To begin, at many of my previous jobs I’ve been able to leave at the end of my shifts whenever I felt like it. There was no checking out with anyone to make sure I did all of the work in my department. If the store closed at a specific time, I didn’t have to wait around for a walkthrough by my manager. It was great!
At my current job (and others that my friends and family have told me about), I have to wait to get the okay from my manager to leave. This generally doesn’t impact me because I’ve built up enough goodwill with those in charge that I could, basically, just say to them that I’m leaving and walk out without getting a walkthrough. They know that I’ve been there long enough to know what’s expected of me and to make sure everything’s done before I leave. I know how to stock things, I know to clean up the trash around the department, and I know how to make signs for things that are without them. It’s not rocket science. I plan my day well enough where I can get most of these things done before the doors even close.
Others don’t always utilize their time as well. Whenever I leave before everyone else has to, I typically get several sarcastic comments from my coworkers who have to wait behind.
“Must be real hard leaving first.”
“Wow, what did you do that makes you able to leave early?”
It’s called working when others would just stand around and talk or go for smoke breaks. Everyone always complains about how long it takes them to close their departments down but they never think about that when they’re standing around and doing nothing. Even when I’m busy, if I walk past a display that needs organizing, it doesn’t take that much time and effort to push a box so it’s aligned with the rest of the products. If you do that one by one, you’ll get a lot accomplished without even really trying.
Sure, I goof off and relax but I also know that I don’t want to be there longer than I have to be at the end of the day. There are also nights when I’m asked to assist other departments who need help closing down for the day and they are often the same departments with those employees that stand around during the day. I don’t think it’s right that I’m asked to not only do all of my work but also the work of others who suffer from a lack of proficiency at their jobs. I earned the right to leave early and, as much as I love all of my coworkers, if they need assistance then they should call their friends they stood around with earlier in the day.
I have more pressing things to do in my life that I’d rather be doing than staying late at work to do things I could’ve done throughout my shift. You know, important things like sitting here and writing this blog instead of going out in the beautiful sunshine. Wait, when I put it that way…
More soon from the frontlines...