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Needed... Time Off!


I'm joining Cate for Six Word Saturday today....


Everyone Needs A Little Time Off

My husband is fifty-nine years old, and has been working for the same family-owned business for over thirty years.  He works six days a week, spending over eight hours a day on his feet helping customers. That gives him just one day to rest, relax, and try to get some projects done around the house.  He gets one Saturday off a month.  He is getting older (we both are), and by the time the weekend comes he is tired, really tired.

When he first started working at his job, his boss was the same age as him.  They built the business up together and became very close.  He has always been treated like family. As the years passed and the business grew his boss was able to retire, putting his son in charge of day to day operations.  His son was three years old when John started working there, now he's the boss.  :-)  That wouldn't work well in most cases, but he has always looked up to and respected John, and they get along great.  It has been a good place to work all these years.  For his thirtieth work anniversary they gave us an all-expense paid trip to Las Vegas... with spending money. They treat him very well... or they have... up until now.

A few months ago John's boss was getting ready to head off on a two week vacation with his family.  He has pledged to spend more time with his boys than his dad was able to do with him.  This meant that John, as General Manager, was left in charge of the store as he often is for a week or more at a time.  This year business has been great, extremely busy, and John was dreading the two weeks of taking care of everything. 

John's boss approached him and said that they realize he is getting older, and that he and his father had talked and decided that John would begin to have Saturdays off, without decreasing his salary (which is essential to us).  They felt that he had earned it, (and he has). The boss told him this would begin after summer was over, because he was going to be gone a lot doing things with his family this summer, and other employees would be wanting to take vacations too. 

John came home so excited, and we began eagerly waiting for Fall, thinking of how nice it was going to be to finally have a full weekend like most folks and to be able to spend that time together. Even more importantly, he would have time to rest.  Knowing this was coming made those two weeks of running the store so much easier. Better times were coming!

The summer is over now, Labor Day has passed, and the kids are back in school.  John's boss is coaching one of the kid's football teams, leaving early most days,  and John waited to see what would happen (he isn't one to push).  Finally he approached his boss yesterday to ask when having Saturdays off would begin.  He was told that another of the young employees who helps work the sales counter on Saturdays was also going to coach a team and would be off every Saturday thru November (without pay of course).  This meant that John would have to be there. 

John came home down last night after receiving this news, but he far more accepting than I am.  He's been working since he was sixteen,  and has a strong sense of responsibility.  If he's needed he will be there.  He has never been one to cause problems or make waves.  I, on the other hand am angry and crushed.  He needs his time off too, and he has earned it!  There is no one else there even close to him in years of service, and there likely never will be. Staying with a job that long is uncommon in today's world.

I can see the handwriting on the wall.  After November they will move into the mad rush of Christmas season sales, and it will be "after the Holiday are over".  It's looking much like a dangling carrot was presented back in early Summer, and I wonder when and if it will ever happen now.  There is little he can do about it,  he can't offer to take it off without pay so they could hire someone else to fill in, we need the income he brings in to make ends meet.  So he's stuck with it.  I was so angry last night I was in tears. I am sad for him. 

I understand both young men wanting to spend time with their families.  We did when we had children too, though back in those days there was no such thing as getting off early to coach or taking a day off to attend a game or any other function.  Businesses are much more family-friendly now, and that's a good thing.  Family is important.  My complaint is that John has put in his time, and no one seems to be noticing or caring how tired he is.  I fear that one day he is gonna drop over at that job, and they'll all stand around wondering why.

Granted that young people with children need to spend as much time with them as possible.  Hands-on parenting is something I encourage and talk about often.  But for those of us who no longer have children at home, that doesn't mean we don't need and don't deserve our time off too!

Yes, we are going to have to just "suck it up".  Hopefully the issue will be revisited at the end of the year.  I'm trying really hard not to be resentful.  I realize that life is not fair, but that doesn't keep me from wishing that it was, especially when it comes to such a good and hard-working man, an employee that any company would be blessed to have.

Ok, I'm done venting now. Ending on a brighter note... it is an amazingly cool sixty-four degrees here  at eleven o'clock this morning after a good rain shower last night.  Doors are open to catch the breeze... heavenly!

26 comments:

  1. OH Josie... my heart breaks for you when I read this post... and it gave me a great idea for a book.... but I sincerely hope that John gets the rest he needs before it is too late and that you two get to spend more time together :)

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    1. I hope so too, Brenda. We cherish what time together we have. Too often by the time people are able to retire, even semi-retire as it will be for us, they are either to physically unwell to enjoy it or they never reach that age. John has already had a heart attack and has two stents. His family is not known for longevity. I worry, I don't want to lose him. But I know it is all in God's hands.

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  2. John will get his due reward. I am sure of it. Thankfully, he is needed and has a job. It was (IS) so hard to start over at this stage of life, especially when you are tired and worked so hard. Ask Bill. He deserves to be acknowledged and appreciated. It will happen, but be careful what you wish for...he has a secure job. Thankfully.
    God bless John, & those like him. Hugs.

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    1. I think Bill having to start all over was terribly unfair too Annie, these are good, honest men who have worked hard to help their companies prosper. There is little value placed on maturity and experience nowdays. It's a "use and discard" world. John and I both know how blessed he is to have this job, he is paid fairly and treated well. He is respected by the owner, his boss, his co-workers, and a thousand people in the community that we bump into every day! :-)

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  3. Sorry for the disappointment. Hopefully the guy will keep his word and give him Saturdays off soon. It sounds like your husband is such an honorable man! You are blessed. (Mine is too)

    Enjoy your Sunday together tomorrow.

