What we deal with as Americans
As the world slowly recovers from a world wide pandemic, people are returning to their places of work with varying degrees of expectations from their employers. There’s also a change in how we think about life outside of the 9-5. Many people were forced to slow down when before they never had that luxury.
According to an Article in the Washington Post, those in the United States are not entitled to any sort of paid vacation and most people are working more than one job. So this indicates that we are over worked and are given little in the way of time away. When I was in the military, I was entitled to 30 days of leave which I fully took advantage of.
I went to London, Glasgow, Rome. I enjoyed the privileges while I had them. Recently I got really sick and had to take a week to get better which ate up the vacation time I was saving to try and go down to Florida to see an old Navy buddy of mine. The differences are extreme from when I was in the military to now that I’m back in the civilian world.
The Guilt is real
Being in the military was stressful and I needed the time off to stop thinking about all the things that I had to deal with. Life working in retail is more trivial but also more emotionally damaging because I don’t get the luxury of recovering from a bad day at work. When a customer dumps their baggage all over me, I’m expected to just shrug it off and move on.
When other people take a vacation, the loss is felt all over the place. Corporations don’t afford that buffer room for when someone takes a couple weeks or months to deal with their personal lives and the store suffers for it. The person who is taking the time also feels it and the guilt comes down hard. So in comes the pandemic.
What Quarantine has taught me
When I came back from a few months at home, I found a landscape of people who couldn’t pick back up what they had previously dropped. Most people refused to come back and others just found any reason to move on with another job. It’s understandable when you’re working in a toxic corporation that would rather over work the few people who came back than hire new people to replace the ones they lost.
I also moved on to a different job. One that is more insulated from shutting down if another stay at home order was issued. I couldn’t afford staying at home, I didn’t qualify for unemployment and I had to spend my own savings on surviving. To say that the world is a harsh place in the United States is an understatement.
As more people come back to work, they’re demanding higher pay and more work/life balance. This is because many people found out that they didn’t have to just work themselves to death to break even.
Putting it all together
I diversified my income. As did many others in my situation. I got a roommate, I started doordash, I started writing for other blogs. I will not just be a retail worker on the brink of collapse, both mentally and physically. I feel the change in the air and I hope you do to.
There’s a lot of very negative things that came to light during the pandemic but there are a few positive things. Humans are great as adapting and surviving. I don’t want to be 80 years old and am just getting around to enjoying my vacations traveling the world so that’s why I have made an effort to do so. This is a growing trend in much of the younger generations and I welcome it, more people should go out and see the world while they’re still fit and able to do.
The current times are rough and uncertain but now that more people are finding their voice and standing up for their work rights, I feel like we will see a more prosperous place to live in. Eventually.