I think I have the winner for the “Worst Boss of the Year Award”. My wife was in labor and we were at the birthing center. My boss called and insisted that I answer a few questions. I explained where I was and what was going on. He replied that he is a dad and knows “popping one out” takes a lot of time. He said he needed the information NOW. I started to say I could not do it and he interrupted me to say it would be horrible to lose my job right when a new family member was arriving. I stepped into the hall and we talked for nearly half an hour. My daughter was born five minutes later, so I was there but my wife was mad. Would you consider having a “Worst Boss Award” and accepting this nomination?
— New Dad
Dear New Dad:
Maybe, maybe not — but I will definitely nominate you for the Dumb Dad Award. What were you thinking answering a call from him when you must have already known that he’s lacking in the empathy department? If any time called for shutting off your damn phone, this was it.
I’d slap you if I weren’t such a softie – you’re probably sleep deprived and your wife will be making you look bad with that delivery room story for the rest of your life. Slaps seem like overkill, even to evil me.
— Evil Skippy
ES called you dumb but I think you are very brave. Still dumb, but brave. I have two daughters and was in the delivery room when both made their debuts in this world. I know from personal experience that one does not ever ever ever ever tick off a woman in labor. They have super human strength and the shortest of fuses (if there even is a fuse).
When my first daughter was born, her mother (now my ex-wife) and I were ready. We had faithfully attended all the birthing classes and diligently practiced the relaxing-breathing exercises that we innocently believed would make natural delivery “easy as pie”. We thought it was hysterical that we’d selected my nose as her breathing “focal point”. (I originally wrote “picked my nose”. This is why proof reading is so important.) We were such jokesters. We knew we would be the best birthing parents the delivery room had ever seen.
Let’s just say reality was not quite like the classroom. When I tried to do my coaching part after the going got tense and said, “Just focus on my nose”, the mother of my future child transformed into a demon and tried to grab my throat. She said things I promised never to repeat and I never have. Knowing what I know about the miracle of child birth, I am surprised you survived the delivery after abandoning your wife to talk to your unreasonable boss. I am trying to imagine what some of the mothers who read this blog are going to say to you (or do to you if they can manage to find you)
Do you really need this particular job? Your boss is never going to change. I know. I once worked for a lawyer who called me to insist that I leave the emergency room (where I was the one waiting to receive treatment) because she did not want to attend a meeting by herself. This is the same boss who later stayed home for three days because she had injured her toe. Not even her big toe. These people are selfish and have no empathy whatsoever. Run far, run fast — as soon as you can make a reasonable escape plan because your boss is never going to improve.
I agree that your boss is a nominee for Worst Boss of 2014 (and hereby declare nominations to be open – send your stories in, folks!). Why worst? Your letter shows that he won’t comply with the FMLA (if you qualified, your time off for the birth of your daughter was protected by federal law). It also shows that he is a jerk.
On a happier note, welcome to parenthood. Good luck to you, and congratulations. Daughters are the best thing that can happen to a fellow.
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