Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Other Half

Since I lost my job back in November, I've gotten a chance to see how the other half lives.  The half that work and don't have employee benefits that is.  I'm grateful to have my contract position but this position comes with zero benefits.  No vacation, no sick days, no health insurance...and to add insult to injury, I'm paying for my own parking.  So certain circumstances have come up since I started this position that before I never gave a second thought to because I had sick days and vacation.  My husband is retired Navy so hooray we have health insurance.  Anyway....
My son got sick and couldn't go to school.  I had to go to work.  No work. No pay.  Staying home just wasn't an option.  I suppose I could have, but that would have been a day's wages gone so I'm blessed that an elderly neighbor was able to care for him that day.   So next, I was sick.  I have back problems which are disconcerting to me since I think I'm too young to have back problems but I do. I was in lots of pain.  The kind of pain that makes you want to take some narcotics and sleep kind of pain but again....no work. No pay. So I loaded up on the recommended maximum of ibuprofen and stuffed a heating pad in my bag and off I went.
This summer although hot and muggy has been what I would call perfect beach weather and with zero vacation days I haven't made it to the beach once....about now someone is thinking.  "What are you doing with your weekend?"  The answer is cleaning.  I have a one hour commute each way so I'm out of the house at 7:30 and I'm not  back in the house until 6:30 pm.  After dinner, bath for the kiddo and the required snuggle time for the boy.  I'm not thinking about anything but bare necessities during the week.  Weekends are for cleaning and laundry.
What got me thinking and wanting to write about this is that during my walk today I got all weepy and emotional because I haven't had time to do anything fun with my boy this summer.  We've seen a couple of movies but that's it....he hasn't complained but then again just because I'm not having a great summer doesn't mean he isn't.  I'm blessed that his best friend's family have sort of adopted him.  They have taken him on overnight trips with them and he was able to go to summer camp with the help of a campership this year so my boy is not missing out, but I miss him and it's got me weepy today.

So when I get another position with benefits I won't forget this period in my life when I had to do without and I'll remember that there are lots of people out there working without them and understand exactly what they are going through because to be honest I didn't have a clue before.

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