Tuesday, 4 August 2009

One of the reason why I quit my job...

I totally can understand where this article is coming from. One of the reason I quit my job is so that I am able to continue breastfeeding my baby since I am not able to extend my maternity leave.

When I was 2 weeks away from coming to the end of my 2 months maternity leave, I emailed and met my manager at her home to highlight my concerns that I have yet to be able to find a good nanny to care for my newborn - although we have met and interviewed about 4 nannies at that time, none of them are qualified or good enough to care for our baby (some are already pass 50+ years old, house condition not hygienic, they already caring for 4 kids that time, staying in high traffic area). Yes, ppl may say that we're just being picky or we have too high expectations, but this is my baby we are talking about. It's not like choosing veggie in the market or something!!

Anyway, I proposed to my manager to allow me to take additional few more months of unpaid leave so that I can continue breastfeeding my baby and meantime, to look for a suitable nanny. Another option I proposed is to allow me to work part-time - something like a 2-3 days in a week work kinda thing for short term (like for 6 months) - for this option, the company can just pay me the number of days I work in a month. I even told my manager they can void my annual leave, bonus, EPF, etc.

When it was time for me to return back to work, my manager is still working out my concerns with her supervisor. (let's call her supervisor MS for easy reference) Meanwhile, I managed to get my sis in law to care for my baby (she agreed to care for maximum 2 months while her maid is still around as she has to home school her own 6 children, so most of the time, she will just oversee her maid in caring for my baby)

First day after work... when I went to pickup my baby, my sis in law told me the devastating news that she has to take back her word. We have to look for our own nanny cos she really cannot handle a baby at that time. Her house is being renovated and her maid is not able to cope with watching over the contractors, cleaning up the house and caring for my baby at the same time... not to mention, my baby is well, being a baby, crying most of the time (cos new environment and used to my smell I guess...)

On the 2nd day, MS called me, my manager and the HR personnel and highlighted that there is no such policy in the company to allow staff to take unpaid leave or work part-time.

I mentioned that in the HR manual, it was stated if the staff has exhausted their annual leave, any further leave from there will be treated as unpaid leave. Isn't that what I'm proposing and how can MS said it's not in the company policy? I guess this remark caught MS off-guard and triggered MS hatred towards me (can tell from MS reactions) and MS said 'How long you want to continue applying for unpaid leave? Are you going to apply for it every week?'

Then MS also mentioned that if I was serious in looking for nanny, I would've found one long ago and not wait until returning back to work and bring this issue up. I was so angry with that statement but I just kept quiet. Then MS added 'If we allow you to work part-time, then the rest of the staff will follow. You are setting precedent in the company. It will give them impression that staff can simply get pregnant, take maternity leave and then work part-time. Then if you work part-time and company ask you to come office to attend meeting and your son needs you that time, of course you will attend to your son first right?"

That statement was the last straw... I'm sorry to say this but whether I am working full or part time... as long as my son needs me, I will attend to him first instead of the company. Mind you, this MS has 2 children and I've seen MS rushing home during working hours to fetch one of the children home because there is no transport that day. Well? Why not the same understanding and empathy here???

Anyway, to cut it short... I tendered the next morning and to be honest, that 1 month notice I served (and paying off the other 2 months notice) has been quite an experience which further cemented my decision to quit. Not to mention the stress and pain it caused me as I can only express maximum 2 oz of breast milk per day at work during my last week at the company.

Personally, I think there are some mothers in my company who would want to work but also care for their children at the same time and I
think my other colleagues who heard about my proposals are kinda hoping it might work out.

There were some further discussions being made to get me as a freelance staff after I quit but in the end, the discussion failed. Well, this is another story to be told in the future. But one of the reason it failed is because I found out I was being backstabbed by MS apart from the conditions set towards my freelance terms which is not advantageous to me. I just think, what's the point in continuing to work here when MS is trying so hard to get rid of me? My name tarnished, fine, let it be. I know I did nothing wrong and I know God is watching all this.

When I left, some of my colleagues said that they envied my position and how they wished they can do the same. Honestly, I think if the company considers the pros and cons of the idea, it would be a win-win situation. Unpaid leave - you still have your staff but you just skipped a few months salary as long as they don't work, working mothers get to care for their children. Part-time basis - again, you still have your staff and you pay according to the number of days they work, less EPF contributions, helps the company at this situation of economy glitch and working mothers get to care for their children.

