers (more deposits), etc. We have given notice to our current landlord that we will be out of here in a week now, we have thrown away tons of stuff so that we can fit everything into the new apartment, and we are set to move in less than a week! We are supposed to sign the lease in just a few days.

Mind you, I received the signed offer letter from human resources over a month ago now, and returned it with my signature the next day. From what I understood, this was a done deal. In fact, the person who made the offer (someone in charge of opening this branch) really didn't want to give me much time to think about the offer, and he made it sound like they wanted to seal the deal quickly. I had wanted a full week, but he had said that they would have to start getting ready to call other people by then, in case I turned it down - like they he was in a major rush to hire someone fast.

This Monday, I got a call from someone regarding my training there. They suddenly told me that I will have to travel to the other side of the state for training in two weeks, which had never been mentioned to me before. In fact, my offer letter specifically stated that orientation would take place within the same area of my new job, and that travel would not be reimbursed (since it's so close) - making it seem like that was the *only* travel that was required. Anyway, for my birthday, my fiance had splurged and gotten us these really awesome, really expensive concert tickets for that week, so that money was basically thrown down the drain. If I had known any of this, he wouldn't have gotten the tickets, or he might have even gotten some for where my training is taking place (assuming he could get out of work early that day). I was upset, but I figured that it's worth it.

On top of that, they seemed to think that I was going to stay in my current city and commute to this job every day - 1.5 hours each way. Since they didn't realize that I was moving (I told the person who made the offer that I was, but he didn't mention it to the training person who would be one of my big bosses), they thought that I was within the range to drive to the training every day (since my current city is closer to the training area). Now, they have to set up a hotel. Did they really think that I was going to drive that far every day for this job?! Of course, I wouldn't mind commuting during the training period if it were close enough, but it certainly would not be feasible for me to commute from my current city to my new city for work each and every day. I would practically use most of my pay on gas and wear & tear on my car.

Now, late this afternoon, I get an email from my future supervisor (just hired), saying that human resources just informed her that they never received my references list, and that they would like it now. These are the same people (human resources) that signed my offer letter over a month ago! They're worried about this now?! I am about to sign a lease and move across the state in a matter of days!

The problem is that my last place of work was a huge train wreck, and I'm not really in contact with anyone there anymore to use as a reference. I was actually interviewed by this company (actually by the person who is setting up my training) several months ago, for a higher position that I didn't get due to lack of experience, and I gave her a references list back then. I assumed that since I had the offer, they had either already checked my references or weren't going to. Now, the person that I listed as my reference at my last company has left the company too, and I haven't been able to get in touch with her for awhile. I am afraid that anyone else will not give me a good reference.

I really thought that this had all been done before the offer was made. I mean, my start date is in less than two weeks now! I thought that I definitely had the job from the moment I received the signed offer letter, and I can't believe that a company would be doing this now. As a matter of fact, before I accepted, I asked to make sure that the opening date would not be set back at all, explaining to him that I am about to make a huge move and that I wanted to be sure about this position before I started the moving process.

I'm really upset right now, and I don't know what to do!
 

Pandora II

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 3, 2006
Messages
9,613
Oh geez, I'm not suprised you're upset, I would be fuming.

I hope it all sorts out for you.
 

allycat0303

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 19, 2004
Messages
3,258
Well it sounds as though you have your hands full!

I was reading the post, but I'm not 100% sure I understand all of the problems.

Basically you have to go for 2 weeks for training.
You have a concert tickets for that week.
And I'm not sure about the hotel...are they making you pay for it?

I think the references is totally not a big deal. It's just that they have to have it on file in case someone checks. I really think it's nothing. Just send them the references and put it out of your mind (unless there are skeletons you want to hide, which I'm sure their not). I was given a job and they asked for my CV a week later.

I think they should pay for the hotel, or make other arrangements for the training. I'm sure they just need to clarify the logistics of it. As far as I'm concern, the whole business of not knowing where you live, assumptions about commuting, that is not really your problem (or their problem really). They need to train you, and I assume it's a large company, so it's up to them to arrange for you to get the training you need.

As for the tickets. Well that's annoying. Maybe you could arrange to have your training at a later date, (i.e after you start your job) or you could sell them. Or your man could go with a friend and sell only one ticket. Honestly, it's annoying, but it's your new job!

It's all logistics! Sometimes starting a new place has some snags, but it's part of the process. Good luck!
 

zoebartlett

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 29, 2006
Messages
12,450
There seem to be several things gong on right now, and I'd be annoyed at all of them, too.

