Sunday, October 18, 2009

Major Meltdown Avoided

JP's work schedule has really been taking its toll on our family.  For the majority of our marriage he has not had a "normal" work schedule, I guess if I say "normal" then he has never in our marriage had a "normal" work schedule, but for a period of time he did have one that was totally live-able.  But the one he's been working for the past two years has been really hard.  He's gone all night 4 days a week, and then home 3 days a week, trying to join in on a normal daytime routine.  His mind, body, and spirit have suffered.  His wife, children, and home have suffered.  There have been two things that are good that have come from this job:  We are now able to pay our bills on time and in full and have a small surplus, and he has thus far been able to attend church on Sundays. (I don't know what he's going to do when we move to 8:30 church in January.  I'm a little nervous about that.)  Those are two really good things that we haven't always been able to do.

So a change of schedule has been a subject of discussion, even prayer.  Its not as simple as just putting in a request and somebody either approving it or denying it.  A shift change means new leadership, new team-mates, even a change in scope and focus of work. None of that is particularly desirable to JP, but a happy family is desirable, so he's been willing to consider the change, should an opportunity come his way.

Keeping in mind that I am nearly desperate for a change, imagine how I felt when as we walked out of a movie on Thursday night (Couples Retreat, if you like Vince Vaughan being Vince Vaughan and are in the mood for something inanely silly, go for it, we laughed out loud several times.) and JP answered a phone call from one of his work buddies who had a "dilemma".  The dilemma was he was being offered a job on the Swing Shift.  (still night-ish work, but home by 1:00am).  Frank is, so far as I can tell, JP's BFF at work.  Its Frick and Frack, Tweedledee and Tweedledum, the Two Musketeers, Zoro and Tonto ( I think they take turns being the horses-ass).  JP was disappointed that his friend would be leaving the squad.  I sat silently in the car trying my hardest not to cry as I was feeling totally and completely slapped in the face by God.  I honestly felt like he was saying "I heard you, and this opportunity has come up, but you are not deserving so I'm going to give it to one of your friends."  I felt like the little kid who had to look on as her siblings ate ice-cream as she stared at her bowl of cream of broccoli soup she didn't want to eat.  I felt angry.  But I did control myself and remembered that Frank just got married 2 weeks ago and is trying to blend families and really probably needs this opportunity more than we do.

And then...

JP came home this morning and said "guess what?"  Frank's not leaving, they gave the opening to that woman we can't stand.

So here, this poor guy who just got married, who's wife I can only imagine was excited beyond belief that they would get so lucky for a more normal schedule two weeks into their marriage, who had actually agonized over whether to even take the transfer, and ultimately decided to take it because it was what was good for his family, had to go in to work to be told "oh, we gave it to someone else"...and that someone else is generally considered to be a free-loader who collects a paycheck. (Probably she had a superior who was ready to get rid of her.)

And that is where the major meltdown was avoided.  If that opportunity had come to JP, and he had accepted it, and then came home to tell me that a lazy, can't be trusted, inefficient, and possibly even incompetent person had been selected instead, there would have been a nuclear bomb gone off in my head.  The shattering disappointment would have been felt for miles around me.

And so, for once, I don't have to look back years, but only days to see that sometimes, our greatest blessings are the one's that feel like unanswered prayers.


Kristina P. said...

Man, work and schedule stuff is hard! I hope that he gets to move shifts at some point.

ramsam said...

Just hang in there, I know everyone says that, but it all makes sense as thing things come together.

I bet you will find out even more blessings in this as time goes on.

Lara said...

I really love your perspective. I am glad that you can see it that way.

Hopefully your husband will get a change of schedule...maybe even with Frank. Good luck!

Vanessa said...

I guess everything happens for a reason as they say. Dang it!

And...I love me some VV. He made that movie somewhat ok.

The Wixom Zoo said...

I hear you! I can't wait until a normal work schedule happens for us either, but am thankful for all of those answered prayers that were answered differently than I thought they would be. Hang in there!

Heidi said...

Bad news... I am pretty sure church will be at 8 am not 8:30.