Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Thanks for The Support

I'm still here. Thank you for all of your comments. I go through these moments of doubt until I discuss the situation with outsiders and they all seemed to be appalled. It's good to know that I'm not going crazy. I partially post this information to hear feedback but it's also an effort to document all the madness that is going on.

Xmas was great although it didn't feel the same without snow. It was fun seeing the family and as always really hard to leave. I'm sure work is a little irritated with me because I came back with a wicked cold. I called out yesterday and I'm almost 90% sure I'm not going to make it through a full day. I sound like an old lady who spent her whole life smoking cigs. Thankfully my local pharmacist hooked me up with some good drugs that should help me get over it all pretty fast.

I've decided to start looking for a new job at the end of the month, even if it means changing careers. I really can't job hunt right now with my due date looming so near and I also don't want to lose the 3 months of maternity leave I have accrued. Three months away from work. I have a hard time imagining that amount of time off but I hear it will go really fast. This whole pregnancy just seemed to flown by. I try to enjoy every minute of it, especially when I'm hanging out on the couch and will all of sudden see my whole belly jump and morph into some crazy shape.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Welcome to Crazy Town

It's amazing how things change so quickly. I have continued on my tour of apologies and I have to say this is flat out humiliating. I can keep it together in the hallways and when talking to the people that I haven't really gotten to know all that well or know there is not a chance in hell I could have pissed them off. I come completely undone when I am in front of the people I work closely with and have a tremendous amount of respect for. It would kill me to find out if they are the ones that hate working with me.

Since the "I was testing you" comment of the marketing lady, I have gotten multiple "why the hell are they making you do this" which I really am not able to explain unless risking getting into more trouble and the latest response has been "What the F.... is wrong with your department". Maybe they are being nice, but everyone that I've talk to thus far(with the exception of marketing lady) has told me that they enjoy working with me and don't understand why they are making me do this. This is just embarassing. I still apologize to them profusely as I walk out the door just in case. Surprisingly, I've gotten a job offer from one of our department heads from the engineering side as a result of this madness. I thought that was pretty nice. So to recap I have one negative and 8 positive. Thank god it's the day before xmas break and there are not many people in this office because I don't think I can keep doing this without wanting to off myself (Just an expression of how depressing this is, I would not ever dream of hurting myself or my baby).

And then this happened:

After giving out one of my first apologies, that person went to HR about it and asked if they realized this was going on and wanted to know why (I don't know what else was discussed). HR just found me and told me that I could stop doing my rounds and that it was a bad idea on behalf of my boss. They didn't realize I would actually do it and didn't feel it was necessary afterall. Oh and now I am allowed to go to the engineers and ask questions without holding my boss's or manager's hands. Yippee. As crazy as it sounds, I hope to not have the gag order lifted, then I can continue to come to work and watch these two yahoo's (manager and boss)dig their own graves. I'll save my opinion of that for a later date :)

Hush Money

(Tuesday 12/20/11)

That's what my bonus check was. I had my review today, which was given by my boss and the owner of the company, and received five Above Expectations (4.0 points) and two nearly above expectations (3.5 points). This is phenomenal but was completely overshadowed by the one below expectations on interpersonal skills.

This was the comment: While she has good skills and brings energy and enthusiasm to a project, she needs to work on her relationships with fellow employees.

To say that I'm pissed about this is an understatement. Thinking that this was directly related to the situation with my ahole manager, I said this is really unfair that he wrote this on my review and he knows I've bent over backwards trying to improve the situation but it continually has gotten worse and he, the boss, has not done anything but perpetuate the situation. But this is the kicker, the boss said it wasn't because of my non-relationship with my a-hole manager. It's because I walked out on that meeting with the marketing lady and my idiot manager back in September (see 9/22/11 post). The boss knew that I walked out of that meeting because of my manager trying to do my work because I confronted him about it shortly afterwards which was compound by the marketing manager thinking that people would take a 15 minute survey, at a festival for a temporary tattoo. And now I'm being punished?

By the reaction of the owner of our company, I suspect he did not know that all of this has been going on. I briefly explained that this situation has been escalating for the last three years and in the last two years has turned into a bullying situation. I explained how my manager is very insecure and jealous, refuses to train me and has now withheld work when there are plenty of work to do. I also told him how this situation has led to begin losing our credibility with clients and deeply affects our productivity and quality of our products.

