Monday, May 10, 2010

Changing seasons

Work is giving me hassles. Originally they seemed quite flexible. Now they are being far less flexible than they were last time I went down this road... It's a complex and probably rather boring story but suffice it to say that I am now in a position where I have to consider my options:

1. Do I agree to what they are proposing: From January be in the office everyday.
Bearing in mind that The Kernel will only be 5 months old - and a premmie at that. That I want to be breastfeeding and that they are moving the offices... likely to be a 2 hour drive in traffic. Last time I was pregnant the offices were round the corner, I was expecting a full term baby and they were happy for me to work from home. Now I have lost a child, I am having a premmie and THEY are moving the offices far away and they suddenly aren't happy for this arrangement. Doesn't seem very fair to me.
Clearly option 1 is no option at all. There is simply no way. It's a win for them and a loss for me.

2. Request unpaid leave for a few months which sucks for me financially, but sucks even more for them: the January - April period is our busiest period with the Earth Hour campaign. I'm integral in that so it would really place them in a crap position too. But it does mean that I keep my job.
Still it seems to me like a lose - lose.

3. Push back. Show them the lack of logic in their proposal. Reiterate my request but insist that broader management (and not just one person) makes the call - the same broader management who were quite happy with this proposal last time.
Obviously this is the logical thing to do but I can't tell you how peeved I am that I have to now fight this fight. 5 weeks before I'm due to go on leave. I brought this up months ago and they wait til just before I leave to make decisions. I certainly do not need to be stressed right now.

4. Resign. Seize the day. Live my dreams. Take a risk.
Obviously this is very appealing, but the timing is bad. Give me a year and then sure, I'm there! But right now? I don't want to be worrying about finances right now. I don't think I should have to! Also I fear part of my motivation in such an action would be to spite them which is not a good reason to make a life decision.


Then I read this:
"I was at gym yesterday and saw a dynamic looking woman sitting in the coffee shop entertaining her lively 12 month old baby. I looked at this woman and thought to myself that she was probably a great career woman only 14 months ago and that her skills were probably missed and wasted on sitting idly in a coffee shop talking to a toddler. A thought came to me of how there is all this latent expertise and dynamic energy all over the world in women who are now ‘only’ looking after babies – what a waste!

As all this was passing through my mind a bigger thought hit me. It actually screamed at me in anger: “You mislead idiot – she is doing the most important job in the world! She is not wiping up spilt milkshake, talking baby talk and telling nursery rhymes – No, she is growing a future leader, another generation of mothers, a little life who may one day lead a corporation. She is passing on morals, values and ethics. She is saving the world when she talks to her little one about waste and litter. She is teaching a small mind to think big and be creative. She is not wasting her time and expertise – not at all.”

I realized that there truly is not a more important job she could be doing right now. She is in good company – along with millions of other women who are probably feeling ill equipped for the most important job they have ever done. She probably feels grossly undervalued and may have moments of frustration that she can’t follow her career because she is doing all these ‘mindless’ mothering tasks. But really she is amazing. She is doing the most important job in the world for no thanks at all.

I looked back and saw her little one clamber onto her lap and give her an open mouthed, sloppy kiss and cuddle. She beamed. She lived in that moment – what a clever dynamic woman – a mother."

Sounds great and I need to keep reading it, but the bottom line is I do need to be earning a salary.


Any great pearls of wisdom?


cestlavietlb said...

Do you have any of the original arrangements in writing?

Otherwise I'd suggest you ask for broader management to get involved. I understand that things change, and plans that were ok a few months ago, suddenly aren't ok any more. At the same time, it sounds as if one person has changed things and made a decision....

Who knows, it might just be the sign you are looking door closing and all that jazz.

Shayne said...

I would put a request in for unpaid leave. They need you. And they know that. You will easily walk into another job with your expertise.

They'll soon come to the party.

Good luck. said...

Resigning might make you feel better but all it does is close off the option to go back and add to stress later. So I would rule that out.

I would decide what amount of time you want off and won't compromise on and tell them that straight. If they won't pay it take it unpaid but keep the relationship as good as you can.

If something better comes up or you don't want to go back resign at the end of that time off?

B said...

what's the law there - what are you entitled to? that makes a difference to your decision.

good luck. it's a hard decision. unfortunately i can't point out any key points that you've missed :(

cassey said...

I say go for option 3. Discussing this with broader managment might help you get what you want, or at least something that works for all. Hope it works out.

Champagne Heathen said...

I'm going for the option of working from home. If even for a few initial months. Try & assess why they would have problems & want to see you every day, can you do one "fullish" day in the office once a week & the rest of the week at home? All the best with it!

And yes, its what those 1970s feminists didn't seem to realise in their writing, that being a stay-at-home mom is a privilege & something to be cherished. I've had to babysit kids, where the whole situation was absurd. The mom had to work to pay me, but would rather not have the extra income if she didn't have to, and would rather be the adult caring for her children in the afternoon.

angel41222 said...

Lawdy do I hear you. I had this conversation many times when Damien was a little boy.

Bruce said...

Personally, I would opt for #4. It is the hardest to take, but often times yelds the best results. And speaking from experience, when you get older, you will wish you had done it more often. Changes is good....don't fear it.

....and yes, being a mother is the BEST just dosen't pay the short term.

HRH said...

I wouldn't dare comment on what you should do, but here's what I did.
Left a brilliant paying job to work from home as a single mom. Yes it is difficult & times have been hard, but I wouldn't change it for anything. I have been so blessed and continue to be everyday.
Pray for wisdom, it will come :)

Lauren said...

Just now learning the comments bit here so patience please...
So what was the verdict in changing seasons?

Caz said...

Thanks everyone...
I went with option 3 and now I'm waiting to hear. Nothing to lose, right? Also feeling a lot calmer about everything. Whatever happens WRT job will be fine. Nothing more important than TheKernel and I don't have space in my head to be worrying about much more than that right now.