Friday, September 21, 2012
I don't know how some moms do it, keeping kids happy and house clean and running a million errands and still have time to blog every day or even turn on the computer every day. I was talking to a friend today while our kids played on the playground and we both came to the agreement that we feel guilty when we turn our attention to the computer or technology for even a moment in the day. Is this normal? Do other mothers feel this way? And if not, how do you not? I know we are supposed to have alone time and take care of ourselves but when does it become okay to do that? I have been thinking a lot about this since I recently became a stay-at-home mom. It has been a month and I am still adjusting and coming up with a routine for my kids and myself. I am trying not to be that overbearing mother who's kids are all stressed out because I have them doing simple math and reading and writing by the time they are 3. However I do want them to be active and smart so where is the balance? I refuse to be that mother that has my kids in a million activities that overwhelm their day but that just means I have to keep them busy in other ways. We make sure to read books every day and build some sort of fort or block tower every day. We play with cars while learning/practicing colors. We go outside. We color and/or paint. We play music on our play instruments. We always listen to music. We make sure to eat meals together. We shop together. We take baths. We watch blues clues and Disney movies. And we play toys a lot. To me that seems like enough to fill a day yet sometimes I feel like I am running out of things for the kids to do. I see them look at me sometimes for more challenging activities or something new to do. What do I do with a almost 4 year old and almost 2 year old that doesn't cost a ton of money? These questions are what my focuses are lately. I want my kids to be challenged and know that they can do anything that they put their minds to. I want them to be risk takers and to never accept defeat. I want them to be leaders and righteous human beings. I just hope I am doing all that I can to make sure they feel that way.
Monday, September 3, 2012
Let's start at the beginning so I can always remember how far I have come. In 2002 I started working at the Olive Garden. I loved it immediately. I had great bosses and the people were wonderful. I worked for less than a year because I graduated massage school and wanted to work in that field. Well a couple years went by and massage didn't work out. I moved back to Utah and started working for the same General Manager Travis Ballingham at the Olive Garden again. It was just like old times. This time around I made some of my best friends though. Alex Doria will always be my guy. Jesseca is my girl. Jaclyn, Bryson, Tate, Jules, Lee, Wilson, Hess, Jac and Josh, Cheryl,Josh, Anika Trent, Jim. I could go on and on. We had some good times and work was always a joy. I got the opportunity to travel to Alaska so I took it which mean't leaving the OG again but I knew I would be back. Wrong! I met Richard and decided to make Alaska my home for the next two years. I did however come back after that. My last time back to the restaurant was July 2009. I went right back to doing my old jobs (bartending, take-out and serve). It was a little different but mostly the same. I was appreciated. I had a great relationship with my manager Dave Rigby and he trusted me to do quite a bit. I even started the track to management. I had a setback when I got pregnant with Madison but decided to go back in it again. We got new management in October of 2011 and all hell broke loose. Now I know each manager is different but this was almost a slap in the face. She came in and changed everything. No one is happy at work. She is a micro-manager which is my least favorite type (and frankly I don't think can work in a restaurant setting). She turned the restuarant upside down. Employees that have worked there for years are finding jobs elsewhere, employees are quitting and getting fired for stupid reasons. It was just exhausting to go to work especially if she was there. Her other managers are fantastic but she makes their lives hard too. A blessing came into my life in May 2012 when we found out I was pregnant again. I knew that with this mean't I would be able to take off some time after the baby was born and have a break from this wretched place called work. ( I know what you're thinking, why didn't I just quit) I had insurance through work, I had a retirement plan, I had years and I was pregnant, no one would hire a pregnant lady and give her insurance so I had to stay. So I stayed and worked through it. I moved back to take out full time in June and was happy there, but that just mean't I was interacting with the managers more. I saw too many faults up there; the way the other employees were treated, the way the bar was handled, the way the CT's were not being utilized and the way the restaurant was falling apart. Because I had been with the company for so long, I knew how it should be run. It really just broke my heart to see it run so poorly. It was all about numbers and money instead of employee relations and guests. My next blessing came August 14th. I was working with my favorite employee Jake Porter. We were talking about how people don't do their jobs but yet talk about each other like they are better than one another. An employee by the name of Ryan Honeyman came up and he was the one of talking about Jake. We discussed it and Jake decided confront him. Ryan immediately thought it was me and started yelling at me in profanities and calling me inappropriate words. I decided not to do anything about it because we never work together and honestly I didn't want to waste my time. So I left it alone. Well that following saturday Aug. 18th it happened again but this time it was worse. There was a misunderstanding and because I was at work, i was involved and knew what was going on, so Ryan decided to call me on the work phone and again yell at me in profanities and call me names. I lost it. I couldn't breathe, I could barely speak, I was hyperventilating. I went off in front of the manager that was present and he was confused. He had no idea what was going on. Jake filled him in on everything. Richard was there too and Jake told him everything. That led to Richard getting mad and the manager taking action. However, this manager wasn't the general manager so he couldn't fix it. It had to be the GM which by previous paragraphs is not exactly my favorite person. So we went about our shift and got through it. I for sure thought I would be called into the office to speak to the GM the next day. Oops, I was wrong. I went to work on Tuesday and nothing. I was starting to get really mad. I went home that day after work and basically begged Richard when I could quit. We had decided that I would work through September 8th just so he could get used to school. So I was excited. I planned on telling them my next shift which was on Thursday, in two days. Well that all changed. I gave up my shift because frankly I didn't want to work. The GM ended up calling me on Thursday asking me when we could chat, like it was a casual thing. I was astonished. I said to her, "I didn't want to do this over the phone but I am giving my notice", she then tried to sound all sad and say "oh, that's probably best for you, and your family" The conversation went on for about 5 minutes with her saying things about me having a big family and it's where I want to be and blah blah blah. It really took the cake when she then said "well I can take you off the schedule next week, because Ryan needs shifts" Can you believe she would say that to me? I said fine. I will work saturday and be done with this place. I hung up the phone and was speechless. She had the audacity to speak his name like that like nothing. She didn't care, she never cared. I went to work on saturday and it was weird. She kept trying to be nice to me and I finally just looked at her and said "Stacey, I am not quitting because I am pregnant, I don't need to be home, I can still physically work, I am quitting because of you, I am leaving because you don't care and because I can't work in this environment anymore. So please stop trying to be nice to me, because I will never have to see you again" That felt really good and I never spoke to her again. I am truly blessed to be home with my babies and be the mother and wife that I want to be. I am just heartbroken the way it ended and the fact that nothing was done about Ryan Honeyman and he still works there and how he is just going to find another girl to do this too. Richard is the real hero here, he made it possible for me to stay home. He is making it possible for me to make this home into the haven I want it too be. He is a good man. And I can only hope that I make him and my children proud.