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.
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!