1. Concert tickets -- Other than selling them, there's not much else you can do. That sucks though.

2. Training -- I know they said that travel wouldn't be reimbursed, but I'd call them and explain the situation. I'd assume that since you'll need to stay at a hotel now, hopefully they can pay for it (or at the very least, pay for half or something).

3. References -- I'd send another copy over and be done with it. You could mention that the contact you had at your previous job has since left and you don't know her new contact information. Actually though, I'd try to get that before you send a new copy of your reference page. Can you do a little digging and maybe call a former coworker and ask for his/her info? As far as I know, when someone calls references, the former employer basically just answers simple questions. I think the questions are mainly things like, "How long has this person worked there?" "Would you recommend this person in a future position?" They don't go into detail about your work history. I could be wrong, but that's my understanding of how the whole reference check works.

I hope everything's sorted out soon! Good luck with your move and best of luck on your first day!
 

charbie

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 16, 2008
Messages
2,512
Oh that's so annoying! Sorry they are being like this.
First, im pretty sure it is against the law for your old company to say anything other than dates of empployment and if you are "rehireable". This is the policy anywhere I have worked. Otherwise, do you have any other professional contacts you can provide as references other than you last employer?

Second, I had a simillar situation where I moved, and my boss had assumed I was still in the town I had been living in before taking the job, and set up my training in my previous location. Im not sure if the company you're going to be working for has a specific training facility or whattnot near your current town, but I mean, it sounds like it is just a case of both parties making assumptions. In my case, I told them I hadn't planned on being in my old town anymore, that we were moving the weekend before I started, and they were completely understanding and set me up to train with another girl at another location.

It doesn't sound like they are trying to recind an offer, it just seems like they are having a few start up bumps along the road and it'll work ot :) good luck!
 

centralsquare

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
2,201
How upsetting! Seems that you had such high hopes and excitement for the new position, so seems that -- not only are these hiccups causing a lot of strife -- but there is also the disappointment. I'm so sorry!
 

shihtzulover

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 30, 2010
Messages
717
Sorry for the confusion. The company did agree to pay for the hotel during training - I was just kind of ranting about my disbelief regarding the disorganization of everything.

Regarding the reference check - it's worse than I even thought. I called human resources regarding it, and they explained that I need to have someone from each of my previous companies fill out a very detailed reference check form. My first job was in a city that is a few hours from here (so I would have to travel there pretty much today or tomorrow), and I don't think that I can get in touch with anyone from the other place.

After the company receives the references, they then call and verify it all - there is even a line where a human resources employee must provides their signature, saying that they called to confirm everything. This is an extremely detailed questionnaire, asking everything from how long I worked at the place (I'm not sure if they realize how short my previous positions were even though I did list it all on my resume and application, and I'm anxious about how they will feel when they find out), and who my supervisor was. It also asks about my experience in this type of setting - I have none, and as far as I knew, everyone there knew this!

The 'who was my supervisor' question is also such a complicated situation. After the first CEO left, the interim was rarely there and I also couldn't often go to her, since she didn't really know everything about my department. One of the upper-level administrators who was there at the time told me to list her as my supervisor, but the problem is that I don't know if she really was or not. She helped show me around the department and told me what to work on when I first started, and she always offered guidance and advice when I had a question, since she had some background in my side of things. Our first CEO even often suggested that I go to her with some of my questions because she knew more about my area, but the new CEOs seemed to think that we were just from totally different departments. Our official organizational structure listed the CEO as directly over me, and her as being lateral - although during the constant transitions with upper-level management, I really feel like she is the only one who consistently knew my work, and who was there to work with me when I needed help.

Anyway, since she was the only person left there that even knew a thing about my job responsibilities and how I worked, I listed her as my supervisor (per her instructions, since she was the only one still at the company at the time and the only one that I was in contact with - since it was back in February when I first applied and listed her as my supervisor). Now she has left the company, and I have not been able to get in touch with her at all. I have heard that she has had some really bad health problems, and I've tried calling her cell phone, but with no luck. None of my old coworkers can get in touch with her.

I could probably get in touch with my old boss (the first CEO) that they fired, but he may also be out-of-state right now. I also may just not be able to contact him at all. Even if I can, I know that he will probably put himself as my supervisor...and he doesn't even know how long I was with the company, since he wasn't there the whole time.

I also just found out that we have to move in to the new apartment this Saturday. Realistically, I am supposed to already be there, because I had wanted to move in at the end of July or the very beginning of August. We finally found a place that we thought we liked the most, and the unit wasn't available until this Saturday. Of course, we were driving through the area at night, and it seemed really shady and not as safe, so we found another place that we loved even more, a bit further out from the city. The unit at that complex was not available until this coming Wednesday, so that was going to be our new move-in date. My fiance called the movers yesterday, and they can't do Wednesday, but they can still do Saturday. My fiance, not yet knowing that I am having these issues (since I hadn't received the email yet), called the complex and worked with them to have everything ready by Saturday. So we would have to sign in 48 hours, and we have to give our final confirmation to the movers this morning.

