'I hear you want to take the 24th and 31st off' she stated as if it was something unheard in the history of mankind.
'Yes. I need to stay home and take care of my children as child care centres are closed those days' I replied. The one child care centre which was open was charging more for all three children than I would have been making per day. I did not think it was much to ask to take off Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve. Most places I have worked before would let us leave early that day anyway as nobody is really focused on work.
My original plan was to sign them up for the holiday camp at my gym and take those two days off. At the child care center which was open for the Eve days I would have had to pay much more. For the eight days of the children's Christmas holidays this would have amounted to $1500 in addition to the amount I would have had to pay for the week prior to that for afterschool care. This hardly seemed worth it seeing how I would miss out on being with them on their holidays for the sake of not bringing home any extra money.
'Since we will be covering a lot of material those days, you need to be there...from 8 to 5' she explained and then went on to tell me 'maybe December is not a good start for you...'. But the issue went beyond those two days as the shifts they had available for me after training would have me working up to my children's bedtime or starting before they left for school in addition to one weekend day.
Not wanting to take 'no' for an answer, I continued to explain my situation. She shot back by telling me there are other mothers in the company who make it work. I told her they most likely have husbands who can cover their time away from home and thus take care of the children in their wives' absence. But she did not wish to hear it.
Things happen for a reason. I get it. But sometimes when we are in the midst of it all we simply cannot see that particular reason. Perhaps I need to wait to start again next month. Perhaps working for such an inflexible company is not a good idea in the first place.
An hour after our call I wrote the lady an email asking her what would happen if my children got sick and there was nobody to take care of them. What would happen if the school called me to pick up my children in order not to infect the other children. 'Would I still have a job' I asked. I was playing devil's advocate, I realise, but this was an important question. There was no response.
When my children came home that afternoon we sat at the dining coffee table for our snack where I told them I would not be starting work on Monday. I explained to them some companies simply do not understand the meaning of family. I also told them it would take a while longer for us to be able to buy our house.
Sometimes we cannot see the reasons for something happening when it does. Sometimes we need to wait a little longer for the moment when all is revealed as things always happen for a reason.