PLEASE NOTE: If you are struggling with infertility or are currently trying to conceive and you DON'T want to read about my pregnancy (which I totally understand), I recommend starting at the beginning of the blog (March 2010) and reading from there. I find out I'm pregnant in June 2011 so there is a lot of trying to conceive posts in between that you might find funny, helpful or relatable. Wishing you all the luck in the world!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Wish You Were Here

I have a running joke at my day job. Note that I always call it a “day job” to remind myself that what I do from 9am to 5pm is not actually my life. Anyway, the joke goes that if you live in New Jersey or if you have a small child, you always have a ‘Get Out of Jail Free Card’.

I’ve lost count of how many people haven’t come into work because they either have a sick kid at home or the weather in New Jersey is so bad that they couldn’t possibly make it in to Manhattan, which is where I work. There is public transportation available, but for some reason, whenever there is snow, there simply isn’t a New Jersey employee to be found. Maybe they’re afraid of snow? I’m not sure.

The reason I mention this is because I took off a few days last week for my IVF. Monday was the retrieval, Thursday was the transfer and Friday was the day I watched crap TV while trying to comfort my sore uterus.

When I had asked for the whole week off, my boss was not at all agreeable. As you may remember, I told him about the clinical trial in the hopes that he would be understanding and flexible. It became clear by his reaction however that I was wrong and he was anything but. Instead, I ended up getting a lecture about how busy things are at the office and at some point, I needed to ask myself if I’m capable of keeping up with work and dealing with “this fertility thing”. This fertility thing? He made it sound like a hobby. It had the same tone to it as someone saying, “When are you going to give up on this whole acting dream of yours? Be happy with your job as an accountant!

I tried to explain to him that neither myself of the clinic could reason with my ovaries on the state of our current work flow. My ovaries have follicles and these follicles know nothing of the business world. All of us: me, my husband, my family, the doctors, my therapist, and even my boss are basically at the mercy of my female organs.

His response was, “Look, we had four kids without any problems so I don’t know how it all works for you…”

I said, “I’m happy that you don’t know how it works. I wish I didn’t know how it works because it’s annoying.”

Well, I don’t know if I would use the word annoying.” he said.

You don't have to use that word because I just did. It is annoying but again, you wouldn’t know that.” I was losing my patience.

As he launched into a monologue where he tried to be sensitive while stressing his needs, I began to think about the Oscars and how they get winners to wrap up their speeches. Wouldn’t that be great if you could do that in real life? If someone is going on and on about something you think is total B.S., you could just start humming an orchestral piece and get them to shut the hell up. Think about it. I think it could seriously catch on as an effective device.

In the end, we agreed that any day I could come in - I would. This sucked donkey balls as having the whole week off would have been a huge help but I really had no choice. However, as far as he knew, I only took off Thursday and Friday. The reality though is that I actually took off Monday as well, but he never knew it. Many were out that day for a meeting, including him, so thanks to the assistance of a few of my co-workers and my handy blackberry, we pulled off ‘Operation-No-Really-Jay’s-in-the-Office”. I think at one point in the day, I even emailed someone, “What do you mean you don’t see me at my desk? I’m sitting right there!

Working Tuesday and Wednesday was not at all fun. I was uncomfortable, hormonal, tired, bloated and frankly, pissed off and resentful that I had to be there. If you could take off because you had a sick kid, why couldn’t I take off in order to acquire a sick kid?

This week, when I returned to the office, I received an email from my boss double-checking that I used my vacation days for Thursday and Friday. Had I known those two days were my vacation, I would have taken more pictures to show my colleagues when I returned. Never mind photos of me sunning myself on a beach! Here’s a picture of me in a hospital gown getting knocked unconscious!

Better yet, perhaps I should have sent him a post card, “Wish You Were Here!” with the words, “So I could stick a needle in your vagina and extract your eggs!” hand written in.

“Fertility things” (as my boss so delicately put it) are medical issues. They are not hobbies, vacations or even something I would describe as remotely fun. I would think they would count as either sick days or perhaps if we all signed a petition, we can get “infertility days” instated.

It’s also worth noting that a woman who holds a similar role as me at my day job is off this entire week on a cruise. Why she gets to take a cruise without getting as much crap as I did remains a mystery. Maybe my boss likes me better and just doesn’t want me out of the office. Maybe going on a cruise is far more acceptable than getting an invitro. Maybe if I had the invitro in New Jersey, this all would have been a non-issue. I haven’t a clue. The only thing I do know is this whole matter was handled poorly.

For now though, I’m focusing more on my two week wait. I’m following the doctor’s orders, trying to remain calm, taking deep breaths and visualizing Rudy, the lone embryo implanting. Hopefully, this cycle will be successful. For if it is, I’m immediately moving somewhere it snows a lot and giving my kid an ear infection so I can stay home.

