Friday, April 17, 2009

A Change in Plans.

Oh I am so frustrated... I just want to scream!

Last year about this time, before I got pregnant over the summer ( I had a miscarriage), my boss and I had a plan for me to start working full time from home once the baby arrived. I am a graphic designer. Everything I do here, I can do from home. So I bought a new computer and invested in all the necessary software out of my own pocket. I was just so grateful I would be able to work from home, I didn't even care about the investment (which, incidentally, was pretty expensive!) Then after I was pregnant, my boss decided that he really needed someone in the office atleast part time, so that I could help out with answering the phones and running the copier. This was disappointing, but doable. I planned on breastfeeding, so this way I wouldn't have to do much in the office with pumping, and with Joe's work schedule the baby would only need to be in daycare for about 3 hours a day. So even though we would have the added expense now of daycare, we could work it out.

So after we lost the baby last summer, we planned on trying again as soon as we could and would be sticking to the same game plan. Fast forward to now. I am five months pregnant. This morning, I brought up this subject to my boss and what hours I would be working. I knew I would be in the office for four hours a day, but I hadn't ever finalized with him what time frame that would be in. I was hoping I could work 7-11 ( I work 7-3 now), so that Joe could drop the baby off at 8:30 am and I could pick the baby up about 11:30 am after I got off work. It would have the baby in daycare the least amount of time possible.

So today, my boss informed me that he needs someone in here in my position full time in the office.


He went on to say, that I could work in the office part time, but he was going to hire someone else to come in and work the other hours. I would not be able to work any hours from home, unless we just had a ton of extra work in. I would have to share a computer and a desk with someone else. As much as that would suck, that would be the least of my worries.

First of all, we can't afford for me to only work part time. With our budget exactly the way it is right now, we could maybe manage it, but with the new cost of daycare, and all of the other new expenses that come with a baby, it's just not possible. So then maybe I could pick up another part time job in the evenings? It would be really hard to find part time work in the evenings that would pay me enough.

But let's say I found one. Seems like all my problems are solved. Not really. Now I am working part time at my current job and a new person is coming in and finishing the rest of my shift. I would have to share my desk with them and my computer. I have been here for 6 years. I am the only one that has ever worked on my computer. I keep up with all the maintenance and the back up and I am very particular with the way all of my files are kept and organized. It would drive me crazy to have to keep in sync with someone else on the same computer. But even worse, there's going to be a pretty good chance that this person would prefer to be working there full time. And how long after I have them trained and everything is running smoothly, would my boss start to think it would be easier to just have one person in here full time. That doesn't sound like very good job security to me.

So maybe it would be best to just stay working here full time and send the baby to day care full time. Maybe that will be what we have to do. As much as I want to stay home with the baby more, it wouldn't be that big of a deal if I didn't have my heart set on breastfeeding for atleast the first year. It shouldn't be that hard to figure it out. Breastpump during the day, so I have bottles to give the daycare for the next day. Sure it sounds feasible, but what if you work in a print shop, where your desk is out in the open, and there is only one bathroom that everyone shares? Where will I breastpump? This is something that will have to take place several times a day for 20 minutes. Where will I go? I can't really use the bathroom. There's just one toilet that everybody shares (mostly men). And its not kept very clean... it is a print shop after all. There's no privacy whatsoever at my desk. I am set up in the front office, with another designer and the office manager. All of our customers come right into the front door and can see us all at our desks.

I have alot to think about and alot to figure out.


Anyone have any good suggestions?


Jillian said...

Well I have stressed about the breastfeeding issue too, I want to do and that would mean pumping in the middle of the. However I have a little more room then you do and work with all women so I am sure I could figure it out. Now what do you do for lunch?? Can you leave the office and go so where like a restaurant or a store that you could use their restroom or dressing room?? I don't know, I am sorry about that! If it helps I have no idea if I even have a job next year:) Especially with all this crazy bed rest stuff going on:)

Anrazel said...

What if you do a written proposal to your boss on how your working from home part time (only for the first year) would benefit him. Maybe putting it all on paper would show him how serious you are and how it will pay in the long run to retain you as an employee.
As far as you pumping, I'll ask my LLL leaders to see if there are laws regarding pumping at work and if your boss has any obligations to provide a place.
I also thought about this...since you sit in a corner (sort of) could we install a curved shower curtain closing you in when you need to be? Just trying to think out of the box!

Anonymous said...

I am with Anna, a nice wooden screne perhaps? Craigslist, baby! I know this all sucks and you are freaking out but better to find out now than when the baby is here. It will all work out as it should. I also like Anna's idea of a proposal to your boss. Think of a way that it could really benefit him and sell him on the idea. Also let him know you will try to be as flexible as possible to work with him if he does the same for you.---Toni

Brittany Ann said...

This is very shady of your boss, at least it is to me. And I agree. A written proposal about working from home would be best. My husband worked as a graphic designer and I worked as a journalist, and we both could have worked from home easily. And in fact, we did at times. Plus, there are tons of companies switching to this model now, because it saves them money on resources.

Ugh. Sorry but this just makes me mad for you. I hate that we have to be made to make these kinds of decisions, as women, you know?

Gina said...

I know I already talked to you about this earlier, but I am saying it again. That SUCKS. I tried writing a proposal once and it got me nowhere, so apparently I shall not be helping you actually write a good one. If I can help in any other way, though...let me know. Your boss's karma is seriously going to come and kick his ass. It will all work out. It always does.

Jillian said...

I have two and half more weeks of bed rest and then the doctor will re-evaluate my situation. However, I haven't told a lot of people this but I have had some bleeding and cramping the last couple of days. I am sure that doesn't help my situation. So I would yes I will be on bed rest until 36 or 37 weeks.

Maggie May said...

What a shitty way for your boss to conduct business. Argh! I felt frustrated for you reading this. Hm. I also suggest you look up the laws and see if there is a way you can casually but firmly request (if you are going to go FT) that your boss provide a clean/private environment, or the time for you to leave and go somewhere else, to pump.

What about staying on FT but meanwhile looking for a job where you could telecommute?

Seraphina said...

I'm really sorry to hear about this. I think though, it would be important for you to weigh the costs and benefits of staying at home versus working full time, taking into consideration your desire to breastfeed, cost of daycare, how you feel (personally) about dropping your child off to daycare etc... I know from a lot of my friends that these costs outweighed the benefits of having a job and the money they made. In the end, it'll be a tough decision, but making a list always helps.