So, this may be a shock to some of you, but I had never called out of work at ANY job I’ve ever had until this week.
I can put up with some pretty terrible stuff while working; wrenched neck, nausea, flu. I’d like to think I’m a Juggernaut of dependability in the workplace. But, I was forced to make the decision to call out this week due to unavoidable circumstances and learned a lot about myself in the process; Things like…
It takes a lot to make me give up on a task
For those who don’t live in the New Hampshire area, the catalyst for this bailing out of my duties was the massive go-f***-yourself nor’easter we got between Sunday and Monday that crapped out at least a foot and a half of fluffy white s*** over my house.
The storm was so bad that my town couldn’t keep up with clean-up detail. The net result – and the thing that ultimately cemented my decision to call out – was me being woken up at 6:00 pm (remember, I work third-shift) by the sounds of a fire rescue vehicle spinning out on my street.
Bare in mind that my mode of transportation is a tiny sub-compact. So if a fire truck can’t survive those conditions, I’m practically a quadriplegic man trying to tame a dragon by comparison.
In short, if I know I have a job to do, the heavens have to LITERALLY open up and rain death upon humanity for me to back down.
I hate admitting defeat
I spent the rest of that night brooding and sulking around the house. I didn’t want to talk to anyone and I didn’t want anyone to talk to me. I failed and I hated myself for it.
Of course, I’ve always known this about myself to an extent. I cuss out games when I lose and I get really competitive with friends. But this was different; this was pure, white-hot rage.
It wasn’t until my mother – the lovable, overly-caring alarmist she is – called to insist that I stay in that night that I understood my anger. Put simply, …
I worry about EVERYTHING… and my worry manifests as anger
I was legitimately afraid that I was going to lose my job because I couldn’t make it through the weather. And, emotional train wreck I am, I was taking that anger out on myself and people around me.
After a rational conversation with mom, though, I was able to think clearly. When Governer Chris Sununu tells everyone to stay off the roads, there’s a good chance you should listen. Plus, this wasn’t a ‘no-call/no-show’ situation. I left voice mail and texts to my boss letting him know what had happened and any action he took against me would be a fine reason to file a wrongful termination suit.
So, after milling about the house for hours, I was finally able to rest peacefully. And when I went to work the next night, I was surprised to see that…
My superiors are more reasonable than I gave them credit for
As a third-shift employee, I’m used to the idea of EVERYTHING being my fault on the grounds that I have to pick up the slack for everything the previous shifts may have missed. No surprise then that my image of my managers is less than sterling.
However, when I bumped into the assistant manager, I was surprised to see how calm he was. He totally understood my plight and told me that he had planned to sleep at work just to avoid driving in the storm had I not called out. The fact that he kept this cool even after covering for a friend of mine who had broken his hand recently made it all the more impressive.
I guess the lesson to be learned here is that you can’t be expected to work full steam at all times and that you will encounter failure at some point. So, there’s no real point in fretting over it. A child-like moral perhaps, but one that’s surprisingly easy for me to forget. You don’t need to be perfect; you just need to be willing to be better than yesterday.
And now, I’m going to go get ready for night’s shift and remind myself why I’m still the best they have despite occasional failures.