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I have a co-worker, and she’s not unique in this, who feels that the company must make concessions to her because she squeezed out a mini-me several years ago. She waltzes into work anywhere between 9:00 & 9:20 and leaves at 16:25 on the dot. Wonderful working hours, wish I had them. Her argument is that because she squeezed out a sprog she need to cater to the needs of her child. Excellent, do that, but don’t expect your co-workers to pick-up the slack.

The Finance Department received a communication this morning that we will have external auditors showing up to review our books in March. The communication went on to say that none of us are allowed to take any time off during this week, this is non-negotiable. I read the email and my first thought wasn’t “damn I was hoping to have that week off” it was more of a case of  “hmm wonder what their focus will be”.

My co-worker, shall we name her Patricia, has gone into a tizzy over this. “This is not fair Beanie”, “They have no right to deny me this week”, “Don’t they know it’s March Break, I MUST take this week off as my kid will be off school that week”. To the first lament that this isn’t fair, I rather cool informed her that this is the price of being an accountant – you have to be present for audits. She asked me if I realise how horrible Day Care is and that she wouldn’t subject her sprog to that.

I personally don’t care. Why should a working mother get special treatment and I have to pick up the slack because she managed to push out an ankle-biter? Sure, I have no children, so in essence I don’t have to rush home every night to cater to a whiney brat. But you know what faithful readers, I too deserve to have the ability to go home at a reasonable hour and not stay all hours because Patricia decides that she must leave at 16:25 and everyone else can go to sh*t cos her precious mini-me comes first. I am sure any working mother reading this will think I am being negative, I’m not. I just want equal treatment and my womb’s ability to produce progeny shouldn’t be a consideration with regards to getting the choicest vacation period or being able to walk out while the office is in the middle of monthend.

I am hoping against all hope that our Manager tells Patricia like it is and give her the option of either performing her job or to find something best suited to her family needs – like working an assembly line.  Telling Senior Management that you will take this time off, come hell or high water, and to hell with an audit .. that is just way beyond pale.

And this goes to the heart of the issue I have with working mothers and the unfair treatment they get. Three years ago I underwent some major surgery. It was so bad that I ended up in the ICU and required daily nursing care even when I was discharged. Ya know what? Medical EI is only for 15 weeks. I found out in early February that I was to be cut off (at the 15 week mark) even though I still had open wounds and had a home-care nurse showing up twice a day. But if I had managed to squeeze out a brat I’d be eligible for 52 weeks of EI. How is that fair? Yes this is an issue to deal with with Human Resources Canada. But why should someone on medical leave have to rush their recovery and go job hunting because they’ve run out of money while someone who was pregnant gets a whole year off? I rushed my recovery and I paid for it the following year with recurring major issues.

Before you working mothers bitch at me that I don’t understand how hard it is to work and have children I say – fuck it, you don’t know how good you do have it. You want kids, there are sacrifices you must make. If that means that you want a 9-5 job then go find one, don’t expect such hours if you are employed as a Senior Accountant. There will be overtime and it’s your job to make arrangements to care for your brat, not the workplace’s.

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