26 July 2007

dream come true

The Thursday morning of our vacation, my husband woke up from a nightmare that he was fired. Now, to understand this you need to know that he loves his job and takes it very seriously. He is a civil engineer who worked and went to school for the first six years of our marriage. Last month marked ten years at the same company, and next month will be four years since he received his degree. Where many employees surf the web during the day and stop to chatter at length, my husband works to stay focused and make sure he does the best job he can. I can tell you that he cares more for the quality of work than many of those around him; I know this because he is amazed by their lack of concern over certain details. His dedication is well-balanced as hard as that can be to attain, and that makes me even happier. He is not a workaholic in any manner, but will willingly put in the extra hours when projects require it; I am fine with that. This man makes me so proud I could burst some buttons. Really. But he can also be extremely hard on himself at times and it cycles through. He worries that he isn’t doing well enough or worries about not meeting deadlines (which had been an ongoing issue, but he was not getting reasonable ones; more on that later).

And so, all this wrapped into the bad end of his cycle of worries caused the nightmare; it’s not his first, but at this time there was extra pressure about a project and he’d checked his work email before bed. A bad combination, and it resulted in a lousy night for a man who’d been driving all day.

The oddest part of what happened is that when he arrived at work on Monday morning, he discovered his boss had been fired on Thursday. Let go, laid off, fired, who knows the actual term used, but the reasons became clear over the next week. He was a nice man, and got along well with everyone. He tried very hard; he’d been at the company for 17 years and was a partner. But he was no longer really qualified for the job he did. He was paid well, but his entire department was falling apart, deadlines were not reasonable (at all, I can testify to this), and he didn’t have quite the communication skills to pull it all off. And so, the owner of the company spent six months trying to find a well-qualified replacement.

A week later, he started. My husband has been working 60ish hours each week since our trip to pick up some slack while things were beginning to change in positive ways. For one, he will be getting an office rather than the cubicle setting he’s been in for a decade. Another change is the drafter he’s been assigned; and most of all, the new boss communicates, has the qualifications to clearly understand how things are and what needs doing. He is compassionate man with his own family, a man who believes in getting the job done right in a reasonable way. This means that the second week he saw my husband’s time sheet showed 60 hours, he asked “How is your wife doing?” Sixty hours is not the norm, and it is not expected except in rare circumstances under a deadline; it’s only happening now because of a multitude of changing factors, but is expected to ease up soon. At the time, my husband honestly answered, “Fine; we’re able to work it out.”

Now, as you know, I’m pregnant. Read: hormonal. I have a child at home with Sensory Processing Disorder who needs a lot more sensory input than I feel physically capable of accommodating at the moment, and it makes for some intensely long days. Last night, I fell apart. Badly. Dinner has been consistently my most difficult meal to eat much less prepare, and therefore the kids often wait for Daddy to get home and help me deal with that prep…and it’s past a reasonable dinnertime every night (I do not make them starve, offering decent snacks, but that’s the best I can do some days; other days they get fish sticks or chicken fingers when I know they just need to have a real meal SOON). I bawled on the phone as my husband left work close to 6:30 again (he has about a 35-45 minute commute) and told him I needed, NEEDED him to leave between 5:15-5:30pm tonight.

And you know what, when he talked to his boss today, explaining carefully that I was pregnant and had a really hard night last night, his boss said, “I want you to leave at 5:00 today. And 4:00 tomorrow.” Guess what? I cried again. I really like his boss. He got it. He wasn’t phased, he didn’t think anyone was whining, and he realized that 60 hours is just a lot. And he is a smart enough man to know that family must be taken care of. I am so grateful.

I must go now. My husband should be home soon. And I put a roast in the crock pot this morning, so he won’t even have to help me with that. I’m still feeling hormonal, but I’ve been blessed with a peaceful day, happy kids, and an early-arriving husband. Definitely a dream come true, not a nightmare.


Karen said...

Oh wow. What a difference. if only every supervisor could be like this. I'm so happy for you.

And I wish I had a roast in the crock pot this evening.

Mommy-loguer said...

Okay i must be pregnant myself cuz i was Miss Hormonal as i read this.

What a true, pure, wonderful blessing.

Enjoy your family and some rest. <3

Carbon said...

Oh, that's wonderful!!! It makes a HUGE difference who your boss is and who you work with.

When I was working, pregnant with my first, my boss didn't give one iota of sympanthy to me as I was working 60+ hours every week and being tired and soar, ready to burst at the end of my pregnancy. (He would go home and leave me things to do!) It was a horrible time in my life and I do not wish it upon anyone, except for that boss maybe!

Our lovestory... said...

So GREAT to hear! I am sorry about your hormones/sickness. I was just SO miserable at the beginning of my pregnancy. I don't know how you are coping with 2 other kids and a household to run. I am so glad that his new boss is understanding and that it sounds like your husband's overall job/stress level will go in a positive direction from now on.

Sorry I have fallen off of the face of the earth. Very busy with a myriad of things...I will catch you up later!


Spring said...

I have never heard of a boss being so understanding! I can't imagine being pregnant with two little ones.