Home > Family, Humor, Los Angeles, Parenting, Personal, Work > My new job: more than a sucky commute

My new job: more than a sucky commute

I spent four and a half hours driving on Friday.

drivingMy new commute blows. I’m already well past the days of savoring a little traffic.

Usually I’ll “only” have to drive about three hours daily. Friday was a special day. What made it so special? To answer that, let me share with you my moment of revelation:

I’m in my nine-month-old’s classroom, pulling his daily necessities out of my bag. First comes his baby food. Check! Next comes his feeding bottles. Check! Then come his bottles of milk. Check? Nope. Of course they’re not there. They’re exactly where I left them: in their travel bag in the fridge. 

I quickly calculated how long it would take me to drive home and then back to preschool. Almost as quickly, I tapped out a note to my new manager explaining that I’d be late. Quite late.

juggling 5I didn’t feel too bad. As I wrote a few months ago, occasional forgetting isn’t really about parental brain cell loss. It has more to do having approximately 800 times more responsibilities to juggle. And only forgetting one thing my first week back? Score!

It didn’t hurt when my manager joked about it once when I finally reached the office. Or when one of my new coworkers joined in laughing and added, “I’ve been there! Actually, one time I left my daughter’s whole bag at home. Set it down for a second to get her in the car and didn’t remember it till I got to her day care a couple hours later.”

For this kind of understanding from both my manager and coworkers, I’ll endure an atrocious commute. Beside, I’m really enjoying my Spanish-learning time. I can already order una agua muy fria like a boss. I think.

The CDs aren’t telling me otherwise!

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  1. January 18, 2015 at 7:12 am

    What a relief that you had some understanding! I have had that occur a few times myself, but was not met with understanding. Made me resolve to be more understanding myself when this happens for others. Being a mom is hard enough!

    • January 18, 2015 at 7:19 am

      My mom was docked all the time for having to take care of unexpected tasks related to caring for me and my sibs! It always struck me as crazy, because that antagonism added stress that made it harder for her to do the job well.

      Walking away from interviews, I got the sense this manager would be extremely supportive, and that the organization enabled her to be. One week in, all signs point to yes, and I am so thankful!

  2. lishawrites
    January 18, 2015 at 7:17 am

    It’s quite a gift to have understanding folks around you. Congratulations on the new opportunity! Keep on keeping on, mama!

  3. Deb
    January 18, 2015 at 7:20 am

    I’m enjoying reading about the changes in your life. I am not enjoying (for you) the fact that 3 hours seems like an okay commute. 30 minutes was my max prior to being semi-retired, and even that was hard.

    • January 18, 2015 at 7:23 am

      Thanks! I’s not an OK commute, exactly, but more of an acceptable one in light of the circumstances. There is much I will endure for a gopd manager, and there is so much more than that going for my new job!

  4. January 18, 2015 at 7:36 am

    My management is awesome on the parenting sympathy. Kids are first in our office. So glad to see that others have the same experience!

    • January 18, 2015 at 7:47 am

      I wish more people could have that experience! Situations will arise as a parent. Being free to face them without stress/distresd makes it so much easier to focus on doing one one kick-butt job!

  5. January 18, 2015 at 7:36 am

    It is unfortunate you can’t do with your children what I do with my personal packing, keep everything by the clothes you will wear for the week already in the bag. In this way, I never forget any of the important stuff. Now, this does not mean I have not forgotten things that others might deem important, such as:

    1. A weeks worth of underwear. I did not go commando I found a store and bought some.

    There are other equally silly things I have forgotten. Don’t feel bad. I am glad you have found understanding in your new job!

    • January 18, 2015 at 7:50 am

      LOL! I used to worry about forgetting stuff when packing for trips home. The first time I had to buy stuff was actually a huge relief, as I realized packing perfection needn’t be attained for a pleasant trip. 🙂

  6. January 18, 2015 at 8:11 am

    It really is a gift when you have a workplace that’s family-friendly like that. Mine is very similar and I love both benefiting from it and paying it forward. Sure, sometimes someone has to drop everything and leave when we’re working toward a deadline, but we all take turns picking up each other’s slack. Even the couple of difficult personalities are supportive of family obligations. And the best part is – there is ZERO blowback. You know how most places, if you tell them you have to leave early / be late one day but you’ll get the work done from home (or whatever) they’ll say “yes” but there’s that not-very-well-concealed attitude when they do. Where I work – none of that.

