Back when I worked for the Golf Channel, a very important and seasoned senior exec used to tell me,"Meggan Ann, with all the nonsense that goes on in your life, you should have your own TV show. Friends and Seinfeld have nothing on you." (Gotta tell ya, given his experience, maaaaybe I shoulda paid attention there.) In any case, can you imagine that he said that to me *before* I even started filing the divorce paperwork? That oughta tell you somethin'.
I normally don't like to talk about work. I am the primary result for a good page or so if you Google certain combinations of my name - not telling which combinations, but let's just say you get everything from my LinkedIn and Naymz profiles to old blogs and Facebook and comments I've left on other peoples' MySpace pages. But, today's rant is all about insensitvity, and I couldn't complete it without bringing work into the picture, especially since my employer, regardless of who, has nearly always been a source of insensitivity. Particularly since I became ill.
Anyway, my entire office knows about my medical issues and recent loss, all the way up to the CEO. I have received a few encouraging words, but of course none of them know about the other turmoil in my life, so I can't totally blame them for not being more supportive. However, never once have I received encouragement or praise for only missing 1 day of work since then - instead I got comments like, "when I lost my 2, I just had to work through it." I continued showing up on days when I spend the morning (or day) fighting off tears and severe bronchitis at the same time, or when an entire bottle of naproxen wasn't enough to dull the ache - and the only snag my employer saw was an occasional day of 5-10 minute tardiness or a few moments lost when I was crying in the bathroom or receiving electronic support from friends because I'm SO CONSCIOUS that I DON'T EVEN TAKE THEIR PHONE CALLS during the day.
In fact, I'm not supposed to be lifting anything over 15 pounds or standing for long periods, but I've been assigned to packing and shipping 25-pound boxes of marketing supplies. Now, mind you, it's obvious that this hurts and exhausts me - my boss had to tape a box or two for me today because she saw me struggling to do so with any efficiency whatsoever. I've mentioned a few times, to different people - including my boss - that I'm not supposed to be engaging in such activities, but I keep doing it, however slowly. Then this morning I woke up in such pain that I can barely move. Pain caused by the packing/lifting? Unlikely. It is CERTAINLY, though, aggravated by the assignment. So, when 5pm comes, I'm over it. I ask our IT Guy, "Can you weigh these boxes for me?"
He is not known for his tact or warmth, so I should not be surprised when he repeats, "Weigh boxes?"
Taken aback, I stammer, "Well, yeah. I'm not supposed to lift anything over 15 pounds and these are almost double that."
IT Guy doesn't miss a beat. "What, did you hurt yourself or something?"
Did I hurt myself or something?
"Well, I'm not supposed to be doing certain things for 3 weeks after ..."
I want to tell him, "Come fucking talk to me when you have a uterus, you nerdy, chauvenistic xenophobe." Instead, I burst into tears while taping the box and fly to the bathroom, where I remain safely locked for a good 5 minutes until the sobs subsided. (Ok, so what I REALLY thought was much, much harsher. But you get the picture.)
Taking another day off for myself? Good. Possible? No.
Strike 2 comes when I get home and hear that, just days before the event, exbo contacted his exgirl in an obvious attempt to rekindle things (something along the lines of "hey, sexy, it's been a long time"), apparently in anticipation of his dismissal from my life and the life of his unborn child.
One of these days, very, very soon, my newfound ability to stand up for myself is going to rear its ugly head. Until then, my truth is STILL stranger than fiction and I just have to grin'n'bear it. I'm going to Mom's in 2 days, so I should be able to hang in there. Tomorrow I pack; Thursday I take the puppy to my brother's; Friday I'm off. If I can't hang for two more days.......
Maybe I SHOULD have my own TV show.