I am just sitting here shaking and crying right now. Apparently, I was supposed to know about this reference form, even though it had never been mentioned to me before this. They said that they could call my references for me, but that they would ask the same questions as on the form, and that they would prefer that I have the references themselves fill out the forms. I really don't think that I did anything wrong at my last job, but it was all a tangled mess with the CEO transitions and with not really having a supervisor who knew what was going on. There were issues with the interim CEO and the new CEO after her, which is why almost all of my coworkers left. Neither of them would give me a good reference.

When I first applied to this company back in February, I listed that girl as my supervisor and gave them her phone number, and I also listed my supervisor at the job before that. I checked off that the company had permission to contact both of them, since I was in close contact with both of them at the time. Then, I even gave the interviewer a reference list with the same two people on it. I just assumed that they had either already done their reference checks as needed, or that they weren't going to, since they already sent me a signed offer letter over a month ago.

The problem now is that I don't think I can get these references on time, and then I am afraid they will find something out that they don't like (realizing that I didn't stay at the job for very long even though I listed the correct dates on the application, that I don't have any experience in this setting even though the person who made the offer knew that, or not understanding the whole supervisor situation), and I am scared. I also don't know if this company always operates like this, or why they are doing this now. I have not heard anything from anyone there since the end of June, which is when I received the official offer letter - and now this.

I am sitting here, surrounded by boxes. We probably have to be out of here in a week since we already gave our landlord our notice, and we already made some non-refundable deposits, but we stand to lose a lot more if we sign this lease. I don't know how to get in touch with these people in time, or how to get these references before I have to sign the lease. I don't even know if I can get one from my last job at all.

On top of everything else, my dog has been vomiting this morning, so I'm really worried, and I think that I'm going to have to take him to the vet.
 

iheartscience

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 1, 2007
Messages
12,111
Okay, get off the internet and go track down your references. Use whoever you think will be the best reference from the high drama company. Then call the vet and make an appointment for your dog.
 

amc80

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 18, 2010
Messages
5,765
shihtzulover said:
They said that they could call my references for me, but that they would ask the same questions as on the form, and that they would prefer that I have the references themselves fill out the forms.
This. Let them do it. They are the ones wanting this information at the 11th hour. They aren't going to take back the offer because they can't get in touch with someone. You are doing everything you can, in good conscience, to give them what they need. Part of HR's job is to contact references. You gave them your list, let them do their job.
 

charbie

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 16, 2008
Messages
2,512
You tell them you never received this form, and you fill it out with the info about the company as it was while you were there. It is NOT your responsibility to track down other people who have left the company.

You explain in not as many words as used here that there have been many changes to your previous place of employment, but you ar happy to possible however reasonably possible.
 

shihtzulover

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 30, 2010
Messages
717
Thanks for the advice everyone. I still can't get in contact with that girl who I listed as my supervisor at my last job, but I did get in touch with the first CEO. He said that he will be happy to give me a good reference, and that although that girl wasn't really my supervisor while he was working there, they probably changed things when he left. He said that he would explain that to them when they ask.

I just can't get my references to fill out the forms myself, because I'm not in the same area as either of them right now. I tried to call human resources at the new company to explain that they will have to call to check, but of course, no one is answering, and they haven't been for the past hour.

Is it unfair of me to tell them that I need for them to do these reference checks this afternoon, because this has to be resolved now? I mean, we need to sign this lease. If it isn't going to work out, then we need to find another place to live in the city that we were originally planning to move to. I'm just afraid that they will say that if I don't have anything to worry about, then I shouldn't worry - but you just never know what people are going to say and we have a lot of money on the line. I thought that this was all completed back in June.
 

allycat0303

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 19, 2004
Messages
3,258
I wrote a long post and it was deleted.

From an outsider point of view, you sound panicked! So you need to take a deep breath.

First off I think this is formality. You've already gotten the job. They just need to know that you didn't lie on your application.

You listed 2 references on your application, so those are the 2 you need. You should be able to get in contact with them eventually during the day.
First off, call the boss and get his fax number. Fax him the reference form, have him fill it out, and give him the fax number of your new company. Obviously follow-up that he recieved it, and follow-up that your new company recieves it. I do not see anything wrong with explaining that you need it quickly. As for the other girl, I would try to make sure she's not on vacation by calling another number! If she is then explain it to the new company.

