From the Midst of a Storm

So a lot has happened and I’m finally sitting down to type one of those happenings down now. For those that haven’t heard, I now have a job! Hurray! I’ve actually been employed for a little while, but have only just worked my first full week there, this past week. I’m going to back up some and start by explaining the title, a little.

So, Jonelle and I moved to Kodiak in the winter which, as we’ve been told and as you can imagine, isn’t the best time to travel through Alaska. Since arriving here we’ve experienced, what the locals tell us is, the worst winter Kodiak has experienced in a long time. Apparently this winter has been much colder, with more snow (in earlier months), than is usual. And while there have been times when we thought we were moving out of the perpetual snow storms, by the string of clear, sunny days or just normal, rainy days, the snow would come back to annoy us all again. Now it seems that we might be coming out of that time and hopefully Spring will abound once more (for the first time in our experience of Kodiak). Similar to this, I am coming (I hope) out of the storm of my new job.

Background on getting a job:

Since arriving in Kodiak, I spent most of my time running around setting up things. Like our electric bill, my drivers license, etc, and getting Jonelle and I moved in to our apartment, while she was at work. I hadn’t been working very much on job hunting. Despite that, God was working. Friends we made through church heard about me looking for work, through our typical introduction of who we are and why we’re in Kodiak. One of these friends, Jimmy (who I think knows everyone on the Island), passed my name on to the new CFO of the Kodiak Community Health Center.

Sometime after that I got a call from the CFO wanting to talk with me. We played phone tag a little, while I was either out on some errand or he was in another meeting, but finally connected. I ended up sending him a resume and a list of IT related projects I had done over the years, professionally, academically and personally. Then I didn’t hear from him for a while. After some time I decided I should try to get a hold of him again, soon.

Before that happened I received a call from the Community Health Center. I was asked if I could come in that morning to meet with the Executive Director. I said yes (agreeing to meet in an hour and a half) and immediately began scrambling around to get ready to go. I made it to the Health Center and got to meet with the Executive Director, who told me she liked being informal, which made the whole meeting that much more enjoyable. Mostly she wanted to know if I worked well in team environments and had good people and communication skills. I was given a brief tour of the facility and then told I would receive a call from the consultant they are using for IT support.

After going a little while without any word from the clinic or the consultant I called back to see what was going on and if I was still a candidate for the job. I was told they were still considering me and the consultant was gone for a week and would give me a call on Friday. Friday came and went and still no call. I decided I would call after the weekend, figuring that I would have a better chance of getting a hold of people.

As I was busy on Monday and lost track of time, I decided I would call Tuesday. Then, on Tuesday morning I received a call from the IT support consultant, Dave, before I called the Health Center back again. We ended up having a nice, little, thirty-minute phone interview. An hour after our interview ended I got a call from the Health Center asking if I could come in to meet with the Executive Director again. I said yes and made an appointment to meet in a couple hours.

During this meeting I was told that the former IT manager had left, which was most of the reason the were looking at hiring me. I got an overall impression that I had the job, but was still left unsure by this one comment: “I would really like to give you the job, and it’s too bad you won’t be here when Dave is.” To explain, I mentioned that I would be out of town for a couple weeks in March for the wedding on my first meeting. Dave was going to be arriving on the plane I was taking out of Kodiak. I was assured that it was okay that I was taking this time during my first meeting, but I started to wonder now.

Regardless, I was given new-employee paperwork to fill out at the end of the meeting. I was given a privacy policy and employee handbook and asked if I could look them over and come back at 8:30am to finish the paperwork. I agreed and came back the next day, prepared to finish the paperwork and then maybe run some errands or something afterward. What ended up happening was me finishing paperwork and then being given a list of articles on Google Apps for businesses to research. I came in expecting to be there a few minutes and ended up working an eight-hour day. I then proceeded to work the next two days, and a little bit the Monday before I flew out. Apparently I got the job.

Kodiak Community Health CenterEpilogue: The Storm at Work

Since starting work I have been faced with an onslaught of tasks.  As the former IT manager left before I was brought on, there wasn’t anyone to get me going on the ins and outs of the system.  So a lot of my work has been discovery as much as, and probably much more than, support.  My first few days have involved someone asking for something, me spending a couple hours just trying to figure out where whatever program I need to use is and how to use or configure it (as well as how to log in), and then trying to solve the initial problem requested.  Dave, the IT consultant, is in the same position of trying to learn the system.  Though he has more experience and was able to come on site, while I was gone, and get up to speed with some things.  We are still working to get a better hold on everything.

Now, as I’ve been at this a little while, the work is still monolithic (and will probably remain that way for the next few months, at least), but I’m getting more a handle on everything each new day.  I really enjoy working here and am so thankful that God opened this up and allowed it to work out.  After going so long without work, to having temporary jobs opened up, to this, I am so grateful.  Also, to add to the joy of this, I had 2 or 3 people come up to me the Sunday after I was hired and tell me about work that was opening up somewhere else that I might look into.  That was a new experience, turning down job opportunities because I already had work.  Also on the note of new experiences, coming back here after the wedding was the first time I haven’t had to look for work immediately after traveling.  God is good!

So, now at the end here, you might have figured out that I started writing this entry over the weekend.  Life is still very busy and we are both, often, very tired.  We keep hoping for this ethereal someday when life will be less chaotic.  Regardless, the sun is out and it would appear the storm is clearing (we hope).

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