I understand, most folks will not understand the title. Those who had the privilege of growing up with me, will. We used to have this poem we said,it went something like.."Tied on the railway tracks,said Humm.. train coming..said Humm...Train ran over me...said Hummm." In my mind, this was basically something that would be said when crazy stuff happened, that a person had no control over, you just had to wait till the train ran you over, and hoped that you survived.
Today, that poem kept going through my head. I feel like my buddy and I are simply tied to the railway tracks.
Years ago, because we had worked at our jobs longer than those who would flitter in and out, our wages were a few dollars more than the average worker. Now those dollars were hard earned, we both started at minimum wage back in the day, and I think we can honestly say, we have worked for each and every raise we have received. I admit, we do make a decent wage, the job is hard, and in truth, worth every penny we make. I can go home after a days work, and feel that I have given my employer their monies worth of my labour.
O.K. perhaps there have been a few days, and, really, only a few, that I may have "made puppies" for a couple of hours, but, those have been very seldom in the past 2 years. I admit, I enjoy having the "puppy" time, it is unusual, and such a pleasure to not feel strapped for time, to get everything done. But, to be totally honest, I feel guilty when this happens, I do not expect to receive money for nothing (unlike Dire Straits). I have taught myself to begin my days attempting to complete as much as possible before lunch break, just in case the unexpected occurs, and things are added to my To-Do list. Sometimes I will finish early, but most times, there is always something extra I could do if I wanted to finish at the regular time.
Times have changed, we now have a few others who have been with us longer than a couple of months. Before the raises, I could understand(sometimes) why everyone did not feel the urge to commit as much effort as my partner and I , since we did in fact make more in wages. I wondered if the others realized how long it took the two of us to get to our rate of pay, how many years we worked making far less than they did, doing far more. We were the pioneers, learning what was expected, getting in trouble for mistakes, learning the easiest way to do jobs, in the quickest way. Ensuring that we did not constantly get complaints for jobs not done properly, working sometimes 9 hours a day, 11-13 days in a row. This is NOT done by anyone now. There is no need, but there is still the need to do our share. Yes, we used to have the unspoken rule, when one of us finished our work load, we would check to see if another needed help, because they got a sudden bad strip, or had an abundance of weeklies. This was done, because we had all got stuck overworking, we understood how tired another would be, and we had to be considerate of our co-workers, because we knew, the next day, it might be ourselves that needed their help.
Fair is fair, right? Now we are all in line with our wages. With the raise in pay, comes the expectation to give the employer what they are paying for. Do I feel I have to accept more work on my plate for the raise I received? No!!! No, I don't!!! I feel what I have been given in in line with the performance I have given for the past years, without the extra money. I will continue to work at the same pace, because I know I am giving all I have (90% of the time).
The problem now is, what about the rest of the employees? Do my partner and I have to continue working at the same pace we do, and end up, once again, as the idiots, working our butts off ensuring all the work gets done, tip toeing about without ruffling any feathers?
I have decided that once again, I will bring up the word "Consideration". I complained in the past about the lack of this from my employer, and that, bad as it can be, is nothing like feeling this lack from co-workers. We need to consider those who work beside us. We all have lives outside of work, we all have good days and bad days, but, without each other, the job would be impossible. We are friends in respect that we actually like each other, and we are the only ones who truly understand what our jobs consist of. I know what it is like to have sudden surprises in a work day, and I want to be able to offer my co-workers assistance on a bad day. But, I don't want to continually do my share, and then have to step in and help complete that of a co-worker because they did not make proper use of their time. I am tired of taking a large clump, to ensure another gets something that is small enough that they can waste time each and every day. I want some puppy making time once in awhile, too. We are a close group, we understand everyone can have a bad day, and we accept that, and it is a simple thing to support a co-worker when these days happen. But..we also expect something in return. If each of us can return the support, and if all of us can count on the other, the disappointment and hurt, will not dissolve into anger and resentment.
I can't believe I am going to write this, but...I am far too old, and far too tired to waste anymore energy on being mad at someone. Oh, don't worry, I will continue to blog my guts out, but, I like to stay on my fine wire...and I am afraid I am getting a little wobbly right now.