As for your lease. I would not hold up on signing it. I really don't see how they are going to take away your job. Unless you either lied about your references, or someone says you are a psychopathic serial killer. It's not even a big deal if the references come in after you have started your job. If it was the end all of everything, they would have checked before sending you an offer. Don't worry so much!
 

shihtzulover

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 30, 2010
Messages
717
Thanks for the help!

I am afraid that they will think that I was lying because of the whole supervisor mess. Apparently, this girl wasn't officially my supervisor according to the hierarchy, but she acted as one during the transitions. I was afraid that if the first CEO said that she was not my supervisor and that he was, they would think that I had been lying. I called him, and he understands the situation, and he said that he will explain that she may have acted as my supervisor after he left.

I guess she never really WAS my supervisor, but since she was the only upper-level administrator who was consistently around and who knew my work, it seemed like she was. Also, her position typically does supervise my position in many places. She did tell me to list her as my supervisor, but that was several months ago, when I first applied for this job, and when she was the only one still with the company. Since she left, no one has been able to reach her. I have her personal cell phone number, and I know that her phone is on because it rings before going to her voice mail, but she doesn't return any of my messages, and she hasn't in months. I have had dinner with some of my old coworkers a few times, but no one has been able to contact her.

In my frenzy, I didn't even call my second reference, but there wasn't any drama or transitioning there, and she always told me that I could use her as a reference. I will even give them the boss over her as a second reference for that workplace, since I found out that he recommended me for a job in my current city (of course, I didn't hear about it until after I accepted this job).

I really thought that they had already called my references, or else were not going to, because on the application, I had checked off that it was fine to contact them. Like I said, I also gave my first interviewer a list, and that was back in February or March.

I finally just got in touch with human resources, and they explained that the forms are not necessary and that my new supervisor can call my references, but that human resources does not do that. Huh? Oh, and of course my new supervisor doesn't have a phone yet! I had to email her, and await her reply, unless she calls me using her cell phone.

On top of this, I left a voice mail for the training person yesterday afternoon, since she never responded to an email that I sent her earlier this week. I still haven't heard anything back.

At least my dog seems to feel better. I was getting ready to take him to the vet, but he started to play and eat, and he hasn't vomited again since. I took him in for vomiting once in the past, and they just explained that he has a sensitive stomach and that they couldn't find anything wrong. I just freaked out when it started happening again because I hate to see him in pain, but he seems to be better now. I will definitely take him in if it happens again, though!
 

amc80

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 18, 2010
Messages
5,765
I've given references for people I didn't supervise, but worked with in a supervisory capacity. I really don't think it matters if someone was techincally your supervisor or not, as long as they worked with you in that sort of role.
 

zipzapgirl

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Aug 28, 2008
Messages
369
Regarding the reference check - it's worse than I even thought. I called human resources regarding it, and they explained that I need to have someone from each of my previous companies fill out a very detailed reference check form. My first job was in a city that is a few hours from here (so I would have to travel there pretty much today or tomorrow), and I don't think that I can get in touch with anyone from the other place.

After the company receives the references, they then call and verify it all - there is even a line where a human resources employee must provides their signature, saying that they called to confirm everything. This is an extremely detailed questionnaire, asking everything from how long I worked at the place (I'm not sure if they realize how short my previous positions were even though I did list it all on my resume and application, and I'm anxious about how they will feel when they find out), and who my supervisor was. It also asks about my experience in this type of setting - I have none, and as far as I knew, everyone there knew this!

The 'who was my supervisor' question is also such a complicated situation. After the first CEO left, the interim was rarely there and I also couldn't often go to her, since she didn't really know everything about my department. One of the upper-level administrators who was there at the time told me to list her as my supervisor, but the problem is that I don't know if she really was or not. She helped show me around the department and told me what to work on when I first started, and she always offered guidance and advice when I had a question, since she had some background in my side of things. Our first CEO even often suggested that I go to her with some of my questions because she knew more about my area, but the new CEOs seemed to think that we were just from totally different departments. Our official organizational structure listed the CEO as directly over me, and her as being lateral - although during the constant transitions with upper-level management, I really feel like she is the only one who consistently knew my work, and who was there to work with me when I needed help.

Anyway, since she was the only person left there that even knew a thing about my job responsibilities and how I worked, I listed her as my supervisor (per her instructions, since she was the only one still at the company at the time and the only one that I was in contact with - since it was back in February when I first applied and listed her as my supervisor). Now she has left the company, and I have not been able to get in touch with her at all. I have heard that she has had some really bad health problems, and I've tried calling her cell phone, but with no luck. None of my old coworkers can get in touch with her.

