Saturday, January 21, 2006

My tip on pregnancy for the day

The biggest lesson that I have learned above all with work and pregnancy is this. Anyone out there thinking about having a baby? Listen up.

Never ever have a baby around the holidays.

My human resources department keeps coming up with new and inventive ways to screw with me. Even my boss said that he has never seen an HR department that is more sticklers than these people are. Want to hear the ways?

#1: Vacation time. Our local HR representative had told me back in June that since my due date was so late in the year and my sick time would possibly run into 2006, I needed to use up my vacation time for 2005 before I had McKenna since I would lose it if that happened. In other words, once you're on sick leave, you're on sick leave. I really wish that I could have used my vacation time at the beginning of my sick leave and then used my sick time, but they told me that I couldn't do that, and then a few weeks ago they told me that I was told wrong. But since it was all over the phone, I have nothing in writing to support that I was told wrong.

Hence, the reason why I went back to work for two weeks at the end of December.

#2: Holiday Pay. Apparently when you are on a leave of absence, you are not entitled to holiday pay. You still get paid, but it is one of your sick days. So, while everyone else in my company was paid for Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year's Day, I would have had to use my sick time instead of getting holiday pay.

Hence, ANOTHER reason why I went back to work for two weeks at the end of December.

#3: My Return to Work status. The way it works with my company is that with a vaginal birth, you get six weeks off work and nine weeks with a C-section. I had six weeks of sick time at full pay and three weeks at half pay. I had a vaginal birth, so I was off for six weeks at full pay. I could have taken another six weeks off with no pay due to FMLA, but obviously elected not to. I was super diligent about making sure that my boss returned me to full duty on the right day so there was no interuption in my pay. If it was done correctly, I would have received no interruption in pay. If it was not done correctly, our payroll department would have assumed that I was taking time off unpaid and I would have received NO paycheck. However, somehow I was returned to work at half-pay, reasons unknown. This involved multiple calls to HR and them finally overnighting me a check for the differential that they owed me. NO explanation was given to me for why this happened.

#4: Before I could take ANY vacation time in 2006, I had to come back to work for one day on January 3.

And now, the most recent way that I have gotten screwed by my HR department...

#5: I realized when I got my last paycheck that it was the same as my last. After comparing paystubs, I realized that my raise did not go into effect. My boss confirmed that he turned in the paperwork on time and everything. So I call down there on Friday and they tell me that since I was on leave for one month of the twelve in 2005, my raise will be cut down by 1/12 and they have not approved the amount that my boss put in for.

When were they going to inform me or my boss of this? You got me. My boss felt really bad about it...but it's not his fault. Hopefully they will send me a check for the differential that they owe me since my raise went into effect on January 1, but I'm sure I'll have to call them next week about that too.

GRRRRRRRR. That's about all I can say about it right now. I know it's all in the employee handbook that they can do all of this, but GRRRR.

Next time I have a baby, I'm going to orchestrate the trying to conceive process so I'm due in the summer. That's just all there is to it!

Anyway, my first week back at work was VERY slow and VERY uneventful. I got a very small grass fire around the corner from my house on Thursday which I went out on the same day, estimated on site, and printed out checks on site with my coolio new check printer, so my boss was very happy and said that he is recommending it for a 4.0 file (which is the equivalent of a A+) so we'll see what happens. If no major fires come in over the weekend, they are going to pair me up with another adjuster just back from school on Monday so I can show her the ropes. Now that I'm able to climb roofs again, I'm suddenly VERY useful in a training capacity to my office.

You may notice that I made some cool changes to my blinkies and a new section for my coffee flavors of the week now that I am a certified java addict again. I also have a section for what I'm scrapbooking at the moment. Just something else for everyone to read that comes to visit. And since I'm being very diligent not to bite my nails again now that I'm back to work, I'm back painting my nails when I have time. I had a little time this week to do it. When my nails are painted, I'm much less likely to bite them, so there's incentive there.

The princess is doing just fine and sleeping through the night now on a consistent basis. She has been sleeping primarily in her crib, but we had an electrical problem Thursday that took out power to the nursery, so we set up the bassinette in our room again just for the night and she did just fine sleeping in it until we got an electrician out to the house to fix the problem. Nursing is still going great, but P informed me that she's now drinking FOUR ounces at a feeding with a bottle. She was drinking 1.5 ounces of formula when we first brought her home and had to supplement, to give you a point of reference. Fortunately, I have TONS and TONS of milk stored up (somewhere around 134 ounces right now so that's what, about 33 meals?) but I'll probably have to start pumping a little more to get my milk supply going when she starts daycare if she starts running through my milk like wildfire. The sucky thing about daycare is that since the bottles must be premade before I go, any milk she does not drink while she's there has to be tossed down the drain rather than just bringing the frozen entrees on ice for them to store in the freezer and use if needed. I hate that. But I'm glad I started pumping and storing early...I'd be panicking right now if I hadn't started this in mid-November.

And guess what I mastered yesterday? I have added yet one more thing to the list of what I can do in my company car while driving. The list is long and I'm embarrassed to admit that I have learned to eat, talk on the phone, operate my GPS, operate my laptop (but I've only done that ONCE years ago), brush my hair, and put on makeup while sitting in traffic. Now I can pump milk while I'm driving to my appointments. My breast pump has a vehicle adaptor that I bought a few weeks ago, and thanks to my nifty hands-free pumping bra, I can get all set up before I pull out of the parking lot, pull my shirt over the bottles, and pump in peace while motoring around town, and then disconnect everything when I arrive at my destination.

Even though my time management skills leave a lot to be desired, one thing I hate doing is sitting idly in my car in traffic when I could be doing something useful!

Crackbooking is still progressing well. I finished my parents' wedding pages and P's trip to Portland in 1994 this week, and I started my prom pages last night. They are going to take some time since I have so many of them, but the first two I completed look good. I'm hoping I'll be done with those by the middle of next week. I ordered another batch of pictures from Snapfish, and when those arrive, I should be ready to start another round of pages. I have quite a few groups of pictures that are ready to go.

And my allergies are still driving me crazy. I have concluded that Dallas is never going to get rain again. Ever.

That's the status of my world at the current moment! Stay tuned and have a great weekend.


Blogger LittleRach said...

That's really awful about work and the HR people. I can't believe you get so little time off to begin with, but for them to then quibble about 1/12 of your raise.... Unbelievable.

6:33 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

It's disheartening how companies treat their employees sometimes, without whom they could not even operate. My husband always fights with his company (International Paper) about vacation too. Stay on their case!

As for rain, you can have some of ours! Memphis has gotten nothing but rain for the last two weeks! Ick!

10:11 AM  

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