It’s week 3 of me working the closing shift. It’s day 86 of it being stressfully busy at work. And it’s probably like day 50 for me feeling that constant head throbbing pain of call upon call upon call without that short break to just breathe. And let me tell you, some days it’s so overwhelming I have to take a “bathroom” break so I don’t get to the point of crying.
The other day, or more like a week ago, I bought some Hotpockets for my break at work. But it was so busy at work and some miscommunication, that I didn’t get a break. Which is fine, I was feeling pretty energized that I didn’t even realize how fast my shift passed by. Midnight hit and I’m like “Whoa, I’m done. Cool.” That night I spent the night at a friend’s house, and I left my Hotpockets at work because, surprise, I was working a long shift the next day. The following day I arrived a few hours before my start time and stayed a few hours after my shift was supposed to end. And of course, no break again (but I was doing some important tasks that I had to get done). At the end of my shift, I was excited to be able to go eat my Hotpockets on my way home from work, and to my dismay I had discovered that in a span of 24 hours someone had stolen them. I wasn’t mad, but rather annoyed because I was hungry and tired. I left a pleasant note asking for whomever stole them or ‘mistakenly’ took them to please replace them. So on top of working overtime every single week, I’ve gone several days of only taking a 15 minute break (enough to eat and use the restroom) to not taking any breaks at all because we’re simply too busy to having mini anxiety attacks at work because I’m overwhelmed.
I have to say that whole story, for the next part to make sense. Today I clocked in an hour early because it was swamped with calls. At one point, my manager Jason* came over to tell me to come talk to him. Thinking I was in trouble or was about to receive a coaching on something I did wrong, I glumly replied, “Oh no. Did I do something wrong?”
He responds in his typical way, “Haha yes. Very much so…no when do you ever get in trouble? Are you causing stress for my other employees? Are you causing the business to lose money? Are you purposely doing something wrong?”
“Well…no not on purpose…although I probably cause Don* a lot of stress. Haha.”
He smiles, “I just wanted to let you know you have Hotpockets over in the freezer by the supervisor desk.”
“What?! Really? Neato.” And he pulls me up to go show me two boxes of Hotpockets, the exact same kind I had lost, “Wow. I only bought two Hotpockets not two boxes. Wait…did you buy those?”
He smiles his casual smile and replies, “No…they magically appeared there.”
“Jasonnnn….why would you buy them? You really didn’t have to do that.”
He shrugs his shoulders and walks back to his desk.
I was sooo shocked, that he took the time to not only listen to me when I was telling him the issue and he remembered the exact kind I bought, but he took initiative to replace them for me. I mean he didn’t say he did, I just assume he did. I wasn’t even going to care about having him look at the cameras, but my closing supervisor said that theft of any sort shouldn’t be tolerated, so I asked Jason* to look at the cameras.
See, the cool thing about my job is, I’ve had to talk to Jason* about taking off days and instead of “Yeah, I’ll see what I can do” the response is “Okay. I’ll give you whatever days you want off. Just request them off.” I’m consistently thrown off by that thinking there’s some sort of catch or that he’s just being his jokester self, but he’s always serious.
If you would have asked me nine months ago how my job was going, I would have probably responded the same as I do now “stressful and tiring and mentally draining.” But nine months ago, I would have also added on “I don’t know how long I’ll last in this place.” Now, I can agree that it is a stressful job. It’s not for everyone. It literally isn’t. I’ve seen so many people come and go in the short time I’ve been there. But now I can add, I actually enjoy coming to work. Not because the job itself is the greatest, but because I have so much support from my supervisors, and so many people that I can reach out to and get to know. Nine months ago, I cried probably every other day because I would get so overwhelmed. Now, I cry only every couple of weeks (it’s the biggest joke in the office to put up a sign that reads “It’s been X days since Angel has cried”).
Oh sure, I work at a job I could have easily gotten out of high school, instead of going to college for 4 years and getting myself stuck in a debt hole. And who knows, maybe my degree will come into play at one point or another. I work at a job that the rates of stress is higher in comparison to others (the job itself is easy, but dealing with the public is another matter on its own level). Despite the stress I get at work, I’m so blessed by that place.
- indicates name change