5/10/07

Help Me Help You

One of the things I think that I inadvertently gifted myself with over the years, is a vast work experience. I've done many, many different things. I've worked for large corporations, I've worked for small, private businesses. I've worked in retail, clerical, HR, payroll, teach preschool, nursery (as in a large, privately owned garden center), and a printing department at the U of D. I've got to taste what I like and don't like about different aspects of each, the large and small for the good and the bad.

Most of these jobs were pretty set on working a schedule or set hours. They frowned upon missing work. Which I totally understand - to some extent.

Rav has been lucky in this job that he's been at for the past 2 and 1/2 years to have a relatively flexible schedule - and tons of time off.
However, when he is at work, you never know what will walk through the door. And most of the time, if you have something planned, that means that an offender or other crisis will walk through the door 5-10 minutes before you planned on leaving...and therefore cancels out the plans you've made.
This can be problematic for me to some degree.
See, we're in a pretty tight financial situation.
We don't have money for many extras.
We have managed to live without credit cards. We simply can't afford the extra monthly payment. So, if we don't have the money, we don't buy it. Sometimes it sucks, not having that to fall back on when you really just want to have a date night when things are a little tight.
I think that in about 10 years, we'll be thankful for sacrificing right now. But in the meantime, it stinks.
Anyway....
prolematic for me because from time t0 time, I have had a part-time job to help ease the burden a bit. But it was never reliable. The U of D didn't always have a lot of work coming in, so therefore I couldn't depend upon it to help ease our budget.

I recently got hired by a growing, privately owned nursery that serves as an independent contractor for a large chain of home improvement stores. The area manager seemed to be excited to hire me based on my (small) amount of college education and experience in the horticulture. I told her the days I could work - which weren't many. And still she seemed excited.

Truth-be-told, I began to panic. I know how crazy things can get with Rav's work schedule between court hearings, and unexpected things popping up at work. It is almost equivalent to asking an ER doctor to be home on time. It just isn't going to happen. Especially when you need it to. I felt guilty for committing to this, knowing that there will be days, I'll have to suddenly call out. It has been my experience that employers frown upon that sort of thing.
I felt that the best thing to do was just lay it all out there and resign. Before I have even started.

Yesterday was supposed to be my first day. I was to start at 3:30. Which means that Rav had to leave work at 3. No later.
I get the call I knew was coming all day. At 2:40 p.m. It's Rav from work. He had to lock someone up who had an active warrant. He didn't know when he'd be home. So, I made the dreaded call. That I wouldn't be able to make it on my first day...that I appreciate the opportunity, but I better back out. I hate to commit to something that I simply can't fulfill.

The area manager calls back and sounds genuinely disappointed that I'm backing out. And then she says I completely understand. I lived that life for 25 years. My husband was a cop. I know how that is. And especially when you have little ones. Before you decide not to do this give me a call back. Let's talk about this. Maybe we can come up with something else.
I almost hit the floor in shock. She understood. And she was willing to work with me. This was something that I had never really experienced before from a supervisor.
And in a way, it spoke volumes about how I need to give people a chance to help me. That my own misconceptions about things can get in the way.

10 ripples in the pond:

deb said...

I have a boss like that. During the interview I told him all the times I couldn't work and why and he said, we'd be happy to have you. That was five years ago. He's been the best boss. I don't work a lot but he understands and I'm willing to come in on short notice if I'm available, although his short notice is way better than any nursing unit's short notice. My boss is not a nurse and sadly he is the best boss I've ever had as a nurse.

Hang in there, it might still work out.

Erika, Plain Jane Mom said...

I am so happy for you! It is just fantastic that you were able to find someone who understands exactly your situation. I hope that the two of you can come up with a schedule that works. Excellent!

thailandchani said...

For all the jabber in this country about "family values", there's very little of it in the workplace. Good on your future supervisor for being willing to explore alternatives.

That's a job worth hanging on to...


Peace,

~Chani

Joker The Lurcher said...

hey! how lovely to have found someone willing to invest a bit of give and take. i am lucky where i work in that i can work at home if i have to and people know i have an autistic kid so are less likely to come down hard on me. and at the end of hte day if you are good at what you do people want to hire you. be confident in yourself and it will be fine. there have been times when i have taken my son into work and colleagues have looked after him while i have gone to court. i reckon you have found a diamond of a boss there - hang onto her!

Oh, The Joys said...

Good bosses are HARD to come by.

jen said...

ah. i love it. it must be the right place to be right now.

it's the small kindnesses that crush me (in a good way).

Denguy said...

Good news for you, you deserve it.

I had an understanding boss like that once. It was pretty easy going there, except that she insisted on talking to me while sitting on my desk with her short skirt which exposed much of her legs.
Yes, sexual harassment works both ways.

lipsticktocrayons said...

That's awesome! Just the kind of person I'd want to work for.

Jenn said...

That is a rare soul...I hope so much it works out. It would be excellent if there were more companies that understood they'd be getting fabulous staff if they'd only be flexible with the mamas of the world.

Pippajo said...

Hey, I need a boss like that!

Good for you though, I hope it works out!