Three Months to the Day

For the past couple of months, I’ve been updating from my private group on Facebook. It’s not the same, but honestly, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Since we last talked, Aitch turned five; Doodicus started the sixth grade and his grades half-way through the first quarter were all As; and I found out that November 1st will be my last day at work for the surgeon as he has opted to retire early.

I’ve been a little consumed by the last point because I hate job-hunting. I mean, who doesn’t hate job-hunting, but for me, I hate it to the point I cry and get heart palpitations. Administrative jobs in a town of 20,000 are as rare as hen’s teeth.

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In the past two weeks, I’ve applied for one position for which I really don’t qualify, but I figured what the hell. Actually I think the worst part is the interview. All those canned, pointless questions that the interviewer has written on a form and they write down the answers without truly even listening to what I’m saying… It’s the worst. I wish that they would just invite me out for coffee and just see if we like each other personally. Speed-interviewing, if you will.

Without my job, we will also be without health insurance. For our family, the ACA is a godsend. My apologies (insincere though it may be) to those of you who disagree. I’ve never pulled punches before and I won’t start now, but the only people I’ve heard vehemently appose the ACA are those who have had their coverage provided by their white-collar employer with little or minimal contribution from their paychecks. My husband and I make a decent living and have basically been responsible for a premiums. We are a blue-collar family that pays our bills. When I was diagnosed with cancer in 2010, we paid our medical bills in full and on time. And then after that, I was uninsurable unless through an employer, and I had to wait a year to even be eligible for benefits. I’m tired of hearing from friends and family through my social media contacts that the ACA is meant for deadbeats and people who don’t pull their weight economically. They are narrow-minded, candy asses.

With that, I bring you this in keeping with current events. It’s brilliant. It comes from Brian Krewson at “the metric ruler“.

So, Imagine that the company you work for held a poll, and asked everyone if they thought it would be a good idea to put a soda machine in the break room. The poll came back, and the majority of your colleagues said “Yes”, indicating that they would like a soda machine. Some said no, but the majority said yes. So, a week later, there’s a soda machine.

Now imagine that Bill in accounting voted against the soda machine. He has a strong hatred for caffeinated soft drinks, thinks they are bad you you, whatever. He campaigns throughout the office to get the machine removed. Well, management decides “OK, we’ll ask again” and again, the majority of people say “Yes, lets keep the soda machine.”

Bill continues to campaign, and management continues to ask the employees, and every time, the answer is in favor of the soda machine. This happens, lets say… 35 times. Eventually, Bill says “OK, I’M NOT PROCESSING PAYROLL ANYMORE UNTIL THE SODA MACHINE IS REMOVED”, so nobody will get paid unless management removes the machine.

What should we do???

Answer: Fire Bill and get someone who will do the fucking job.

Bonus: Bill tells everyone that he was willing to “Negotiate”, to come to a solution where everyone got their payroll checks, but only so long as that negotiation capitulated to his demand to remove the soda machine.

Bill is a fucking jackass.

That’s Bressels. Not Brussels.

I’ve been training temps this week and I am trying to be sympathetic about their individual plights, but one of them has just rubbed me wrong from Day 1. The temps were really brought on in a rushed manner, and apparently my boss seems to have approved the first two applications that fell across his desk.

Here’s an interaction that took place within just a couple days of Temp Z’s training, which took place when I popped my head into where they were working to talk to a fellow employee:

Me: "Blah blah blah patient is blah blah blah and Doctor wants to reschedule to…"
Temp Z, interrupting: "Where did you get your top?"
Fellow Employee and Myself, awkward silence.
Me: "Uh, I don’t know. I’ve had it for a couple years."
Temp Z: "I think it came from The Store."
Me: "It could have."
Temp Z, defensive tone: "Well, I guess I got MY answer!"
Confused look exchanged Fellow Employee and Myself.

I won’t even go into her voice, which has been described by more than one person as "bored" and "disdainful".

And just because you know I’ll never lose that last edge of my Bitter Infertile, she announced she was pregnant and due Christmas Day, and she made that announcement April 20th. YOU do the math.

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The Fellow Employee’s last day was Tuesday. She left me a note to read to the entire staff at our morning huddle. It expressed the hurt she felt over something a couple of other employees did and the backstabbing. While she ended it on a positive note, I decided that I wasn’t comfortable reading it. I know it will get back to her and it’s unfortunate that her anger may end up getting diverted back to me, but I selfishly have to look out for myself as I’m the one still in the office dealing with the Backstabbers.

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On a more humorous note, my daughter, Aitch (who I may have to re-nickname after I discovered that "H" is actually a street term for Heroin, and here I am calling out to Aitch in public settings…More hip listeners might think I’m a soccermom addict), was instructing me in the ways of womanly attributes last night.

