Mike only starts to feel it after the fifth hour. It is not too bad, just a light burning sensation in between his shoulder blades. He still smiles every time he pulls the baggage off the carts for the guests. Always pleasant and never too intrusive, he is the perfect hotel employee. It is an easy enough job and he is glad he took it, though he is looking forward to it being done.
He is looking forward to only having one job again and maybe even Jill being able to stay home. For now though, they have to grin and bear it. He has to put up with the three long shifts a week here on top of his fifty hours a week at the plant. She has to put in her erratic hours at restaurant. They do not get to see each other much and when they do it is small talk over TV dinners.
It has to be this way if they are going to keep the house. It was his father and mother’s house and when they passed, each within a year of each other he offered to buy it from the estate, to keep it in the family. His brothers and sister agreed and everyone thought it was a good idea. Then the economy did what economies do and the plant he worked in, as a supervisor closed. He had to settle for a quality control job at a smaller plant and before they knew it they were behind on the mortgage.
So it was time for a second job for him and waiting tables turning into a full-time gig for more than just extra cash. It does not frustrate them too much; not most of the time. It is necessary. That is what Mike tells himself. It is the only way to not disappoint his parents, wherever they are. Not too often he thinks about how it means he and Jill will have to put off starting a family a few more years. They are in their early thirties, there is still time. Not too often he lets bitterness overwhelm him. The economy will turn around, he has to believe it, and everything will get better soon.