I could probably get in touch with my old boss (the first CEO) that they fired, but he may also be out-of-state right now. I also may just not be able to contact him at all. Even if I can, I know that he will probably put himself as my supervisor...and he doesn't even know how long I was with the company, since he wasn't there the whole time.

So, it seems like you have four problems:
1) Concert tickets
2) Training
3) References
4) You're freaked out that the whole house of cards is going to tumble.

So, I think other posters answered you on #1 (Sell the tickets, or have BF go with a friend) and #2 (misunderstanding, they're going to get the hotel, done).

For #3 it sounds like someone in HR dropped the ball. So someone in HR calls your future boss and says that there is something missing in the hiring protocol and they need it before your start date. At this point, with the signed contract and the start date and the scheduled training, the references are a formality. No one ever said anything about rescinding the offer, did they?

I would first call the HR rep and explain that your former supervisor has left the company. Then give them the choice to contact the HR dept of the old company (immediate results) or contact the old supervisor (who is less reachable). I bet they go with the generic HR from the company in order to check their boxes. They already decided to hire you, so this is really about backfilling paperwork. Don't worry about what they are going to say--most HR depts will only confirm dates of employment and very general details anyway. Even if they fired you, they will be scared to say so for legal reasons, so you are very protected!!

Second, there's no reason to drive 1.5 hours to an old employer to get something filled out. Call the HR dept and fax it over or send a scanned copy via email. You do not have to run around for this stuff. Actually, it's an even better solution if you call HR, get the contact and just pass that on to the HR dept of your new company.

Just remember that your new company can *ask* all kinds of questions, but your old companies are very unlikely to actually answer those questions. Whatever your old company is willing to tell or provide to the new company is what they will have to take. End of story. They all know this game.

The bigger problem seems to be #4, that you are freaking out about the move and the leap of faith. I think you just need to get a handle on these things. Pull together your self-confidence and don't let these bumps in the road get you down. Create a positive narrative about your old job so you can refer back to it when your new co-workers or HR ask you questions ("After the merger, our department was no longer strategically important to the company, so most of the dept left to pursue more exciting opportunities" or "I didn't feel like I had a lot of opportunities to develop in my old role, so when this job came across my emails, I was excited about the chance to learn new things and grow." See what I mean? State it positively) Keep on repeating it to yourself. Believe it. Then let go of all of the excuses and blaming and discussion of toxic ex-bosses and too short stays on the resume, cause only you BF and maybe a friend or two are going to be interested in that story going forward. You write the story of your career, so start writing your autobiography the way you want and need it to sound in order to market yourself in the future. When you talk to your future boss and the HR rep, keep a tone of positive proactive professionalism.
 

shihtzulover

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 30, 2010
Messages
717
Thanks so much for the support! Unfortunately, I have not yet heard back from my supervisor after I sent her the email, so it looks like my references will not be checked this week.
 

tammy77

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 23, 2011
Messages
1,442
I've never received an offer letter THEN been asked for references. Is that common? My first reaction is that they needed to handle this in a timely manner, not you. THEY dropped the ball so THEY need to do the legwork at this point but I don't think they should be able to retract their offer, especially not after all this time has passed. :confused:

I hope everything works out and I'm glad your pup is feeling better!
 

shihtzulover

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 30, 2010
Messages
717
I truly appreciate all of the support from you guys!

Anyway, that's why I'm really irritated: I hadn't heard from them since the end of June, when I received their written and signed offer letter! What is the point of checking references after that?! Also, my new supervisor doesn't seem to be in any sort of hurry to reply to my email. Since she doesn't have a phone, I emailed her yesterday afternoon, asking her if she would be willing to call my references for me, since human resources said that it is an option to do it that way (although they said that they would rather have the completed forms). I also haven't heard of a company that doesn't have human resources check references, and instead has the supervisor do it (which is why they say that it hasn't been done yet - because she was just hired). The human resources department is the one that's complaining about not having my references yet, telling my supervisor that I just never submitted them (although like I said, I'd never been told anything about it) - and they're the ones that signed and sent my offer letter!

I really did just assume that they had contacted everyone that they needed to call. I haven't even given them my updated list yet, so maybe she is now trying to get in contact with the girl who I listed on my application back in February. I really have no idea at this point. I waited until this afternoon to hear back, and then I tried to contact human resources again, because they mentioned that I could just have my references write letters, rather than having them fill out the forms, and I had a few questions about that option. They never called me back, but they may have already been gone for the weekend.

