My education and experience is pretty much all in child development, with some retail experience thrown in for good measure. I've done just about every preschool job imaginable over the years - T.A., teacher, director, assistant director, and I even subbed as a preschool cook for awhile. I love them all, and when I lost my Preschool Director job in April 2009, I would have been thrilled to find a job in ANY of those positions.
Instead, after a year of unemployment, I was finally offered a part-time job with my local school district - as a CROSSING GUARD.
I know I sound stuck up when I say this, but I initially thought this job was really 'beneath me'. I mean, I was told by countless potential employers that I was overqualified for preschool teaching jobs, and then suddenly I am not overqualified for a crossing guard job? A job that requires NO secondary or post-secondary education.....and my degree, credential, and experience don't overqualify me for this menial job?
Anyway, I came to really enjoy my 'menial' job with its ridiculously humble paycheck. It kept me active throughout my pregnancy. It gave me a little extra money to work with in hubby's absence. It kept me on a SCHEDULE, which we all know is crucial during deployment, right?
Knucklehead took this picture of me on my last day at work before I started my Maternity Leave:
When I went on maternity leave, I was not entirely sure that I would return....but by the 6th week, I was actually EXCITED to get back to 'my' crosswalk. I strapped Baby Bobblehead to me in a sling carrier, and happily thanked all the parents and students who welcomed me back and congratulated me.
The shifts are short, only an hour in the morning and an hour in the afternoon, so I knew I could handle this even with all the new demands on my time. However, yesterday I got a phone call from someone in the HR department - he was calling me to 'clarify' that district policy prohibits bringing children to work with you.
I was seriously not surprised that this was the case, but thought there must be some exceptions...after all, my own supervisor, who is the Director of Transportation, had specifically TOLD me when I was hired that Knucklehead could be there with me at the corner, (which makes sense because he attends that school). I was, however, surprised to realize that someone had taken time to CALL the district office to complain about me having my baby there with me. REALLY? Get a freaking LIFE, people!
So, I called my supervisor today to clear this up, and he dodged my calls all day. I didn't want to violate policy, so while I awaited an answer, I went to work WITHOUT Bobblehead.
This was E-X-C-R-U-C-I-A-T-I-N-G for me. I was checking my watch every 30 seconds, waiting for my hour to be up so I could race home to hold my sweet baby.
I realized my boss just wasn't going to return my calls, so I drove over to his office to meet with him in person. Before leaving my house I composed a short letter requesting a Leave Of Absence, in case his answer was NO.
Of course, when I got there he had 'just stepped out' but his seceretary informed me that she had given him all of my messages in detail, and he denied that he ever said that I could have my older son there with me.
Nice. Way to take the high road, huh? He could have said, "well if I said that I was wrong to say so" or even actually outright say , "Yes I said that before, but now I'm changing my mind". Instead he's just going to lie to cover his own a$$.
I know I am not crazy, and I KNOW what I heard. In fact I was not the only crossing guard to ASK if my child could be there with me - we had an orientation with about a dozen new crossing guards, and two other women put their hands down as soon as I asked my question, because they were going to ask the same thing. They, like me, expressed relief that their children could be there with them.
Rather than argue with the secretary, I explained that there had been some misunderstanding, and I turned in my letter at that point. I simply CAN'T leave Bobblehead with a sitter. I NEED to be with him!
This L.O.A. Is really just prolonging the process, delaying the inevitable - I will have to quit as soon as my leave expires, because I won't be any more ready to leave Bobblehead at that point than I am today. But Hubby insisted that I at least try to prolong it.
So now I am feeling inexplicably...SAD. I'm basically mourning the loss of a job that I supposedly never even wanted. And I haven't officially lost the job yet!
Is that pathetic, or what?