41 comments:

Natalie said...

Sounds like a jerk of a boss. I would take up the sick days vs vacation days with the HR dept. You were having a medical procedure done and recovering from it after, how is that not sick time? I hope Rudy pulls through for you and then you can focus on better things!

Dana said...

I hope Rudy is implanting!

Your boss sounds like a you-know-what. Your post had me laughing, as they usually do.

Keeping my fingers crossed for you.

Lulu said...

Booo. At my day job, we don't have separate sick and vacation days, just one big bank we use if we're out of the office, for any reason. So when my coworkers have sick kids and I have a laparoscopy, we all have to use the same sort of time. It's kind of nice, actually, but I could never pull off being in the office if I wasn't really, so congrats on that!

cgd said...

Jay.
I continue to be annoyed at your boss for you!!! What an ass and do hope you can some day stick a giant needle up his vagina by the way!!! It makes me sick to think of all the misconceptions out there about IF and its treatment. It is insulting to think that they want you to use vacation days instead of sick days like you would for any other medical procedure.
Most of all though, I am sorry that he needed to add stress to an already stressful/anxiety provoking situation.
I hope you get some time decompress this weekend.
thinking of you and rudy....

Dr. Blondie said...

What a jerk! How do you deal with him? He doesn't sound very pleasant under any circumstance.

Sending sticky thoughts your way...

sienna said...

omg, your boss is an insensitive a-hole. i hope someone runs over his foot and he loses it. geez, is that mean of me? i can't seem to help myself. w.t.f. wanna tell me where you work and gimme his pic, so i can come through some paint on his face? pregnancy is bringing out my inner gangster, what can i say. this sucks that you have added stress bc of him. hang in! xoxo.

arohanui said...

Yes, that's shocking behaviour from your boss. Sounds to me as though he approved "sick" leave prior to the event (although not an adequate amount) and it's too late mate if he now wants to make it vacation leave. I'm so sorry he gave you this stress, what a wanker. I hope Rudy is going gangbusters in your endometrium. Good luck for a BFP!!

thirtiesgirl said...

Your boss is a major jerk. I agree with the above advice to talk to HR. This is a medical procedure and recovery=sick day; not vacation.

Aramelle said...

I'm at a loss for words over the behavior of your boss! I was blessed, I suppose, that my boss had personal experience with IF and was overly accommodating. While I don't wish IF on anyone, I do wish everyone could have that kind of understanding from their workplace!

Sticky, Ruby, stick!

Baby bump bound said...

I agree about the "I can't come into the city because..." excuses. These past few snow storms left the city kinda empty - nobody here but us NYers. Your boss sounds like a royal douche. It makes me wonder how dumbass people like that get into positions of management.

You hang in there and focus on Rudy and not on your idiot boss with now soul.

Thinking of you... and RUDY! RUDY! RUDY!!

CS said...

LOL! I'm hoping for Rudy to get an ear infection! :)

missohkay said...

If it wasn't a vacation then what the heck did you need a bikini wax for? Totally the same. (I'm sorry he was such a jerk.)

IVF Jess said...

I can't believe he actually said he had "four kids without any problem." and to talk about "this fertility thing" as if it's an optional fun hobby to have. I'm so furious on your behalf. This is why people need to start talking about infertility- so dumb*ss like your boss at least don't say such things.

Hang in there, Jay & Rudy.

mybumpyjourney said...

ARGH! What a total ass. I had to quit my job b/c I couldn't guarantee that our IUI would be on one of the EVERY OTHER weekends I was scheduled to work...or the three other days during the week she wanted to schedule me.
Plus, since i wasn't full time, I could only call in 1 time a year....oh, and I got no vacation time.

I HATE ASSHAT BOSSES.

C said...

What a jackass! I commend you on your handling of that situation, I probably would have cursed him out and then punched him in the nuts.

Sending lots of good/sticky baby thoughts your way!

Heidi said...

um, are you serious?! i would have been crying! and those definitely need to be sick days!!! thinking and praying for baby rudy!!!

Dead Cow Girl said...

Simply speechless. How can someone be so heartless? I agree. Talk to hr. Get a note from your dr. Um, as well as one of those long needles. You never know when you will see your boss bent over ...

Kate said...

Hi Jay,
I just starting following your blog! I just had my first embryo transfer the day before you did!
I am a second grade teacher at an international school in New Delhi, India. I took four days off for the transfer and, thankfully, my principal was very understanding. However, one of my student's parents went to her to complain that I was out sick for so long. I was shocked when I heard that she had complained. I mean what a horrible, horrible woman. Maybe your boss and this parent should get together and leave us the fuck alone.
I'll be thinking sticky thoughts for you!
Kate

lady pumpkin said...

Did he really say that "four kids with no problem" thing? Seriously?? Major-league douchebaggery there. So sorry you've had to deal with all this, Jay.