As I was tucking her in she poked my stomach. "That’s your belly." "Yes, it is." "And this is your chest." "Yes, it is." "What are these?" as she poked me directly on the boob.

"Those are called Breasts." "They’re Bressels." "What??" "Bressels are Spanish for breasts." I’m laughing now, "Hmmm, okay."

"I don’t have bressels. I’ll get them when I get bigger. I’ll get a Patch, too, right?"

All I could do was laugh some more and answer, "I suppose you will!"

Zinger

Well. Shizzle just got real up here where I work. The new specialist corporate had been courting decided not to accept so we have no one to take the place of our current surgeon if he retires.
Except he IS going to retire. While he hasn’t “officially” announced it, he told me personally that it would be at the end of the year. The kicker is that he must have mentioned it to someone else as now his referrals are onto the rumor and our schedules have been negatively affected. Productivity has dropped to half in the past couple of months of what we’ve done at this time of year.

On top of that, the Scheduler and Receptionist both announced that their last day in the office will be the end of the month. Their timing not only couldn’t have been worst, but it shows an utter lack of respect for the surgeon, especially since one had been with the office for 30+ years, and the other was a friend she arranged to get hired. This leaves me as the remaining clerical staff member until we can get someone trained.

I was asked if I was going to arrange for their going away party by one of the staff in a satellite office. My retort, “Hell no!” may have been just a tad brusque.

I’m also having a hard time not rolling my eyes at the person who has been selected as the “obvious” replacement for the Scheduler. She’s currently a surgical assistant and although she hasn’t even started training, she has announced that she never understood why there were two people doing what surely she alone will be able to do. I’m going to sit back and enjoy the hell out of that one in a couple of weeks.

In other disappointing news: Those UGGs I bought my daughter that I raved about? Exchanging due to defect, but had to pay the difference between the sale price and the current price at Zappos. And I had to exchange my Sven clogs, too! They had a chip in the toe that they tried to fix before sending to me that I didn’t immediately notice. That wasn’t such a big deal because they did it quickly, without any hassle and the weather last week was crap so I couldn’t have worn them anyway. And finally, my MIL said we are raising “heathens” because we don’t take them to church…or did I already tell you this?

Oh, and because this is one of the few places I can talk unabashedly about what my uterus and ovaries have been up to, there’s this anecdote Last week I was sure that my period was going to show up at a most unfortunate time since it’d had been almost a month from the last one on March 8 (remember? It was on the day of my mole check?). I made sure to be prepared at the Visitation and Funeral. However, it did not make any kind of appearance, and it didn’t several days later. And then I started to wonder if FINALLY I was hitting actual menopause after all these years of having defunct ovaries. AND THEN I remembered that March 8th was the day I had my LASIK, not my mole check. My mole check was on the 21st of March so I still had another week to go. Except it showed up YESTERDAY! A full flippin week early! I HATE MY OVARIES!!

This post is just to remind you that just when you think it’s safe to gloss over and skip to the end, it isn’t.

Your Insurance and You: As Told By Me

Did you know I got a job? Yep, way back in May. It’s a wonderful fit for me, but not unlike any other job, it has its moments where I’m panting “TGIF TGIF TGIF” by Thursday afternoon.

First of all I work for an o r @ l surgeon. I’m not just talking a fancy dentist, I’m talking maxillofacial surgeon, the peel-the-face-off-of-someone-to-put-their-bones-back-together-if-in-a-disfiguring-accident type of surgeon. But as exciting as that might sound, those cases are extremely rare around here. Generally speaking, the main thing we get to do around here is surgically remove teeth.

My responsibility is the handling of the insurance and finances, and in today’s insurance climate, it’s fraught with issues and policy holders are left either dumbfounded in confusion or boiling over in indignation.

First of all, I am going to preface this with a statement I have to tell clients every day: I don’t know what your insurance will cover or pay. Policy holders who get pissy about this really need to take a look in the mirror. If YOU have an insurance policy and YOU are paying the policy and YOU elect to take the coverage, then YOU are ultimately responsible for knowing what your insurance will pay and what they won’t. As a courtesy, I will verify coverage, remaining deductibles, coinsurance and even get a quote of benefits for you, but, and that’s a mighty big “But” (…I like big BUTTS and I cannot lie…) the information I obtain from YOUR insurance company and pass back to you is only as good as the representative I talk to on the phone at YOUR insurance company.

If you are referred to my boss for “0ral surgery”, that term does not always mean what you think it means. If you said “0ral surgery” to your medical insurance, that could be taken to mean to mean something as complicated as an osteotomy, which is where a surgeon breaks your face and realigns it. Then your insurance company may believe that it’s to give you a physically more appealing profile (like in a case of “weak jaw”) as an enhancement. OR, it could mean correcting a congenital defect or even a progressive defect in which the lower jaw is undersized or doesn’t grow at the same rate as the rest of the face.

