Speaking from Experience, Work

No News is Good News…

Welcome back blog readers,

I know it’s been a while since my last post. Life happens, and sometimes not much happens that’s worth sharing.

During the last month, I have been keeping myself busy with work and have been hooked on playing Diablo 3. The game has provided over 100 hours of entertainment thus far. The fact that my brother, his wife, and their oldest son also play makes the experience more enjoyable.

As far as work goes, things have gotten a bit busy/chaotic now that we are in the summer months and the kids are out of school. You might think that we’d be fully staffed since the high school kids are off for the summer. You’d be incorrect. The summer means more people taking their vacations.

Back in the day, there was a limit/restrictions as to how many associates were authorized Time Off within the same department. There was more coordinating involved as to not approve everyone to take their time off at the same time. Seems things have changed and we are left continuously short-handed, this time it’s not just one week, it’s the entire month of July.

Due to my pre-existing health conditions that will never get better (scoliosis), I’m only supposed to work 3 shifts per week, 4 at most as long as those days are split allowing me a chance to rest in between. For the most part, that has been happening and things (my back and the ability to work) has been manageable.

What people may not consider is that working in the Bakery department is physically demanding. Climbing ladders, reaching for the products in the freezer, lots of bending and squatting, loading up carts and pulling them through the store with more bending and squatting as you stock the shelves.

I did expect that I would be put on for an extra shift while our department is short-handed, to be expected. Four shifts over seven days is my maximum as long as they are spread out with a day OFF in between. It took a while for my manager to get it right, even though it’s not that hard to figure out or work with. I can work any 3-4 days, while closing shifts are better for me, I can open. What used to happen is that I’d get scheduled the last 3 days of the week and then the first 3 days into the following week. That doesn’t work for me, 6 shifts in a row, no time off to rest.

Right now I’m in what I call the Calm before the Storm. I’ve already worked Saturday 27th, Sunday 28th, Monday 29th and I’m not scheduled again until Monday, August 5th. Seems like a pretty sweet deal considering that I didn’t request anything special, it’s just how my manager created the schedule.

Here’s my schedule for the following week:

  • Monday 5th, 3:30 – 10pm
  • Tuesday 6th, 3:30 – 10pm
  • Wednesday 7th, 3:30 – 10pm
  • Thursday OFF I have my Chiropractor Appointment in the afternoon. Good thing, I’ll be needing it.
  • Friday 9th, 3:30 – 10pm
  • Saturday 10th, 3:30 – 10pm
  • Sunday 11th, 3:30 – 10pm
  • Monday 12th, 3:30 – 10pm

I was asked to cover Tuesday 13th, I only agreed if the person asking could take/switch any shift of mine from the 9th-12th, adding another day would kill me. She opted for the Monday 12th for her Tuesday the 13th. Still, a very grueling schedule for me considering my limitations and restrictions.

Out of curiosity, I wanted to see if we were looking to hire more people for Bakery/Deli as we need help. Nope, no job posting for either department. We have one associate out recovering from surgery, one high schooler going back in September and two attending college when the next semester begins in less than 35 days. That leaves me (part-time evenings) and one full-time opener to bake, stock, clean both Bakery/Deli. It’s just too much to keep up with.

While looking through the job postings, I noticed there was one for the Cash Office (part-time). I decided to apply for the position as an Internal Transfer. I’ve been in the Bakery department long enough to know that for whatever reason, the Fresh departments are always short-handed, if not Bakery, it’s Meats, Dairy, or Produce. I also have to be realistic about my situation (health-wise).

As much as I love what I do and take pride in what I put out, I know that I can’t do it much longer. I’ve been told to take it easy (by my manager) and not lift/move things I shouldn’t, in which case I wouldn’t be as productive. I move in ways that I shouldn’t and I will continue to do so because things have to get done and I’m a team player. Knowing this about myself, I have to do things differently and not put myself in a position of risking further injury or early disability.

From what I’ve been told from an associate that did work in the Cash Office the schedule seems to be set with rotation weekends 7am-11am and Monday/Tuesday 7am-3pm. So I’d either get two shifts or four, and they would rotate. That would work well for me, especially since I can’t imagine that there would be much heavy lifting and I’d have the chance to sit. While I do need at least 18 hours/week, I could always pick up one shift for Bakery on Thursday.

The associate I talked to said that chances are good that I would get that position since it’s hard to keep filled. The only reason why I would not, my manager doesn’t allow me to transfer because he’s already short-staffed and doesn’t want to lose me. I haven’t talked to my manager about this as it was very last minute and I rarely see him. The Store manager knows, and he accepted my request, so we’ll see how it plays out. Hopefully, I can cover both departments, make a little more money while ensuring that I don’t cut my workable years short.

Other than that, there is nothing new going on with me.

Thank you for your time and reading and your interest if you are following me.

Happy Wednesday ~ Hannah

 

*** Update***

Shortly after posting this, I noticed a missed text on my phone. My presence is being requested to close tonight. The high schooler that was scheduled, called in and seems to be making a habit of that at least once a week.  We are prepping for Inventory tomorrow and someone is needed to work in the freezer to count our products. Awesome!

Guess what I’m doing this evening? Working beyond my limitations and taking one for the team. I’m going to leave a note that lets my fellow co-workers know that they should consider me UNAVAILABLE until my next scheduled shift. I expect that I’ll be getting another text for me to cover for someone in the next few days.

Too Bad, I’m not coming in anymore until Monday. It’s great that I’m considered reliable, dependable but I will not allow this workplace to be the death of me. Hire a few more associates that want to work because I can’t cover for everbody all of the time while nobody covers for me.

 

 

 

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