Humor is also a way of saying something serious. - T. S. Eliot

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Go Ahead. Write.Me.Up.

Even though I can’t really see and I’m supposed to be working, I just have to take a time out from everything and type (with my eyes closed due to recent PRK surgery and eye irritation) my frustration out.

I am damn mad that mothers are being punished in our culture for staying home with sick children. Do you know how many moms I talk to as a clinician who have been either written up for staying home with sick children, or who are fretting being written up? 

And here I thought I was the only one.  I just had eye surgery. I should be home recovering.  My sight is so bad that I am not allowed to drive.  And I am high as a kite on narcotics and opiates for eye pain AND I have a doc note to take time off.

But still I come to work.


Because I don’t want to be written up for being out.  And I know that if I have one more absence due to one of my children being sick between now and February – and it will happen --   I will be written up.   

As a professional, I’m not a slacker. I don’t call in just because. I come to work and I work. I work as hard as I can. I don’t diddle around. I am focused and on my game.  My supervisor recently told me I pulled the most crisis calls from cue.

But none of that matters.

If you are absent more than 4 times in a 12 month period, you will be written up.  Will you be fired? Maybe. If they feel like it.

Any person who is a parent of small children knows that kids get sick. They get sick A Lot.  And daycares, preschools, and elementary schools all have rules that no child can come back unless they have been fever free, puke free, and/or on antibiotics for 24 hours.  

So fuck you, you motherfricking non-family friendly work culture in America.  F you, F you, F you.

And with this rant suddenly giving me some balls, I am leaving work today, just after lunch, to take care of my eyes. I am not employee of the year. Before I had kids, it was my goal to be a superstar at work, but when I came back to work as a mom, my goal was just to get by.  I knew my family responsibilities would limit me. (That’s not a very fair thought to myself, but it was one that crept up unconsciously.) 

 I am a mother, I am someone recovering from surgery, and if my kids get sick and you want to write me up.  Then go right. The. Fuck. Ahead. 

I will proudly join the ranks of many other women who appear to be less than stellar employees all because they are simultaneously raising the next generation and who don’t really care what their workplace does.  Go ahead. Write us up.  But it’s a systemic problem.  We working mothers and our sick kids who then make us sick ARE NOT THE  PROBLEM.  No matter how many times you want to write us up and blame us and verbally counsel us, we are NOT THE PROBLEM.  Our culture is the problem. 

 I’m feeling like a bad-ass little rebel suddenly. And so I say, to the beady-eyed, mustached supervisor who would marry a policies and rule book if he could and who I cannot STAND, take that pen, after you are done writing me up, and shove it up your yahoo.