Post # 1
Bees – I am beside myself right now. I’ve already shut my office door and had a good cry with my Boyfriend or Best Friend on the phone, but I want to share.
Some background: I started this job in the fall when I was just a few weeks pregnant, but told my new employer from the get-go so that there were no surprises. My boss is a big-man-on-campus/my-way-or-the-highway man. He’s also single with no kids. He’s been pretty good about it but it really depends on his mood that day. Last week I finally sat down with him about my mat leave (I’m 32 weeks but I look like I’m 40 because I’m carrying 2) and I think it finally hit home that this is in fact happening. And ever since then I’ve noticed some hostility from him. Being more difficult, short-tempered.
And then today. I went to his office to get something approved. It required watching on his TV screen. To switch to that screen a little black box has to be switched near the floor. He asked me to switch it. I did it although I thought to myself “Really? You’re asking me?” Then after shitting all over my presentation and giving me notes I headed out. I was almost at the door when he asked “Aren’t you forgetting something?” referring to how I should go back to the little black box and switch it back. I couldn’t believe it! I actually asked out loud “You’re going to aska pregnant woman to bend down?” and he wouldn’t budge. So I went back in, squatted (remember – I look like I’m 40 WEEKS) and he had the nerve to say “See, was that so hard?”
Girls – I don’t know what to do. I’m already emotional in this last trimester, but I really don’t need to deal with this added stress. I feel like I’m being bullied and I don’t know what to do. I honestly feel like if I was honest with him he would just fire me.
Bummed and feeling alone 🙁
Post # 2
OfficeBride: I am so very sorry you are dealing with this. How awful! I hope other bees have some helpful advice…I’m just shocked that someone would behave this way and wanted to express sympathy.
If it gets worse if you could report him to the HR department?
Post # 3
- Wedding: January 2013 - Harbourfront Grand Hall
OfficeBride: Can you get your dr. to write a note saying that you can’t be bending like that? I would think that would shut him up! That last comment from him was so uncalled for!
Post # 4
I would have just told him “no, I’m not forgetting anything” and kept walking. Screw him. Those kind of guys need to be pushed back. Now that he’s asserted power over you like that, he will only continue to be an ass and push you arround.
Post # 5
pinkshoes: I really wish I had it in me to be like that, trust me I totally agree. But I’ve never been good with confrontation, and add pregnancy hormones, I would have likely started crying right then and there.
Post # 6
Unfortunately, an employer is not required to be polite. Unless you have a medical limitation on what you can do, he can ask you to do the same things that you always did. For example, if your job regularly requires you to lift heavy things, he’s under no obligation to find someone to help you, pregnant or not, unless you have documentation from your doctor saying you temporarily can’t lift things. Now, you CAN ask your doctor what your physical limitations are (if any) and you can bring that to your boss.
Otherwise, as much as it sucks, there’s no law against being a dick.
Post # 7
OfficeBride: He’s an asshole!!! I would have refused esp since you’re so far along!
Post # 8
What an absolute jerk. I’m so sorry, OP. Just keep thinking that soon you’ll be on maternity leave and won’t have to see him for awhile!
Post # 9
OfficeBride: Wow, that’s horrible. It saddens me that this still exists in this day and age. What you described reminds me of something that would happen on the show Mad Men not 2014 America (I am assuming you are in the US, but please correct me if otherwise).
Pregnant or not, unfortunately, there really isn’t much that can be done about workplace politics (including bullying). Could you see about working for another department at your company when you return from maternity leave?
Post # 10
This makes me SO mad! Bending down is painful when you’re that far along (especially with 2!). There were days that I actually hurt my stomach trying to tie my shoes if Darling Husband wasn’t home. That guy should be slapped!
Post # 11
I’m 33 wewks with twins as well and my issues are mainly with the doctor I work with. He isn’t my boss but boy is he a dick. He does have kids so I assume he experienced, through his spouse, the physical challenges women face. I have never declined a request to do something physical, such as wear a lead suite over the belly that’s measuring 40 weeks and observe a procedure from behind a lead shield. Lol…I still feel very physically capable..he has shown me some consideration like asking my coworkers to get up and do things instead of me. my issue is that I think pregnant women could use a little slack. I’m not saying I get a pass to make tons of mistakes but given the fact I get zero sleep getting up 8 times a night to pee or turn over…am severely anemic and maybe I’m not as sharp as my ore pregnancy self….he cuts me no slack and doesn’t hesitate to complain about the smallest things even crossing the line to disrespect making me want to cry…not even letting me speak or Ask questions. It’s rather very abusive and maybe if I wasn’t pregnant I could brush it off and go have a glass of wine after work but my emotions are a total mess!
If I were you I would have ignored him. He can’t fire you for not flipping a switch!
Post # 12
OfficeBride: Ugh that’s gross he sounds like a pig! Do you have an HR department you can speak to about it? It probably seems easier to just let it go but i’d be so annoyed i’d want him to have to acknowledge that he’s being a dick and it’s not ok..
Post # 13
Only one thing crosses my mind… Besides wanting to smack that idiot.
If I were you, I would totally be searching for a new job while on maternity leave when you have a little extra energy and babies are sleeping.
At a previous job I had to take some time for a competition and I had announced it and asked for the days way in advance. It was time from vacation. The boss didn’t like it amd he kept asking me when are you leaving but really meaning when are you quitting (translates very different in Spanish) . I looked him right in the eyes and told him. I am NOT leaving. I am taking two weeks of my well deserved vacation time that by the way, happens to be my right according to law. He was really shocked I answered back amd in such a firm tone. He dropped it and never ever bothered speaking to me like that again.
Post # 14
MariContrary: what are your qualifications to come to this view? Also how can you say this unless you know which jurisdiction OP is in?
In Australia I would be suggesting OP contact her union (but she probably would have done that if she were a member) and then contact a lawyer for advice. His behaviour is discriminatory, particularly if his critique of her work is unreasonable. This kind of crap is illegal and violates several pieces of legislation including the Occupational Health and Safety Act and the Sex Discrimination Act, both Commonwealth Acts.
OP I am interested in the outcome of your chat with him about mat leave…?
Post # 15
Here in the US all you need is a dr’s note outlining your restrictions. Most of us are lucky enough not to need these, because most bosses have common sense and wouldn’t dream of making you bend over, lift things, climb latters, etc…..but this guy just doesn’t get it. I would urge OP to ask for a note next time she sees the Dr. I myself havne’t needed a note for my boss, she’s been pretty understanding even though she has no kids. But I have had to get a note for the office manager because she kept on expecting me to park 3 tiers up, which require me to climb alot of stairs to get to work. Some people just dont’ get it, maybe they’ve never been pregant, maybe they forgot what it’s like. And yeah, bosses can be jerks. Sorry.