On the other hand, 0ral surgery could mean the surgical removal of a tooth instead of simply extracting it with some fancy pliers.

And that’s why your medical insurance doesn’t normally cover 0ral surgery because they consider it dental. BIG TIP #1: To find out if your insurance will cover 0ral surgery, call and ask them: “Are there any benefits for the SURGICAL REMOVAL of a tooth?” Now they may ask you if it’s impacted or erupted. If you can see all of the tooth, you can pretty much assume it’s erupted. At that point, 90% of all insurance companies will tell you no, there are no benefits. If you are not happy with that answer, then just ask if there’s a difference in benefits depending on whether your tooth is erupted or impacted. That should help you in case you really can’t tell either way.

When it comes to your dental insurance, benefits for the surgical removal of a tooth is almost usually there. ALMOST. Same question to your insurance rep can be asked. BIG TIP#2: If they ask you if you have a code (which who the hell would know the code for the surgical removal of a tooth unless they actually work in a dental field?), here’s a safe bet: D7210 – surgical remove of an erupted tooth. There you go. You’re welcome.

The bigger problem with 0ral surgery is the anesthesia. We don’t use “gas” here so I’m not even going to go into that as I have no idea if dental insurance covers it or not. We use IV sedation or local anesthesia (the numbing shot to the mouth). Local anesthesia will be covered and is included in the surgery. Logically, what kind of sadist would ever surgically remove a tooth and NOT numb you?? Therefore, there shouldn’t be a separate charge for local.

As for IV Sedation, only a licensed professional can provide this service, so be advised. IV sedation, or “going to sleep” as it’s commonly referred to, is rarely ever considered “medically necessary”, so for those people who say “The tooth is infected and a friend of my cousin’s brother-in-law who works for a veterinarian told me it would be medically necessary for me to go to sleep!”, well your argument is moot.

With that being said, that doesn’t mean your dental insurance won’t cover it. Don’t walk into the surgeon’s office and announce, “I have to go to sleep or I’ll rip the door off the wall when the doctor touches me!” when all you are having done is taking out one abscessed, erupted tooth. You’ll get no sympathy from me or your insurance. Of course, we’ll go ahead and put you to sleep if that’s what you want, but I’ll warn you ahead of time your insurance isn’t going to pay for it and I’m going to collect the charges for it before they even take your blood pressure. If you seriously have a dental-phobia, then you should be willing and able to pay for the “luxury” of going to sleep. And if your insurance does indeed pay towards anesthesia? Well, alleluia! You have excellent benefits. Here’s your refund! BIG TIP #3: if you don’t have the finances to go to sleep, but you don’t like the sound you hear when someone is working on your teeth and mouth? Bring your MP3 player and plug in.

Here’s where things get complicated. Do you know what your Third Molars are? They are the wisdom teeth. The surgical removal of the wisdom teeth breaks all the rules when it comes to insurance benefits. Some medical insurance plans provide benefits specifically for wisdom teeth. Some dental insurance plans specifically exclude benefits for wisdom teeth. It is safe to assume to never assume that while you may know what insurance benefits you have and don’t have, that those benefits apply to those suckers. I don’t recommend calling just once, but twice, and to talk to two different representatives.

As I wrap things up, I would advise you to familiarize yourself with how your medical AND dental insurance may coordinate on benefits for 0ral surgery. I recently had this example: medical insurance only covered impacted wisdom teeth and the dental considered the procedure strictly a medical and had no benefits at all for the specific procedure. What happened was that the patient’s wisdom teeth were all erupted, so no benefits under the medical and none under the dental. All that insurance and no payment whatsoever…just sad. And then there’s the “no duplicate clause”: medical had benefits but the deductible was crazy high ($10,000) and not even close to being met. The claim was then sent to dental, but they had the “no dupe clause” and since medical already processed it, they denied. Again, all that insurance and not a dime was paid out.

Lastly, BIG TIP #4: look at your Explanation of Benefits (EOB) when you get it. Don’t wait until the doctor’s office sends you a statement for balance due and then get your panties in a bunch wondering what the balance is for and call the office and start chewing out the office staff claiming you don’t know what you’re being billed for. I repeat: YOUR insurance is YOUR insurance. I don’t pay the premiums, YOU do. If you want to know what your insurance paid and didn’t pay, call the phone number that came on your EOB and ask someone. And if you get a check with your EOB because your insurance company pays you directly and not the doctor, don’t be a tool and cash the check and spend it on outstanding bills and then not pay your doctor. You will get absolutely no sympathy when you call and say, “I got a check three weeks ago for $500 but I spent it on my cell-phone bill, cable and cigarettes and would like to make payments of $50 a month with you.” That just makes you douchey and a flake.

