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Life Update

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Hi, friends!

Friend, singular?

No one? That’s fine, too.

Alright, let’s see, my last post was…June of last year. Shit. Almost a year ago.

So, I’ve been gone a while. In my last post, I wrote about how I’d gotten a new job. Last week, I celebrated my one-year anniversary at that job. This was a huge deal for me, and I’m still in awe that I’ve been at my first Big Girl Job for over a year!

Caty Waterfield Final_picmonkeyed

My official work photo!

But, before we celebrate, let’s back up.

Back to last summer.

Shortly after I wrote my previous post, work got really crazy, really fast. My job began to rule my life.

In order for me to get up to the proper speed for the job (i.e. be able to complete the required amount of work), my supervisors ramped me up at an increased rate. I went from a very meager work week (~18 hours) to a full work week in a few weeks’ time. It was super hectic and incredibly overwhelming for me, but my team assured me that everyone had to go through that kind of training at some point and that once I was fully trained, I would be okay.

So I pushed, and I worked, and I sweated, and I cried (for real, it was bad).

BUT

I finally found a good pace. I adapted well to that kind of work, despite how overwhelming the training process had been. Around July, right at 4 months in, I was in a pretty good place; I had a routine.

Then the Bundles happened.

I won’t go into a huge amount of detail, but just know that Research Square offers several different services, and they decided to “bundle” some of those services and see customers’ reactions. We were not expecting the bundles to be a huge hit. But they were, and it literally happened overnight.

Suddenly, my routine was wrecked. There was now brand new protocol to learn and follow, on top of what I was really still learning. It was the overwhelming training process again, but on back alley steroids.

People couldn’t get enough of the bundles―which was great for company/employee revenue, but the fact of the matter was, we didn’t have enough manpower to accommodate the new flood of submissions. Which meant, I was quite literally working around the clock, as was my small team, to get all of our work done on time.

And it’s been this way since August. For a long time, I wasn’t working less than 50+ hours a week (my highest paycheck was for 115). I wasn’t getting a ton of sleep, and the piles of laundry and dishes were comical.

We’ve hired several new people on our team to help out, and while it has been helpful, the amount of work the newbies can do vs. the amount of work that needs to be done doesn’t exactly even out. I’ve still been working my butt off, but, happily, that has calmed down for the most part this month.

On top of all of this, I actually had started to edit my second book. All of my editing was of course put on hold to get my work done. I’d been using my work computer since it had the latest version of Word on it, and I was using the Guest account so that I didn’t have to disable or otherwise work around any of my Word settings under my main work account. Sometime during the summer, Windows 10 became available for download, and I obliged the Microsoft gods on my work computer. Little did I know, this update completely wiped the Guest account on the computer, which erased all of my edits.

It’s been a long year, guys.

A wonderful, but long and hard, year. I’ve cried a lot, and prayed a lot. I’ve chastised and rewarded myself. I’ve developed a ton of new skills and learned so much. Mostly, like usual, I’ve learned that there’s still so much to learn.

February was not any kinder than the year preceding it.

Maybe I’ll write an account of this later, but the short of it is, Justin and I had a small car accident (misleading term—it was an accident which involved our car) just after Valentine’s Day. We ran over basketball-sized rocks that someone put in the middle of the street, causing over $4K worth of damage, and we had to spend 20 days driving a small boat (read: 2016 Buick Enclave).

The following week, my work computer died in the middle of, well, work. Plus, it was almost midnight, so there wasn’t anything anyone could really do to help me. I had to use Justin’s tablet to finish some of the work (thank goodness he’s a quick thinker!) until I could get a loaner computer from work the next day.

We have the car back now, my work computer was fixed, and things finally seem to be looking up!

We were approved for our dream apartment. We’d had our eye on this apartment since last summer, but because these apartments are so awesome, they’re always full. A unit opened up, on the date we needed, for the floor plan we wanted. It was perfect, and we can’t wait to move in May. We’ve already started packing and strategizing.

So, there it is. A life update.

I’m sincerely hoping to update the blog more this year. We went from a team of 3 (me being the third), to a team of now 8. The workload is considerably more manageable, and I feel like I’ve got a pretty good handle on things. For the most part. 🙂

See you soon!

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Me, after I won the Culture Champion Award at work. This award in nomination-based, so people voted for me because they believe I uphold my company’s values. Very awesome stuff.

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