Monday, December 23, 2013

Becoming a WAHM

The acronym WAHM is not as well known as SAHM, but I'm sure that most people will be able to figure it out. The problem lies in figuring out how to be a WAHM.

There are three parts:
  • WORK
  • HOME
  • MOM
First, you have the WORK. The biggest issue here probably falls on finding a real job. Once you find an actual company that is hiring people to work at home, you have to get them to hire you. Next is the annoying part (and after spending a considerable amount of time looking for a real "from home" job, I wouldn't think that anything would be more annoying than all of the fakes out there)

Technical specifications! 

These are evil words. I am smart; I know a lot about computers and how they work, but all the tech talk really makes me feel like an uncultured, uneducated neanderthal.

So, you find yourself hired and having figured out the technical ups and downs; you even have a date for your training. Of course the scheduling issues start right away. Training is not during your normal availability, so you need to figure out childcare and how to stay awake and focused at 10 pm, while wearing your PJs.

Work is work.

You sit down and do your job, all the while thinking how wonderful it is that you can be in your PJs (and not wear a bra). Plus, when you get your break you can wash those dishes that you left last night. But, then it starts to get to you - all of the things that you should be doing, could be doing, if you were not working, they are right out of reach. This is the second issue: HOME

I would find myself working in my living-room, facing my kitchen and just thinking about those dishes. Then take my first break to finish them up, just to realize that I need to vacuum, during a slow down in calls. The down time is hard, because there is so much to do! 

My daughter would often stay after school when I worked and because we only have one car, I couldn't even pick her up. The MOM issue is a hard one for any mom that works. I even missed decorating my parents' house for the holidays with my daughter and hubby. These are things that I had to deal with as a working-mom, but I was sad and lonely, at home; not at work, able to vent to my co-workers. (I only made one friendly contact during training and she quit a couple weeks before the season ended.)

Now this is a reputable company, but their expectations were a bit high when it came to the agents' availability. You were required to check your schedule in the morning and at 10 pm each day. On top of that, they claim to post schedules 2 weeks in advance, but every week my schedule was changed (and sometimes drastically - aka affecting my after school care needs) four days before the start of that week.

I hadn't mentioned that this was a seasonal position that I was hired on for as a customer service and sales agent. We were hired until 12/24 and had little flexibility: we were not allowed to request off. There were ongoing technical issues all the while, too. I was not happy; the money turned out to be not so great either, as they appeared to have over-hired for the season.

Still, I love doing customer service and the PJ wardrobe was fantastic. It was also nice, not to have a supervisor breathing down my neck, while still having the support of mentors and team leaders all the time. The negatives really out weighed the positives in this experiment, which ended a week early (to my joy), but I got to experience something new and got a taste of how things should (not) be.

I am going back to work in an office in the middle of January. Yes, I already have a new job lined up, but it is probably temporary and part-time. But, this time I know all of my co-workers and I will be out at 3:30. Kind of a miracle for the working mom.