Telling my life story over at RandazzoInc. Check it out!
About four years ago, in Confession with my former pastor and employer, I was given a very solid piece of advice. I don’t recommend going to Confession with one’s employer, and the boss even told me to go see someone else – but this time it was different. The subject was of a mutual friend, and the boss’s counsel was always sound and kind.
The advice was, “If something is causing you harm, or is hurting you, you go see a physician and he cuts it off.”
I got the point.
Through the last several years, I have had an on again off again relationship with someone who calls me their best friend. There have been months when we talked on the phone for hours a night, there have been months when we haven’t spoken at all.
We have traveled together, with my kids, and gone to beaches, mountains, movies, restaurants, plays, museums and enjoyed each others company. We have spent weeks hating each other, too.
This person is not afraid to tell me if I look too fat, too thin, if I have a bad haircut, if I look tired (read ugly), if my clothes aren’t to their style or standard, if my house is dirty (I hear that one quite often), if they don’t like my other friends. In fact, they feel quite free to bad mouth my other friends.
Recently, this person also felt the need to throw mw under the bus to one of my friends, to save someone else. None of it was any of their business and they had no right to put me in that situation and we absolutely had it out with them telling me I deserved it.
My very best girlfriend and I had lunch recently. She complimented my hair – new cut, new color – the same hair I was told was horrible by the other friend. This friend who tells me I’m never positive.
My BFF told me, four years later, and with absolutely no knowledge of my Confession, to cut that person out of my life. Life is too short for sharing with people who make you feel like crap. No one should have the right to walk into your own home and speak to you like you’re an incompetent moron. She said other things, as well. My BFF gives good advice.
I must have a sign on my head that says, “Please treat me like crap,” because that is what has been happening with a very old friend, some neighbors, and mostly, my boss.
When I was hired for my job, I was told a few things, namely: take whatever days off you need, as long as you put them on the calendar, because “I don’t pay for days off, holidays, vacations, or anything. So, if you need a day off, take it, we’re all mothers here and we cover for each other.” I hardly requested any time off, but recently, I had a son get married, and a grandson Baptized, and a daughter confirmed. The owner, a Catholic, and her sidekick – I don’t know if you’d call her the manager, seeing as how there are only three other employees, myself, my daughter, and a kid who works two nights a week – also a Catholic, were not pleased with this, at all.
When I was hired, there was another person and her daughter working there, and this person pretty much worked every Sunday. Then this person started calling out, being lazy in not putting away the order or restocking, and was let go. Guess who got Sundays?
As the months went on, my schedule was pretty much Thursday night, Friday 12-8, Saturday 8-8, and Sunday 10-5 (the only hours we’re open on Sunday). Plus I worked Mondays and Wednesdays if I was needed to cover for someone, if I didn’t have school. I was basically never home, and I also never saw my older kids who work their own crazy hours, live an hour in either direction, and have Sundays off. So I said I wanted Sundays off. And they gave them to my daughter.
My daughter is leaving for Italy for three weeks – today! – and I told the owner, and the manager that I would work the Sundays when she was gone, and that once school started next month, I couldn’t do that because I had a nine-hour class on Mondays and wanted to spend time with my kids.
I also put on the calendar that I wanted the last weekend in July off because the entire family is getting together at our favorite spot in New Hampshire, and we haven’t done this in about seven years. The older ones are footing the bill, and I gave them 30 days notice. The owner has two weeks off during this, the manager could certainly cover, but she won’t usually ever cover a weekend, and the other said he would be more than happy to work my hours.
Two days ago when I was at work, alone, people were coming in and asking for applications for the ad that was on Craigslist. I looked up this ad. Not only were they advertising for Sunday help, but for all of my other hours, as well. I texted the manager and said excuse me? Am I being replaced? She answered that since I didn’t want to work Sundays, they had no choice. I was floored, to say the least. I had covered every single one of their shifts that they ever asked me to, came in early, stayed late, was never late, never called out, came in when one had a headache or forgot an appointment, wrote checks, filed, cleaned – things not in my job description.
THEN, she went on to tell me that a lot of people don’t have husbands, I should be happy that my daughter does so much for me, so what if I have a large family – only the youngest three need me. Her husband works a lot of hours, and she wasn’t hired for Sundays, I was.
Then she told me to talk to the owner, she just works there. Uh huh, she writes the schedule, and places the ads.
Fast forward a day and I show up to my shift. The owner is there, and she tells me that in two weeks I am off the schedule. That if I give up my weekend I want off, I can be back on, but she’s away and I “already had my vacation” – the four days in March when my daughter worked every single one of my shifts.
She’s literally yelling at me, for an hour, in front of her cousin (who has MS and works every single shift with her for free) that I have too much time off, that she has to cover her own “butt” and that when my daughter comes back from Italy, she can have that weekend off, and it’s covered, but I can’t because I made her have to cover it.
I never hung around girls in high school because they acted like this. These two women are older than I am. The manager showed my daughter things that I texted her and she showed me things that the owner texted her about me. I mean really, backstabbing and gossiping in a tiny little business that I have busted my behind for for the lowest pay I have ever made in my life, and not a single benefit. I made more per hour in 1986 when I was a kid working for the newspaper, with full benefits, and double time on holidays.
I know times are bad, jobs are extremely scarce, and I should be grateful to have one.
BUT, every single day I deal with rude, foul-mouthed people who stare at me in places that aren’t my face, in a small dirty building with no hot water in the bathroom and 50 lb boxes I have to heft around. And I put up with all of that for 9 months, with a smile. But there are limits to what one can tolerate. Next week I am on the schedule every single day, including the days that they know I work at school – and drive my son to class, and I am on for the next two Sundays, and then I am erased.
How does a large and growing family have fun on the cheap? Well, first gather everyone together, on a nice sunny day, and start by having a game of badminton, over a clothesline and using a random paddle-ball paddle, a short tennis raquet, and one badminton racket garnered from the local rummage sale.
start a fire,
Lose badly to your little sisters in a game of bocce, then laugh so hard you fall over.
Make your nephew his first s’more,
Have some rousing conversation while enjoying a shandy, and spend hours gazing at an adorable chubby baby.