Ok, so the honeymoon period is over, and I'm wondering if I made a huge mistake. Arizona is beautiful, Phoenix sucks, and I hate the job. And taking this assignment has drained my savings and has me living from paycheck to paycheck for the first time in many years.
I brought my two teenagers 2500 miles to experience some new scenery for a while, have some fun, and get out of the rut I was in (I was bored with my job and life). It took a lot of money (almost $2000) just to travel out here and try to have a little bit of fun along the way (nothing extravagant, but we did some sightseeing along the way), to only be reimbursed $500 for travel by company, which came out of my pay in the long run anyway. This after the assignment started a week later than originally planned because employee orientation was full the week I was SUPPOSED to start, which had me out of work for a total of three weeks after Christmas. (I took a week to spend time with my family for the holidays before leaving, and a week to drive to Phoenix, then got forced into an extra week). I'm only bringing home $900 a week out here, after having to pay pet rent and extra for a two bedroom. I've been a nurse for 18 years and was making more than that at my staff job back home in rural NC, with benefits. I've had a terrible cold this past week but went to work sick because, guess what, if I miss work not only do I not have any sick time, I have to PAY THE AGENCY $120 for every shift I miss.
The people at the hospital are nice enough, but I'm working twice as hard as I've had to work since I was in my 20s, which would be ok I was making good money but I'm not. And even though they're nice, I feel the staff nurses dump on me a bit because they THINK I'm making a ton of money.
My apartment is nice enough, in a gated community with lots of amenities, but it's in central Phoenix and there have been two break-ins in my GATED complex in the four weeks I've been here. In the daytime. Doors kicked in and items stolen while people were at work, because it's mostly professionals that live here and some thief knows it.
Phoenix is dirty, crowded, and crime-ridden, has sucky public transportation, and is not very walkable. Even though I'm in the middle of the city, I have to drive everywhere. People don't make eye contact or speak, and everyone looks miserable.
On the upside, the weather is nice, I've done some hiking and seen some beautiful scenery, and found some good places to eat. Next week I have several days off and we were planning to drive to San Diego because we've never been, but not sure if I'm going to have the money.
So bottom line, I feel that I'm not being paid enough to work this hard and live in this environment, and I feel that I made a mistake in leaving my good-paying staff job that I liked with people I liked, all because I was bored. I'm homesick and broke. I have actually entertained the thought of packing up and just going home, but I'm not a quitter and I don't want to have to beg for my job back, nor do I want to owe my agency a bunch of money and be seen as a flake. So, I'm making the best of it and trying to keep a positive attitude (which I do not have right at the moment, which is why I ended up writing this post), and counting the shifts until I can go back to my beautiful, green, friendly NC. I'll be finishing my BSN this summer and after this experience, I'm considering leaving bedside nursing all together, even though I've always like the flexibility that working 3 12's gives me.
And please dont reply telling me what I should've done, because I already know. I should've planned better. I should've kept a closer watch on my money. I should've negotiated a better pay rate (honestly money was not my motivation when I started this, but now I'm wondering if it should have been). I'm kinda hoping for some wise words that will help me to see this situation in a different light.