As of yesterday I've worked two full weeks at the new job AND I've received my first official paycheck. Kent texted me at work yesterday to tell me I had a letter waiting for me and I practically did a little dance right there at my work desk. When I got home he was playing the "oh whatever could it be?" game even though the sender is on the envelope plain-as-day. Of course we had to dash out straight away to deposit it--showing up at the bank with ten minutes to spare. Now I have to hurry up and wait because the silly thing won't be available to cover debits until Monday, but at least it's in there. (Our bank offers extended hours for drive thru banking, but since it's after 5, it still counts as a transaction for the next day.)
I guess I should explain what people are paying me for these days.
I'm working for a claims management company (name withheld, since this entry's open) as a disability specialist which probably means nothing to the lot of you--I know it meant nothing to me prior to my interview. Basically, I'm working in the insurance industry, but not for an insurance company. Instead, we contract with major businesses/corporations and help manage their health care by providing case management for their employees who go out on some sort of disability or leave. We handle short term disability and Family and Medical Leave (FMLA). I think another group within the same office also handles workers comp claims, but I've yet to run into any of them.
Now, why would they be hiring someone like me and why would I work there given my background? I've been hired as one of their top level examiners. My job title actually requires a professional license--in my case, it's my RN. Medical background is something they can't teach on the job so they look for people who have already received that training elsewhere. With that knowledge, you're better equipped to take on more complex cases, mental health claims, and can also act as a consult for other examiners and help in decision-making for what is and is not an appropriate amount of leave (Example I've already run into: Someone whose doctor wrote them four weeks of leave for an uncomplicated, outpatient procedure that requires 1-2 days recovery and sometimes not even that much.) and whether or not there are other factors that contribute to slower recovery. We can also help-out our coworkers with uncooperative providers who might otherwise blow off a "lowly office worker" but will talk to someone with a license and title.
So far I'm enjoying things. I like my coworkers and feel like I've been accepted right off the bat. I haven't felt like the newbie outsider or anything like that and within just days of stepping foot in the door, people were coming to pick my brain about various medical issues. It's honestly kind of flattering since 1) I'm still totally green and 2) I'm one of the youngest, if not the youngest person on the team.
In about two more weeks I'll probably be starting on phone calls and claimant contacts. In the meantime I'm digging into the computer programs we use and trying to learn the general workflow of everything. I'm getting it a piece at a time, but it all seems to be coming together pretty well in my head. Well, for now anyway. I'm sure this is one of those things that you think you know it until you actually attempt to do it.
Since the job is nice and official, Kent and I have laid down a deposit on our new apartment and even got to tour it. The kitchen is huge. It's seriously about the size of my current living room. I have counters. We have about double the cabinet space and we probably even have room to tuck a little dinette set into the corner so we can actually eat meals at a table instead of in the living room or at our computers. This is what it feels like to be a grown-up, yes? Also of note--we'll have a utility closet again. It's driven me crazy in the current apartment that I don't have a hall closet or anything where I can stash the vacuum and things like that. It's lived in a corner of the living room since we moved here, but not anymore! The new place will be toward the back of the complex which means a longer walk to get the mail, but it means less parking hassle for us and our guests and we'll be closer to the gym so hopefully we'll use it more. I'm also hoping that with a different building layout, we won't get as much noise off the steps or from people above (we won't have upstairs neighbors) so maybe Ursula won't freak-out so much from people just walking around.
I can't decide which part I'm most excited about. We'll also have two bathrooms which means no more people wandering through my bedroom! For the most part it hasn't been such a big deal, but every once in awhile I just get defensive about having people other than Kent or the puppies in there. Only a few more weeks of worrying about that though. Then we'll have a hall bath and the Lauren-Chai will have her own room so no more air mattress in the living room. Everybody wins.
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