Short Nights Lead To Short Temper

, , , | Right | December 4, 2017

(I work at my local ice arena as a facilities attendant. My duties are pretty much janitorial. I am responsible for cleaning the change rooms as soon as possible and as many times as needed, keep the place looking presentable, and once everyone’s gone, doing a mad dash to clean the remaining change rooms, bathrooms, lobby, and sweep and mop the bleachers. We’ve been short-staffed lately, and because of this, I’ve had to pull in extra shifts, including what we call, “short nights,” meaning working an evening shift [4:00 pm to 12:30 am], then a day shift [7:30 am to 4:00 pm]. Last weekend I actually had to work from 3:30 pm to 1:00 am, then get back to work by 6:30 am as there was a hockey tournament starting. This is a conversation between a parent and I.)

Parent: “Hey, miss?”

Me: “Yes? Can I help you with anything?

Parent: “Oh, no. I was just wondering, weren’t you here last night?”

Me: “I was, actually. We’re short staffed at the moment, so I don’t mind.”

Parent: “Wow! Even if you’re short-staffed, you shouldn’t have to come in this early!”

Me: “I really don’t mind. It’s been a steady grind, so as long as I don’t sit down, I won’t pass out from exhaustion.” *cue my awkward, dry, laugh*

Parent: “That’s stupid! Why haven’t you complained? Aren’t you protected under the Union?”

Me: “Actually, every single worker here HAS complained. We have begged and pleaded with the town to not book any games with a start time before 8:30 am, as hockey players tend to arrive 45 minutes before games start. Yet the parents yell at the coaches that they want earlier start times, and the coaches book it accordingly. It’s completely out of our hands. All we can do is show up, unlock the doors, and wait for all of you to leave so we can clean up the mess. Which, by the way, meant that we were here until 1 am last night.”

(At this point I recognize her as a b****y council member and get even more p***ed off.)

Me: “If you were actually interested in my well-being, you would bring it up in council meetings that town workers are being pushed too far because of ice bookings. You’d help us petition to have the latest ice time be the 9:00 pm to 10:00 pm slot, not all the way up to 11:45. You’d convince the other parents to ask for a slightly later morning slot, instead of one that means I have to wake up at 5:30, after less than two hours of sleep, to get here at 6:30 to unlock doors. I know you don’t really care; you know you don’t really care. Now, please, it’s time for flood, and I have to help out with that.”

Parent: “…”

(I didn’t hear a peep from her the rest of the day. I think she told the other parents, as after that, everyone made sure that there was nothing for me to clean up afterwards. One of the other hockey team’s coaches also brought us coffee and muffins, as well, so that was a good boost. This weekend I have to pull another short night, with similar hours. Wish me luck.)

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