My boss tried to downplay the situation and kept saying "but your a great worker and grant writer" and at least you got a really great bonus. I would gladly give back my kick ass bonus, for a better work environment any day. I just surrendered at that point because I thought there was no way, after bring this to the owners attention, that this situation would continue. I kept it together long enough to walk myself into the HR department to tell the HR person what just happened. I had the ugly cry going on with the occasional hickup in the middle. I can be an emotional person but when I start hitting rock bottom thats when the cries turn into the hickups. It took awhile to even get the ability to speak again so I just showed her my review. I just told her a day earlier that I thought the boss was going to punish me on my review and that I had been having nightmares about it coming. She thought exactly what I thought, that the comment was directed towards my working relationship with my manager. She flipped when she found out he was dinging me on one incident that was already addressed and something he should take a little responsibility for (knowing that my co-worker had been stealing work yet not punishing him for it).

After calming down I left the office to find out that my boss was brought into the accounting office to what appeared to my informant, to discuss exactly how unproductive I've been and the general unproductiveness of our department. Whether this is true or not, I don't know but it sounded like the accounting department knew that I am constantly approaching them and other department heads for work, so at least I know they were not saying I was being unproductive on purpose.

I was so thankful to have a dr's appt scheduled for that day so that I could have a legit excuse to get out of misery. At least the appt went well. The echogenic focus was not noticeable on the ultrasound however the kidneys are still a little dialated over the normal range but the perinatologist thought that as the baby continued to grow it would resolve itself. It's a huge relief.

(Wednesday 12/21/11)

Nobody approached me to address the issue at all until the end of the day. There is nothing worse than getting an email at 3:30 saying you have meeting at HR at the end of the day. Of course I thought that was the end of me so I loaded up all my personal information on my computer to my flash drive.

I have very mixed emotions on how the meeting went. Pissed. Shocked. Betrayed. Self-loathed. Basically the jist was that this whole situation is my fault and that I am a difficult to work with, overly opiniated and nobody wants to work with me. I know you don't know me know me, but the first few weeks I worked here, I made sure I introduced myself to everyone I encountered. I want to have a positive workplace and I don't feel yelling or being rude to others will make my job easier nor anyone elses. My jealous co-worker actually complained about the number of people that stop by my desk on a daily basis. I've go to lunch and drinks (when not pregnant) with just about everyone in this place. This would not happen if people didn't like me and over all, if its one or two people who don't like me, that's ok. You don't have to make everyone like you. I am a ballsy girl. I believe on getting to the top in a way that is respectful, I don't believe on stepping on people, you will never get people to work with you if you do that. When someone asks my opinion, I give it even if I know it might not be what people want to hear. In a job with 100+ men, you need to stand your ground. I'm not a wallflower. I'm not going to lie to your face although I am very concientous about not delivering the news in a cold hearted fashion. I always try to provide two positive comments per negative comment. After saying all that, hearing that "nobody wants to work with me" was like a knife to my heart.

I believed it for a split second, I had to ask "really?" and even the HR person said she didn't believe it either but had talked to a "few" people and that's what they (HR and boss) were told. She had asked these people if they ever told anyone about this in the past and they said no. How do you correct something when you aren't told about your mistakes? I still took it very seriously, I would never want anyone to ever have that impression of me so I listened to what they had to say. And that's when I feel their story started to fall apart. The only person they really could indicate was our marketing lady. They said my ahole manager was not involved (and they were not going to let me talk about anything that had to do with my manager during this conversation) which I have a REALLY hard time believing. I know I can be viewed as opiniated and I know that when people sit around and discuss an issue over and over again and nobody takes a leadership role, I typically will step in when no one else seems to step up to the plate. I work with a number of quiet and insecure people, and I'm sure that my confidence and instinctive nature to lead rubs them the wrong way but after knowing them for 3 yrs, I know they will never make a decision on their own so I tend to expedite the process along. I also am very comfortable contacting one of our many engineers to ask for their input on the safety or viability of a infrastructure project that has been cooked up by our planning department. Our engineers are awesome and they have more than a handful of times prevented us from creating projects that our completely unsafe or unbuildable. The best part is, they never give me a hard time if I ask questions, they know I'm learning.

Their solution was for me to start going around to apologize to people in the office in case I have offended anyone with my opinions. Just apologize to everyone (I work with 170 people, a little over 100 in this office alone). My boss said he will go around the office in about a month or two to make sure I've made all my apologies. Maybe its just me, but that just seemed like they wanted me to get everyone involved in our mess of a situation which I feel is highly inappropriate. I have only talked to HR and four of my closest friends at work of this situation and I really don't want to drag others into it. But I'm going to do as I am told. It will be interesting to see peoples reactions. I figure I would just start off with the "I apologize if I've ever offended you in anyway, please don't feel like you need to tell me if I have or not, I'm not here to make anyones job here any harder than it needs to be and I don't want to foster an unhappy work environment". Something to that affect. I was also told that I am now no longer allowed to voice my opinion unless I am specifically asked for it nor am I allowed to ask my fellow engineers for their input unless I go and get my boss first and let him do it. I feel like I'm being treated like a child.