I’m sure I missed something equally important and as boring, but I have wanted to share this information for a while with you, the ‘net. After a decade of experience at the hospital and now this, I can safely say that only about 90% of policy holders understand the basics of their health insurance. It is complicated, but making the attempt to gather information makes everyone happier, and trust me, I don’t like looking at anyone’s face as they gape at me in open-mouth horror and shock when I deliver a quote of benefits. I don’t want to see your buccal cavity. My boss does.

Ambivalence is My Middle Name

It’s funny how I don’t feel like updating here anymore. Every day several times a day I think, “Hey! That would make for a great blog post!” and then? Seriously. I haven’t written a great blog post since never. Speaking of which, I started blogging August 2005.

I have no idea why I brought that up since it’s October somethingorother. Which also reminds me, I won’t be participating in NaBloMo or whatever it’s called.

Did I just hear a collective sigh of relief?

My daughter still hasn’t pooped in the potty but she’s not holding it for five days at a stretch, either. She keeps telling me “next time”. In an uncharactheristic move, she also pissed her pants while sitting on my glider-rocker. As I was stripping her down for a quick belly-button-on-down bath, I asked why she did it.

“It was an accident, Mommy! I’m sorry.” …. dramatic pause … I love you.”

I bought a couple tuttu skirts from Target thinking they’d be a novelty. However, Aitch has become so enamoured with them, I went and bought a couple more. She has worn one at least every day now. When it’s cooler, she’ll succumb to the addition of leggings, but it’s like trying to wrestle a cat into a pillowcase.

I went back for a three-month follow-up appointment with my PA. I need a refill of the paxil and ambien. The thing is is that I didn’t really want a refill of the ambien because I was anticipating my evenings just so I could TAKE the ambien. He said as long as I’m able to get up in the morning and feel rested that I’m taking it as I should. And then we talked more about my depression. Actually he asked why I thought I was depressed. I told him I wasn’t really sure, but that maybe it was the miscarriages and infertility or the pregnancy with Aitch that I was sure was going to end with a dead baby and then the loss of my job after ten years and then the cancer. Oh, and let’s not forget my son’s ADHD which makes him do things that make me so angry at everyone and everything that I’m sure my fury will result in one of those rare cases of spontaneous combustion and the only thing that will be left will be a pair of hopefully fabulous shoes and a singe mark on the ceiling.

I’m sorry. What was the question again?

He suggested, as many of you did, I seek counseling. I told him I would think about it, because you see I am still in denial. Enough so I didn’t pick up my refill of paxil and ambien. At least not yet.

Profound:

1 a. having intellectual depth and insight; b. difficult to fathom or understand

Let’s just get this out of the way right now: I am not referring to this post. Instead it was several events today that I consider profound in their individual ways.

First off, my boss gave me the task to do some research on an issue of compliance. He told me yesterday that whatever my final determination would be just that, final. The office would have to respect my decision and my “word would be law.” He was actually saying, “I’m avoiding conflict.” I slept on the issue and this morning I requested input from the corporate level via an email.

I’m not very good with emails. I tend to be brusque. Even – what was the word one of my blogging friends described me as? Oh, yes: CAUSTIC in my correspondences. I don’t bullshit. This morning I typed out my email knowing that I had to be succinct but detailed enough for him to understand the concern without a lot of back and forth. I started to include more details of the issue including names of employees and I realized the email would be recognized as getting personal, so I eliminated much of it. Coco Chanel supposedly said that before you leave the house, look in the mirror and remove one accessory. I applied that concept to my email. Before I hit Send, I removed one (or two) sentences.

A couple of hours later I had my response. Happily the one I was hoping for. I wasn’t expecting for the email to be copied to the office, but it had been and I was figuratively wiping my brow in relief that I had remained professional and unbiased in my original email so the office wouldn’t say I was deliberately swaying the response my way. It was a profound moment.

Unfortunately, all was undone later when I heard that a staff member had been talking smack behind my back. The details are boring, but I did confront the coworker and we had words. Lots of words. Looking back on it the exchange on both our parts was sophomoric. We eventually came to blows an agreement and since we both are straight-shooting personalities, we’ll go directly to each other in the future. And in a strange turn, we realized not only are we both strong-willed but our family-building paths were tragically familiar. She went through four years of infertility treatments, two twin pregnancies (losing both sets as well as a tube when one of the twins was a hidden tubal), a term pregnancy (healthy baby girl who is studying to be a doctor), cancer, and a hysterectomy.

Yes, that all came out in a single conversation. It was, say it with me, PROFOUND.

And finally on a much lighter note that involves the adventures of potty training, Aitch announced as we turned down our lane that she had gone potty in the carseat. *groan!* When we got home, she had a couple more accidents including a piddle on the living room carpet, which I have emblazoned into my memory for total recall when I start thinking how great it’d be to have a PUPPY! (nevernevernevernevernever….) She had been doing so well these past couple weeks except for the whole BM thing. She’d request a diaper for that, which I didn’t have a problem with. I’d rather that than her get constipated.