    Linda @ Truthful Tidbits

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    1. I'm praying that his boss will honor his word too, Linda, it was just a big disappointment after waiting so patiently for Fall to come. I wish he wouldn't have said anything to John until he was really ready to make it happen. John has been a blessing in my life beyond measure. I treasure every day that God gives me with him, I know how fragile life can be.

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  4. Hi Josie ~~ Yes, this is a hard situation. Two things I am glad for: 1) that the other young fellow does not get paid for his Saturdays; and 2) that John did mention it to his boss and perhaps he won't have to again.

    There is a saying that 'the squeeking wheel gets the grease' but I am sure John knows the situation well and will squeek just right.
    ..

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    1. I agree with you on both counts, Jim. As Annie has pointed out to me, nothing has been lost, so that is a good thing. I'm just hoping they will follow thru. John is the better person and far more understanding than I am. He never complains about what must be done. I admire him very much for that, wish I was more that way! :-)

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  5. Josie I feel your pain. My husband also worked in a family business for 30 years. It was run by father who eventually was diagnosed with Altzheimers. The business was closed and my husband received no pension. Fortunately we were able to manage because I still worked. It was the best thing to happen to my husband. He took over the cooking and cleaning and has become the best house-husband around.

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    1. I believe that things always have a way of working out as they should, and your situation shows this is true. I am glad your husband is happy taking care of things at home, that would be such a blessing! I know John would love to do that too... maybe in a few more years! :-)

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  6. Josie leave this in God's hands He will make this right for John, your husband has been a good person and employee and he will be rewarded I just know it we serve a great God and He loves us and wants us happy so when it is in Gods plan I know John will have his due coming to him :) Hang in their dear sister I know how crushing this is for you but faith is what will bring a smile in this frustrating situation.

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    1. You are absolutely right, Janice, it is in God's hands, and he has seen John thru far worse than this minor irritation. I am remembering to count my blessings, and they far outweigh petty annoyances. I felt bad for John, but we are going to have a good weekend regardless, heading to the fair if it doesn't rain! Good food and fun! :-)

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  7. That's horrible Josie, especially after expecting if for so long, and looking forward to it. I hope his day will come soon...for the both of you.
    on a lighter note, we also had a rain last night. The weather is amazing today and we have our windows open as well. the breeze coming through the window feels good on my bare feet, as I sit here on the couch!
    Hope you have a great afternoon

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    1. It is very sad, Robin. I do understand about them needing someone on Saturdays. It's not even so much about him not getting off as it is about them not keeping their word. It's all about integrity. Giving people fals hope isn't very nice. But such is life, I realize this is a little issue in a world full of far bigger ones. He is grateful for the job, as am I.

      I'm glad you're getting a bit of this lovely weather too! It has only gotten up to 74 here today, even cooler than predicted. It feels wonderful!

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  8. wow, I am getting pissed....he deserves much better treatment and it's too bad you need his 6-day/wk income....I feel like telling the boss off!

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    1. I felt that way yesterday too, Joanne, but I'm past it now. Hopefully in time it will come.

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  9. I wish they could atleast rotate on Saturdays, that seems more fair. I am so happy to have found a job where I am off every weekend now. I worked them since last year and it was tiring b/c I was there til 8 pm all week, even on Saturdays.

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    1. I am so glad you have better hours af the new job Kristi, those late evenings are really hard with families.

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  10. Oh that's awful. I don't blame you one bit for being angry.
    Companies need to treasure people like John. People who don't cause waves, do there job well and are loyal to the company. I'm sure that in good time, he'll get his reward so that the two of you can spend some quality time together.
    My heart really goes out to him. :D

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    1. I know they trust and value him Lily, but they also need to consider that he is not as young as he used to be and he gets worn out. That doesn't seem right.

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  11. This is a very difficult situation. Younger people often don’t realize that we have less strength as we grow older, and without knowing John that well, I am sure that he really needs a full weekend. My advise would be to give John all the support you can, and to leave the decisions about the work place in his hands. He knows well, all of the subtleties involved in that situation, and might be seeing things that you can’t see. At the same time, it might be a good idea to start thinking about what is possible in the way of living on less income, if he found that he needed the Saturday, even without pay. It is almost always possible. It’s just we don’t consider these possibilities until we have no choice. How much better to lower the work profile before it becomes absolutely necessary, and to insure a decent life while it is still possible. Six days work a week is very hard.

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    1. You are right on both counts, Shimon. I do not interfere in John's workplace, nor he in mine. We discuss it but the decisions are ultimately his to make. We are also addressing budget issues to live carefully within our means, though we do very little extra now. I doubt whether his employer would accept Saturdays off without pay as they need someone with experience to manage. Only time will tell how it works out.

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  12. Oh Josie, how horribly wrong and unfair. I'm so sorry the son is going back on his word. So wrong...

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    1. It is always wrong to make promises without a sincere committment to keep them. I think he meant well, and hopefully it will happen in time, but it would have been far kinder to wait until it was to become a reality than to offer false hope for something Papa Bear can only dream of.

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  13. Oh, I'm so sorry to hear of this situation. Companies--even small ones, run by kind, well-meaning people--often do not make the best decisions. But, from a practical standpoint, they knew they were going to have to pay *someone* to work on Saturdays. If they other guy is taking time off w/o pay, can they not hire a part-time/temp person to work weekends for the time being? (Or forever, if that works best for the permanent employees)

    I hope that it works out for you guys, so that you can have the time together and he can simply have time to rest.

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    1. The problem is that they need someone to oversee the store on Saturdays, Cheri, someone with experience in dealing with customers, placing orders, cashing out, closing up, etc. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it will somehow all work out for the best. We never know what things can happen to change everyone's plans. :-)

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