What a day… Twice reminded of the value of family and some annoying work stress

Wednesday is one of only two days every week when I see my son, so I was not impressed when the company director, who only shows up for the latter part of some afternoons at work, gave me some extra unexpected work to do.

It was a task that involved some SQL data analytics, and had to be finished today. Even though I emphasized the importance of my seeing my son to him, he didn’t seem to get it. He gave me a little pep talk about how a client that brings in a lot of money may leave if this isn’t done, and all our jobs could be on the line…

Here’s the thing: I enjoy my work, but it’s sole purpose is ultimately to enable me to support my family, especially my son. I treasure the time I get to spend with him, and he is one of the two primary reasons that I am clean and sober. I view anything that comes between me and my son as a burden. What it comes down to is this: If work threatens my time with my son, it undermines its very purpose. For me this is a serious dilemma; I need to stay in one job for a long time, after all the jobs I screwed up in active addiction before this, but there are other issues at work too. Anyway, things worked out well enough today and I managed to do the work in only thirty minutes after my usual home-time, but the stress of there being a possibility of not seeing my son this evening was something I was not prepared for. I’m not sure what to do about this, should it happen again. This is the only day of the week when I see my son, so it is unfair if this is threatened. At the same time, my job is important to me, and I do care about the company I work for, but the director should not be taking advantage. It’s his company, and if he wants to work day and night that’s understandable, but the same should not be expected of others, especially not me on Wednesdays.

[Edit: At least one other person was affected worse than I was. Our junior business analyst, in her first job, ended up working until 10PM last night; then got shouted and sworn at quite unfairly this morning. I might need to have a word with the boss, because it won’t help if he chases staff away… I like her; she’s the only one I can talk to openly around here.]

I did have a good evening with my son after all, and he again wanted to play Torchlight II. He played my character this time, so I had to help him a little, by drinking potions and hitting the hotkeys for some skills. I was at a very difficult section of the game, and the character could die quite easily. Actually I’ve just finished the game in normal difficulty, so am now starting from the beginning again, with my level 52 mage.

A second surprise was that my son was looking very much forward to seeing me. The last few months he was mostly negative, saying that he didn’t want to be here, but this time he said he wanted to come over last night already, and when I dropped him off he asked why he can’t see me tomorrow. Seeing him and having our bond get closer makes everything worthwhile.

The only difference between now and the last few months is that his mother and sister are away. He asks about his sister every day… his mother – not so much. I’m thinking that the reason he didn’t like being here was his mother, and I’m not sure why that is. He’s only seven years old but sometimes he is difficult to understand. I’ll have to try to nudge it out of him gently, but have a feeling it must have been something she said. Anyway, what matters is that her being away has turned out to be a blessing in disguise. (Except her daughter being away isn’t. I still dream about her precious little girl every night and miss her every day. She is, after all, the other primary reason that I managed to clean up.)

In other news, my TV is fucked, as of tonight. It froze, so I rebooted it, and now nothing works properly. There are endless Android error dialogs showing up, so it seems to be truly screwed. Since my son’s mother packed the booklet as well as the receipt somewhere, and I refuse to search for anything (because endless searching reminds me of a peculiar tweaking behaviour from my old days of meth use – more on that another time), I have been trying to reach her on the phone several times tonight to no avail. Very annoying. The TV is still under guarantee, so I need the receipt. (But the booklet would be handy too. Maybe there is a way of doing a factory reset?)

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