What I worry about . . .

I have a wonderful wife, and I know I’m lucky to be with her. That said, there is one thing that drives me nuts. She’s a work-a-holic.

Because she works for the state at a university library, she is allocated 2.5 days of vacation time per month. Plus, because she’s salaried, and occasionally is called on to work evening or weekend shifts at the Reference Desk, she is allowed to accumulate “compensation time” that she can take to offset the not-normal hours she works.

Between the two of them, we’ve estimated that she currently has enough down time available to not go to work for the next 6 months and still have a job. But instead of taking a proper vacation, she takes one day here, converts a 3-day weekend to a 4 day weekend there, and absolutely refuses to consider giving herself a break if there is any meeting happening anywhere on campus that she might need to go to. “Responsible” doesn’t even begin to define her. Responsible employees keep their jobs. She consistently gets “Excellent” evaluations.

The problem, from my point of view, is that she’s working herself into the ground. She’s always tired, has a perpetual “dry cough”, and seems to never actually relax. Even when she’s sitting at home in the evening, she feels she has to be doing something – bringing the checkbook up to date, or looking at her mail, or . . . whatever.

Recently I suggested that she might abate this a little bit by just leaving work 1 hour early every day, so that she could get all those “little things” done before supper, and just relax in the evening. She agreed it would be a good idea. That was 2 weeks ago, and she has only left before 5pm (1700) just once.

I don’t know what to do about it. I know I can’t do anything except suggest ideas; it will be on her to actually use them. You’d think that after 15 years, I’d be used to this, but it still bugs me.

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2 thoughts on “What I worry about . . .

  1. Anita Warren says:

    Does she read this? Does she know you are saying this? Does she consider her situation
    a problem?

    • Yes, she reads this. Yes, she does know I’ve said this – I’ve been saying it to her for years. She acknowledges that there is a problem, but only pays lip service to doing much of anything about it. The one real vacation she gives herself is during the holiday break at the end of December – between the days the school is closed and the extra days she takes, she MIGHT end up with 10 days off.

      I did manage just now to twist her arm a bit. She asked me about your comment on the blog, and I showed her that, this reply, and the 2 private emails you sent. She got speculative, and said it sounded good. While I had her thinking of “doing something for herself” I also suggested that a short-term idea would be to just take one day off and use it at a day spa. Get a facial, an hour-long massage, mani-pedi. Treat herself like the special person I know she is. You should have seen the size of the smile THAT suggestion got. I think she’s going to contact you privately about the other matter.

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