I also don't understand how I can get my references to write letters like they suggested, and then get the letters to them in time. The original CEO that I got in contact with from my last company is retired and does not have access to fax machines or any type of office equipment. I'm just wondering if it would be acceptable for them to email their letters to me (but without signatures, since I know for sure that at least one of them does not have access to a scanner), and maybe I can forward them to my new supervisor, and then the new company can call to ensure that my previous supervisors really wrote them?

They claim that this is all just a formality, and that I definitely have the job - that they just need this for my file for auditing purposes. But I don't get it - if I can't get a reference, or if something comes back badly, how could I still have the job? I am mostly still just worried that they won't understand why I listed someone as my supervisor who wasn't really my official supervisor, although like I said, since the CEO position was in so much transition, she was the only upper-level administrator who was there during the entire span of my employment (or even the majority of it), and she could most adequately assess my work, since she really knew what was going on in my department. I guess it also just makes me nervous because of all of the drama at my last job - I'm afraid that they will uncover something and that I will look bad, even though I really don't think that I did anything wrong, given the circumstances.

I also now just really feel like I made a big mistake, because if this is how the new company handles business, what am I really in for?! I know that my fiance is really exasperated and worried that this company is going to make me miserable, and I'm so stressed that I can't even think straight. Honestly, if I had known that this wasn't all already complete, I wouldn't have accepted the job, because it's just too much of a risk to undergo a costly move across a state, to an area with a significantly higher cost-of-living and crime rate. If I had wanted uncertainty, I could have gone for that interim director position in the city that we wanted to move to anyway, with much higher prestige and pay. I just thought that this was the smart choice for a solid future.
 

junebug17

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 17, 2009
Messages
12,513
Shihtzulover, how are things going? Did you get things straightened out?
 

shihtzulover

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 30, 2010
Messages
717
Hi Everyone!

Thanks so much for thinking about me, and for checking up on me.

We went forward with the moving, and our apartment is really nice. The area isn't the absolute best, but our complex is really nice, and it seems really safe. If we want to go shopping late at night though, we go to another town, just because parts of this area aren't the best. As far as living goes, I think that we'll really be fine here though, just because we really like the complex.

The job situation is still really stressful for me, even though it's not even necessarily about the references situation right now. I was finally able to give my references list to my supervisor, and she said that she would call them for me, but I'm not sure if she's done it yet or not. Apparently, human resources is still working on ensuring that everyone's files are complete, so they are going to send out a list of missing items this week. It's out of my hands now though, so I'm just hoping that it all goes well.

I started orientation this past Monday, and the people all seem really nice, but some if it isn't what I was expecting. The person who hired me painted a really rosy picture about the company expanding in this region, and of a very strong possibility of me moving up in a year or two. Other company executives aren't really so optimistic, though - their stance is more like, "we might grow in this region, but we might not." The company has experienced a lot of growth over the past several years, but you just never know what will happen and where, and apparently expansion around here isn't necessarily as likely as I had originally thought. I guess I'll just have to see how it plays out.

The training is really stressing me out right now. I have to drive to a city that is about three hours away, and the area there is really bad. I went for the end of last week, and I will be spending this entire week there, too. I'm really not looking forward to it. First of all, driving really stresses me out. I have never driven in really busy areas, or on major highways. I feel like I'm a teenager just learning to drive.

The company is paying for my hotel on most of the nights, but not on the nights before my training starts. So, they didn't pay for the night before I started this past week, and they aren't paying for tonight, since the training starts back up tomorrow. I'm supposed to drive there in the morning, but since they want me there between 7:30 and 8:00 am, I have to leave here by 4:30 am. I did it last week, and I was so tired. Combined with the fact that I'm not a very experienced driver, and the whole situation was extremely stressful for me. I almost hit someone when I was trying to merge, and I feel so horrible about it - merging is my weakness, since I've never really had to do it much. Anyway, I don't want a repeat of that, so I'm planning on just heading up there this afternoon, because then I at least won't be exhausted or driving in the dark.

It's also really scary for me because during orientation, I had to fill out a special form regarding the number of tickets that I've had and the number of accidents that I've been in over the past two years, etc. They are each worth a certain number of points, and if you get over five, you probably lose your job - because the company wants everyone to be eligible to drive their agency vehicles, and the company's insurance won't cover anyone with more than five points. I already have one point, since I've had my driver's license for less than five years.

So basically, if I get into an accident and get a ticket for it (even in my own personal vehicle, on my own time) I will likely lose my job. I don't really understand it, because I thought that my position didn't require any travel, and I was not aware of this policy, either. My original plan was to learn to drive in this new city slowly, but now I'm petrified to even get behind the wheel, because something bad might happen. I would think that you could waive the right to drive the agency vehicles (I would never want to, anyway), and drive my own car if I had to go anywhere - but apparently, that's not how it works.

