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Nov 24 2014

Apparently You Can Get Laid Off While Pregnant

By at 12:00 pm

Apparently You Can Get Laid Off While Pregnant

I started to get an uneasy feeling at work sometime back in September, when things began changing in my department and I found myself increasingly excluded from meetings, decisions, and major projects. But every time I confided in a family member, friend, or coworker, the response was the same: “You’re pregnant; they can’t get rid of you now.”

I tried taking comfort in the legal protections offered to pregnant women but I knew deep down that something was brewing nonetheless. And sure enough, one day I was called into an HR meeting and informed that my position was being phased out and redistributed among other employees.

I can’t say the news was particularly shocking, but I still walked out of that meeting feeling angry and betrayed. After all, I’d been a dedicated employee for over four years. Read the rest of this entry →

Mar 15 2013

Friday Night: I Chose My Kids (and Shabbat) Over a Job

By at 2:49 pm

fresh baked challahHere’s the thing. I actually did try to lean in. I updated my resume, sent it out, and dug out the blazer I only wear to interviews. I answered the standard questions about why I want the job (because biweekly midnight visits to the ER with croupy kids aren’t keeping me busy enough, apparently), what my weaknesses are (chocolate, pudgy-faced toddlers, and men who fold laundry), and how I would feel about being the only post-doc with kids (um, great?).

To be honest, I’m still not sure what happened at the interview. Perhaps I sabotaged myself. As perfect as the job was, and as much as my husband and friends assured me that we could make it work, I just couldn’t quite figure out how our family would function with both us working full time. I know millions of American families (including many of my neighbors and friends) do it, but all I could think about was laundry piling up, last minute emergency trips to the grocery store for milk, and strawberry-banana yogurt, and hushed but heated conversations about who was going to take a sick day to stay home with a feverish child. Read the rest of this entry →

Nov 1 2011

Everything is Suckier in Texas

By at 11:15 am

So here I am.  I arrived in Austin, Texas, just over a month ago.

We had a bid ready for a beautiful house.  I was committed to giving life here a 110% try.  We were just waiting for my husband’s written offer letter of employment.  He had already accepted verbally, but we needed it in writing.  We could not bid on the house without it.  We waited and waited and waited.  An email arrived asking for a call at the end of the day.  The Senior VP who wanted to hire my husband managed by consensus and allowed another executive to veto my husband at the 11th hour.

My heart hurts for my husband.  How dare someone disrespect him this way?  I wanted to hunt this man down and give him a verbal lashing.  Instead, I hugged my husband and said, “Oh well.  Just means something better is around the corner.  We’ll be fine.”

In the meantime, we have no place to call home, no job, and once again, no baby.  Yup, I had another chemical pregnancy.

We had our first date night in a long time last night. It was not one of our usual fun-filled evenings out together. My husband’s head is consumed with finding a job and mine is filled to the brim with pregnancy stuff. We are “go with the flow” type of folks, so I know it will all be fine and we will end up where we are supposed to be.  But I feel so alone right now.  I miss my momma friends in New York dearly.  A phone call or email is not the same, and who has time?  Meeting for a walk in the park or a quick cup of coffee was always so easy in New York.  I miss seeing Aiven play with his friends and I worry that he may suffer from the lack of interaction with other kids.  Time to get into a mommy group here I suppose. But I have no idea where to find one.

The Upper West Side of New York, with all of its Jewishness, good friends, easily accessible playdates, and really scrumptious food, consumes my thoughts.  I have been plunked down in a land of brown, drought highways, fast food, and nary a Yid for miles.  I used to pride myself on being able to spot a Jew at a hundred paces. I have to look a couple states away to really utilize that skill here.

But the good news is that my plan to escape Texas has legs!  The difference now is that my husband is on board.  Austin is not the Austin of his college days.  He is not the boy of yesteryear.  Requirements change and he sees that now.  He has been applying to jobs (mostly mostly management consulting in technology or finance, for those of you who want to help him out) in different parts of the country, and I can tell he is excited about the possibilities that lie ahead. Right now things are hard, but it won’t last indefinitely.  I know that our new home is somewhere over the horizon.


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