OK, so this seems pretty anticlimactic to me now, since I teased everyone and didn't follow up. I've been waiting for some "official" words to be spoken first but it looks like that may not happen any time real soon.
So here it is... after 16 years of working in employee benefits, I'm making a move. It's a move just down the hall basically, but I will be working as an HR Analyst for our Human Resources Information Services department. My first benefits boss, DJ, is now in charge of HRIS for our organization. She finally got the green light for a major system upgrade that will affect all 10 of our hospitals and will bring us into the 21st century. As soon as she had funding for the project, she approached me and offered me the job. I'll be working on the project, which is slated to go through 2008, as well as doing some 'regular' HRIS work. I will also keep my system hat for benefits, BUT... I will be out of the employee customer service biz. This is the best news of all for me. I am pretty well burnt out of customer service. It's not just the constant stream of complaints and problems from employees, but also the repetition of questions that has gotten to me. I'm tired of giving out toll-free numbers and addresses, and of answering questions about what is covered and where. I will still have internal customers in HRIS but it definitely won't be the same.
It's been 10 years since I worked for DJ directly, though we've worked together on several projects and are good friends. She is a great person to work for, so even though I am nervous about all I need to learn for this new position, it feels like a calculated risk to me. I'll be transitioning over to my new role over the next few months. We're about to embark on our annual benefits open enrollment period, which is my "big project" in my current position. Both DJ and I reassured my current boss that I am committed to working on open enrollment this year, so I'll be wearing two hats for a little while. That is okay with me; I think the gradual move will make it easier for me to cope with the change.
This move is coming at just the right time. I was really starting to question how much longer I could do my current job. We are not well staffed and so the amount of time spent dealing with customer service issues keeps me from getting to learn anything new. I'm looking forward to stretching my brain.
Unfortunately for my current team (there are 4 of us) I will not be replaced, so they have had to look at how to remap the duties assigned to the group. Since I'm taking a piece with me, that helps. Plus we're finally getting the go-ahead to automate or outsource some "tasky" functions that are incredibly time consuming. Still, I feel bad that there will be one less person in the group, but I can't help it. I need to take care of myself and mentally and emotionally; this move is long overdue.