One example that is relevant to the subject of this blog is Sandy. I've told you about Sandy - she's the new mom I take walks with at lunchtime a couple days a week. On a personal level, I like her very much - she's very friendly and a warm person. As an employee, though, she's become a disaster since she had the baby.
The gist of the problem is that Sandy doesn't really want to be at work. She is baby-obsessed and wants to be home with her baby, but she HAS to work. Her mind is not with her when she's at work. She's constantly finding reasons to leave early, take off, call in sick (or call in because the baby is sick), call out because the baby has to go to the doctor, or this appointment or that appointment, and on and on.
We get a generous amount of paid time off where I work - altogether 35 days a year (including vacation, sick and personal time) and she uses every minute of her alloted sick time TO THE MINUTE. For example, one day, she came into my office because her anniversary date was coming up and she wanted to know how much time she had left. I told her she had only 2 hours of sick time left. (Sick time does not carry over - if we don't use it, we lose it.) So the next day she comes up to me at 3:00 p.m. and says "I think am going to go home early and use my last 2 hours of sick time. I have cramps." That kind of thing.
A few days before Christmas she hints to me that it would be great to be off on Christmas Eve and it's too bad we have to work that day. Well, we already get off Christmas through New Years (which is something like 10 days) but she still has to try to finagle more time off. So I said, "yeah that would be nice, but it's important that we are here that day to get everything caught up before we get our long holiday vacation." That was that. On Christmas Eve I notice she is not in the office. I get a call from her around 10:30 a.m. telling me her mom can't get to their house due to weather. Gee, I wonder if this is a coincidence. It just happens to be Christmas Eve, the day she wants off, and surprise, surprise - she can't get to work.
So while we were on the phone, I asked her what kind of back-up plan she has for situations when her mom can't babysit (I mean, let's face it, a number of things can come up - mom could get sick, mom could have car trouble, the weather could be bad). Her response was, "we don't have a back-up plan". I then asked her if it had always been their plan to have mom as their babysitter. Her response, "we never had a plan. We're just kinda playing it as we go."
And this is what gets me. People decide to have kids and don't think about how they will incorporate the change into their life. Everyone tells them, "oh, you just make it work" and they're not kidding - you know how they make it work? By calling out sick left and right, leaving early and taking advantage. Their employer and others who rely on them are the ones who "make it work" for them. We all have to pick up their slack.
Now, I realize she is perfectly entitled to take her time off. We get 12 sick days a year and she's entitled to use every minute of them just as I am (but I don't). I guess if her calling out left and right didn't lead to so many problems (backed up work, angry staff and clients calling me) I wouldn't get so peeved.
I don't know what the point is of this long, rambling rant, but I just felt the need to vent today.
I feel better. Thanks for listening.