Well, I haven't been on the blog scene for a while, so how about an update? Just a little disclaimer: this might be either long, or the first of many segmented entries to either get things off my chest, or just recap what has been going on in my life the last few weeks. I will decide as I go along.
Spirit of adventure, right?
Well, I am all by myself in the Blind Rehab Center. I got called in to work the night shift for the regular night nurse has called in, and I could really use the overtime pay, and the hours. I just got back to California Wednesday night, and straight back to work Thursday morning.
Which leads me to the first of many gripes. (and ahead of time, I would like to apologize if this becomes too complaintative) My company charges for "unearned housing". Which means in a nutshell; if you don't work your agreed and contracted hours, they charge you somewhere around $11 an hour per hour you missed that you were supposed to have worked. Well. Here we go. I went straight into this assignment here in Palo Alto, without any time off in between to go home, or rest, or anything else. Typically, travellers take one to two weeks off to relax, take care of business, whatever. I needed to keep on track and not have a gap in pay, so I decided to go ahead and start right away. In addition, I was afraid if I didn't start right away, I wouldn't get the job. SO..... Anyhow, I fought and argued with my company, and no dice. They weren't going to allow me a "free" week so I could go home, and now I am going to be charged (debited) out of my account for missing hours, even though I I had approved time off. I smell bullshit.
Of course, even though I missed hours last week, I made up 4 of them by working a 12 hour shift on Saturday. And now, I am double-backing, working midnight shift for 8 hours, on overtime, and will only be short a total of 4 hours all together if they count missing hours by pay schedule, and not by the week. This is definitely something I need to check up on tomorrow with my recruiter. (post-it note already on computer)
California has not been what I had hoped it to be as far as keeping up with finances go. My paychecks have been less than stellar, and I haven't been able to save but a few pennies, and I haven't paid my mother a red, licking cent back for what I owe her since I have been here. I am thinking all this can also originate from the fact that I was off work for 3 weeks, and had to wait 3 more weeks after I got to California to get my first paycheck. I have been trying to get out of the hole since I have been here, and the cost of living in California has been a definite obstacle in trying to stay afloat financially.
A travel nurse can definitely flourish in funds here if he or she is ready for it. I know for a fact that if I came here with the money I left Nome with, I wouldn't have a frown in the world in regards to my pocketbook. But that's the way it goes, this is another one of God's tests to keep me strong, and a definite lesson in time and money management.
I just got paid on Friday, and for some shocking reason, I checked my account today, and have a lot more money than I thought I did. This won't be for long, as I have not seen my cell phone payment go through yet, AT&T will debit my account for the retarded modem I had to buy for internet access and services rendered, and I have yet to pay my car insurance this month. (yes, another post-it note about this on the monitor as we speak)
I did, however manage to pluck $100 out of my checking account and place it into my savings. My one true goal over the next week and a half to to attempt to spend as little money as possible unless necessary for food and gas, and not touch my savings. If I can do this for the next 10 days, I know I will be back on track to getting my savings back in order and start to be able to pay my Mom back what I owe her.
I got some rather sad news yesterday regarding my plans for the near future. I called my Nurse manager, Colleen, to see if she was going to need me from April through June/July, and she has hired some new permanent staff. As this is always subject to change, I am happy for her and the hospital that she will finally have people there all the time and she won't have to deal with that many more travellers, but I am also sad for myself that I cannot go back anytime soon. I had so many financial plans surrounding being stuck in the bush of Alaska for 3 months, and now, I must go on to Plan B, since Plan A(laska), has now gone to pot. I have been severely missing my friends up there, and I really have been missing Nome. I have been missing the snow, and the short winter days and long nights. Being able to go straight to bed in the winter because it was still pitch black outside when I got home from work. Being truly appreciative for crawling into a warm and fuzzy bed, for it was really FREAKING cold outside! Like 20 below zero... I miss going outside to smoke on the back patio at work, or on the front steps of my apartment, trying not to freeze to death, and shiver so much that I can't hold the cigarette. And I truly miss watching large beautiful glistening snowflakes fall in utter silence as they danced across the the lights of the lamp posts. (one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen, totally always placing me in the most romantically sad of moods, thinking of the same person every time I witnessed it)
And I miss the Northern Lights. I cannot describe them in words. They most definitely something to behold to the human eye for oneself. A true act of God, for something so beautiful cannot be created by man.
Anyhow, that is the gist of it I think. I have killed about an hour now. I have to go and do bed checks in 15 minutes, so I guess I'll have a cigarette, get back to work, and come back here to blog a little more to keep me awake, for I only had 3 hours of sleep before I got here tonight.