    One time I was in the middle of a complicated, nasty project (with a deadline, of course!) when I got a call from my husband – “Our 2-month-old son got dropped on the floor and his head is swelling – we need to take him to the ER.” I called down the hall to my boss that I needed to take my baby to the ER and just ran out. I heard, “Let us know if he’s okay” behind me. After I left (I found out about this later), my boss came over to my cube, sat down in front of my computer, and picked up where I left off. And that could NOT have been easy! Later on, after we found out the baby was okay (a CAT scan, an overnight stay, and $5k later), my boss actually joked about it with me later.

    Another time, one of the associates had to leave early to go pick up his kids from daycare and it was my turn to do the work he had planned on doing – not a problem. So yeah, I could NOT be happier to have found the job I did.

    • January 18, 2015 at 11:54 am

      I was filled with joy reading this comment! I wish the bit about your boss stepping in and finishing your job would be published in management magazines. Could we please have this kind of supportive, collaborative environment be the norm?!

  7. January 18, 2015 at 8:20 am

    It is such a great thing to have a supportive manager and coworkers! When I was working and having to breast pump several times a day (due to Cody being a preemie and him not nursing much at all at that time), my manager was not very happy about. It really soured my experience with that company and I was more than happy to leave when the time came.

    • January 18, 2015 at 11:55 am

      “Soured my experience” is right! It would be nice to live in an ideal world where everything off the job was perpetually predictable and neat, but that’s not the world we live in. Life–and work–would be much less stressful if everyone could accept that.

  8. January 18, 2015 at 11:04 am

    Yuck, yuck, yuck. I driver 10 minutes to work and complain when I hit THE light wrong. How wonderful that your co-workers are understanding – that has to help.

    • January 18, 2015 at 11:56 am

      Haha, I still do that on the weekends. I’m trying to keep it in a little more often since I’ve noticed my impatience is rubbing off on the larger wee one!

  9. January 18, 2015 at 11:51 am

    I know it sounds awful, but what a great way to start the week! Nothing like getting confirmation that things will be ok, even if you are late!

    • January 18, 2015 at 11:58 am

      I actually ended the week this way, but the week started well, too. 🙂

      Those Spanish discs are a life-saver. I’m going to run out of those discs before the next, more comprehensive set comes in, so I ordered the quick-shipping conversational Japanese set to derustify my skills. Me+commute+learning discs=YES. Me+commute-learning discs=WHYOHWHYOHWHYOHWHYNONONO.

  10. January 19, 2015 at 12:56 am

    Thats quite a long time travelling, hope you have you have some Leonard Cohen as well.B

    • January 19, 2015 at 12:21 pm

      I once had Leonard Cohen, but that was before a burglary some years ago! Do you have a particular song in mind?

      • January 19, 2015 at 1:57 pm

        Tower of Love, Alexandra Leaving and If It Be Your Will – and if you cant find those just absorb some of the poetry of many other songs he has made. Bit of a fan. B

  11. myrapawleys
    January 19, 2015 at 7:38 am

    Reblogged this on myrasnewblog.

  12. January 19, 2015 at 3:51 pm

    That’s ok. Once while babysitting my oldest niece, I packed up everything, threw it into the car, looked in her car seat and thought to myself: Where the hell’s the kid? Thank God, she was safely seated in her high chair where I placed her before going outside. She’s now a highly successful business woman in Seattle, WA (no thanks to me!!!!) 🙂 You’re too funny! (And boy howdy do I remember my commute days to work, then to Grad school, back to home, etc.) I feel for you, Sweet Pea! Take care of yourself!!!! ❤ 🙂

    • January 21, 2015 at 8:37 pm

      Bwahahaha! It’s so good to read these stories and liken them to some of my own. I wonder what new ones have yet to unfold, long before they can be told? I chuckle at the thought. And, of course, at your comment. Thank you so much for the warmth and cheer this somewhat grumpy night!

  13. January 20, 2015 at 7:39 am

    Yup, Rick dropped off older daughter one morning and I picked her up in her pijamas. He remembered her bag and stuff, but just forgot to dress her!

  14. January 25, 2015 at 8:43 pm

    Oh wow, yeah, that’s inconvenient. I’m so glad your work environment is supportive! Hooray for that. Also, audio books? Audible.com? I think that’s what I’d do if I was in the car for that length of time.

  1. January 24, 2015 at 7:54 pm
  2. January 27, 2015 at 10:55 pm
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