Again I have managed to live too fast to stop and blog. I love the feeling blogging brings but I rarely make the time anymore. I started a job a year ago, promoted and acquired a raise and have recently hit the glass ceiling. I am completing the last 6 units of my first "year" of college this semester. I have a 4.0 still. I have my son attending 1st grade, after beginning this year as a kindergarten. He promoted too! These things have taken all of my focus.
Well, let's be honest. Work has taken all of my focus. I work with a group of young girls. Our boss is a man who does not actually participate in the work at our restaurant. I'm not gonna sugar coat it, it's a freaking Subway. I am an assistant manager at Subway. That's about as cool as saying I got promoted at McDonald's from fry cook to drive-thru. I got so excited about promoting quickly that I lost touch with why I work there to begin with. I needed "currently employed" on my resume so prospective accounting departments and customer service departments in large corporations with benefits and opportunities for advancement wouldn't look at my very past tense previous employment as obsolete. For a brief moment I became enraptured by the fact that stupid, brainless teenagers thought I was a cool manager. I thought that made me awesome. I woke up recently, like Katy Perry, only not over a boy - over a job. I'm wide awake. I don't need to sell myself short for a stupid food service job when I have accounting experience, and sales experience and a fucking 4.0 in college. I'm gonna own a business when I graduate, not work for one! I forgot that for a moment and let the petty drama eat my soul. The wake up call came from the flu this year.
I called in sick when Dash had a fever after the super bowl. His fever did not get better for 6 straight days. It was scary. I stayed with him, nursing him like a good mother. Emily came home from school sick a couple days later, developed pink eye and I took her to see the doctor, like a caring mother should. Torin came home from school with a fever and red eyes and spent a few days sleeping on the couch too. I really enjoyed the reminder of the heartwarming joy that comes from being home with my kids, taking care of them. I appreciate day care for taking such great care of them when they are well, but when they are sick - they NEED mom. This is where the straw that broke the camel's back comes in to play...
While driving home from the doctor's office my 55 year old store manager called me on my cell phone and shouted when I answered, "Do you still work for me or not?".
I answered timidly, because I was intimidated by his tone and distracted by the drive to the pharmacy to collect my daughter's prescriptions, "Um, of course I still do. Why would you ask me that?"
He says then, "We are only allowed three absences in a month, you've been absent a whopping 6 times!" (He is still shouting at me).
I reminded him, "My absences are excused by doctors notes and I have been in constant communication with my own boss regarding my kids being sick and the time off I need. She and I have worked together to get all the shifts covered so that no day goes understaffed in my absence."
She shouts at me again, "You need to arrange better babysitters so you don't need tomorrow off too"
This is where I lost my nerve, "Excuse me? Who do you suggest I arrange to take care of my four sick children? Who did you have take care of your own kids when they stayed home sick? I need a referral."
He says, "I am YOUR boss. I need proof your kids are sick."
I asserted again, "I already volunteered to bring you proof, you don't need to punish me for being a parent. I was a mother when you hired me. That responsibility has not changed."
After I hung up that call my daughter asked me in utter disbelief if that was my boss? I am setting an example that employers are allowed to treat their staff this way. She doesn't need to aspire to work in fast food, and certainly doesn't need to grow up expecting all the men in her life to abuse her. Her father abused her, her boss should be allowed to abuse her, her husband will surely, with these examples, be allowed to abuse her too. I need to refocus my attention on protecting them. What's best for them will ultimately be what's best for me, as I am focused solely on raising them right and providing for them along the way. My job is not about me. I don't take them with me, but I bring them home the money. I don't attend college for me, I go to obtain the credentials worthy of earning more to bring home to them. They need college some day too, and dance costumes, sports uniforms, and lives of their own. I can't provide for them if I don't first provide myself with opportunities to do so.
I bombarded a company with my resume today. I used to work for their sister company. I am familiar with their product line. I am fluent in customer service, telesales, accounts payable, receivable and all the office programs required to reconcile those books if necessary. I have a girlfriend who put in a good word. I also spoke to both staffing agencies they use to hire. In addition to that I spoke to the head of their HR department. It's a pay cut from what I earn now, but it has full benefits, a 401K, and growth potential that far exceeds that available in a slamwitch store.
When you juggle as much responsibility as I do, it's easy to lose focus on the priorities. My priorities are with my children. They need me most.