I’ve slipped out of blogging, and I apologize to any readers out there. Not because I was busy, per se, but because I tend not to blog on something if there’s nothing interesting and unique to say. But here are a few quick updates.
2007 Contract signed. The UMWA and the coal companies signed a new wage agreement that, coupled with a new federal law, has made changes to how I do my job. Particularly, we no longer place earnings limits on our new enrollees for the 1993 Plan. The workplace is changing, too – newer cubicles, efforts to reduce paperwork and automate quality review processes, and trying to find new ways to motivate the workforce.
New team member. I lead a team of benefits specialists who process pension applications – mostly by monitoring their workload and performance while conducting quality review of other teams’ work. In March, we found a new member of my team, someone who is just a bit younger than me but scored very well on the tests we use when hiring new employees. Karen is working out well.
Re-elected Grievance chair. My workplace is unionized – a legacy of the fact that we all once were members of the UMWA whom we now serve independently. Granted, it wasn’t much of a campaign given that my opponent, the Union President, was only running for it as a fall-back if she failed to gain re-election. But unlike last time, I prevailed on the count – technically defeating her for that job even as she was re-elected President. So I will serve until April 2009 (five months before negotiations on a new contract), or sooner if I land a job elsewhere.
Partial Moving Day. Okay, I’m not really moving. But I am buying some slightly used furniture from a former colleague who is moving out of the area. Thinks like a decent sofa, a computer workstation, a queen-size bed, things like that. And I am getting rid of my older hand-me-down and/or cheap furniture. I’m 25; at that age, who needs a savings account when you can get decent furnishing for your apartment?