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I am a Registered Sanitarian.

In fact, I’ve been one for about a month. On January 14th, I took the Registered Sanitarian exam, and I passed! I was surprised and amazed I did, because the exam had hardly any material on it that I’d studied.

Considering I’d been prepping for the exam for months, I should have mentioned it on this blog earlier. But there are times when I feel like I don’t deserve it. I’m still not comfortable walking into restaurants and grocery stores to inspect them, and telling the owners what’s wrong. I still get anxious when I do it. And so much of the job, like evaluating plan reviews for new establishments, is still new to me.

Normally, a Sanitarian-in-Training has to work for two years before taking the exam. Thanks to my Master of Public Health, I could take it in one year. But was it the right thing to do? Should I have worked as a Sanitarian-in-Training for one more year, despite my Master’s degree? Since I passed the exam, I guess I didn’t need to. But I still don’t feel like a proper health inspector; I feel like an amateur masquerading as one.

Has anyone felt like this, about their job?

I missed the Climate Strike on Friday…

…and I so much wish I didn’t.

I was at work. And some days, I get satisfaction out of my job, but I wasn’t satisfied on Friday. I felt that whatever I was doing wasn’t nearly as important as showing my support for the climate. I wanted to be on the campus of the College of Wooster, marching and shouting, getting rid of my nervous energy, trying to get our out-of-touch leaders to understand that yes, climate change is real. Yes, the world is in danger. Yes, we want you to do something.

For all that I work in Environmental Health, there isn’t much done at work about the greatest environmental crisis of our time. Granted, my particular job doesn’t tie directly to climate change. But why don’t any of our jobs? Why is there not a climate change program? Why are we not addressing the problem?

I know that it’s rural Ohio, and that we’re helpless without our cars and trucks and gasoline-powered farm equipment. I don’t have any current ideas on how to fix that. But on these hot afternoons, when the cars and trucks clog up the streets of Millersburg and seem to make the air even hotter, when you hear the horrible noise of their engines and can’t shut it out, when you just know that all that car exhaust is heating up our planet, and more and more cars just pass on the road, and it just won’t end…then you wish that the cars and trucks would magically disappear, that the problem would magically solve itself.

If I wasn’t at the Climate Strike on Friday, it wasn’t because I don’t care. It was because I don’t want to lose this job. It was because I was doing my duty. Yet I can’t help but wonder if at this point, my duty is something quite different.

What about my followers? Did any of you make it to the Climate Strike?

A Job at Last

At last, at last, I have the job I always wanted.

I am now a Sanitarian-in-Training at the Holmes County General Health District.

I’ve been waiting and working towards this for almost four years. I’m so grateful and thankful to have this job at last. I’m getting training on restaurant and grocery store inspections now, and I hope I’ll become the best Sanitarian I can be later.

Employment Angst

Last Thursday, I got a phone call that shocked and confused me.  The temporary situation with the Data Entry Company (TDEC), which was supposed to last into June, was going to end that Friday, because the New Jersey State Department of Taxation, their client, had just contacted them that afternoon and asked them to let all the NESCO employees go.  Apparently, they didn’t need the temps anymore, because there were no longer enough forms to fill out.

I had to  get used to this idea.  I had gone from a full-work schedule to a no-work schedule, and even though I wasn’t upset, because this time it wasn’t personal, I had to change many of my goals for the summer and plan out things that I could do now that I had no work.  It took some time, but I managed to come up with a tentative schedule and a few goals.  I was going to do more exercise and lose some weight, practice my flute more, and prepare for school this fall, as well as find some new recipes and cook more.  So far so good.

This morning, I got a phone call from NESCO saying that the Data Entry Company wanted me back at work, at least the rest of the week.  They just got a huge influx of forms, which, apparently, the New Jersey State Department of Taxation couldn’t have predicted.  So that means I have to throw out the plans I’ve made and try and get used to a full work schedule again.

You may say I’m being overly sensitive, but I’m extremely angry about how the New Jersey State Department of Taxation is handling the situation.

Because it’s not like they could have predicted how many forms would be available for employees at TDEC to work on and sent TDEC a plan for the temps ahead of time.  It’s not like they could have kept the NESCO employees hired only, say, part time, just in case such an increase of forms would happen and they would have to work full-time again.  It’s not like they could have even given TDEC and NESCO  warning of these changes a week or even two days ahead of time.

No, they have to just let us go, only to hire us back four days later and tell us to come in immediately, with no consideration for possible changes in our schedules, how we were feeling, or how quickly we’d get the latest influx of forms done.  I’m not sure whether this is normal for data entry technicians, seeing as how this is the first time I’ve got a job as one.  I don’t know whether the New Jersey State Department of Taxation really has so little concern for the employees who do its data entry work or if I’m just imagining it.  But I do know that it shows an appalling lack of foresight and really poor planning.

Understand that I’m not blaming NESCO or TDEC for this.  It’s entirely the New Jersey tax department’s fault, and it’s the  people there who handle contacts and form exchanges with TDEC that I’m blaming.  I can only hope they do better next fiscal year.

Views of nature from work.

I work at the Data Entry Company in Worthington.  Although it’s located just off the highway, there are also some nice apartments nearby, with lawns and trees.

TDEC Canada Goose 1

In fact, the lawns are so lush that they’re a paradise for Canada geese.

TDEC Canada Goose 2

It was a rainy day today, so there were quite a few geese around.  They’re considered a pest around Columbus, you have to watch where you step, and sometimes you have to wait while they cross the road.  But if you have a 15-30 minute break, it’s relaxing to just stand and watch them.

TDEC Geranium

There are flowers outside the building, including this orange geranium…

TDEC Flowerpot

…and this pot of flowers.

Sadly, the inside of the building is not nearly as nice as the outside.  The office where I work is all gray carpet, bare white walls, and fluorescent lights.  Thankfully, on nice days, I can go outside on my breaks and get some sun, fresh air, and views of flowers, greenery, and geese.

Personal update: new job!

So it’s happened.  After waiting for over a year to get a job, especially a job in my field, I’ve finally got one!

I am now a microbiological technician for Lab Support, signed on for a six-month contract with Silliker, Inc., a food safety company right here in Columbus.  Although I’m not working closely with any bacteria yet, I’m enjoying the work enough that I hope Silliker hires me at the end of the six months.

To close this update, I have a word of advice for anyone who’s struggling to find jobs by online search engines.  Try looking for jobs the old-fashioned way, using employment agencies, and if you can, try contacting those employment agencies the old-fashioned way, using your phone.  Because that’s how I found my new job, when I was about ready to give up on Monster and Indeed.com.

Upcoming Job Interview

I have an interview with Battelle on September 16.  I’m really excited about it and really looking forward to it, especially since I’ve applied to a lot of positions at Battelle before and not going interviews.  Fortunately, I had a very helpful recruiter this time.  I’m so grateful to her.

The position is a Quality Assurance laboratory job.  I’ll be spending time between now and then preparing myself for the big event.

Wish me lucky, or pray for me, whichever you prefer.