I had booked a run of the mill appointment with Human Resources at work today. I wanted to plan for my leave and investigate my options for additional time off. I left the office swallowing my rage and shaking my fist at The Man.
Law, I hate The Man.
Flashback to Toddlerina's birth, almost two and a half years ago. I took the 12 weeks FMLA and requested an additional month unpaid leave.
I requested the additional time off in Personal Leave. My flake of a boss denied it and blamed it on the CIO. I was angry but just swallowed it since "I was going to quit anyhow you rotten pigs". Ha. Return to present and I am still employed at the same place and don't see any clear exit yet.
HR stepped in and pushed the Personal Leave through for me. This HR employee pointed out my years at the firm and my good work. The rejection was overturned and I got an extra 4 weeks at home with the baby. I was thrilled.
You cannot imagine what it did for my mental health. I had what I call Labrador Syndrome: pat me on the head and I will work 10 times harder to please you. It meant a lot to me and I tried to show my gratitude by working to the best of my ability. For real.
Times have changed at my firm. That was then and this is now. HR was The Man personified, sitting across from me with over done makeup and excessive accessorizing.
In today's meeting the HR Agent of Heartlessness told me Personal Leave was granted for several reasons. She tossed her flat ironed, over processed head and shared a few examples with me such as knee surgery, taking extended vacation to visit "the home country" or being a contestant on The Bachelor.
I laughed, in an eager to please way. It wasn't funny, but I was a little excited that getting approval was going to be so easy this time. If you can get Personal Leave to be on the World's Most Demeaning Show on Earth, then surely you can get repeat Personal Leave on your second baby.
Things quickly deteriorated when she realized I was asking for the Personal Leave in addition to the FMLA. She asked me if the Personal Leave was for a medical reason. I explained in a joking manner that yes, it was. (I still thought we were going to be friends.) I am a walking medical reason for needing additional time off. I glossed over extended fertility treatments, pregnancy loss and still birth.
She informed me that the leave would need to be approved by both HR and my management team. She said it was not promising to get it approved, in fact the outlook was poor.
Let it simmer....
I icily asked her to confirm she was telling me that HR would deny the request even if it was approved by my management.
She said it was doubtful to be approved - if the additional time was approved for me then everyone would want it.
Let it simmer....
I am a hot head. Thank the law, I was able to show the Ice Anger today. I did not drop a printer on her head. I let her know I was having a very hard time swallowing her examples for Personal Leave.
She said it might have been a bad example. But if I "only wanted the time off to bond with my baby", there was no reason to approve the extra leave.
Begin to boil over....
Cue: Raging Mother; amplify with pregnancy hormones.
Under extreme duress you explode or you speak with a chilling clarity. I spoke clearly and quietly. I told her I could not reconcile the game show contestant with my request. I said a few other things and concluded the meeting.
Folks, we have a battle on our hands here.