Also, travel is not required for the people in my position at other branches, but I've heard that they're planning to have me drive between two major cities once a month, in order to drop off paperwork that we won't have room for, since our building is a bit small. I can't really ask about it yet, because I have only heard this from people at the branch where I'm training (they were helping to set up policies for our branch), and the executives haven't made a definite decision regarding who will be driving the paperwork over there every month. But since it's my department's information, I was told that it will likely fall on me. I'm really, really scared about it, because I never drive on those major highways. Even going to my training now, I take special roads to avoid the major highways, but there aren't really any less major roads to take to get between the two cities to drop off the paperwork.

I'm really hoping that I can be honest with them about it, and just tell them that I'm not comfortable driving between two major cities, since I don't have much experience on busy highways. Maybe I can help out in a different area of the company, and someone else can go in my place, since I would think that some people would actually enjoy getting out of the office for awhile. Still, I'm not sure that I can even do parts of other people's jobs, or how the company would react to me not wanting to drive.

The area that I'm training in is also really bad. It's a bad area of town - so bad that someone found a needle cap and crack pipe outside, and there have been robbery-related shootings not too far away. It makes me really nervous to be around there, but I'm really just trying to hold out and get through this next week.

At this point, I spend most of my driving time shaking like a leaf because I'm scared to drive and also a little bit because I'm scared of the area that I'm in. It's kind of like a vicious cycle, because the more scared I get, the worse I drive - and then I get more scared. I'm starting to shake a little bit now, just knowing that I have to head back there later today.

I guess I could try to apply for another position in the same field somewhere around here, but I'm afraid that I'm going to get a bad reputation for just leaving companies so quickly. I really want to try to stick this out. The job itself seems fine, although it doesn't seem like it will be very challenging for very long. It's tough because I had a lot more responsibility at my last job, and I also had a lot more independence - sure, the upper management situation there was a nightmare, but the job itself could have been great. Anyway, it can be a tough pill to swallow sometimes, but I know that I have to suck it up and do whatever it takes to succeed.
 

centralsquare

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
2,201
Seems this company has odd policies that they poorly communicate! Maybe things will get better when you learn the policies a bit more. Transitions are never easy but maybe stick it out for 6 months and then make a decision. No job/employer is perfect and the grass can always seem greener but perhaps give it some more time to make an assessment.
 

iheartscience

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 1, 2007
Messages
12,111
Bummer that they won't pay for your hotel the night before, but that's probably fairly standard these days-times are tight.

Honestly I think you need to suck it up at this point. No job is perfect, and change is very hard (I just moved to a new city 6 months ago so I totally understand), but I'm sure you'll settle in eventually. Plus training is never fun-I'd much rather just do the work than learn HOW to do the work.

Because you don't have much work experience and left your past jobs so quickly, leaving earlier than a year at minimum would reflect poorly on you. But I bet in 2-3 months you won't want to leave, anyway. Good luck and I hope you start to like it soon!
 

zoebartlett

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 29, 2006
Messages
12,450
I'm going to be honest. The driving issue jumped out at me while reading your posts. I think you need to conquer your fear of driving, especially on highways. I know it's something you're afraid of, but you don't want your fear to hold you back, and this fear is taking hold of you strongly. The more you do it, the easier it will become. So I'd suggest taking your FI out on drives on the weekends to help you overcome this.

Another thing is, it seems as if you're freaking out over every little aspect of this job before even knowing if something will be your responsibility. I'm really not trying to be rude and I apologize if that's how I'm coming across. Give it time. Try to relax a bit.

Do you mind me asking what job you have now and what type of company it is? Don't answer if it's too personal, obviously. I'm just curious.

The other thing is -- no job will ever be perfect. Let things settle a bit at work, get used to your new responsibilities, and then see how things are. I bet you'll really like it, after giving it time. I completely agree with everything Thing2 wrote.
 

junebug17

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 17, 2009
Messages
12,513
Aw, sorry the new job is continuing to stress you out, but I agree with the others that you just have to hang in there and take one day at a time - I really think things will be better once you're done with this training and you're in a more regular routine. Give yourself time and try to relax. Transition periods like this are difficult, but I'm sure you'll adjust over time. You've made some big changes, it's going to take time to get used to them!

And it would probably be a good idea to work on getting past your fear of driving, since it sounds like it's creating a lot of anxiety for you. I sympathize and completely understand- I'm over 50 years old and I'm not crazy about driving and get nervous sometimes! But what has helped me is just practicing, and driving more - I like the idea of you and FI going out for practice rides together. We've been doing this with our son, who's also nervous about driving, and it's helped.

