Saturday. It’s a day that brings most people joy, a day of being able to relax and breathe, lounge around or get some of the yard work done. A day to have a nice alcoholic beverage to get the mind off the harrowing work week that’s finally over. But for some, it’s just another day of Hell. Retail workers, raise your hands, I’m calling you out.
My work schedule runs Saturday-Wednesday, so Saturday is, as I refer to it, Mali Monday. And today, it was bad enough as soon as I walked in the door to be dubbed “Mali Murder Monday”. It was that bad… as SOON as I walked in. I wish I could say it got better and wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. I wish I could say I left in a positive attitude because I got all my work done. I wish I could say that I’m not dreading going back tomorrow.
I can’t say any of those things.
Saturdays are typically dodgy to begin with because of the fact that they are, in fact, my Monday. But this past week, I needed Wednesday off for a doctor appointment, so I should have realized what kind of mess I was going to walk into. Perhaps I was hopeful that it would be better. Perhaps my mind was preoccupied with my son and his vaccinations to not worry about it. Or perhaps, I’m just a fucking idiot. But boy, oh boy, it was bad.
I work as the food person at a gas station, and my job is to cook breakfast and lunch every day, keep all of my supplies stocked, and keep other food items in the store stocked. When I walked in today, my deli case was full of expired product that I would need to remake, my cookie shelf was half empty, all of my supplies to cook with were bare, the food order from the truck was still on the floor in my walk-in freezer, and a few other things. Things that automatically wired my head with very, very colorful language.
To top it off, I work at 6am on Saturday and Sunday instead of 5am, so I have an hour less to do all my work than what I have the rest of the week, but it’s usually not a big deal. The manager that works in the morning comes in at 5 and usually has the breakfast mostly up before I get there. But of course because today was meant to be living Hell, that wasn’t the case today.
The system had decided to take a dive into the dumpster before I got to work, making it so we could take cash only, and blocked us from selling the 1000 gallons of fuel we had left to Hurricane Dorian preppers. Due to that keeping her preoccupied, breakfast was an hour behind, and I had to jump on that automatically. It wasn’t until after 7 that all of the food was up, and that gave me 6 hours to get all my work done. It sounds like a lot, I know, but really, in this business, it’s not.
Need to make sure the hot sandwiches don’t run out, have to keep up the fresh pizzas every hour and a half, gotta keep food on the roller grill, gotta help and answer customer questions, and gotta keep a clean store. All things that take precedence over all the stuff I knew needed to get done. So, trying to juggle everything I had to do while keeping the food up and running, I got overwhelmed incredibly fast.
Now, I don’t know how you are, but when I get overwhelmed, my motivation quickly drops and I suddenly want to do nothing. It happens all the time when I’m at home, and I have to make dinner, clean the kitchen, do laundry, help the kids with homework, take care of the infant, etc etc etc. I’ll get overwhelmed, leave the kitchen a mess, order pizza, and then do the bare minimum for the rest of the day. Call it a coping mechanism.
However, I can’t really afford to do that at work because if I don’t do it, it ain’t gonna get done. But this still caused problems for me. Instead of having my usual fire lit under my ass to get all of my shit done, I slacked. It took me another hour before I found my rhythm, and I didn’t really get started until 8 0n getting all the extra crap I needed to get done because no one bothered to do it while I was off. 5 hours now instead. Crap.
Long story short, I didn’t get everything I needed done today, and I left in a pretty sour mood because of it. I’m the kind of person that works my ass off because if I don’t get my work done, it pisses me the fuck off. Once I start a project, I have the mental need to get it done. It’s for that reason that I’m actually a really good worker and every manager I have ever worked under has loved me more for it. I normally have the constant need to keep moving, and I hate stopping for any reason.
My cookie shelf was still half empty by the time I left and my condiments weren’t stocked, but I have reached a point in my career that I’m tired of overworking myself and staying longer than my scheduled shift to get this stuff done. It’s wrecking what’s left of my mental health, and it’s killing me physically. I’m not a small woman, so being on my feet for 7-8 hours a day without a break is hard enough. But staying extra? Nah, I’ll finish it tomorrow.
Do I love my job? Gods, no. I haven’t liked this job in years. But that’s just the point of it – years. I have worked for the same company for going on 9 stinking years. Since February of 2011, I have been slaving for this company, and I don’t feel I make enough money to show all the time and effort I’ve put into this job. Some people may as “Well, why don’t you just quit?” Well… I’m sorry, but why would I? Just so I could go work for another company that would treat me the same way? Another job that I would still continue to hate? Most people hate their jobs, and the fact of the matter is no matter where I go, I’m probably going to hate it.
Hence why I’ve found myself here. I’ve done some freelance writing the past year and though it’s not my favorite thing, to be honest, it’s a lot better than what I’m doing working for a corporation. I’m simply having a hard time making enough consistent money to replace what I’m doing right now, and until I can get consistent payment, I have to keep killing myself slowly. I do have 3 kids to support, after all.
So, in the meantime, I continue to drive to work every day, cry inside every time I see the building hasn’t miraculously burnt down, and do my best to get my work done. After all – I’ve gotta get that bread!