The funny part (ok maybe more uncomfortable) was when I mentioned that I am embarassed about how the fueding and lack of leadership in our department this affects other departments opinion about us. Worse, how it affects our clients perception. On a recent trip a co-worker from our northern office mentioned how, in general, our company has very few leaders and how he heard our department was the most dysfunctional and unmanaged. I brought it up in this meeting as an example. My boss started saying how he's on the board and he's never heard that before, that's just my opinion. Thankfully HR stood up for me and said she hears this type of comment regarding our department quite frequently. She even gave more examples of situations that fit this description. He just shook his head like we were making it all up. Again feeling fairly defeated, I just kind of surrendered. I agreed to the terms, dropped the fact that my co-worker lies and even my boss has acknowledged that he knows he is doing it and left for the day.

I headed for my second job that day and took a few minutes to share with my other boss what had happened. Out of my own paranoia, I asked him he felt that way about me too and If so, I promised to correct myself and that I do not want to be the cause of a bad work environment. He had the best reaction which made me feel sooo much better. Direct quote: "You work with a bunch of insecure assholes who clearly are covering there own asses by making you the escape goat! F-em! You're our Mary Poppins on crack, quit your job and come work for us full time" I still don't necessarily understand why I have to be equated to a disney character on crack, but I appreciate the gesture. Sorry for the quote, my manager at the restaurant talks like he just got out of prison;)

(Thursday 12/22/11)

I came into work this morning to begin my first apology sessions. I was a little apprehensive and started to really wonder again if what they heard was true. My first apology went to the marketing lady. I walked into her office and asked if she had a moment and apologized with everything I had. She accepted the apology and hugged me and then told me that she was purposely testing me that day to see if I would snap, and I failed miserably but she was glad I came to finally apologize to her and she hoped that I had learned my lesson. Yeah, that was what she said. UNBELIEVABLE, that was the most messed up thing I've heard in a very long time. You were purposly trying to pick a fight, as a "test" to make me learn my lesson? This is what I learned: I have some of the most immature co-workers who just want to power trip any chance they get. I didn't want to start a real fight I just kept my cool and apologized again and left.

The next two people said the exact same thing when I apologized (I just kept making my way down the row of offices), Why are you apologizing? We like working with you and have never had a problem with you, but your department is an unorganized mess. One of them also called us the land of the misfits. It is going to be a long day.

Thankfully I can leave in about 6 hours and bail out of this forsaken state. I just got to keep thinking it's Christmas, it's Christmas and I will have my baby in my arms in just a few short months.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Better Days?

Yesterday was a totally crap-tastic day. I had to put down my favorite cat in the morning. It was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do in my life. I feel guilty and horrible about it but she was experiencing kidney failure and could barely keep food down. Evie cat was awesome. She was really loving and cuddly, would occasionally jump in the shower with me (what cat do you know who likes to get wet?) and she could play fetch with the milk container rings. It's really weird not having her around and underfoot. I think my dog and other cat knew something was up when I came back without her. They both moped around the house all day and neither one of them ate until really late last night.

When I finally got myself together after leaving the vets office, I headed into work only to find out we weren't awarded the huge grant that we went for at the end of October. I was already emotional and that just sent me over the edge. All that work for nothing.

Thankfully, the late evening meeting with one of our long standing client which was anticipated to turn into a blood bath, went sooo much better than thought. Funny enough, I was told going into the meeting that it would just be the new mayor and members of our staff however it turning into a room full of 30+ people that included members of the city council, mayors office, accounting staff and the media. I was told to just be available to answer questions but that wasn't the case either. Instead, I had to come up with a presentation. Thankfully it took 2 hours before the group began to discuss my projects so I had enough time to prepare while sitting in the lounge of the hotel were the meeting was held.
The presentation was really well received and they were asking alot of questions that led me to believe I would have more work coming from them in the future. It wasn't until the group of us got in the company vehicle to head home when I found out that my project was the most contentious project that was discussed. I didn't realize that my project was used as a weapon in the last election. Either luck was on my side, or I explained the project in such away that made them realize it was a wise investment. Either way, the outcome of the meeting looks promising.

I came to work this morning and found out I got my xmas bonus which was double of what I received last year. I nearly fell out of the chair when opened it. I was hoping it would cover the cost of one month of my maternity leave but it ended up covering that and the cost of the new laptop I've been eyeing. I'm trying to not let on that I'm overly excited about the bonus to the a-hole. When he asked how much I got (which just shows how insecure he is) I said it was ok and what I expected. As soon as I said that, his face lit up. Merry xmas ahole! My gift to you.

