Sunday, December 6, 2009

Hard Lessons

Well, I thoroughly overdid it this week and  it looks as if the next few weeks will be the same.  In a way it's my own fault- but on the other hand, it really can't be helped.  They downsized about a month ago at work.  We lost 3 full time people.  We also have two more who are out on medical leave.  That means that where we had 8 full time folks last year at this time- we now have three.  The work doesn't change no matter how many or few people we have so it has to be done. 

I work in a college bookstore.  This time of year is our "crunch time".  From the fall to the Spring semester we only have weeks to send back all of the fall books that are left and bring in all of the Spring semester books.  Obviously Spring to Fall is much easier as we have months. Last Monday when I got back from vacation- by the end of the day we had NINE pallets of books in our back room.  On top of that, our buyback is ramping up- next week is the major week for it and kids have been coming all week this past week to sell their books which has kept us hopping.  Because things have been so crazy, I have been going in to work between 6 and 6:30 and leaving between 6:30 and 8pm so that I can get things done before and after the store is open.  Yesterday, I spent four hours putting out new shelf tags for new orders and shifting books to make room for new ones.  Then, I spent 6 hours opening boxes and stocking shelves.  It is hard physical work.  I got a GOOD workout- which would be great for my weight loss efforts if I wasn't in so very much pain this morning.  The biggest problem is that we have deadlines.  This week I will be out of the store the majority of the day doing buyback in a different building-and the rest of the store will be doing the same thing on site so we won't get much done in the back room.  Next Monday we are having an open house for our faculty- by which time every book needs to be on the shelf.  Period.  I could easily go in today and work for another 10 hours and not be done.  And it is freaking me out. 

Now here is why it is on my head as well.  It would be very easy to just say that we don't have the time or people and let things go a little- but I just can't do it.  I feel like my store manager (who is out on med leave) my regional manager and our client are counting on me to make sure that service does not suffer in the wake of our personnel issues.  I also planned this very first faculty open house for our store.  It is so that we can network with the professors and show them that their books are here, as they ordered and that we are here to make their semester start smoothly.  I am trying to remedy the disconnect that has been in place for years and the last thing I want to do is fall on my face.  So,  I am feeling the pressure and that is driving me to over do it.  I just can't make myself let go and not be involved with every step because I feel like it is on my shoulders. 

What does this mean?  It means I have to make a choice to either let go- or live with the pain.  At this point I am choosing to keep going- but after this is over and after rush (which is our first few weeks of the semester-rush ends essentially Feburary 1st) it will be time for me to really reevaluate.  I know that next year- I cannot push myself like this- and that makes me fearful for my career. 

This has been a very difficult and eye opening lesson.  I am grateful to have it.  It is changing the way I see myself (what do you MEAN I am not invincible!?!) and my visions for my future.  I am only thankful that I have time to look at it and make whatever decisions will serve me and my body best.  I am also thankful that I have the week of Christmas off to recover before heading right back into rush. 

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