After supper, and the two prior accidents, she announced she has to go potty and ran to the bathroom. Sparring Partner was on duty, but within moments I heard, “Uh, mommy? Mommy?!” In his way, SP was beckoning me to join him in the bathroom (now there’s a sentence I thought I’d never have to write). I found Aitch sitting on the potty with tears in her eyes. “I’m scared of the poop! I don’t want to poop in a diaper! I’m scared! Noooo!!” and big, fat tears plopped off her red cheeks and onto her lap.

I rubbed her back and stroked her arms letting her know it was OK, and she eventually stood up and turned to look at what was her first BM at home. Gross, I know, but we made a big deal of her accomplishment and she quickly calmed down. She expelled a big breath and said, “I feel better now!”

I am so proud of her. She was proud of herself. Oddly enough, her fear/excitement and our need to assure her of her bodily functions were...profound.

How’d It Go?

It was a good first day. The person I am replacing is training me. She is moving to another office within the corporation so whatever questions or problems arise means I can and should call her. That means it is in her best interest to get me trained efficiently and accurately. Plus, there is no “deadline” on the horizons for her to be at the other office, so we can be quite thorough.

I think I’ll like it. I got a sniff of the office politics already. Apparently the clinic staff can get a little territorial and think she (and later, I) should go to them with questions about the procedures; however, the person training me told me quite simply that if I have questions about what happened in the chair, I talk to my boss: the doctor.

The highlight of my first day was having flowers delivered to my new office. Flowers from Sparring Partner? The last time he sent me flowers was….

…uh….

Yeah. I have no idea when. It’s been years.

The day would’ve ended perfectly if I hadn’t had to come home to bickering and whining. Unfortunately, the largest contributor to this was the person who had sent me the flowers.

It’s like I had never stopped working.

Feels Like the First Day of School

These past few days since accepting the job offer, I’ve had to remind myself frequently that the adjustment I’m trying to prepare ourselves for isn’t that much of an adjustment when it comes to the overall picture. While I did lose my job almost two and a half years ago, I’ve only been home full-time since January.

But in the smaller, cynical picture, I can’t help but worry about losing this quality time with Aitch and Doodicus. What makes it a bit easier is that Aitch has been going to the daycare for a couple hours a day while I worked out and ran some errands. Doodicus will be done with school on Wednesday, so I won’t be stressing about his schoolwork (if only for the next three months). He’s very excited about going back to daycare full-time, and I have to admit, him being at daycare will provide him more activities than being at home with me who doesn’t like to do battle over how much time he needs to spend outside, or actually anything but playing TV and video games.

Related: the other day I “made” him come outside while I planted some flowers with Aitch. A wasp happened to be nearby and Dood nearly pooped his pants. I may have told him to suck it up. A post for another day.

I’m sure that my nervousness has a lot to do with the fact that this isn’t like me going back to work after maternity leave, it’s because I’m going back to work at a completely new job at a position I’ve never had. What if I hate it? What if they hate me??

Other worry-inducing changes are minor, if not petty. I didn’t even bother working out this week because I won’t be able to once I go back to work. Until we get Aitch onto a new schedule, I’ll be out of the house before she even wakes up. Half hour lunch breaks means endless sack lunches and no more lunch-dates with Sparring Partner. The projects I had lined up with remain just that: projects. The house will revert into a pig sty that I will have to spend my weekends cleaning. And I’ll miss my friends’ updates on Facebook and their blogs.

See? Stupid and petty worries. These are normal, right? I keep reminding myself that I’ll feel productive once again. I won’t have to justify every bank account transaction. Lastly, and probably the most importantly, we’ll finally have health insurance coverage…correction: Aitch, Doodicus and Sparring Partner will have health coverage. I, on the other hand, will have some coverage, but I may have to wait at least 18 months for the pre-existing term to pass before I get the coverage I really need.

Monday is my first day.

What You’ll Never Hear Donald Trump Say: You’re Hired!

(Link below fixed…I think)

Well Mother’s Day as a “day” was shit. Thank god I have the other 364 days to make up for its singular full on suck. Sparring Partner and I had a humongous fight. I’m almost afraid to mention that a bloody nose was involved, but before anyone gets their panties in a bunch, it was the bloody nose that actually brought on the fight. It took about 24 hours before Sparring Partner and I were talking to each other again.

Of course I had to break the ice because Monday morning my sister and I were going to The Metro to do some bonding over shoe shopping and being that annoying couple of women who talk and giggle at each other through the dressing room walls and I wanted to spend some moola. We had planned the trip a week earlier, so I had been trying to figure out what was lacking from my closet. What is NOT lacking from my closet was the too-small and out-dated office-appropriate clothing that I noticed were getting a fine sifting of dust.

