A Lesson Unlearned

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If you were watching the news earlier today, and maybe following Twitter, you know about the blizzard that raged about today. And despite one experience to my name, it seems I’ve still yet to learn my lesson about traveling during horrid weather.

However, once again, I have no regrets.

I got my hours mixed up and came in for a morning shift instead of the evening shift I was scheduled for. In my defense, they tend to edit the schedule often after putting it out, so it’s possible it was changed after I copied the original and I never caught the revised one. Since I came in, my boss decided to switch the shifts anyway instead of send me back home immediately. I am glad she did, not only because this particular boss is one of my favorites of the management team, but also because if she hadn’t, I would’ve missed out on getting paid today since the store closed early.

It may seem odd to care about getting paid when I have previously said some things matter more to me than money. However, the difference is this wouldn’t have been voluntary. I wouldn’t have had a choice in missing out on getting paid.

In addition to that, I also had the chance to not only get away from my home for a few hours, but to spend a blissful morning on the same shift as a manager I very much like. If every work day was as peaceful as today was, I’d have never been so desperate to get away from being a cashier. I can’t regret peace and time spent with someone I love working beside.

I confess I also have a certain sense of pride. I’m uncertain in which particular posts, but I don’t doubt I’ve made my stubborn nature known over the years I’ve run this blog. Truthfully, I was going to consider calling out, though I was waiting on a phone call the store was closed since I assumed I had a morning shift. However, some words from a certain relative once again quietly sparked my temper.

“My job didn’t call.”

“You’re supposed to call them and tell them you can’t make it!”

This makes me understand the stereotype of getting a woman to do something by telling her to do the opposite. Jokes aside, one of my pet peeves is indeed being told I cannot do something I want to do, and it’s in my nature to prove that person wrong. In this case, I could make it to work and I was going to. Now, of course, this was dependent on public transport being available, but fortunately, the bus system doesn’t shut down so easily, so I didn’t need to be concerned about that. I must confess I do have a certain pride about this, though it’s more for the example he set than my own stubbornness. I work in another city and took a bus to and from work in a blizzard. Yet, he works in the same city and drives a car, but won’t go to work. What he will do, however, is walk in said blizzard to go buy more alcohol.

Perhaps I’m arrogant or narcissistic for it, but I can’t exactly take seriously someone who considers the ability to get drunk for the day of utmost importance while he will trash talk my commitment to my job. And I say this after toning down my strict outlook on alcohol (though not enough to try it myself or want to be around drunk people).

I want to say this will be the last time I travel to work in a blizzard, but if it keeps proving to be worth it, I’m not sure I can say that with honesty.

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Four Small Words

Recently, my little state of NJ I call my home had a blizzard. Ah, got to love the strangeness of the seasons. I thought January was the dead of winter.

I was scheduled to work on that day and still had every intent of going. Some people didn’t exactly agree, however. No one in my household supported me going. Two questioned why I’m willing to endure a snowstorm to attend work, but not school (because my job pays me), and one even had the nerve to say something is wrong with me (this same person had to stay home from yesterday night because he got sick from being too drunk, and that’s not the first time; you can guess how seriously I took his opinion). The last of those three tried again to make his vague threat of not picking me up or dropping me off. A threat is not really a threat when you can get around it.

Yes, I know the weather was bad and potentially dangerous. I’m not suggesting they didn’t have a point (though they could’ve made it more tactfully). A small part of me felt bad for going because, as it turned out, if I’d stayed home, the manager on duty could’ve closed the store since I was the only cashier who came in (yes, we still got customers). Whoops! The joys of still learning how retail works. On top of that, she’d told me on the phone I didn’t have to come in, but I somehow missed that part. All I recall her asking is if I’m still coming in. If I’d heard her tell me I didn’t have to, I would’ve stayed home. Plus, I really would’ve loved to have stayed in bed like just about everyone else was probably doing!

So, why was I hellbent on going to work? I wasn’t. But I genuinely like being at my job, not so much because of what I do or how I get paid, but because being around my co-workers is a lot more pleasant than being around my family members. In the end, I worked for 9 1/2 hours that day (I was scheduled for 4 1/2), and I have no regrets because of one thing I got to hear from one of my (now former) supervisors: “I’m proud of you.”

To give some context, since the store was open, that supervisor decided to still come in. A broken down car resulted in him being two hours late, but he still came. I’d say he’s even more determined than I was because while a snowstorm wouldn’t stop me, my mode of transportation being dead would’ve been where I called it quits because I wouldn’t have seen another way. Anyway, when he came in, he came up to the register to see how I was doing and I mentioned I’d been there since morning. He already knew. I wasn’t surprised he knew I was there because he’d called the store three times and I’d answered every call. What I didn’t know was he knew how long I’d been there. Apparently, the first manager had told him. What followed was the quoted sentence.

It’s certainly not the first time that particular supervisor has praised me for what I’ve done, but in those situations, I’d asked for his opinion because I was anxious about if I’m really good at my job or not. On this occasion, I hadn’t asked. I was shocked to hear that come from him, especially since there wasn’t much of customer service to run since we had only a handful of customers. But it made my day and, besides the pride of doing my job, hearing him tell me that made enduring that weather to come to work worth the effort. Few times have I been so happy to have been born with a stubborn personality.

Maybe I still am crazy for going. Maybe people would call him crazy for still coming, in spite of having a broken down car. Maybe everyone who still worked that day is crazy for showing up. I can say with certainty if that ever happens again, I will opt to stay home, if only to let everyone else stay home too. But I really cannot say I wish it hadn’t happened or I regret I went. What he told me is going to stick with me.

Four small words. And they meant everything.