Wednesday, February 8, 2012
It is hard to believe that this is my 21st post since we started the blog, I’m not sure how people that do a daily blog keep it up, it really takes a commitment, and I am the kind of person who would rather get something done than get it done right, I can’t imagine how long it would take a perfectionist (Kate) to get this done. As I was scrolling the content I realized I skipped a pretty large part of the story.
Just a quick reminder we saw Ashley in the hospital in August of 2010, we decided one of us would donate shortly after that, and I actually had a conversation with the occupational nurse at work in September of 2010.
At the time I had a very difficult work environment. Not because of anyone specific that I worked with but because of the new Governor of the state of Florida. He had made it his primary mission to get the Water Management Districts back in alignment with the State agencies. I’m not going to argue whether he did the correct thing or not, all I know is that from my level it meant that for about a year I wasn’t sure whether or not I would keep my job. Beyond that point I was going to lose a lot of the benefits that I had over the years, not to mention that we hadn’t had any pay increases in three years. We lost vacation days, percentage of sick paid out when you leave, medical contributions increased, and we would be required to contribute 3% to our retirement which equated to a 3% pay cut from before. I understand it has been tough for everyone and I’m not singing a woe is me song here, but these are just the facts of what was cut, I feel I have been very blessed at the District, but that is another blog entry.
The last point is the biggest, there were going to be layoffs (we ended up losing over 300 people, about 145 through a voluntary separation program). There was no way, unless I had to, that I was going to let them know that I might be taking 4 to 8 weeks off for a surgery when they were looking for people to cut. This was a difficult decision because of my faith, I wanted to be open and honest with my employer but the honest truth was that still today we are not 100% sure I can donate, I wasn’t even approved by UNC until January 30th.
They say hindsight is 20/20 and in this case it is just as true, and there is no doubt we made the right decision to wait. Not for the fact about the chance of losing my job, but just because of how the surgery date keeps getting delayed.
I let my boss know on Jan 6th that I would possibly be donating a kidney as early as Feb. 7th. He was incredibly understanding and handled it very well, I actually had to call him and tell him over the phone because he was out of work that week and the law requires me to give 30 days’ notice if I can. I didn’t have a lot of concern how work would handle it because I had spoken with the HR rep who deals with FMLA and she let me know it would qualify and everything should be fine (she also thought it was a good idea that I waited).
To be honest now that it keeps dragging out I wish I had waited a little longer because people at work are like, why are you still here, aren’t you supposed to go donate a kidney, and projects that I could start on are being put on hold till I get back and the longer it takes for me to leave the further they are getting pushed back, and I know it is frustrating for my boss.
Once we told work it was fair game to tell the whole world, we had managed from August 2010 till January 6th to tell our families and very few close friends. If you were wondering why Ashley didn’t tell you who I was, well it was because we wouldn’t let her. We new once it got out as it did on January 7th or 8th I can’t remember at 10 at night from Ashley, someone had already posted it on mine and Kate’s facebook before we woke up the next morning. Facebook is like a forest fire!
I am incredibly thankful for the support from my work family and am glad I have coworkers who can pick up the slack while I am gone.