Sunday, March 23, 2008

Stress and More Stress

A few weeks ago, I realized that I may not qualify for my company's "paid parental leave."

I was stressed. I thought that was bad. I worried about having to declare bankruptcy without that paycheck (I'm the breadwinner in our home, y'see).

I thought the situation couldn't get much worse.

I was young and naive.

Now, let me just state -- the baby's fine. Measuring in the 44th percentile (what does that mean), my weight gain is okay (a little much, but not too TOO much). Spunketta is moving non-stop, not letting me sleep, pounding on my bladder. Good times!

But the company that I work for. Yeah. They're facing bankruptcy.

The past few weeks, my office has been like a mausoleum. People quiet, openly updating resumes, passing out cards and networking information. Talking about finding a new gig before the Big Layoff comes.

My company has announced to us that they may be able to continue, BUT. But they would do it with a drastically reduced staff. As in 50% gone.

Friday, they passed out sheets that would help you figure out your severance, assuming that you qualified for severance.

GUESS who doesn't qualify for severance?

A dense co-worker advised me to start looking for a new job. I placed my hands on my rotund (and now, clearly pregnant) belly and said "Who would hire me?" He was at first confused, and then embarrassed.

Yup. I'm trapped.

If *I* were a manager, I couldn't justify retaining someone who was going to cost the firm three months of paid leave. It makes no sense. Neither can I see myself (successfully) job-hunting.

So I get to wait. And wonder. And hope. And worry. And, periodically, break down into uncontrollable crying fits.

When I used to tell God that I wanted to give birth in the worst way possible, I didn't think He'd grant the latter half of the prayer... :)

Just to clarify: no one knows then the Great Layoff will begin. Just that it will. And the most aggressive date "officially" confirmed is 8 weeks in the future. So, conceivably, I could actually get to my "paid" parental leave and then be laid off. People at work have been saying things to me: "they can't fire you, you're pregnant" sort of sums up the sentiment. Which sounds wonky to me. Frankly, I figure if I'm on leave (or just close to it) it makes me a more likely target. (Any HR reps in attendance, please chime in).

The husband H has promised to "step up" and "do whatever it takes." If. If I actually lose my job. He's convinced I'll get a promotion and/or a raise out of this.

He REALLY doesn't want to have to work full-time. Not that I blame him; he works for a lovely, friendly place where they have no problem with him dropping everything to go running to take care of Mama (Thursday, she developed hives and had to be pulled from day care). But. They don't offer him benefits and they don't need him full time. And H would rather ride it out than jeopardize that cushy situation. (Which, he asserts, may turn into a full-time gig. Eventually. Someday. Maybe. Just not anytime soon.)

I've been asking him to get a part-time job at S.tarbuc.k's. Or anyplace else that will offer some insurance. (Both medical and financial :) ).

I'm a little desperate.

I'm off to church now. Guess what I'm praying for.


Waiting Amy said...

I'm so sorry that the stress keeps piling up for you. I'll be hoping that things fall into place for you and a miracle happens in the end. After all -- isn't that what Spunketta is?

Familyof2 said...

Man that does put a crimp in the hose doesn't it. Just like this pregnancy everything will work out in the end! It may not be the ending you imagined...but it will be a better one eventually! Take each day as it comes, and try not to stress too much. Easier said than done.

Good luck Nica!

Cathy said...

Oh no!

Hopefully you'll get to keep your job. Not really what you need right now!

Heather said...

I'm so sorry.

I'll be praying for you guys.

The Dunn Family said...

What a crap situation! I'll definitely keep you in my thoughts and prayers!

MLO said...

Talk to a lawyer. Pregnant women are in a protected class. HR reps will try and BS you about this. (Most are actually pretty clueless about what the ADA and Pregnancy laws actually state.)

Bea said...

I'm just hoping it all falls into place, somehow... Prayers sound like the reasonable course of action.


Rachel said...

Starbucks and UPS both offer benefits to part time employees.

As far as laying you off while pregnant, they can do it if they aren't targeting just you. It may be worth it to spend the $200 for an hour of an employment attorney's time. They will be familiar with the laws in your state.

Dianne/Flutter said...

I'm not in HR, but I work for in the legal world. Many companies would not lay you off because, you could state it was discrimination. The fear of a claim is very strong. In my humble opinion, you have a good chance. Wishing you well.

noswimmers said...

Oh my...I'm sorry you're dealing with so much stress right now. I don't know much (well...anything) about HR/legal stuff, but you would think they'd be afraid to lay off a pregnant woman!

Wishing you luck...

Anns said...

Hey, I work in HR here in the city - if you need help let me know. It's a tough time to search for work since you're clearly pregnant, but I've seen stranger things happen. I hope you do get that promotion/raise but if not, let me know and I'll see if I can help out.....

Good luck!