One of the hardest issue I have come across while working in the hospitality industry has been finding the time to attend friends and family events. Unless given months, sometimes up to a year of notice, there is basically no chance I will be able to go. It’s very difficult, because I want to be there, I really do. Even when you do request days off, sometimes they are not given, and when they are you usually have, maybe, a weeks notice. So let’s say you do get the time off to, say, attend your friend’s wedding. There’s the chance that when you come back, your schedule has been filled by somebody else and management won’t change it back. There’s also the fact that you thought it was ok to take a weekend off, and now your commitment to your job and the company is questioned. Unfortunately, what I’ve come across time and time again is that the people who move up the ranks quickly, rarely take days off, and those who do feel it’s important to attend these special events are knocked to the back of the line.
This is the conundrum I’m finding myself in right now. One of my closest friends, since I could remember, is getting married. It’s a day my parent’s told me I could not miss; it’s important. The wedding’s a local affair, so it’s not like I have to travel far. However, it’s on a Friday, two weeks after we open our first restaurant and two weeks before we open our second. Oh, did I mention, I am the General Manager…of both? How can I even think to take a day off, let alone a weekend night?! Of course I won’t go, I really don’t have the choice, a lot of people are depending on me.
When I told my friend about my situation, she said, “nobody ever regrets going to a wedding, but people do regret not going.” It hit me and stuck with me. It makes it all that much harder, because I know I will regret not going. I know my friend who is getting married will be disappointed. I would be saving my working relationships and reputation, but at what cost?
BUT…I guess in the words of Charles Bukowski:
“Find what you love and let it kill you.”