The day started out with a nice little buzz of work. Three jobs due by 2:00 a.m. One of them due 15 minutes after I arrive.
I get started, slap in the ear buds of my iPod and dig in. Work flows along nicely. My fingers are zipping 'round the keyboard, I'm making trip after trip to the job board to pick up more things to do. My lead tosses me a job to break up for the board. I look up and it's 3:00 a.m. The night's going quickly.
But my co-workers and I are too damned efficient. We've now gone through everything to do and there's still a couple of hours left on my shift. There will be a trickle of edits from proofreading, but it'll be a long, slow end of the shift.
Just got out of a "Performance Conference" with my manager.
The issue is that I've been absent from work for 11 "occurrences" over the last seven months. That is, I've been sick or staying home to care for Ericka a lot more often over the last seven months than I have previously. In addition, I've been, apparently, late four days in the last 60.
They consider it excessive to be late more than three times or absent more than eight. Earlier, I spoke with our HR reps about having some sort of leave set up. If I qualified for the FMLA, I'd have time off available (without pay) for things precisely like taking care of Ericka. Since we cannot be married, however, that's not an option.
So now I'm on notice basically. If I don't Shape Up over the next 12 months, we'll have another meeting and develop a Plan.
I amended the memo I was given to say that if the four times I was late in the last sixty days were going to be held against me, that it should also be noted the numerous times that I've been early and that I've stayed longer than my assigned shift.
Almost got into a fight with my manager on the issue of bringing in a doctor's note if I'm out sick longer than three days. On the one hand she was saying that this was a requirement to make sure I was well enough to return to work and on the other saying that I couldn't be absent more than eight times during the course of a year. Once she explained that eight "occurrences" could be multiple days it didn't seem to be that the policies were in as direct a conflict. I still find it patronizing that I need a doctor's note saying that I'm sick.
Of course, I've called in "sick" a few times this past year as well. Taking a mental health day, we used to call it.
There's also that we have separate "sick" and "vacation" days, something that doesn't make sense to me.
Calming down now.
One of my manager's points is that if I'm allowed to do this, it would open the door for other people to do this. To which I say, "Yes, if someone else is living with a disabled person to whom they are not married and needs a couple of extra days off now and then, you'd be letting them have that."
Good thing I'm looking for another job, just in case.