My Experience Working for the Holidays and Not Seeing Family for the First Time

Being the poor college student that I am, I decided to seek more part-time work with better pay and better opportunities. Understanding that I’d get hired as a seasonal worker wherever I applied, I knew I needed to keep the job I already have and just work it less than a new job.

Finding a new job, I got really excited to get paid more to work, something I’ve been looking forward to for some time. When I got through my secondary interview and was hired, I knew I was gonna be so much happier making more money, as I was craving change and needed something new.

I’ve never had to work two jobs before and I didn’t prepare myself for the stress that I was about to face.

On my first day at orientation, I was shown actual training for about 15 minutes and was then yanked away to complete more hiring process paperwork and computer registration work. This was gonna be a long day.

Today though, I’m more efficiently trained and have already worked a hectic holiday.

And here is where the story begins.

This year for the Thanksgiving holiday, I was invited to travel with my parents to South Carolina to visit with some family that I haven’t seen in a good year or two. I got excited at the opportunity and started looking forward to it. We’d be stopping in Georgia as well, a place that I’d love to call my second home. I was enlightened.

Only then did I remember that I was hired as a seasonal worker and that Black Friday was going to be a crazy blowout. Retail on Black Friday means all hands on deck.

Starting to get disheartened, I impatiently waited for my schedule to come out that included Thanksgiving and Black Friday. When I saw it, my heart sank.

Seeing that I was scheduled to work on the night of Thanksgiving, a nationally recognized holiday, made my day completely turn around. I knew all along that this was a possibility, but was hoping to good Heaven that it wasn’t true.

Needing the hours for work, I also decided to take a shift the morning of Black Friday. My shift the night before was a closing shift, meaning I’d get less than 4 hours of sleep that night in between.

This meant that I couldn’t even see my parents at all this year for Thanksgiving, something I’ve never had to endure before.

To make matters worse, I also was without my boyfriend or roommates for the weekend as they collectively traveled home to visit family for the holiday, as to be expected. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do. The real answer to that was: nothing.

At this point, I had to come to appreciate that I could still FaceTime my parents and say Happy Holidays to them, wishing them the best. Beginning to assume I’d be completely alone with only my cat, I planned for a sad and boring day full of sulking and self-reflection.

But boy did I get lucky when a close friend invited me to have a truly traditional Thanksgiving dinner with her and her family. This made my attitude completely turn around and put a huge smile on my face. Getting to spend my Thanksgiving with friends and their family while having a yummy feast was a true highlight to my weekend full of work.

Having to work two jobs, I haven’t had a day off yet in nearly two weeks. When I checked to see that I worked the entire weekend at my new job, I prepared for craziness and sore feet from standing and walking.

Although now, here I am, on the other side.

I’ve successfully worked my first Black Friday/Thanksgiving Day time of the year and didn’t completely hate myself or my job while there. Pleasantly and to my surprise, the turnout wasn’t nearly as bad as I anticipated for it to be. Being able to FaceTime my parents before going into work on Thursday evening also helped, as well as the fact that I knew I’d be making time-and-a-half that night. The aftermath was a recovery process, but we all survived.

Since my holiday celebration ended so nicely, I can’t sit here and say that I’m upset that I didn’t get to physically be with my parents this year for Thanksgiving. I got to talk to them and hear their voices and see their faces. I get to see my boyfriend and my roommates again very soon.

I’m a happy gal and have a life, people, and family to be thankful for. I was blessed this year.

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