“What we’ve created- Winning at work, losing at home”
July 16, 2021
It was finally Friday again! The weeks seemed to be getting longer as time went on, but maybe I’m just getting older. As I picked up my briefcase and started to head out, I saw my boss Todd approaching. I remembered that a year ago he had seemed so intimidating, but now I felt as if we were good friends.
“Are you ready to get out of here for the weekend?” Todd asked.
“Good to see you, Todd.” I replied. “I was just heading that way now.”
“Well, I don’t want to hold you up too much. I just wanted to tell you what an excellent job you’ve done with the Jameson Project.” Todd smiled before continuing. “You’re one of my best employees, I don’t think we could have accomplished so much without you.”
“Thank you, that means so much to me!” I beamed.
“Like I said,” continued Todd “I don’t want to hold you up, but the client does want a small change. Would you mind staying for a few minutes and fixing things up?”
“Of course, I’m always happy to help.” I replied as I set my briefcase back down.
Todd turned around and left, and I think I heard him say thanks. I texted my wife Anne to let her know I would be a little late for dinner and sat down at my desk to work.
It was more than a few minutes when I finally walked to my car to head back home. I was a little annoyed; the client was asking for some major changes. But Todd probably thought I could handle it quickly, since he was so confident in me. My annoyance melted away as I slid into my cushioned leather driver’s seat. My work has been so good to us. There are sacrifices I have to make, but we would have never been able to afford this car, the new house and all the wonderful things we’ve filled it with. Anne doesn’t have to work anymore and our daughter Claire has so much room to play and grow. As I thought about these reasons to be grateful, I arrived home.
Things felt a little off when I came in. Claire usually comes running and latches on to my leg and I hear Anne welcome me home. The house was dark, and I couldn’t hear anyone.
“Hello?” I asked tentatively.
Finally, I heard something shuffling towards me. I tensed up a bit until the lights came on and I saw Anne, already dressed for bed.
“Hi hon” she said with a yawn.
“Why are all the lights off?” I asked confused. “Are you not feeling well? Where’s Claire?”
I saw my wife’s face tense, and she stared at me for a moment before replying. “Do you know what time it is?”
I glanced at the clock on the wall. Oh.
“I had to make Claire eat to go to bed” Anne continued. “She’s stayed up every night this week waiting until you got home. Her teacher says she’s falling asleep in class and waiting to eat this late isn’t good for her.”
“I’m sorry love.” I said as I started my apology. “I’m very tired, and I know you must be too. There’s been so much going on this week with our deadline, and then the client wanted us to make changes. I hadn’t realized that…”
Anne cut me off, a rare occurrence, and started to raise her voice. “No, you never ‘realize’. You’ve had this position for a year, impossible deadlines and clients asking for changes is something that happens every week.”
“Anne, I’m really sorry. Tomorrow, I’ll make it up to you and Claire. I know this extra work has meant sacrifices, but our future is going to be secure, and soon we can relax. We’ll have the money so we can take that vacation you wanted and-”
Anne cut me off again “Would you even be able to enjoy it? You’re always tired, you look weaker everyday, you’re neglecting your health, and your mind is always on work. If you truly ever get the time to relax, you won’t have the energy to enjoy it! It's like you’re not even part of our lives anymore!”
I started to reply but just then my phone buzzed, distracting me. Anne yelled she was going to bed and ran off. I stood there for a moment thinking about what she said. Why was this suddenly happening? Was I really so involved in my work? I looked down at my phone.
“I’m sorry to message you so late, but can you come in tomorrow for a little bit? The client isn’t happy with the changes. Thanks! 😊” – Todd.
How did I let this happen? Was it worth all this?
It was time for things to change, they had to! But how?...
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