Saturday, November 13, 2010

Work-a-holic

Have I become {gasp!!} a work-a-holic??

Let's talk work ethic.

My Dad had a strong work ethic. He got a job right out of high school and worked his tail off until he no longer could.

My brother has worked, various jobs, since he was like 13 and when he's not working his paid job as a mechanic he's spent a heck of a lot of his off time working as a mechanic for family and friends.

My other brother worked full time while he went to college full time. How one can do two full time things at the same time is beyond me but he did it.

Sean has a strong work ethic. As much as he'd love to take time off, he rarely does - his holidays and that's it.
I think he got his work ethic from his Dad, a fisherman and sole support for his wife and 11 children. If his Dad didn't work, his family didn't eat.

For a long time I thought this work ethic that everyone had just didn't rub off on me. I hated working - right from my first job (the paper route I took over from my brothers) Yeah, I loved having money but I hated the work.

My first real full time job - I think part of the problem here was that I got a job in a place that offered 3 weeks vacation, 10 sick days and 5 personal days. So 3 months into this new job I had 6 weeks of paid leave at my disposal. And I made sure to use all 30 days every. single. year.

Then came the luxury of working from home. This was different because I did work hard - I had to - it was the only way to generate income. But, working hard in your pj's is not the same as working hard outside of your house.

I'll admit, part of me worried when I took this new job that I was going to have that feeling of dread each morning of 'shit, I have to go to work' I thought I'd be a month in before I was trying to think of reasons to take a day off...one of the kids is sick....I'm sick....my car broke down....and all of which would serve as mental health days.

Now, granted, I did take a day off near the end of September however, that was a genuine sick day.
But besides that day, I've actually been upset because Connor was sick and I didn't want to have to stay home (Sean did) or that the girls had a PA Day and Sean was working nights (meaning he would get roughly 4 hours sleep in 48 hours) so I might have to take a day off.
Rather than jumping at the chance to take time off I was thinking of 20 alternatives to this.

On Wednesday I started getting a sinus headache and a tickle in my chest. By Thursday afternoon my voice was going. On Friday I work up with no voice at all. Sean told me to stay home. My two co workers told me to stay home. I mean really, how can one command a class of thirty 5 year olds when one cannot speak?

A whistle. I got out my trusty whistle and between that and a great teaching partner I made it through the day.

In all fairness I probably should have stayed home. I was not nearly as effective as I could have been - but I just didn't want to.

So now, despite having this job that only pays me from 8:30-3:00 - I get to work at 7:30 often don't leave until 3:30, often work through part of my lunch and always through both of my breaks and yes, I bring home work too.

I don't have to do these things. I do them because I choose to. I like this job. I love this job. I think I found that work ethic that I've admired in others for so long.

Who'd have thunk it?!

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