Try not to worry about things that haven't happened yet! You don't know that they're going to ask you to do this drive, so just cross that bridge when you get to it. I know it's easy for me to say, but fretting about it now won't really change anything. I'm a worrier too, so I know it's hard, but try your best to relax. Things will work out, they always do!

Thanks for checking back in, I've been thinking about you! ((hugs))
 

monarch64

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 12, 2005
Messages
17,921
Since the driving issue is so huge for you, and something you don't seem to feel like you'll get over, I think you should stick it out at this position for as long as possible WHILE searching for a job in a city with plenty of public transportation. You really need to find something that doesn't require all this travel/driving. I mean, seriously...would someone who hates to fly go to flight school and become a pilot? Lots of people in the world work and are successful but never drive.
 

zoebartlett

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 29, 2006
Messages
12,450
Shihtzulover -- I meant to say what Junebug said when she mentioned not worrying about things that haven't happened yet. She said it much better than I did, and I didn't mean for my comment to come out as harshly as it might have.

Good luck with the training! I'm sure things will get much better.
 

MonkeyPie

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 23, 2008
Messages
6,059
I have to ditto Zoe big time. I think you're really overthinking it, and worrying about things that you either cannot change or will not matter in the long run. Also, the driving is a very big deal, and something that you need to work on in your own time to get over. While it would be real easy to find a job where you can make your commute on public transport or a very short, easy drive, all that will do is allow your fear to grow stronger and become more ingrained. Now is the time to put on the big girl panties and take your DH out for drives on the weekend to get used to being in heavy traffic and merging without panic. ::) I think you can do it, but you have to want to!
 

shihtzulover

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 30, 2010
Messages
717
Thank you everyone for the continued support!

I definitely agree that I need to get over my fear, and learn to drive. That was my plan all along - I thought that I could practice with my fiance, and slowly branch out to busier roads and highways. I guess my main concern now is that I'm more worried than ever about getting into an accident, just because it might push me over the five point limit, and then I will lose my job. They did mention that they can sometimes (but not necessarily often) negotiate with their agency insurance company if that does happen, and that they are sometimes given the option of sending a person to driving classes.

I know that a lot of it really is my fear of driving, which I've always had. I didn't get my license until I was 21, even though all of my friends got theirs at 16. I can now drive in my hometown with no problem, but I get worried on busy roads, highways, and just places that I don't know well. A lot of it really is my fear, but I also truly do not feel that I can see well in the dark or in the rain. I have even commented to my fiance before when he was driving, because I couldn't see the road, and it was scaring me. He said that he could see perfectly fine though.

I even asked my eye doctor about it, but the only thing that he could do was make sure that my contact lenses have the proper strength of astigmatism correction. That didn't solve the problem though, and it's not even any better when I wear my glasses (and they are anti-glare). I have done some research online, and it seems that some people with astigmatism just have bad night/bad weather vision. I just really feel like I can't see a thing.

Regardless, when it's daylight and sunny, I am still scared. I jut really have problems with keeping up with the traffic in front of me and what everyone is doing, trying to check my blind spots, and trying to estimate whether or not I can fit into a space or not. It's hard for me to calculate it all and then make a quick decision. I still even don't see people in my blind spot sometimes. Is it normal to feel like this when you're first learning how to do it? I'm just afraid that I'm naturally bad at it and that I will never get any better.

As for the job itself - training has been going well. Even though the area makes me nervous, I am actually kind of enjoying learning everything. The people at this branch are really nice, and even though I know that mine will be different, it has made me feel a bit more at ease.

I am actually meeting with someone tomorrow at another branch that is close to here, so I will be driving there as well. I am nervous because I don't know the roads to get there, and also just because I have been more afraid than normal over the past week or so, after that close call. I won't have to get on any major highways, but it's still nerve-wracking.

Oh, and I actually just ran to a store near my hotel, in the dark. I did have to change lanes, and it was a new area, so I am really trying to expand out of my comfort zone - even though I was shaking the whole time.
 

FrekeChild

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 14, 2007
Messages
19,456
Have you seen a therapist about this driving issue? It sounds like an abnormal amount of fear...were you in some kind of traumatic auto accident in your past? Did you witness one?

My 16 year old nephew was just in a pretty traumatic car accident (his friend was driving, and my nephew was the only one that was hurt out of a 4 car pile-up that resulted in 3 totaled cars) and he's still wanting to drive, even though he's scared of what could happen.

I love to drive. I love to drive fast. I'm a very good (albeit fast) driver, who would be a great get-away driver and when I'm in my car, I feel like it's an extension of myself. So I'm not one who would understand this particular phobia, but I can't help but think that there is something going on here...
 
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