Friday, September 10, 2010

A Different Perspective

I was recently given two job offers. While, in the past, I might have jumped at either one of them, this time I was forced to look at them from a new perspective.

As a part of the back-to-school / having kids plan, I am currently waiting tables at the Cheesecake Factory while my wife stays home with our two infants.

Generally, I am a morning person, and would prefer to work 7-3 if at all possible. But given the current circumstances, the gig waiting tables is actually quite agreeable. When given a "day" shift, I don't go in until almost noon, which is very helpful for my wife as she isn't left to fend for herself during the morning hours.

While at first my body was screaming "it's past our bedtime!!" every time I had to work late, after five months, I've finally gotten used to the routine of staying up late and even sleeping in a little.

My wife and I have always had separate health insurance plans because that was the least expensive option - let each of our employers subsidize our premiums individually. But now, as the sole earner for a family of four, health insurance premiums and the coverage they provide were a big factor in the decision making process. The difference between $300 a month and $800 a month is a big deal in our current budget.

Lastly, and perhaps the most important factor, was "Time Away from Home". My last job expected me to work six days a week and pull as many as 10 hours a day. Imagine my appreciation of a workplace (the restaurant) that doesn't want me to work more than 40 hours a week. Not to mention the complete absence of a commute. In my book, commute time counts as "time away from home".

Having a desk job (and back to back pregnancies) helped me to gain weight and reach a lifetime peak of 265 lbs. Not fun. After waiting tables for five months, I've lost 30 lbs - down to 235 lbs. I used to try to go to the gym at 5:30 am but it was nearly impossible.

As much as I hated to "go back to waiting tables", these job offers have made me realize that this is actually the right place for me to be at this time. It's hard to believe. My job is totally flexible, will allow me to go back to school, will provide pretty decent benefits, time at home, exercise, etc.


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