Dear Annie: For the past year, I have been working as a licensed nursing assistant, taking care of residents. I love the patients, and I've gotten very close to them. But the facility administration itself doesn't work with employees to meet their needs. I have requested to work morning shifts for months now because my man gets out at 4 p.m. and I want to be able to spend my nights with him and my family or friends. I've made multiple requests, and the administrators can't seem to work around my schedule to give me the shift I'm asking for. After a few weeks of feeling unheard and pushed aside, I started looking at other options for my career. There is a job that could pay me more and still offer benefits I need for my family and future. Should I expand my opportunities and leave or just wait till the shift I want becomes available? — A Girl Trying to Make a Living
Dear AGTTMAL: I think the answer is in your question. You said that leaving this job would mean expanding your opportunities. If the position you're considering makes sense as a career move (beyond just the convenience of the schedule), go for it. But before you give two weeks' notice to your current employer, be sure you've secured the new job — i.e., you have an offer letter in hand. Good luck.
Dear Readers: Recently, I printed a letter from "Overwhelmed in Michigan," who complained that his wife doesn't help enough around the house. His letter hit a nerve, it seems, as I received many responses from readers. Here are a few of my favorites.
Dear Annie: "Overwhelmed in Michigan" really hit home! I'm 67 and grateful every day for the good fortune of living to enjoy my retirement years. "Overwhelmed" appears to be a workaholic who expects others to buy into his inability to smell the roses. Maybe "Overwhelmed" should calculate how much his partner's cooking, cleaning and other services have contributed to his lifestyle over the years.
The complaint against his wife and niece relates to a scene at the end of the movie "Mary Poppins." Maybe "Overwhelmed" needs to stop the rat race he has created and say "let's go fly a kite" with his wife before it's too late. — Enjoying Retirement
Dear Enjoying Retirement: You're not the only one who thought "Overwhelmed" should go fly a kite. Read on.
Dear Annie: I am writing to "Overwhelmed in Michigan." My wife is the same — a bit negligent around the house but attentive in her relationships with loved ones. If her kids call and need a baby sitter, she goes instead of cleaning the house. We had a close friend who had cancer, and my wife organized all our friends to be there for her and was always ready to do whatever was needed. When our friend died, my wife was there helping with the arrangements and consoling the family.
Everyone thinks she's the most wonderful person in the world. And you know what? So do I.
Mr. Overwhelmed, if your wife wants to go fly a kite with the grandkids, put down your tools and join her. Hold off on the grumbling. You'll be so much happier. — Happily Married in New Hampshire
Dear Happily Married: Beautifully said. Thanks for writing.
Send your questions for Annie Lane to [email protected] To find out more about Annie Lane and read features by other Creators Syndicate columnists and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.