Thursday, August 19, 2010

Stress Relief - Finally!

I usually try not to blog about the specific happenings of my job too often. Rants about inconsiderate customers? Sure. But I try to keep "work stories" to a minimum since a) my blog is public & someone I work with could read it & b) I don't want it to feel like my work is overtaking my blog like I feel like it overtakes my life most of the time. But I do have an encouraging story for today.

For the past couple of months, work has been a beast. Once I hit about 15 or 16 weeks pregnant, I started to feel the physical affects of my job. Photographing (ie, running around & being on my feet) for 9 hours a day for 2 - 3 days a week was getting very tiring & was making me very sore. After a little while, I started to feel like it was affecting the quality of my work. I brought this to the attention of both of my bosses - the general manager & the company owner - & found that I actually ended up gaining more shooting time each week rather than having my burdened eased since a replacement wasn't found on time for an employee who quit around the same time that I was starting to need to slow down. How awesome.

Despite the fact that I was angry & sore all of the time & never ever wanted to go into work again, I just kept trucking along.

I stayed for two reasons:

a) David & I have been working out a good way to save money for when the baby arrives & me quitting my job would only make that harder & possibly start to deplete what we'd saved much sooner than we'd hoped.

b) As the manager of my studio, my work picks up the tab for my health insurance, which has amazing maternity benefits.

So I just kept sucking it up. I tried to take it easy as much as possible & all of my employees have been pretty considerate, but it was hard. It was especially hard having my manager schedule me a full 9-hour shooting day on Friday followed by a full 9-hour shooting day on Saturday, which are our two busiest shooting days of the week most of the time.

So yesterday, my boss calls me so we can make sure that the schedule that she just made for my store would work out with what we've got going on next week. We'd just hired a new photographer & needed to now work her into our schedule. I look at this new schedule & realize that my 30 hours (out of my required 40 for the week) of recently normal shooting time just plummeted down to 5. Five hours for the whole week? That would mean that my other 35 working hours would consist of photo sales & retouching & other such easy, easy things. I told her, "Wow. You must love me!" & explained why I thought so, to which she said, "I don't try to be mean on purpose," in reference to the crazy schedule she'd been giving me. Then she proceeded by saying, "Speaking of the hours you've been working recently..." and went into how grateful she was for how I'd never called in sick, didn't really complain & was consistently doing my job very well despite the fact that I was pregnant & that she knew that this was hard on me. My brain went into slight shock. She's not the world's worst boss by any means, but she isn't the type to roll into an "I'm grateful" speech, either. It was really nice to hear that!

Even though I love shooting more than anything & definitely could handle more than 5 hours of shooting a week, I'm not going to complain one bit about my "vacation" next week. I just hope that more weeks end up this nice!

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