Friday, June 24, 2011

Schedules and Privelage

Ok. I’m going to vent here a bit. I’m going dangerously close to the “airing dirty laundry” that I try very, very hard not to do here. But this has been festering for a few weeks now.

As most loyal readers (I have those?) know, my business was bought by a different “big corp” just over a year ago. Well, like many big companies out there, they have a “compressed work week” schedule available. This is where one week you work four 9-hour days, an 8-hour Friday and then the next week you work four 9-hour days and have off that Friday for a three day weekend. It sounds lovely. I mean, who wouldn’t want around 15 additional 3-day weekends or the potential for a 4-day weekend for a normal 3-day holiday? I know I sure as anything would love it. Extra time with my son. A week-day every-other week I could get things done like doctor’s appointments and car repairs (although, I usually use the shop that’s within walking distance of work… so that wouldn’t change). An extra chance to unwind or take a nice weekend getaway.

Unfortunately, this is where the reality of my life steps in and stomps down HARD. You see, this isn’t a mandatory schedule, but an optional schedule. And there was a fight between employees and local management to get this put in place. But that’s not even the problem. The problem is with my own personal schedule. The problem is that we haven’t been organized, or thrifty enough, or even just plain lucky enough to get a second car. The problem is that while Gak’s schedule is great for watching Boo in the mornings, it leaves us in a tough spot in the evenings since he works until 6:30 or 6:45 and Boo has to be picked up by 6.

You see, for me to take advantage of this, I would have to work 7-5 every day. This would be so I could get home before 6 to pick up Boo. This would mean I’d have to give up my Tuesday and Thursday morning swims. I’ve really grown quite fond of those. It would mean on weeks like this coming one where Boo would have to be in daycare all day either I’d have to drop Boo off at 6:30 in the morning (making for a very, very long day for him) or make him and Gak leave for work approximately half an hour after I leave for work so they could walk. That’s not fair to either of them and just plain silly.  (Not to mention dangerous in winter months...)

I thought I was fine with this. I thought I just accepted this as all part and parcel of being a mom of a young child. But, no, I’m not OK with this. I’m actually quite upset by this. I feel like I’m being penalized because I couldn’t get my act together and save enough for a second car (not that I really want the expense of a second car, but in this case it would be needed). I feel like I’m being penalized for Gak having the job he has, and that’s the last thing I want to feel. I’m happy he can stay home with our boy in the mornings, but lately he’s been used and abused soundly by his boss with his hours. Gak’s been trying to look off and on for a new job for a year or more now, but he’s either over qualified, under qualified or the job totally isn’t worth what he is or what he needs to make to make switching break even, let alone let us get ahead. He’s stuck and feeling it, and well, so am I right now. I feel like Gak’s boss is hurting me and my family and my career, and I don’t even work for the man! Unfortunately, without a whole lot of help, a good dollop of luck and possibly some divine intervention at this point, we’re stuck. It’s not Gak’s fault at all, but I know he feels that it is. He shouldn’t have to feel that way at all!

It’s not really my fault either. Sure, I could have been better about putting money away, but you know what; I’ve made my decisions. I like going out for lunch on Saturdays with Kat and Zoe and the gang. I’m glad I bought my new bike and Boo’s seat for it. I like having the phones we have and the damn data plans that go with them. I like being able to buy yarn now and again for projects. Sure, I waste plenty of money, but more often than not, I have made the conscious choice of where to spend my money. I’m not getting ahead in the slightest. But you know what; I’m usually OK with that. I will never be rich or even comfortable enough not to worry when it gets close to pay-day at the middle of the month. That’s just who I am and where I am and there are other things I’d rather worry about and spend my time on.

I don’t want the million dollar house or three cars or to be able to jet around the world at the drop of a hat or anything like that. I want to be able to send my son to a good school. I want to live in an apartment or rent a house that’s comfortable, safe and clean. I want to be able to enjoy the weekends with my friends, my husband and my family doing fun things, not moping about the house because I don’t have gas money. I want to be able to juggle it so I can have those three-day weekends every other week.

So, yes, I’m very bitter right now. I’m bitter that I can’t get my act together enough to solve the transportation “problem” (and until now, it's not been that big of a problem, more of an occasional inconvenience). I’m bitter that I have to choose between working out and 3-day weekends and missing my son’s bedtime. (This is why I go to the gym in the mornings, I get my “me time” in and I get as much awake time with Boo as I can get.) I’m bitter at the joy my coworkers who are able to take advantage of the schedule are showing. It almost feels like they’re gloating. (In a way they are gloating because they had to fight management so hard and for so long to get it in place here… even if it’s on a “trial” basis for the summer…) I’m taking it very personally and I shouldn’t. I shouldn’t at all. I just look at other families with small children and see them so much more “together” than we are. It all seems so nice and perfect from where I’m sitting. I know damn right well that it’s not, but from where I’m sitting right now, for the most part, their lives are looking pretty rosy. For once, I’d really like something to break in our favor. Even if it’s just a little thing.

Anyhow, I’d better get back to my projects.

To end this on a positive note, Jon and Becca are currently winging their way across the country to be here for a long weekend. It’ll be quite a full one! Tomorrow they’re doing wedding site searching and food finding adventures. Boo, Gak and I are probably joining Barb, Norm and their boys as well as maybe some others to see Cars2 in the evening. Sunday, Jon, Becca, Dad, Boo and I are going to the Phillies game. Monday, Dad is staying home but Mom and Gak are joining us to go to the beach. We’ll be spreading Gram’s ashes (which will be sad and happy and all kinds of mixed up) and enjoying ourselves as well. Tuesday they fly back to California and I took a second vacation day. So, this will be quite the busy weekend coming up and quite enjoyable.

So, peace to all and may your schedules work, and your family adventures be good.