As I write this blog, I am sitting in the family waiting room in a hospital where my father is having hip replacement surgery. My brother and I are discussing our course of action over the next few days, since my father will not be discharged for about 3 days. I have a full-time job and my brother runs a business, so bringing my mother to the hospital and visiting has to be done in shifts.
Where I work, taking time off is a hassle. It involves filling out forms, getting signatures, coding time sheets, and keeping an eye on a payroll department that is notorious for making errors in people’s paychecks. In short, it’s a pain in the ass.
I was working under the assumption that my father would be discharged the day after surgery and, therefore, planned accordingly. Now, having found out that he will be in the hospital a few days, I have to rearrange my time.
My brother and I were in a restaurant, having some lunch, and we were discussing all this. I told him about my concerns about changing my time off. Then it occurred to me—whatever I need to do for my family, I need to do. And whatever the consequences at work are, well, I’ll just have to deal with it.
The truth is that no matter what I do at my job, I will never be promoted (there’s nowhere to go) and I will never get a raise (they pretty much told us outright that no one’s getting anything anytime soon), so what exactly am I striving for? They’re paying me to do a job, and I’m doing it to the best of my ability. But to say that I’m going to go above and beyond or neglect my family in the hopes that it will advance my position at work is absurd, a waste of time, and a misuse of my energy.
Not everyone has a family that is worth their time, sad to say. But I think most people would agree with me when I say “family first.” As much as I’ve gone rounds with my parents, they’ve always been there for me, and I need to be there for them when they need me.
So anyone who doesn’t like it can just suck it.