I also had a Dr.'s appointment this morning. She cleared up the litmus paper situation and said it is possible that I am leaking very minute amounts of amniotic fluid however she said it could also be an infection that is causing the change of Ph. We tested for a number of infections and it looks like there is none present. That of course doesn't mean that I didn't have one two weeks ago. My cervix has also begun funneling but she didn't seem too worried about it and said that after next week I will not be having any cervical length checks. I'm cleared to go home for xmas and am so ready to leave this damn place!! Whoop Whoop. I still have a growth scan on Tuesday but I can't imagine that we will find any problems.

Baby has been back at practicing his ninja skills and is still breeched.In the middle of my presentation at last nights meeting, he decided to assault my internal organs. I was trying not to laugh but I swear the little one is half human and half octopus. With 79 days left (I can't believe only 79 days!) I'm becoming more and more anxious to have this little guy. I still haven't decided on a name yet but I've narrowed it down to Nolan Rhys or Leo Sebastian. I've still have time, and it wouldn't surprise me if I change my mind, but I think I'm pretty satisfied with either name.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Still Here

I haven't posted in awhile, mostly because I'm still a little freaked out by last weeks trip to the hospital and also because my a-hole of co-worker has gone on to tell everyone that I am unable to learn how to handle complex problems and that I am worthless, nothing better than a secretary. I just don't want to bitch everytime I blog.

The fluid stopped leaking but I've noticed a decrease in the baby's activity. It could be caused by the baby moving to odd place or my anterior placenta but it still freaks me out. Don't get me wrong, I feel him and know he's alive but compared to the boxing matches he was having with my insides a few weeks ago, I am now barely getting a tap every 3-4 hours. I wonder if I'm starting to get to that point where the baby is getting to big to be doing all his flips. It's probably all FTM paranoia.

I have my review coming up this week. I'm nervous about it to say the least. I'm just hoping asshole's new smear campaign wont affect my review. Guess I will find out soon enough.

Monday, December 5, 2011

It Would Be Funny If It Didn't Scare Me Half To Death

I totally had a pregnancy oops on friday night. Since I seem to lack any sense of modesty or shame during this pregnancy, I thought I would share this little story with you.

I was working at the restaurant on Friday night. About three hours into my shift, I approached a new table and offered to take their drink and appetizer order. Within the minute and half that it took to take the order, I could slowly feel my pants getting wet to the point were I was starting to feel liquid dripping down my legs. I stayed calm infront of the guests but after I left the table I was in panic mode. I passed off the order to another server and hauled ass into the ladies room. I was soaked. The fluid was clear, didn't smell like urine and I felt like I couldn't stop the slow trickle. I had just gone to the ladies room about 15 minutes before this all happened so I couldn't imagine it being just urine. I was trying to rationalize everything but that feeling of "holy $hit" prevailed and I decided this is one of those times were calling the doctor is necessary.

I tried to make myself look somewhat presentable for my long walk across the restaurant, which inluded untucking my shirt and placing my apron in front of me (which probably brought more attention to my wet pants, than if I had just walked out with it in a normal location). I stopped at the host stand where my manager was hanging out. I think I scared him half to death when I told him that I'm having a bit of an emergency, showing him the state of my pants. All he could say was "Go,Go, GO!". I called the overnight service who got in contact with the on call doctor. I had already arrived at the hospital before he called me back so I just walked in.

The admissions woman was this nice older woman, who had some serious lack of computer skills. Who ever thought having a woman who can only type with one finger would be a great person to work the triage admissions desk is a genius. To make matters worse, she kept trying to crack jokes. I sat at the admissions desk for 20 minutes while she was trying to figure things out. Although I wasn't having any contractions, all this time wasting in this little office was just making me more and more stressed out.

I finally got to head in the triage room where they tested me to see if I was leaking fluid. The litmus paper they used will turn dark blue in the presence of amniotic fluid, yellow if there was none present. The test turned half dark blue, half yellow. The nurse sat there and studied it for a few seconds and decided it was inconclusive. I asked her if there was anything else that could cause the paper to turn blue which she said no. Hmm, ok. The nurse decided to do another test with a swab (I don't know what that test was exactly) and that also came out inconclusive. She left the room and called the on call doctor who decided to just release me. The nurse said I most likely just peed myself and that from now on, I should just be doing kegels as often as possible and wear a pad. How embarassing. Two hours at the hospital and probably an $800 doctors bill to tell me I have a bladder issue.

I am now wearing a bulky pad to capture the slow flow so I don't have to sit in pee pants all day long. Although I still have this fear that the nurse is horribly wrong, I have somewhat resigned myself to the fact that I will now have to suffer with stress incontinence issues for the next three months. Lucky me! Why didn't someone warn me about this when I got pregnant?