Several years ago I was working at Safeway and I wasn’t getting very many hours at all. One of the things that I did when I got transferred to Market Mall was volunteer to work as an office girl. I was the one in charge of the changers, deposits, and a lot of paperwork in addition to my regular cashier duties. It gave me some more shifts and a lot more responsibility. I did office at The Centre Mall and then later at 33rd Street Safeway. While I got more shifts, it meant that I had to be available to work a different range of shifts. In the morning I had to be in before 6:00 a.m. and when I was closing, I was the last to leave.
It also meant that I had to work a lot of weekends. While I enjoyed doing the work, it also meant that we couldn’t get away to the cabin very much which really bothered Jordon and myself. He felt that I was choosing work over the family and the truth was he was right.
Over the last two years I have missed out on a lot, including my 40th birthday party because I was needed to work. It felt good to be needed but it came at a cost to the guys at home. During the time I was doing office I had gained substantial seniority and instead of getting more hours, I was working worse hours than I would if I was just a cashier. On top of that was that the staff started to phone me at home a lot. It was causing a lot of stress and it wasn’t like I was getting paid any more to do it.
For some reason I held on and it was going to be another summer of, “I can’t go to the cabin with you guys this weekend because there isn’t anyone who can cover the office”. That didn’t go over well last summer and it was already starting to mess up this summer. On top of that, it was starting to affect my health and the depression. I found myself changing around my medication so I would be okay to work the shift which left me in a haze during the rest of the day. On top of that Safeway is opening late on Sundays so I could be working until 10:00 p.m. Sunday nights. It was the last thing I wanted to do.
Jordon and I had this really hard conversation. He asked me the last time I had even played with Oliver or read him a story. I couldn’t remember, it had been a long time. He asked when the last time Mark and I had a conversation. It had been a long time. He asked my why all of these people that we know that I work with don’t do office and the reason was that they had been through it before and realized, “It’s way more stress and no extra pay” and decided to refuse to do it? Despite this, I really wanted to keep doing office, even if it kept me from holidays and being with the family and even if it means that I am co-dependent and it affects my heath. Then I thought about that statement and realized that I was consciously choosing work over my boys. At that point I went down to the store and quit that part of my job.
I told them and my managers were understanding, they have known I have been sick for a while. The next day they rewrote my schedule. I still get full time hours but I am home earlier and don’t get short shifted. I feel substantially less stress and am actually looking forward to a summer of spending time with the boys rather than breaking promise after promise to Mark. So in other words a whole bunch of stress is gone from my life, my home is happier, it’s better for my health, and I get the exact same wage and believe it or not, I think I enjoy my job more.
I am not sure of the physical ramifications quite yet but that will make itself known in the days and months ahead. Hopefully it helps.