Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The Fallout From Yesterday

So apparently, I caused quite a scene yesterday and was perceived to be really “angry”. Amazing how browngirls who stand up for themselves are “angry” but whatever. I got a satisfied chuckle out it though, cuz I’m sure it won’t happen again.

I spoke to my boss again about it this morning; he understood all sides of the situation. Which to backtrack a little, was this:

We have these weekly Staff Meetings (hereinafter referred to as the StaffBash for reasons which will be documented as time goes on) on Tuesday a.m. Tuesday actually happens to be a bad day for me, because it’s the one day everyone in my family is unavailable. Ma works teaching Tai Chi, Poppy (who actually is on Sabbatical this year but I kind of forgot about that) teaches at PrivateLiberal College, and Sis works too (she works all school days). So when The Sun has school, it’s not a problem, but when he’s out of school, I don’t have anyone to look after him.

Truth be told, these particular Tuesdays I could have found childcare since everyone was on vacation but me, but it’s not a regular thing and my experience is that it’s usually best to set up a precedence and stick to it. If you establish that Tuesdays are a bad childcare day, it’s best you stick with that. Trying to explain an aberration of the norm can get to be complicated, particularly when dealing with slightly irrational people. Plus, this was the first time in a loooooong time that I was unable to spend his break with him (having been “freelance” for the past six years or so) and I’d had to share most of the break anyhow with IFKALP (his father who was in from California to visit. And if you’ve stumbled on this blog and hopefully become addicted but missed most of the back story… IFKALP and I DO NOT get along. And that’s an understatement.).

So I’d asked for yesterday and the Tuesday prior as personal time, and was told that it was in my best interest to be here for the Staffbash. I explained the childcare thing. I was told that it would be OK to bring The Sun in and stash him in an office while I went to the Staffbash, and then leave for the day.

Last week Tuesday it worked fine, though I was initially very hesitant to leave him here completely alone. But he had a cellphone and there were other people on the floor, just not here, and he was OK with it.

This week, yesterday, I had his friend—his “brother from another mother”—hereinafter referred to as The Moon (just cuz like “Frick and Frack”, they go together) with me because I was only coming in to the city for the Staffbash, and then I was taking the boys on our annual Times Square/Big Toys R Us/Ride the Marriott elevator excursion.

Well, my gut gave me some tingles, but I actually felt better about leaving the two of them together rather than just the Sun by himself, so I stashed them at my desk with plenty of games on my Mac, and off we went to the meeting. Which is in another building.

Right before the meeting started, the office manager came in to say that the Acting Director didn’t think the kids should be there by themselves. Well, I said that I wasn’t leaving, since a.) the only reason I was there was for the Staffbash, b.) the boys had cellphones, c.) I was comfortable because they were comfortable, d.) I did it last week, and e.) there was another kid there last week for the same reason, and so I wasn’t going. Particularly since when I’d asked for the time off, I was told it wasn’t in my best interest to take it.

So then AD comes in… but before she got two words out this OTHER chick who I don’t report to storms in all red talking about “HEY! What’s with leaving the kids all by themselves!?”

Mind you… this is a chick who barely says two words to me on any other occasion AND who I don’t report to in any way, and my hackles went up IMMEDIATELY. I felt completely blindsided and attacked. There were other people in the room, and everyone just sort of went silent.

Well…. Get pushed and say nothing and you will forever be a doormat, but get pushed and push back and either a.) you’ll be fired or b.) you won’t but either way there’s a good chance that your “alphabitch” will be established and you won’t be pushed again. So I opted for the latter. This ain’t the financial industry… it’s a pretty big PrivateHospital that has a distinctly “Unionized” feel, so I went for it. Guns blazing.

Long story short, my boss said later he heard a “tone” creep into my voice and decided it was best for me to go ☺ so I did. I trust him, actually. We hit it off immediately and he was the deciding factor in my accepting the job here. I liked him, and he was as “point-blank” with me as I was with him.

So I went back. I got kind of nervous later, thinking “hmmmm…. Maybe I went too far.” But when I came in this a.m. Boss and I talked again, and we both agreed that I should go apologize to AD, but let her know where I was coming from.

So I did. I went in and said that I felt completely attacked and blindsided, and my reaction was solely based on that feeling. While I trust my Sun I understand if she felt compromised, and for that I apologized, and if my reaction was “over the top”, for that I apologize.

(I read somewhere that when you have a disagreement, you NEVER put a “but” at the end of your apology because it makes the other person feel that they weren’t really apologized to, so I was careful to put my reasons for flaring up before the apology. It worked… just for reference.)

So AD kind of wanted to defend herself but she did apologize for not pulling me out quietly, which is all I wanted. The rest of the stuff…. There’s two sides to every story. She didn’t “get” though, that there are times when I really don’t have childcare… and there are times when this is an issue. So I wanted to establish that up front. She said, “well, isn’t there anyone? A college kid?” and I said “AD, if there was we wouldn’t be having this conversation. This was a desperate measure as I had asked for these days and was told it wasn’t in my best interest”. Which is true, and I have the email to prove it.

So, it seems squashed. But it certainly put a damper on my enthusiasm for this place. There’s more going on here, which I’m sure I’ll write about as time goes on.

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