Friday, July 17, 2009

Tales of the paranoid mommy #567

So, I'm sitting here at work today, nervous as a nelly...

When I got to the church to pick Will up from daycare last night, they had a permission slip for me to sign for today's field trip. The original plan was to take the kids to one of the area parks, but they apparently took one of the classes their yesterday and found it to be quite trashy, so they changed the plan for Will's class today...

... they decided to take them to the Huber Heights municipal pool... and, of course, Will can't swim.

Pretty much immediately, panic began to set in, and in my head the irrational-mommy voice started debating with the rational-mommy voice...

IM: He can't swim!

RM: Well, surely he's not the only child in his class that can't swim. And they wouldn't take the kids to the pool if it wasn't safe.

IM: Do they have a kiddie pool that's only a foot deep? I'll ask the girl working this afternoon...

Now, a problem comes in here because the girl that there in the afternoons never has any information. "I just work here," she says. Or, "they just asked me to have you sign the permission slip if you want him to go." I think she gets annoyed with the questions I ask sometimes. And I get a little annoyed at the fact that all of the people that know anything are always gone by the time I pick Will up... but on the other hand they probably get there at 6am... so it's just one of those situations that you can't really do anything about.

Thankfully, at least, the permission slip for a trip to the pool was 2 pages long, and included a section where I could mark very prominently NON-SWIMMER. I resisted the temptation to add several exclammation points to this section of the form.

Upon leaving the church, we went immediately to Meijer to look at children's flotation devices. Of course, though, short of putting him in an actual life-vest, they didn't have anything that looked like it would really keep him from going under, so I passed on that.

I was quite happy to find an overcast sky and cooler temperature when I left for work this morning. They were scheduled to go from 10:00 am to 12 noon, but I'm thinking... hoping... that they skipped due to the weather.

I normally park at the far end of the parking lot here at work, for the little bit of extra exercise it gives walking in and out of the building, but I parked right beside our door this morning, in case I have to leave quickly.

I will also be fighting with myself not to call the school this afternoon, to make sure they made it back safely.

God help me.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

I feel as if I have come to a crossroads with my career here at the Casa de Insurance...

In just a few days, I will mark my 10 year anniversary with this company. That’s the longest I’ve ever stayed at one job. On the one hand, considering I have probably (ahem) 20 – 25 years until retirement, 10 years doesn’t seem like all that long. On the other hand, I come from the generation that’s expected to change jobs 172 times before they die, which makes 10 years feel like a lifetime.

Those of us that are lucky enough to be employed by the Casa de Insurance are asked, two to three times per year, to fill out an employee satisfaction survey. The frequency of the surveys seems like overkill to me, but I just work here. The questions are always the same, and include such favorites as:

• I have a best friend at work.
• I have the opportunity to have fun at work.
• I have the tools I need to do my job (guess how I scored this one a few weeks ago, considering they just took our printers away from us!).
• In the last two weeks, I have been recognized for doing good work.

Questions are scored from 1 (completely disagree) to 5 (completely agree)... You always know a survey’s coming when the bosses start having meets to discuss the questions, to make sure we understand the questions, and the company’s intention behind the questions, because heaven knows they wouldn’t want us to misinterpret anything. And, predictably, while they don’t actually come out and say they want us to give everything a 5, you’d have to be pretty stupid not to know that’s what they’re driving at.

The most recent survey was just a few weeks ago, at the end of June. At one of the pre-survey meetings towards the middle of June, one of the department managers was moved by the spirit to stand up and give us a short testimony on how thankful she is right now to have a job, how she thinks about this every morning when she gets up and looks in the mirror, and how she, personally, felt we should all remember that when we were taking the survey this time around. I found this a little offensive and inappropriate, but it did get a few ‘amens’ from the crowd.

Now, just stay with me, because I promise I’ll be at the crux of all this very soon...

Had you asked me ten years ago if I’d ever want to be a stay-at-home mom/homemaker/reincarnation of June Cleaver, I’d have laughed heartily and said, “Of course not! I’d be bored if I stayed home all day, folding laundry and cleaning toilets!” Had you asked me seven years ago, after I’d gone through a miscarriage and diagnosis of type II Diabetes in a two-week time span, if I even wanted to be a parent, period, I would’ve laughed and said, “Absolutely not!” Not to be too dramatic, but for me that miscarriage was a real glimpse at how truly heartbreaking the whole business of being a parent can be.

Yet here I am, 5 ½ years later, gearing up for this exquisite creature that is my son to start kindergarten in a few months (and if you know me really well, you know that a large part of my excitement in all this is the shopping for school supplies... you know the unexplainable relationship I have with office supplies...). I swear to you, I can physically feel my heart swell with love each time I look at him, or even just a picture of him... and I feel humbled to have been so blessed.

How are these things related? Well I’ll tell you...

It’s likely that the boy will be in an extended day (i.e. full school day) kindergarten program, because of delays in his fine motor skills that have been identified (which is a whole post on its own). We’ll find out for sure on this toward the end of August, when school actually starts. If he’s in the extended day program, he’ll be in school from 8:45 am – 3:15 pm. With that, the husband and I were hoping to arrange our work schedules so that we can eliminate the need for daycare, period, thus saving us the equivalent of an extra mortgage payment every month.

On the Casa de Insurance employee website, there are several pages devoted to topics like ‘work-life balance’, and ‘alternative work arrangements’... so I went to my boss with the question what would the possibility of me working a little bit different schedule be, longer days two days a week (on the days the husband doesn’t work) so I can leave a little earlier 3 days a week (on the days the husband does work) to pick the boy up from school...

And the answer I got was, “I’ll check, but don’t count on it, because the new head of our department ‘isn’t hip’ on alternative work arrangements.” Not that it’s not available, or that there’s some legitimate business reason why I couldn’t do it... to be honest, there’s no part of my job that I couldn’t do from home... but that the big boss “isn’t hip” on those kinds of schedules.

Well, let me tell you... I’m not hip on being made to feel as if I have to choose between my family and my source of a paycheck. I haven’t gotten to official ‘no’ yet, so we’ll see. I’m weighing the possibility of going to Human Resources if I’m turned down... and weighing my other options as well.

Friday, July 03, 2009


I'm surprised I remembered how to get to this place, let alone sign in. Wonders will never cease.

Heaven help me, tomorrow is the annual in-law 4th of July family picnic/reunion. It was actually started by the husband's uncle (my father-in-law's older brother, now deceased), and his children (the husband's weird cousins) have carried on the tradition.

The husband has to work, lucky bastard, so the boy and I are going with my immediate in-laws to the festivites. Lovely. An afternoon of "Ruth!! Did you have ANYTHING to do with this boy AT ALL?!? He looks JUST LIKE the husband!! Are you sure you had ANYthing to do with him?!?"

Give me strength...