My disappointment in this whole thing that made me wonder is, how can a person who also has children can totally not even try to empathise with your situation and even go to the extent of trying to get rid of you and slander you in front of big bosses. If they are sincere in retaining their staff and think from the company's perspective instead of soothing their own hurt ego, things can be work out, whether it is in the company policy or not.

I prayed to God to open up the mind and heart of people like MS - to empathise with staff with their own family situation and I prayed to God to give employees the courage to stand up for what they believe in and not be bullied and looked down just because there are ppl who are higher rankings than them.

Work is not everything... money is not everything... in the end, if you have your work, and still get salary but you are being discriminated and bullied at work, what's the point? And to miss your child's growing up when all this happen?

Nah... it's just not worth it...

“Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble." Matthew 6:31-34

"Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
"Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.
"And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints...." Ephesians 6:10-18 "

For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things. But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” Matthew 12:34-37

"Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!" Psalm 27:14


Dominique said...

Wow, not what I would call a family-friendly company in this day and age!

I'm a full-time mummy... said...

Hi Dominique,

Thanks for visiting my blog :) Yeah, they should be more family-friendly oriented. Personally, I think the company is really good, just that there are some management level staff there who are power craze and cannot stand their ego being attacked upon. I am glad I made the decision to leave. :)

Mumzzy said...

Hi there!
I just want to say one thing, you did the right thing! I totally understand what you went through. I took 8 months to find the right nanny (started the search the moment i found out i was preggy). Not easy to find a good one nowadays...was rejected by first 2 nannies and finally i found the right one.
sorry that i copied your blog template cuz it's so cute! hope you dun mind.

I'm a full-time mummy... said...

Hi Mumzzy,

Welcome to my blog! Thanks for your support! :D I sure hope I did the right thing hahaha... so far no regrets in staying home taking care of my baby full-time. :)

No prob with the templates, I got it from Blogger. Glad you like it as well! Stay in touch ya!

Mark said...

Unfortunately, the world is full of people like that. Power-crazed, egotistical and self-centred.

It also makes you want to vomit blood when you have to deal with those people who are obsessed with policy and procedure, even when a little common sense would quickly solve everything.

Look on the bright side, the chain of events led to your current ultra high-salaried job! :)


I'm a full-time mummy... said...

The weirdest thing was being told there is no unpaid leave or working part-time in the company's policy and then when they want to hire me as a freelance staff, they give me terms and payment structure and they quote it is based on the company's policy. Which is why the freelance deal failed halfway through...

Anyway, yeah, no regrets so far. It's better 'working' at home for someone who adores and brings you endless joy than getting paid to suffer, need to kow-tow and being discriminated at work :D

Colleen said...

Ur SIL has 6 children?

In Sg, if we give birth to Singaporean baby, we'll have 4 months of maternity leave. I am not sure if 2/3 months is the compulsory, but I am quite sure the 4th month is flexi, just like what you proposed to MS.

In addition, we'll have 6 days childcare leaves for children under the age of 7.

I personally salute and admire your courage to really tender and chose to be SAHM. I understand many mommies will hope to do the same, it just makes me wonder if I'll have the courage to do the same. :-)

I'm a full-time mummy... said...

Colleen, not only my SIL has 6 children, she homeschools all of them! Respect leh...

Wah, Singapore so good, can have 4 months maternity leave! Envy, envy!

I think when the time comes, you will know what to do, cos you have a baby in your life, your priorities all changed! :)

Colleen said...

Wow.. why and how she does it manz.. salute..

I'm a full-time mummy... said...

Colleen, yup, yup, totally salute my SIL! :D

Ocean said...

Very very sad indeed. Very very evil your boss indeed. Very very ignorant your HR indeed. Very very courage you have. very very lucky your boy have you.

BTW, does your MS have a boss? If so, did you talk to him/her?

I'm a full-time mummy... said...

Hi ocean!

Welcome to my humble blog! MS reports to the big boss. In any case, I guess things happen for a reason. If I didn't quit, I don't think I can still continue breastfeeding my son (he's 6mths old now and still on breastfeeding though we started him on solids 2 weeks ago).

Not to mention the never-ending surprised and discoveries you had watching your baby boy grows up! Priceless.... :D

chele said...

Visiting from SITS.

That's a tough decision to make but it sounds like you did the right thing for your family.

Debbi said...

I'm sorry you had to make that tough decision. I'm glad you put your son first and had the means to be able to put him first. Staying home is the best experience I've ever had. I hope it has been your's too!

Happy SITS day!


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