Work Extension

The past week has been, as one of my colleagues would call it, hectic.  I work solely doing data entry.  For nearly 10 months now, myself and around 17 others have been employed on a temporary contract (full-time hours) which has been continually extended.  It was originally a 1-month job to catch up on a backlog, which was extended for 1 month, which was extended for 2 months, which was extended for 3 months, and then another 3.  10 months.  Now, we’ve been used to knowing with just a couple of days notice as to whether or not our contracts were to be extended.  Never have we not known.

This time around, our contract was scheduled to finish on June 26.  That morning, we still had no word.  The stress and nerves were getting high – some people lost motivation, other people got angry, some upset – but I kept working away at the keyboard, trying to focus on nothing else.  I reached my personal best that horrible day before, thinking that maybe this was it, June 26, and I would be unemployed, again.  Our [great] bosses were all fighting to have us extended, but our contracts had to be signed off by multiple managers that sit high up on the ladder, and come the end of the day, they still couldn’t give us a confirmation.  But they did say the delay in a response had resulted in a definite two more weeks of employment.  And there was a 99% chance we’d be extended.

Today, we found out we ARE – and what a relief it is!  Not 1 month, not 2 or 3, but 6!  We have jobs to last us until Christmas, which is very pleasing for what was initially a mere 3-weeks work (and of course, money plays a big part in long distance relationships).  I’d love to shove that in the faces of my employment consultants who couldn’t help me with temporary or part-time jobs.  I have to admit, I couldn’t be happier.  Despite how much I complain about waking up so early, I have grown to not only love my job, but fit in, more than I ever thought I would.

As you may know, both Johan and I were unemployed when we met.  As you may not know, I was unemployed for almost 2 years after dropping out of university.  If you want the technicalities, I could say I was unemployed for 5 months, worked for 5 days, unemployed for 3 months, worked for 3 weeks, unemployed for 14 months, worked on the dole for 6 weeks, worked for 3 weeks, and unemployed for just 1 more month before landing this job… but let’s just say I was unemployed for 2 years.

My other jobs were so insignificant and meaningless (and sincerely no fault of my own that they ended) that I’ve really grown to consider this as my first (real) job, and I love it.  I work with some great people; we joke around and keep each other awake when we’re doing our repetitive, boring, same-day-in-and-day-out work.  And despite the ordinariness of the work, it’s everything I’d hoped for – a back office job that didn’t involve dealing with customers.  What’s more, I have proved myself fully worthy of the job as I’ve become the best at what I do, which is virtually stress-less (except when waiting on extension news!) after I triple the KPI (key performance indicator) each day (once I even quadrupled it).  I finally have a job I excel at, where my work is appreciated and I feel needed.  I’ll miss it when the time really does come to leave – whether it’s this Christmas, or whether it’s extended again, or whether it’s not until I move countries… all I can say is a big thank you for the extension!  Knowing how long it’s taken me to come this far, it’s been much appreciated and I honestly don’t know what I’d do without it, because I’m not ready to say goodbye.

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