Elaine VanDRiver said...

I'd have my happy ass in HR. Medical appointments should allow you to use sick leave. And next time you need a few days off for treatment, I'd have my RE give me a script for bedrest. I'm pretty sure it would be against the law to deny an employee the use of sick leave like that. What a jerk! Sending you positive thoughts for this cycle.

amiracle4us said...

I HATE your boss!!! And really? To say they had 4 kids easily...wow thanks. I hope this time works for you so you don't have to deal with him again!

Cristy said...

What a craptastic way to handle the situation. If your boss was my husband-brother-father-friend, I would beat them within an inch of his life. In all seriousness, you may want to consider talking with HR (discrimination based on a medical condition = potential lawsuit). I'd be willing to bet that they'd like to avoid it.

Look on the bright side; YOU don't have to fuck this idiot.

Rooting for Rudy!! Take care of yourself and I hope you feel better soon

Nic said...

wow, what an ass! You managed to stay so calm with him, well done!
Oh how I wish this infertility thing was a hobby, we would all give it up straight away!

I hate it that people dont even try to understand what we go through.

Secret Sloper said...

What. An. Assmunch. I hope all four of his easily conceived children grow up to hate his guts for being an insensitive know-it-all prick. Fuck him.

And I think a complaint to HR (maybe when you're on your way out of the day job to your glamorous full-time comedy gig) would be a good idea. It's absurd that they would treat a medical issue like this so callously.

Baby Craving said...

Your boss deserves a kick up the ass! A bit of empathy and understanding wouldn't go astray..... So nice of your workmates to cover for you on the Monday though- very well exicuted!

Shona said...

People can be so insensitive!

Good luck on your two week wait. Here's hoping for a BFP!

EMM said...

He. is. a. JACK.HOLE. I am very impressed that you were able to maintain decorum and not slug the jerk. Sounds like he needs to be thrown in the "douchewasher" so that he can clean up his act. (Not my word- stole it from Rants from Mommyland. Still love it, though!)

Still wishing you luck and saying prayers for Rudy! Thank you for sharing your story with us. Chin up, sister!

Feliz4life said...

LOL seems everyone said what I was feeling....My prayers are with you!

Carli said...

What a douche! I know that men can't really understand all that we have to do to get pregnant (especially when he and his wife popped out several with no trouble at all).
I agree with some of the previous posters that I think I would be discussing the details of the time off with my HR department and what was allowed. My employer let me take the time off as sick time since it was for a scheduled medical procedure.
I hope Rudy is hanging tough and growing strong!

China Doll said...

Screw your boss.. well, not literally - given that he doesn't really know 'how these things work', he probably wouldn't be any good.

Jenny said...

Ugh, this post makes me so angry! I wish I could yell at your boss for you (so you wouldn't get in trouble). Love the idea of the orchestral music to shut people up in daily life... Is there an app for that?

Amanda said...

Hey, found your blog through ICLW :)

Wow, just reading this post has infuriated me. Your boss is unbelieveable. I can't believe he had to throw in the fact that he had 4 kids, no problem. I'm so sorry you have to deal with an ass like him while you should be able to just focus 100% on yourself.

I wish you and Rudy plenty of luck over the next few weeks!!

Emily said...

What a jerk face!! Ugh, people don't understand. I'm a teacher and I can't use sick days for doctor's appointments. Even though I've got 45 sick days banked, every time I have to be gone for an appointment I have to take an unpaid personal day. Doesn't. Make. Sense.

gailcanoe said...

Sorry about your boss. It should be sick days, not vacation days and I would fight for that!
Hoping for good implantation news!

Kelly said...

Wow...

I mean, wow.

Your boss is a complete jackass.

I'm so sorry you have to deal with his bullshit on top of everything else.

IF crap should SO fall under sick time.

Anyway, I'm really rooting for Rudy over here. Much luck.

Anonymous said...

Good luck to you and Rudy!
I'm sending my happy thoughts...

Miriam said...

I agree with everyone else about your boss! I hope you get a chance to use all of your vacation time and then some for a baby vacation very soon!

ICLW #61

Rowelin said...

What an Ass Hat!

Kakunaa said...

Seriously? What a ... there isn't even a good word. Is there someone other than him you can go to regarding these issues? Like HR? Because they should have been sick days - minor surgery, hello!!!!

Try to stay calm and let your uterus do its job, k?

Rachael Lynn said...

Wow. It's hard to believe that someone can be so dumb. Good luck to you!
*here for iclw, and yeah, you are pretty damn funny*

conceptionallychallenged said...

Ugh. Sorry that you have to work for that guy...

Perhaps try to do an IVF on a cruise? Given the price, the cruise part should be included, and you'll be "relaxed" and all...

Post a Comment