Monday, November 9, 2009

What Happened to the Cake?

I’ve never really worried about my work performance as it relates to pregnancy before.

I work in a low-key environment where one colleague regularly shows up wearing flannel pajama bottoms and more than a few long time employees take BOTH November and December off every year.

What’s the big deal if I have to take 2-3 months off to pop out some new offspring, right? Nobody, besides the one guy I work with regularly, will even really miss me, right?

I dunno …. I’m nervous this time around.

A few weeks ago I was called into an office a few notches above my own and was offered a detail position, with a good possibility of it becoming permanent. I was beyond excited. There was a glitch though. I was being offered the opportunity because the current holder is pregnant and may not be coming back.

In the spirit of full disclosure I had to tell them I too was pregnant, but that I was 100% sure of my return. The response was nothing but positive and congratulatory, and was told some things needed to be discussed but I would hear something soon.

Maybe I’m impatient. I know I’m impatient. In my opinion though, soon has come and gone.

I think their ignoring me while trying to find a candidate that won’t be lactating in the next 6 months. I know I’ll never know the truth. They can’t tell me the truth if that is the problem. We can't sit down and have a frank discussion to solve scheduling problems if that is the problem. If I never move to that office though I know, deep down, it will be their loss. It is something I would be excellent at.

On Friday, I left work an hour early. My sense of smell is kicked up into bloodhound mode lately, and the smells of the office were getting to me. The Sharpie 2 cubes down, the striper-scent Bath and Body works next to me, 3 Xerox machines running at the same time. I couldn’t take it so I left.

My boss was getting ready to leave for the day when I went to sign out myself and I told him I was leaving early. When he asked why, I told him. The Sharpie, the lotion, the ozone - that’s why.

His response? He laughed and said I had nobody to blame for that but myself, as he signed my leave slip.

I know this man is not sensitive. He doesn’t have any children. I know he didn’t mean to be rude. But I also know he absolutely meant what he said.

I kept thinking about this all weekend. Thinking about things I should have said instead of opening and closing my mouth like a guppy. Thinking about whether there is some sort of ‘mommy glass ceiling’ that I never realized existed here before. I would choose the same path a million times over. I would rather have children and a family than promotions. I would choose going home to be with them hands down to working 12 hour days.

I just …. thought I could have both …. and am dismayed by the revelation of my naivety.

1 comment:

LazyBones said...

Thanks for becoming a follower of my blog. I followed you back here! And I really liked this post. It's something I think about a lot. I just turned down a promotion because they wanted me to work lots of extra hours with no per-hour raise, and I said I'd complete the job in fewer hours for an hourly raise, which would have cost them the same in the end and I'd have gotten the job done without sacrificing my family time. They said no, and like you, I know it was their loss. But it is bittersweet.