Posted by: Hannah | 09/07/2010

and then again, maybe not

When I started working at the pizza shop, it was with the understanding that it would only be for the occasional shift, when Mrs. G couldn’t find anyone else to work.  The hours are long, the work is exhausting, and while I enjoy it very much it’s not something I wanted to be doing regularly – not as long as I can afford not to, that it.

I am a victim of my own success.

Turns out, I am a very good pizza-shop gal.  The customers like me.  Tips have gone up (Mrs. G keeps them all.  This is more annoying that I would have thought initially, given that it doesn’t amount to very much by the end of a shift.)  Complaints have gone down.  Mr. & Mrs. G both like me so much, they’ve taken to brewing up a pot of wonderfully strong Turkish-style coffee on my shifts & making the delivery boy sweep the floors while I take my break.

I’ve graduated from running the cash & taking orders to working the deep fryer and the donair grill.  I am surprised by how warmed I felt by that demonstration of trust in my ability to learn.  It may sound silly (it probably does, to those of you who have PhDs to work on, or grants to help you write full time) but it is really nice to realize that those skills you use to fluff up a resume when you’re in high school – quick to learn, pleasant, hard worker – do actually translate all up and down the employment spectrum, and are valued.

I’ve earned just over $200 for four shifts.  I’ve got two more shifts this weekend.

And that’s the problem.

It’s turned our family time upside down.

Mrs. G decided that wants to hire me for three shifts, every weekend (Friday, Saturday, Sunday) forever.  She didn’t tell me this.  She just assumed.  The Friday shift starts the minute hubby gets home from work and can watch the kids.  Saturdays & Sundays, 4pm – late.  When the shifts end depends entirely on how busy things are.

After work, I come home jacked up on coffee and too wired to sleep.  I’m up until 1am, usually.  The kids get up at 6:30am.  They don’t care that I’ve been at work.  Neither, it seems, does hubby.

We had a long talk Sunday afternoon.  With me working those three shifts, we can’t plan any fun family time.  I’m exhausted all weekend long (and Monday too).

Hubby doesn’t want me to work those kinds of hours.  I don’t want to work them, either.  I finally got him to say that we’ve agreed my job right now is raising the kids and finding some other kids to watch during the week.  After looking after the kids right after his outside-the-home job, I’ve finally got him to realize that THIS, our lives right now, IS a full-time job.  And that for as long as we can afford it and I’m happy to do it, I shouldn’t feel obligated to put everyone out for the sake of minimum wage.

I talked to Mrs. G.  She had to concede that I had only ever said I would pitch in sometimes.  She admitted that she was hoping I would change my mind.  We hugged and parted friends, and I’m working two more shifts this weekend, but then that should be it for a while.  Mr. G had a harder time understanding that if I was watching kids all week, I didn’t then want to be working weekends too.  The idea that anyone would not want to work seven days a week was completely foreign to him (understandably so; they both work all the hours that god sends, and have done for 40 years).

So – I need you all to send out good thoughts right now, that I can find some kids to look after.  I really only need two; three would be gravy.  Maybe if we all concentrate, it’ll happen for me.

***

I do find it funny, though, that it only took four mealtime / bedtime “shifts” to make hubby fold like a cheap suit, and practically beg me to quit so he doesn’t have to do it anymore.  He’s also been offering backrubs, and footrubs (which he hates giving, he doesn’t like feet).  And yesterday when we both had the day off he suddenly said “let’s take the kids on a road trip!” which he never, ever does.  Methinks that sound I hear is the worm.  It’s turning.

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Responses

  1. Positive thoughts, positive thoughts, kids to come your way, kids to come your way…

    My husband would not last four mealtime/bedtime shifts. I’m not even sure he would survive two.

  2. Trust me, as someone writing from PhD-land, the “fluffy” skills are incredibly valuable. Most people in PhD-land might be quick to learn and hardworking, but too few of them are pleasant.

    I’m super impressed that you’ve managed more than one shift! I think I’d manage about 1/2 a shift.

    As for getting kids … have you mentioned your availability to the boys daycare? Sometimes the teachers there know of parents looking for part-time care.

  3. i will likely be getting a full time job soon. it is temporary, until we sell our house in Louisiana (it will allow us to have two mortgages if our house closes here, first). I am totally dreading it, but I get the feeling lately that my husband does not appreciate the stuff I do around the house. maybe it will help the worm turn here, as well.

  4. those skills are the most important ones, dude. and i still miss tangible work, where i could see if i was doing a good job by the nicely cooked pizza and the tip jar. (though, really? she keeps the tips?)

    also, am laughing aloud at “folded like a cheap suit.” which is probably not charitable.

  5. Yeah, she keeps the tips. Which at first didn’t bother me, since she was doing all the cooking. One night though a very nice old man handed over $5 “for the lady making my pizza” and $2 “for you dear, for your lovely smile”. And she didn’t even let me keep that.

    Grrr.


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