Long before getting pregnant, I started trying to arrange a new job for after the move to Rhode Island. It was back in September or October when I first got in touch with the director here at the base library. The director and his department managers were positive on my set of skills and they came up with a great short term archival project (short term because we’re only living here a year or so). It was just a matter of getting funding approved for the new position. That’s where it stagnated, and the encouraging updates from the library director began coming farther and farther apart.
Finally, after the move but before that first ultrasound, I found out that my job was approved, but as half-time instead of full-time. Of course, they still weren’t able to bring me aboard quite yet, things had to go through HR first, but soon. Definitely soon. My old boss from Monterey had been checking in periodically on the whole ordeal. When I told her about the half-time offer, she asked if I might be interested in doing some telework, basically just continuing parts of my old job, to make up the balance of hours up to full-time. It sure makes me feel appreciated. I readily agreed. Since they are both federal libraries, ultimately I wind up getting paid the same rate for all the hours, and once the various HR departments figure it out, it should be easy enough to share me between the two agencies.
While my old boss and I were still discussing what could be done remotely in archives work, and what sort of equipment I needed shipped to me, that’s when I found out about the triplets. Now I no longer had until September, if all went well, to continue leading a more or less normal life. With the high risk pregnancy and the triplets coming unpredictably early, it would be hard to guarantee any productivity past May or so. I could potentially keep up the telework longer, especially since I was already established there and could theoretically still work even on bed rest (that job was never very stressful, and even less so remotely). It was the brand new in-person position I was worried about. I emailed the Newport library director and told him everything, and I said since it would really be such a short amount of time that I could offer, I understood if they were no longer interested in my services. He was terrific about it. He said instead of doing half-time for the full year, why don’t we “front load” my position so that I could work 3/4- or full-time for as long as I’m able. That was great news, though I definitely didn’t want to lose out on the telework offer, since it could be really handy for later on. I told the Monterey library director everything, too. She was also great and assured me they would be flexible.
I started the telework last week, 4 hours a day until I actually start the other job. After weeks and weeks of trying to get all the different HR offices on the same page, I finally, unbelievably, am going to show up at my new office on Monday morning. The plan for now is to work 6 hours a day in person and 2 hours a day remotely. Maybe with a nap in between. As I become increasingly incapacitated, I’ll be able to adjust the balance of hours in favor of more telework. Eventually (probably between 24-28 weeks) I fully expect the doctor will make me stop going to the in-person job altogether.
I’ve gotten really accustomed to sleeping late every day and watching lots of daytime TV, so wish me luck getting back into the groove of a full work day! Especially without the benefit of all the coffee I need!
(If you’ve been following the news, you know there’s a good chance I’ll be working for exactly one week before I’m back on the sofa all day long. Your move, Congress!)