Thursday, August 21, 2008

Icing on the Crap Cake

I have been trying to have a good attitude lately about having this baby. I’m fine with having a baby, especially since she’ll be the most beautiful, well-behaved human being to ever grace the planet. I mean, you can’t deny that mixing JB and me together can only result in perfection, right? :)

But then the realities of a baby start rearing their ugly heads. Well, the main one is money. We cannot afford daycare for the baby, and we cannot afford for one of us to quit a job to stay home with baby.

JB and I have been exploring several options to try to make this work. And we keep hitting dead ends.

Every time I hit a dead end, I want to scream at everyone who ever pestered me about having a baby, or who told me that it was time for me to have a baby, or who said that babies aren’t that expensive. I want to scream at them for pressuring me into something like this. But I know that’s not right. I made this decision. I made my bed, and now I have to lie in it. I could have called around and gotten daycare quotes before I got pregnant. But I did not.

So anyway, my biggest child-care solution was to work from home two days a week. That would cut $440 off of our monthly child-care bill. Two other women in my office have done this, and this is a very family-friendly place. I wrote up a very professional proposal and shared that I could do all of my job from home, with the exception of handling front-counter patrons, which are very few and far between on the Mondays and Fridays that I had wanted off.

I thought that this proposal would be accepted. I am a very good worker, am very organized, and have a very nice home office.

Yesterday I was told that I cannot have 2 days. They don’t even want to give me 1 day, but they will let me try it. One of the main reasons they want me in the office is that I am used so heavily to back up other departments when people are gone, and they need me to be able to do that (which is not in my job description, btw—I do it out of the goodness of my heart). Also, if there is an emergency situation with a member, I need to be here. When I got home and thought about all this, I felt pretty aweful. Apparently I can be used as the office workhorse to cover everyone else’s butts, but no one will help ME out in MY job on a day when I’m working from home and an “emergency” may arise. It’s not fair.

So anyway, I was seriously up all night being sad about this (and dealing with other pregnancy ailments). I need to plan these difficult conversations with coworkers about my job, how I feel, how I don’t want to be covering for everyone else anymore unless I get compensated for it, how I feel unappreciated, etc.

I lost so much sleep that I called in two hours late to work. I needed to get SOME rest before coming to work.

When I finally get on the road for work, I find myself driving through this new construction zone on my route. I’ve been driving through it for a week and was making a mental note to find a new route to work (to avoid the construction) when I see a policecar ahead of me on a side street turn on its lights. I drive past and move over so he can pull over whoever it is he’s after.

He was after me.

For speeding in a construction zone.

I had no idea I was speeding! I was following the flow of traffic! I thought the normal speed limit through there was 55, and I was going through at 40, like everyone else, thinking that that was slow enough.

Nope. The speed limit right now is 25. He said there was a sign. I said that I was sorry, but I didn’t see it, and didn’t know I was going too fast.

He didn’t care.

So, after a horrible day yesterday after feeling unappreciated at work, and then not sleeping in the night and being late for work, the officer chose to slap some shit frosting on my crap cake.

Thank you, sir, for giving a very pregnant lady a ticket. For giving her what will be an enormous fine (construction tickets are killer) that will make her even more poor and not be able to afford this baby. For making her cry her makeup off her face before she even got to work (yes, readers, the girl who doesn’t ever cry openly wept). For singling her out of the line of traffic that was also speeding.

If I had your home address, officer, I would leave my crap cake in a bag on your front doorstep and light it on fire.


Seth & Kristen said...

Oh, April! I'm so sorry about what you're going through right now. It must be so difficult to work out all of this stuff. It's horrible how people seem to be taking advantage of you at work. I wish there was something I could do to help. If there is anything you need, please let me know. I know what you really need is someone to watch Baby so you can work. Since I can't do that, I guess the next best thing would be to pray for you and JB.
Is there room at your office for a little daycare? That would probably take a lot of organization. They should provide something for employees with infants!
I think you have some very legitimate arguments for being able to work from home after you have your baby. If you need someone to practice your arguments with, let me know. :)
And curse that stupid policeman!! He certainly deserves your crap cake on his porch.

Michigan Girl said...

Brian and I are both so sorry that things are going badly right now. As far as that ticket--I would fight it. If the cop doesn't show up to court, you generally get out of it. Second, you need to find a new job. If you are that underappreciated and they won't give you the same benefits they've given others, its time to get out. You're probably underpaid too. That is the problem with working at a small office--some people are favorites and treated well and others are not. Trust me, I've been there.