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Monday, January 11, 2016

HOW WAS YOUR DAY? - a cranky re-run

This re-run is from January 2013.  Several ladies beat me up for being unsympathetic, several more thanked me for the perspective.  *

 When I was a non-retired man, virtually every working day ended with a wife asking, “How was your day?” My answer was the same as every other working man’s answer when posed with that daily wifely inquiry, “Fine.”

As sure as the sun rises in the east, this response was then followed by thirty minutes of why my wife had just experienced the worst day ever.

Don’t get me wrong, I know a SAHM’s** day is no picnic.  I just wonder if the average SAHM has any idea that her husband’s job also is not a bed of roses.  How could they, we never tell them. 

“How was your day?” is wife code for “brace yourself, have I got some shit to tell you!”  Well now I am going to finally answer that question.  Skip to the next blog if you wish, I understand, my wives would have never listened either.

“How was my day you ask?”  Here was my typical day.

The alarm woke me at 6:00 am and I hopped in the shower. After showering and shaving, I dressed using a tee shirt I found in the dryer which was still slightly damp, but I didn’t have time to run it through again. Dressed, I did not have time for breakfast.  

I jumped into my car to find the windshield was frosted over. I did not have time to warm the car up, and the defroster didn’t work, so I melted a hole in the frost with a Bic lighter. With four inches of visibility I drove for the train.

At the light on Rt. 1, the car stalled out because the gas filter clogged again.  I jumped out, pulled the gas filter and blew out the crap causing the clog.  I only missed one light doing this so I still had a chance to catch my train.  I did in fact catch the train, but only after running full speed and hopping on just as it was pulling out of the station.  It was a good day; I managed to get a seat.  I did not have time to get a paper or coffee which I could have used to get the taste of gasoline from the filter out of my mouth.

 I almost caught a nap but first Joe “The Blind Guy” woke me to ask if the seat was taken, and then the conductor nudged me because he could not read the date on the ticket I had displayed in the seat ticket holder.

After 40 minutes we got to Newark and I changed for the Path train to downtown NYC.  I did not get a seat. There were lots of sweaty people with arm pits in my face for another twenty minutes.  At 9:00 am I arrived at work just before starting time for my job as a supervisor for a brokerage firm, processing security orders and executions.

One of my clerks, Lou, was late to work again and I had to reprimand him after listening to his lame excuse.  I got into a fight with an arrogant broker who demanded I adjust the price of a trade or he would have me fired.  My boss told me if I changed the price I would be fired.  The computers went down three different times and we had to process orders manually, which pissed off several other brokers who demanded to know why we took so long to enter their orders.  Lunch sucked because I had to eat it at my desk while I fought with the traders on the floor for reports.

The afternoon was pretty much the same, another five straight hours of answering questions and arguing over the phone.  There were no breaks, there was no quiet. Telephones and high-speed printers provided a constant noise.  I left the office at 6:00 pm and caught the Path train back to Newark.  The train had no heat, but I did get a seat next to a dude who kept falling asleep and nodding off on my shoulder.  His breath rivaled that of a St. Bernard.

The train from Newark to home was uneventful, and I was lucky enough to have a seat handle to hold on to while standing all the way to New Brunswick.  At the station I ran to the car to get out of the lot before all the other commuters jammed the exit.  Four stop lights and my usual 20 minute drive home and I walk in the back door.  At 7:45 pm I was finally home.  I made the monumental mistake of asking, “What’s for dinner?” and got an earful about what an insensitive ass I am for worrying about dinner without first asking my wife, “How was your day?” Then I heard forty minutes of how miserable her day was.

I wolfed down a cold dinner because everyone else had already eaten.  I clean up the kitchen, help two kids with their homework and yell at another for something he did while I was at work.

That was how my day was.
That was how my day was every day for forty years.  

Well it was not every day.  On a good day the gas filter didn’t clog and the car didn’t stall.
*This "day" was clearly exagerated to make a point. Cranky respects and appreciates how difficult it can be for a SAHM. 

In addition, those who work in an office have their coworkers to whom they can vent. SAHM's are without adult conversation all day.

I get it!
**SAHM – Stay at home mom (For Cranky’s friends who have yet to crawl out from under the rock.) 


  1. I was a stay at home mum from 1973 to 1986, easiest 13 years of my life. Life got harder when I went back to work after the youngest started school. Then it was more like a whirlwind.

  2. I can empathize as I have seen both sides of the coin. I do think work is harder than being a housewife,but at least work gives you reward and promotion while being a SAHM you disappear into the woodwork and sometime wonder who you are.

  3. I've done both and there were good and bad days at both but I have to say, the best of the best were at home and the worst of the worst were definitely at work!

  4. Think you just described Groundhog Day Hell. Luckily I worked but usually loved my jobs and co-workers. I am surprised you have a stomach lining left.

  5. Let's just agree it's difficult all around and take turns venting, shall we? That will help all of us, i think, develop a bit of empathy for the difficulties the other half faces.

  6. i wouldn't have had your job for anything in the world. stress and more stress!

  7. Wow. I'm cringing now, thinking of my own SAHM days and how I thought stepping over a mess of toys all day long was the worse possible way to exist. I think your commute was worse than your work day. I can see you almost thriving on the turmoil and challenges! But home should be a welcoming nest for daddy and the kids to come home to after a long day out in an unsympathetic world.

  8. Yikes! I thought working in a convenience store for 19 years was stressful.

  9. I am looking forward to being a SAHM. Even if it is only for a short time until I find another job. Hopefully in a different industry altogether. I am long overdue for a change.

  10. I've done both, and have had good times and bad times with both. Being immersed in a fun and successful project at work or having a relatively smooth week at home; i.e. being able to actually "stay" at home for 4 consecutive hours and doing a little reading or blogging here and there makes both jobs and life better. The hardships are bearable.
    On the other hand, a crappy 9 to 5 (or 7) exacerbates all the struggles of the day. The same goes for being a SAHM experiencing car pooling, cleaning toilets, cooking, kids, etc.

  11. My husband freaked out when he had to do the shopping ONE TIME in Aldi's. But he still tells me that dealing with 5 or 6 adults at his job is more stressful than dealing with 100 students at mine.

  12. many women had the same day at work, except they did it in high heels, at 72% of your salary, and they stopped at the grocery store on the way home to pick up stuff to fix for dinner?

    Don't get me wrong - I get your rant about how tough it is to have days like you did. I've had stressful jobs with long hours (luckily, minus the shitty commute) and there were times I was so tired I could have fallen asleep standing up. What got me through it was the knowledge that someone else always had it worse - more to do, more stress to deal with, more bills to pay than a paycheck will cover...

    You melted a hole in the frost with a Bic lighter? So that trick on Facebook with vinegar and Dawn dish detergent must not work, huh?

  13. I went to Costco today. As I was exiting the check-out line I got a whiff of the powerful putrid stench of vomit. Yuck. Then I saw this mother with 2 small kids in the cart and a little older puny boy standing beside the cart as she was trying to wipe up vomit from the kid and the floor. How embarrassing for her. Damn Sam, I had forgotten how kids are always throwing up. I guess sahm's don't always have such great days, either.


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