If you don’t want to hear me bitch about my job and my lack of time off, you can skip this post.
On our second date nearly eight years ago, my wife and I discussed what we wanted out of a relationship. We both agreed that we wanted to travel and were looking for someone who would be a travel partner and playmate. I think we both found that. I was semi-retired at the time and living off my pension and a small income from my business.
After a couple of months of dating, we decided to consolidate households and moved in together. Once that happened, she told me that she didn’t want to go off to work every morning knowing that I was going to be having fun all day, and made a proposal.
The proposal was that I would get a job, and the income from that job could be used for us to travel. Since she was a teacher, I got a job teaching so that our days off would match and we could spend that time with each other.
It was a great idea. We enjoy each other’s company, and there is no one that I would rather spend my time with. I know that it is a cliché, but my wife honestly is my best friend. We once did a 54 day road trip together where we drove from Florida to Seattle, took a cruise to Alaska, then drove back. Two months of driving and travelling most of the USA, and not one argument or fight. In six and a half years, we saw 14 foreign countries and 48 states. We took long weekends to places like Savannah and Niagra Falls. We took 3 or 4 cruises a year, went on longer vacations and road trips, plus a trip to Europe and one year, we spent Christmas in Hawaii.
From the time we moved in together up until this year, we have only slept apart five times: Two nights when I went to a teaching conference in South Florida that was required by my employer, and three nights when my wife had to go help her brother in NY move after his live in girlfriend left him.
Until COVID it was a great idea, that is. The new stuff happening with COVID and all of the other nonsense centered around the election made me want to leave teaching, so I did.
The job I took was supposed to be 3 days a week, and since I was to be the supervisor, I was the one who was going to write the schedule. That sounded sweet. I could work a lot when the wife was working, then work less during school breaks and we could travel.
Two weeks after I was hired, a mass exodus happened. Mostly because employees were angry that an outsider (me) was hired to be in charge. They each felt that THEY should be the one in charge. Within two months, a 14 person department saw three resignations and four transfers. Now there are only seven people left. They tried to hire more people, but one of the ones they wanted to hire wasn’t qualified, yet they wanted to pay him more than I was making. I threw a royal fit and went to HR. They withdrew the offer to employ him, but that royally pissed off my boss. So now I am no longer the one writing the schedule. They took that from me and now have a nurse from another unit writing the schedule.
Now I am working five and six days a week, 12 hours a day. My average is now more than 60 hours a week. It seems like I am always either at work or getting ready to go to work. Since the last week of April.
Back in the first week of June, I managed to get them to schedule me for four 12 hour days for two weeks in a row, with six days off in the middle. I used that to go to Las Vegas. When it was time to come back, my wife said that she didn’t want to cut her time there short because I had to go back to work, so her mother took my place and they spent another week in Vegas. While I was working.
My wife was home for a week, and then left again. This time, she went with her parents, her brother, and some of their friends to Maine, where we have a fishing cabin and a boat. (We used to go there every year to go fishing. Until last year. We didn’t go.) She has been there for a week. I had today off, but I spent it working around the house and getting my laundry done. I was OK until my brother in law’s best friend sent me pictures of my wife winning everyone’s money at the poker table in the cabin.
In two weeks, I have 6 days off in a row coming, because I went to the scheduling nurse and told her that I wanted as many days off in a row as she could give me, essentially begging for the days off that I was promised when I was hired. All in all, I got a week in Vegas and a week in Maine this summer , and spent the rest of it at work. My wife got all but a week travelling and having fun.
So to sum it up, my wife and I had a relationship built on travel and fun for seven years. I got a job so we would have extra money to facilitate that and all was well. Then I changed jobs, so now her life is still about travel and fun, and mine is about work.
This doesn’t mean that I am unhappy with the marriage, just the opposite. I still love and want to be with my wife and I miss being able to spend time with her and do the things we used to do. I don’t blame her for going places- if she were here, all she would be doing is sitting around the house while I was at work. I know she isn’t cheating on me- she is with her family. I just don’t like being here working every day while I could be out having fun with my favorite person.
I know that something has to change. I cannot keep up the number of hours that they want me to work. I can’t spend all of my time at work while my wife gets to have all of the fun. Life is too short for that shit.
This summer is shot and over, so going back to teaching right now will not put that spilt milk back in the bottle. I am not doing this for another summer, though.