I was trying to get Aitch distracted by breakfast and Dora when my phone rang and it was a local number. My stomach lurched. I knew it was coming and I both dreaded it and anticipated it with hope. I was being offered a job.

Backing up a bit: a couple of weeks ago I received a phone call from a speciality clinic in town. I had applied for a position in their office but I was not hired, however a different position within the clinic came open and my resume was reconsidered. I interviewed with the physician and the person I would be replacing, and while I knew I would be a great fit, I had already mentally geared myself for a summer off to be with the kids. My first summer as a SAHM. Landscaping projects that had been blown off for the past couple years were restarted.

But as with all the good interviews I have had in the past, I figured that yet again I would be overlooked. A couple of days later I received another phone call from the clinic requesting a second interview. Again it went well (it wasn’t one of those canned-questions-with-canned-answers kind of interview that I loathe. It was a let’s-sit-down-and-get-to-know-each-other kind of interviews, which I prefer for their casual honesty. Admittedly, the physician is well-liked, respected, popular. I could do worse, I thought, after the second interview. That’s when I knew I wouldn’t get the job: because now I wanted it.

That leads us back to Monday morning’s phone call. I accepted enthusiastically and graciously while my daughter, who I walked away from and closed the bathroom door on so I could have a fairly dignified phone conversation with, screamed and cried for me. I nearly changed my mind when she wailed, “I want you! Mommy! I want youuuuu!!”

It was her face that was in the forefront of my mind when I finally called my husband. I was in the car, driving out of town, my daughter content once again at home with Grandma nearby. I announced I had a job and then I cried while my heart broke.

When I start to get weepy, like I am now writing about that moment, I remind myself of how I couldn’t have asked for a better opportunity. The specialist is top-notch. The clinic is under a corporation and there are health insurance benefits and investment opportunities. I’ll be able to utilize my decade of experience at the hospital. And the cherry? During my probationary period, they will start me at the salary I was making at the hospital and then I’ll be eligible for a raise.

It took 36 months from the time we were referred to a Reproductive Endocrinologist (July 2005) until we actually had a baby (July 2008). It took me 29 months to find a new job. Wrap your brains around that for a moment.

I went hog-wild on my shopping trip. The credit card’s strip was melting by the time I headed home with several large shopping bags in the back, including one with a pair of these shoes – in blue – and these (one of my fave brands of shoes). While most of what I got was mine, I did get both kids a few things for the summer. Doodicus will probably hate what I got him and that will mean a return trip to The Metro.

My credit card will be cooled by then.

Stepping Up

I’ve mentioned at different times my friend who I use to work with that also struggled with secondary infertility. She got pregnant in high-school and now has a sweet teen-ager. Several years ago, shortly after she met and married a wonderful man, they had tried to get pregnant. This is also the same friend who has a great deal of faith and while they agreed to give a few rounds of IUIs with clomid a try, they didn’t feel IVF – or any further ART – was for them for religious reasons. They then started on the path towards adoption, just completing their profile a few months ago and are officially waiting.

This friend, who we’ll call Sasha, can be quite exasperating, but what friends aren’t on occasion? We definitely don’t see eye to eye on religion, ART, or even adoption (at this point, she wants a closed adoption), but I have an unbelievable amount of admiration for her. Once pregnant at 16, she could have easily become one of the majority of single teen moms and drifted through her adulthood, but she finished school, moved out on her own with a baby, worked full-time, got a college degree and soon after her masters.

When my ex-boss was promoted, his position was left unfilled for nearly a year. Several times I would encourage Sasha to apply, but she always waved away my suggestions (and her husband’s and her other friends’) by saying she wasn’t qualified. But Sasha’s hard work within that department didn’t go unnoticed and eventually the CFO went to my former boss and told him to find out if she was interested in the management position. Finally she figured, “what the hell”, applied, interviewed and quickly became the new director of the department. I am over the moon for her, and I can’t help but be glad I no longer work there, as we would no longer be able to sit in each other’s offices and have our bullshit sessions or disappear for an hour-plus lunch.

Sasha has completed our taxes for us for the past few years. Sparring Partner and I always talk about paying her, but she refuses. I think she’s just being polite, silly woman. This year was no different even though she admitted that with her new position, she might not be able to get them done as quickly. However, true to form, she finished them as quickly as before. So this time, as not only as a way to show our appreciation for putting up with our tax issues but to congratulate her on the promotion, I am doing something for her that she wouldn’t think of doing: Getting her new shoes.

Here’s a young woman who is now in a prominent position with one of the largest employers in our town and she’s running around in shoes from Payless. Not that there’s anything wrong with that… She just doesn’t know how to reward herself so I’m going to surprise her with these:

I’m very proud and happy for Sasha, so I want to make sure her career takes off on the right foot.

