Adulting – benefits edition

white oval medication pill beside blister pack

Benefits minus the foreign currency

Well we have quickly arrived at the area of enrolling in benefits. At Fresh Foods roughly at this time every year associates will make changes to their benefits. It appears the company has changed insurance companies and thus well if I don’t choose that might leave me in the dust for next year.

This had been something of an annual tradition to talk about the benefits and wages at this time. Usually I talk about what I didn’t get when I worked at The Show. I wasn’t getting benefits from a company that had little issue keeping employees at minimum wage. This situation was definitely one main reason why I was looking to bail.

Since I’ve been talking about it occasionally this year, it was one reason why I was pursuing a career in the banking world. And when I think about it in hindsight, probably wasn’t the right motivation. At the same time it was time to find a job that provided good health insurance even if for a brief time I had to purchase it myself with the help of my mother in order to get some dental work done.

It’s unimaginable now that I got some of what I was looking for good income and decent benefits by working at a grocery store. It was just unimaginable to me back during my time at The Show that the future meant that good job that provided the income and benefits would be at a grocery store.

As stated in a post earlier this month I left the movie theater to go to a bank and then eventually to Fresh Foods. That period from just about five years ago only let to the era I’m living in right now. And a few years ago I was very much worried that yours truly wouldn’t even get to this point…

Meanwhile time to check out what benefits are available for me next year!

Milestone

bank banking business cards

Remember a few years ago I spoke of fixing my teeth. I spent some time getting some cleanings and then eventually had some teeth pulled with at first a dental flipper installed. Then later got my canines grinded down to eventually be fitted with a permanent dental bridge. And I’m close to reaching a milestone with that, my credit card bill is finally below $1K.

I can’t believe it took me over 4 yrs to finally get to this point. And it took me a moment because I continued to use that card only helping to increase the balance. However I used some discipline to finally focus and get the balance down to were I can be close to zero $ as far as a balance. I had intended to pay this balance off when I was off work for 6 mos, but didn’t maintain my plan for that.

I’m glad to have had some insurance before leaving The Show although I had purchased it since the company didn’t provide it for employees below senior mgmt level. I used the insurance to pay for the cleanings and ultimately the flipper, though what really cost the most money was the dental bridge. This is what I’m still working to pay off to this day.

I think it was worth it. For the last two or so years at The Show my smile was horrible. And suffered a few jokes as a result and it helped me decide to do something about it. Now people can joke about my new fake teeth. It makes a difference to be able to truly smile and not have this weird overhang even when my mouth is closed. So the work I needed done to begin with even before it started to get worse was long in coming.

As far as timeline I started working on this during the last month or so of the Streak Era. Before getting the dental flipper I had two more interviews and thus had bad teeth when I went in. When I reported to my new job at the bank I had new teeth and when I interviewed at least three more times before the end of that year I had new teeth. Who knows if it made a difference, but I know that it was possible to present much better at that point.

At this point it’s still a hard process but I should never allow some issues to get so bad that it requires major work like that. I could live without it, but the bottom line is that when something needs to be done just get started on it. And hopefully I won’t have to charge for it either.

updates

on a sunday i had just gotten home from work my aunt paid us a visit shortly before i got off work. just before i got settled my mother wanted me to go put some trash out so i went ahead and did it because she said it was leaking. before i got out of the house i made sure to put the trash in another garbage bag and took it out.

then after i get back in and expected to settle in for the night, my mother bellows from the kitchen with her sister that she wanted me to go back out and get her some more water from the car. talk about terrible timing as she knew i just got back in and she expected me to go back out to the garage.

i don’t know how she became funny about water. i bought two gallon jugs of water, then almost a whole case of bottled water from the car on another day, and then she wanted me to buy more Dasani waters. so on that occassion she wanted me to get the dasani that was still in the car in the garage. that irritated me and let her know i just came from outside, i’m sure she knew i didn’t like that unfortunately her process isn’t on the same time as my own. i hated making two trip like that and unnecessarily. i’ve begun to learn that she’s awful with timing…

speaking of bad timing my mother is on leave from her current job and unfortunately in something of a hostil takeover her company was taken over by another. the processes of this company is different that the one they took over and as a result this company immediately cancelled the insurance plans of their new employees. my mother is scrambling to find out how she’s going to pay for the doctor we’ve been having a nurse come over at first to administer iv fluid now it’s to clean out the portal which is now coming out soon. still just more drama at this point and my mother is still not at the point where she will be able to return to work.

my mother since she returned from the hospital has largely been bereft of energy. the treatment she had to go through in december to further treat her compound fracture had taken its toll. her immune system got depressed with this treatment. taking out bone marrow and replacing some blood plasma without a doubt is a traumatic treatment. plus she really hasn’t been able to eat a lot of food just doesn’t have a healthy appetitte right now although she’s always been something of a nibbler it’s just worse now than ever.

benefits

benefitslast year i wrote about getting some benefits. benefits had been one of the reasons i left “the show” i.e beyond free movies i got jack. other than that i found two jobs that offered the benefits i had been looking for primarily health i never thought beyond that.

this past summer the associated of my company had a benefits vote to choose various options in addition to some new offerings. something i took advantage of even if what i would like didn’t go forward such as for example identity theft protection.

either way one evening i just decided to explain to my coworker the compensation/promotion structure with my former employers at “the show”. i told him matter of factly that if i got promoted to manager – well actually supervisor level – i’d get no benefits. to which he retorted that if one gets 40+ of work they should get benefits.

i had to explain to him that the company itself could find a way to skirt the law so that they wouldn’t have to provide benefits. for example, they can just turn around and say supervisors can’t work more than 40 hours they can only work 35 hours a week. boom don’t want to provide benefits that’s a way out. i’d get paid slightly better but that’s all.

now, having left “the show” over two years ago i know my worth. i spend most of my working life hovering around the minimum wage and then suddenly with a job at the bank and then moving onto a job in the grocery business my income went up. i say this to say i wanted to get to management/supervisor level at the show.

to get up to full-management – that is for “the show” senior management – i’d have to go through the supervisory level. as time went on i was no longer interested even if deep down i never got there for reasons semi-unknown. and when leaving that company and figuring out what other companies offered whether i had standing over other employees or not it turns out perhaps there was no boat to miss.

if i understood correct senior management is a salaried position and they get the benefits. not sure the extent of the benefits but they got them. and as with supervisors there seems to be a subjective process in who gets promoted, that is they choose you. you don’t get an opportunity to apply for such positions.

either way i learned of one of the senior managers through a coworker. she had quit suddenly and unexpectedly apparently she had been unhappy for a long time. that coworker claimed she was working a part-time job as a bank teller for better benefits and was forced to quit when her bosses found out. and my worker mentioned this tome as it was time for me to interview with the same bank that this manager briefly worked for.

well what does this mean, well even the hotshot senior managers who should’ve had it made still weren’t getting what they’re due with their positions with the company. perhaps on that level there was no boat to miss either. just as with getting to the supervisor level.

now i had to explain to my friend getting to the senior manager level is like getting into what we call store leadership. the store managers are considered salaried however department managers are still considered hourly. now supervisors are considered as shift managers and they’re the level of the supervisors under the various department managers.

so basically we both agreed that this was a shitty deal. this year we do it all over again and decide which benefits we want to take advantage of for the coming year.