Thursday, May 28, 2009

Off to the Hospital...and Maybe Off to Work

My day unfolded not as I planned.

I was up early. Coffee. Dogs. Husband. Newspaper.

I had a business luncheon to attend at noon. I hoped to touch base again with a prospective employer who happens to be the chair of this particular group. But I am nervous. If they offer me a job....what do I do about our upcoming cycle? How will I explain that I will need one or two weeks of time off sometime during the next few months? I don't want to disclose the IF or FET or any of that. That was one reason why I had really hoped to do the transfer last week. The timing would have been perfect.

But, ah, of course, it is Murphy's IF Law. If anything can screw up a cycle, it will.

Anyway, while getting ready, a friend called. It was my friend whose husband had a brain tumor. He had surgery in December. Rounds of chemo and radiation. She was emotional and tearful on the phone. I asked if she wanted me to come. She did. Her husband was admitted to the hospital after having fallen at home, whacking his head on the night stand. I made my way to the hospital and spent the afternoon with them.

Dear God, I don't know how she does it. She is the most amazing person I know. Her husband was unrecognizable (to me). Not the slim, muscular, masculine, strong, athletic guy he used to be. The cancer, the medications, the treatments, the side effects....they have taken their toll. He is incredibly weak. His arms bruised from nurses poking him with needles. His head still bald because he likes his wife to shave it now. He is swollen and pale. But one blessing: he still has his wild, hysterical sense of humor. He had us doubled over laughing at times. He is at times confused, but the sense of humor is exactly who he is.

I was most taken with my friend's gentleness and patience with her husband. It was incredible to witness. She really is my hero. So I spent much of today grasping the reality of my friend's life. How virtually all normalcy has abandoned them. My heart, my prayers, my soul just go out to her. Why do bad things happen to good people?

While I was at the hospital, the prospective employer - the one whose luncheon I ditched to be there for my friend - called. She left a message on our machine offering me the position and saying I can start as soon as I want.

Uh oh. Now what? My DH thinks I should simply tell her that I will need time off in the next few months to take care of some personal business. That it could be as soon as the beginning of July, but we don't yet know. Let her decide whether that will be acceptable. Considering the current financial condition of California, perhaps she will be delighted to have me take time off without pay.

If you have any thoughts about a good way to handle this, I'd appreciate your input.


In Due Time said...

Praying for your friend and her husband.

I would do like your husband suggested. A need-to-know basis.

Anonymous said...

Did I you were a fellow Californian!!??? Congrats. I think your husband is right. If they really want you, I'm sure they will work around it.

Anonymous said...

yeah, having been on both sides of the equation i would just tell the new job - "i have something that has been planned for over a year/months/a long time/whatever and i will need 2 weeks off (unpaid). the exact dates are still up in the air, so i will also need some flexibility with it. of course, as soon as i know the dates, i will let you know." that should be fine - all you can do is let them know! most people understand. and no explanation is necessary, either.

your friend sounds amazing. makes me feel like a dipshit for complaining about my life.


tireegal68 said...

I am in the same position re jobs except I don't have the offer yet! But I am so conflicted about what to do on the job hunt. I like the advice you have been given though. I think it's sound.
As for your friend - she is amazing and you are a great friend for going to be with her when she needed you. I am rooting for them and for you:)

K said...

Hats off to your friend. I bet she could blog the heck out of her life. But hats off to you for being there for her...a true friend you are.

Being up front with the prospective employer (without divulging the nitty gritty) is the professional way to handle it. It's likely they won't care, but will appreciate your candor right off the bat. Good luck.

And, if they do care and it's a problem, then they likely won't be thrilled when you tell them in a few months that you're pregnant!!!

Anonymous said...

Im so sorry to hear about your friends husband. Ive seen a few family members diying from cancer and its a terrible, terrible disease that just wrecks havoc in the body. Im so sorry.

Congrats on the job, that is awesome. I would rather just take the job and deal with having to take time off later. When the time comes just explain that something has come up that you need to deal with. if you cant take leave then take unpaid leave (not ideal) but it comes to that then at least its an option. I think Im much like you - really dont like to share too much info with anyone, esp my boss/colleagues.

just me, dawn said...

I hate to see tragedies, but it seems your friend and her husband are attacking his disease with grace, strength and humor, wonderful to witness.
on the job note, I am with your husband, up front but no details, just say personal isse. Whenever I was hiring someone and they told me that, I was more than willing to work with them....I liked that they brought it up before they started so I didn't feel used :)
good luck!

stillhopeful said...

I agree with your husband and most of the advice on here. As someone who hires a lot of people, I have hired prospective employees many times who have needed to take time off fairly close to their hire date. I appreciated their honesty up front, rather than waiting until after they started. It never made me decide not to hire them.

Good luck - very exciting!!!

Alex P said...

She wants you for what youre able to bring to the table, and chances are she will want you -2 weeks of work more than she will just not bother taking you for the possibility of being -2 weeks work.

cindyhoo2 said...

Wow! THis post was just what I needed today. Thank you for helping me remember that there are worse things than having to wait.

Your friend and her husband sound amazing. I am sure they will never forget your support of them now.

As for the job thing: I have no way to improve upon what the dinsfordfamily said above. Spot on!

Anonymous said...

So sorry about your friend, but I'm glad you could be there for them.

I (IMHO) would definitely say something to the prospective employer. That isn't fair to drop a two week bomb right after they hire you - but if you are up front about it it shouldn't be a problem. I have done this several times when I had vacations planned or something, and it was not a problem.

But I think the vagueness is the big question - I need two random weeks off when I say but they could be any time in the next few months is going to raise questions. If it were me I'd just say I had some feminine issues that needed to be addressed, and that is why you can't nail down the time. To me that is vague enough but you don't want them thinking you have some horrible disease either! Good luck - and congratulations on getting the job!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on the job!

I would tell your new employer, you don't need to disclose anything about your IF journey, just explain that you will be having a procedure done (you can say feminine issues so she doesn't ask questions), that you are waiting on dates and you will need some time off.

Generally if you are up front about these sorts of things people honestly don't mind you taking the time.