I know. Bad pun. It’s the one I’ll include in her greeting card as well.

Little Annoyances

Yes, I’m blowing off the Photo Ops. It’s called “procrastination”. Get use to it.

Tailor Wannabe?

My husband noticed that I had “fabric glue” written and struck through on the grocery list, because during one of my errands I picked up a bottle. Sparring partner asked what kind I got and I just looked at him stupefied. “Uh, the kind that glues…fabric…?” As if he knows anything about fabric glue.

Related:

I used the fabric glue to adhere some fleur di lis patches to the back of my daughter’s jeans, which were initially very plain. To ensure good adhesion and to keep them flat, I grabbed a concrete paver from the front deck to lay on the jeans while the glue dried. I finished my project and hung up the jeans and set aside the brick. Sparring Partner asked why it was in the closet of the bedroom. I explained. Are you going to take it back outside? he asked. If it bothers you, take it out now. I responded. Hurumph was his reply. I just walked past the closet. The brick is still sitting there. Apparently it bothers him enough to roll his eyes at me but not so much to take care of it himself.

GAH!-la

My ex-employer has an annual fund-raiser. It’s a hoity-toity affair. During my employment I did attend a couple of times. Since I’m no longer employed there, I don’t go. Obviously. My SIL works there so she’s always getting FIL involved with contributions. He asked Sparring Partner if we want to go to the fundraiser and my this was husband’s response, “Not just no….”

I “contributed” ten years of my life there for what?? Did I ever tell you how my ex-boss emailed me while I was on maternity leave “strongly urging” me to make sure I contribute to the expansion project?! I did and was fired a month later. If that wasn’t enough, when the stalking co-worker gave my ex-boss a sob story about her empty pockets, he contributed in HER name. Oh boo-hoo, bitch. So, yeah, no. Thanks for the offer, but we won’t be going to the gah-la.

Thank you for coming in and saving us the cost of a stamp.

Photo Ops are going to have to take a break for a bit. I’m wholly uninspired. An hour ago I was on my stomach taking pictures of the flotsam made up of crumbs, noodles and I think what may have been a couple of gray hairs that was under my kitchen counter. You think I’m kidding? I guess you’ll have to just wait on those pins and needles to see, won’t you?

I had another interview earlier this week. Once again they professed their adoration for me as I was sitting there, promising me a second interview as well. I’m fucking adorable, I tell you! After I got in my car, my ego all stroked up and confident about the next step, I recalled the interview itself and of course worried some of my answers might not have been as strong as they should have. Like I should have answered that I don’t have kids when they asked me if I did. I should have said I was just diagnosed with malignant melanoma when they asked me if I was in good health. I should have said that my husband has excellent health insurance when they asked me if he did. I should have said that I have serious issue with God and we’re not on the best of terms when they asked if I had a problem with joining in their daily “prayer games” (my term, not theirs).

When I was reminded by my friends to make sure to send a thank-you card, I decided to go one step-further. I addressed a card to each of my interviewers with a personalized note in each and while Sparring Partner took care of lunch for Aitch, I drove into town and hand-delivered them personally. Aren’t I clever?!

I was thrilled when one of my interviewers happened to be at the front desk and she took them from me with a great smile and told me how they really enjoyed meeting me and that they really liked me (they really, really liked me!), but…

They just hired someone else.

You would do ANYTHING? Here’s my bank account information for the transfer.

When I was trying to get pregnant or found out I was going to miscarry, there were certain phrases that people seemed to think were helpful. Many of you know these phrases and their just-as-annoying variations all too well:

  • It’s God’s will.
  • You just need to relax/take a vacation.
  • If you adopt, you’ll get pregnant.
  • Just watch mine for the day and you’ll change your mind.

Being the recipient of such useless remarks would make my blood boil, but there really is nothing that can be done except go to my blog and complain about them. And it definitely isn’t just me. Google “things not to say to an infertile person” if you really want to know.

Now that I’m an Involuntary Stay At Home Mom (ISAHM), I’ve heard the following response to the announcement I am no longer working enough times to make me want to beat the person about the head with a used toilet brush.

“You’re SO lucky! I would do anything to stay at home with my kid(s)!”

I am so lucky?! How is losing nearly half our annual income, investment portfolio, and health benefits “lucky”?? My children who had formed bonds at daycare and established routines now feel lonely and bored at home because their mother, who has never been unemployed has no idea what to do with her children at home except help one with homework, put together puzzles, or watch entirely way too much TV.

