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Absolute Frustration

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I'm going to make this as short as possible, however with a bit of background so that you may see where I am coming from in my small situation.


My beloved boyfriend is in the Army, and while I am very proud of him for this, it can make our relationship extremely difficult at times. He rarely has time off to visit, and when he does it is always last minute "Oh, you have a week off, see you again in one week." I am a college student, and while I can usually work my teachers into helping me miss a week here or there, work is not as understanding sometimes. I work in a very understaffed retail store, and am often seen as one of the more important team members.


This having been said, I have just been informed the other day that my other will be receiving two weeks off in June, however I dread the thought of asking for the time off. One of the others employees already arranged for a week off nearly precisely after mine, and I can't see it being in good manners to ask for time off before theirs on such short notice!


I had previously requests time off in July, because we were assuming [haha] that was when he would receive time off. Of course I will still ask my employer to give me the time off in June when he's down here, however my question is should I really expect to be given this time off last minute just because my other is in the Army?


They already make many adjustments to the schedule due to myself being a student. [i'm 20 years old, and as far as I'm concerned school > work. However I always give at least 36 hours notice of taking time off or calling in sick, and if they can't find anyone I will still work whether I'm visibly sick or not.]


I know a lot of people suppose that at 20 years old we're just dating and not serious, however we have been together for 3 years, and I'd hate to see ourselves not be able to enjoy each others company on the rare occasion that he has time off so that I can work at a job that I honestly despise anyways. However, responsibilities are just that, you have to be responsible and cannot let your teammates down.


This ended up much longer than I had hoped! All in all I feel that if I ask for the time off on such short notice I will be either denied or reprimanded, however I cannot justly allow myself to work while he is on a rare vacation. [i have not seen him since August 2008. I would have over winter break, however there were extenuating circumstances.]


I suppose I could ask for 2 weeks, and if they shoot that down propose every other day or maybe 1 week? What are your opinions either from the part time worker [myself], full time worker [the person who will have to adjust to someone new taking my shifts] or the employer [having to find someone to take my shifts]?

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maybe just take a few days off rather then a whole week...he may even enjoy some down time to completely clear his head and while your at work you can sit there and anticipate seeing him when you come home...that can be a lot of fun sometimes and guys are usually good at occupying ourselves. Just make sure you got a xbox 360 or console of choice there waiting for him.

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Some questions:


1. Did your relationship with him advance to the point where it was serious (a) before or (b) after he joined the Army?

2. Did he understand that maintaining a relationship would be difficult while in the Army?


If the answer to question 1 is (a) (that is, he joined the Army while your relationship with him was truly serious) and your answer to question 2 is "yes", then it seems that he has deliberately damaged your relationship with him. If he joined the army while in a serious relationship, knowing that the relationship would be hard to maintain while in the Army, then.. I hate to say this, but... it almost seems as if he doesn't value your relationship with him very much--almost as if he doesn't want to be in a relationship with you.


If he says that he truly wants to retain the relationship despite the appearance that he might not want it, then you SERIOUSLY need to talk to him about it. If he wants a relationship while simultaneously doing things that are damaging it, then he's sending conflicting signals and you need to figure out what he really wants RIGHT NOW.


On the other hand, if the answer to question 1 is (b) or the answer to question 2 is "no", then I really don't have any advice to give. Sorry.


Please don't think that I'm trying to break you two up... I just want you to be happy in the long run.

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"I'm a little confused I think but why do you have to take work off in the first place? Couldn't he come to see you and you still go to work?"


The main reason for my intent to take off work is due to the fact that I work 38 hours as week, commute 1 hour each way as well as I am taking 15 credit hours in college over the summer. I know I did not mention this previously, but this can make for a seriously complicated and full schedule. Unfortunately they are not easy classes either, rather Calculus 4 as well as University Physics 3 on top of a few other science cores. My commute would be cute in half due to us renting a hotel room, however I still cannot say that it would be an easy going time.



"Just make sure you got a xbox 360 or console of choice there waiting for him."


We are both "video gamers" as you would call them, so I definitely intend to have both of our computers available as means for my own entertainment as well as his. I realize males are easily entertained themselves, however as previously stated I have an estimated 2-3 hours per day of free time [with the exception of 6 hours of sleep] and no days fully "off". I'm not sure how you feel on the matter, but having not seen my boyfriend since August, I'm not sure I'm only going to want to see him for 2-3 hours a day, especially since I will not be able to see him again for another year or so. [Note: We spent 2 weeks together in August, and literally did nothing apart minus toilet based functions, and not once did he complain. Actually, it was his idea. I had even suggested a few solo activities, however he declined.]



He was well aware of the issues we would face, and we are actually very strong in our relationship. By no means am I questioning this. I started dating him after he enrolled in the Army, although we had been within the same group of friends for many a year. I have no question as to my happiness with him, my issue is with asking for time off work and whether it is appropriate. We are both well aware that he in for another 3 years, and I am in school for the same amount of time. We knew it would be difficult, however I can easily say that I love him, and would not dream of ending things with him just because I cannot physically be with him. It would not be the end of the world if he told me I could not see him until months from now, however I'm still human and want to make the most of my time with him that I do have.


I do appreciate the time everyone took to answer my post, however I think I may have mis-communicated a bit in my first post. Perhaps I made it seem that I was insecure in our relationship, and not insecure about asking for time off from work.

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my issue is with asking for time off work and whether it is appropriate.


Hmm, in that case, that's purely between you and your supervisor. It seems like you've explained the situation as fully as possible; if you have, then your supervisor ought to be aware that your relationship is placing certain demands on your time. As long as your supervisor is aware of your situation, feel free to ask for all the time off that you want...


...but you must understand that the supervisor has certain requirements as well. He or she has a business to run, so don't be too surprised if the supervisor is unsympathetic. I suppose it doesn't hurt to ask, however.

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