Posted by: Kate | November 16, 2009

Thirty-Three and a Half Fewer Hours

I think I may have just caused a wrinkle in the space-time continuum.  At the very least, I must have broken a few laws of physics.  I

went in to the office for the rape crisis center, where I’ve been planning to start volunteering… they’re thrilled to have me, excited that I have prior experience, and are coming out of a major staff realignment (read: about 18 months ago, the office moved and everyone from the old office quit) and so that creates the chance for me to have a larger-than-typical-volunteer amount of input and responsibility in the daily workings of the place.  So, that’s a nice way to start, right up front.

I’d had an interview, back in early October sometime, and had to ask them repeatedly to stop offering me paying jobs there.  Not that I have a particular aversion to money, but knowing that I’ll be taking maternity leave in about 4 (!!!) months means that I’m not interested in taking on that kind of commitment.  Volunteering lets me stay active, lets me determine the schedule and the time off, and still gets me official supervision should I decide to eventually pursue licensure in MA.

So, from there I had a company-wide orientation… it wasn’t deliberate on my part, but apparently the place I picked to volunteer at is the largest mental health agency in the North Shore area, and they’re very gung-ho on hiring internally when possible.  Again, not relevant now, but nice to know that I’ll be in a good position for regular, paid employment down the road, should I want it.  Then there was a pile of scheduling challenges – days off, swine flu in the office, days without a vehicle here – and so it took a month for me to finally make it into the office to start the job-specific training.

When we moved from Keene to Rochester, in 2005, I expected to continue the volunteer work I had already been doing at the local rape crisis center, and I was shocked and irritated when the place in Rochester informed me that I would need to repeat the entire 30-hour training regimen to be able to work there, even though I hadn’t crossed state lines and I had actually accumulated another master’s degree in psychology since being trained the first time.  They wouldn’t budge, and I wasn’t interested in working for a place that was that rigid from the get-go, so I took a year all-the-way off, then got the job working in the Emergency Departments, and that was fine.  Until it wasn’t.

Then, when we moved here, I decided I wanted to get back into the volunteering mode, and I was willing – having been out of that specific niche for several years and being about 8 years past my last official round of sexual assault counseling training, not to mention having moved to a new state – to undergo the training all over again.  You can imagine my delight when they actually read my resume and decided it wasn’t necessary – that I needed to attend a few specific orientations and that the rest could be assumed within my existing education and work experience.  I went in today to page through their training slides just to make sure there was nothing new or shocking in them – thereby reducing a 35-hour training schedule into an hour and a half, hence the broken laws of physics – and will start taking hotline and ER rotations beginning the first week in December.

Kind of awesome, feeling competent and useful again…



  1. Now, go back to your mindset when you were first laid off in Rochester. Just for a second. Would you have ever imagined being able to write this?

    You’ve moved. You’re pregnant. And you’re turning down paid gigs because it doesn’t fit into your life right now. Wow. I guess that’s what we all meant when we said things happen for a reason? Way cool!

  2. As well you should! Now off to Paris with you!

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