I would do anything…is such a crock of shit. Anything? Hey, it’s not that hard to do. No magic genie needs to be summoned in order to become a SAHM/D. You just need to quit your job. Simple. Oh, you don’t want to lose your health insurance and then worry about how every specialist that you need to see means that down the road if you want to purchase private health insurance, it means a major hike in premium and that’s IF they will even cover you? Heaven forbid you get cancer and become uninsurable. Or your son get diagnosed with psychological problems. Don’t worry if you have asthma or if your spouse is overweight.

So no, you wouldn’t do anything. You like the idea of it, and sure it even sounds great to me, but the reality sucks. Unless you know the person who just told you they are a SAHM is doing so voluntarily, please keep that “lucky” and “anything” remark behind closed lips. That’ll keep me from taking better aim.

My IRL Friends Suck

A couple of weeks before Christmas, I sent a text message to two of my friends who still work at the life-suck pit where I was fired from, asking them if they wanted to do lunch; a get together before the holidays. I was hurt when I didn’t hear back from either of them. That night I sent them an email that basically said that I know that since I don’t work there anymore, it’s hard to stay on the radar, but it would’ve been nice if they would’ve at least replied even if it wasn’t going to work out that day.

While one replied she didn’t get the text (which I can believe as she’s not very technologically savvy), the other replied that she was in another town and wouldn’t be back into the area by lunch and that when she did get back to work, she got busy. I’m sorry, but how long does it take to reply with a text, “Can’t today. How about Friday?” I’m sure she had plenty of time to sit in the other’s office and complain about whatever we always went into each other’s offices and complained about…I didn’t bother responding to either of their emails.

So yeah. I took it very personally. I also realized that each time we have arranged to get together, it has ALWAYS been under my initiative. Neither of them have called me or emailed me to get together. And that hurts a lot.

I haven’t had any contact with them since then because I figure after two years, if they haven’t taken that first step, they aren’t going to start. But then a couple of days ago I got an email from one asking if I wanted to work at a school function with them. I haven’t replied because quite frankly, I’m peeved.

Let me just segway here to add that a few days ago I filtered out some of my FB “friends”: those who I’ve never had interaction with. One of those people was my techno-deficient friend’s husband. Granted he had once commented on one of my wall posts, but I then noticed he had friended the ex-coworker who had stalked my blog AND who had given my blog address to the HR person where I temped for 18 months. Now he can be friends with whoever he wants, but you know what? I don’t want him to have ANY information about me that he could let unintentionally slip to her. No way. No how. So I cut him.

Man, I can’t believe what a paranoid and crazy bitch this makes me out to be.

Anyway, still peeving about the whole scenario. I’ve even illogically expanded on why I’m mad: no inquiry as to our holidays (BTW, for the past three Christmases I sent them both cards and never got one in return); she couldn’t have called me? It’s not like I’m working! And she knows that. Also, I’m almost certain that if I accept, they’ll end up not being there and I’ll be stuck with two other school moms that will make me wish I had started drinking at 8 (in the morning).

Did I mention paranoid and crazy?

I will probably accept, but I think I’ll wait a few more days before responding. Not that they’ll sweat it out or anything. Hell, my luck? They’ll tell me that since I didn’t reply earlier, they got someone else to help them.

Can I Leave It Up To A Coin Toss?

I’ve been vacillating between letting 2011 being my year of forgiveness: forgiving my former employer for being a cocksucker, forgiving myself for being hard-headed and abrasive, so I can go on to be a kinder, gentler me.

Or to be the year of shirking this neutral pansy cape I’ve been wearing and scream out, “Fuck you, you losers!” like Superman in the phone booth and stop worrying about diplomacy, both here and in my personal life.

Either of these options actually make me cringe a bit, and I realize that it will probably take me all of 2011 to figure it out.

I all but gave up looking or a job. When my computer was infected and I had lost a recent version of my resume about a month ago, I never went back to rebuild it. There’s currently two positions I found locally I should apply for but the idea of being rejected again overpowers the very slim possibility I would even land an interview. The lack of confidence I feel contributes to my desire to go with Option #2 above in the harsh day light. It’s at night, when I invariably wake up to stare at the shadow of the ceiling fan that I wonder if I wouldn’t be more at peace with Option #1 because my ass is sore from the repeated self-kicking.

Last night as I was cleaning off the remains of supper (the one Sparring Partner cooked (he always cooks)) while he was playing a computer game with Doodicus, I felt oddly at peace rinsing the dishes, stacking the dishwasher, wiping the table and clearing the counter. Like I was happy, carefree. And now this morning again I am knotted up with stress and once again disenchanted.

Not looking for answers. Just airing my brain while Aitch sleeps in after her repeated wakings last night. Once at 3:30 a.m. to play with her stuffed toys in her crib and the second time at 5:30 to whine loudly. Literally, whine like a puppy. SO annoying!

And at that, I hear her. She must be more rested than her mom, as she is playing quietly. I wish I was 2 1/2 years old again.