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To want to skip Christmas party abroad?

(27 Posts)
cryingoverphotosofkittens Fri 11-Dec-15 16:43:31

I am 20 weeks pregnant and my job involves a lot of travel. This year we are having a Christmas get together with our colleagues in Paris. I know this sounds very glamorous and exciting and I was looking forward to it until this week (especially as trips like this will be not be an option when the baby comes) but now just the thought of it fills me with dread.

I've just started a project with a client in Europe which will have me flying every week until I get to 30 weeks pg and can't fly any more. I live 2 hours drive from the airport which makes for a long commute, often early in the morning or late at night. I've been away all this week and my calendar now looks like this:

Monday - leave house 6am and fly to client
Wednesday - leave hotel 6am to fly home, 20 week scan in afternoon
Thursday - fly to Paris, arrive 11pm
Friday - long day in the office and late dinner
Saturday - leave hotel 6am to fly home
Sunday - fly to client, arrive 11pm
Wednesday - fly home, home 11pm

I just mentioned to my boss I'm not feeling so enthusiastic about the Christmas party trip (to test the water informally re cancelling) and he dismissed my comment offhand and said something about it being so important to prioritise such things, I spat back something about growing a human being and moved on...

AIBU to put my foot down and refuse to go, or should I just suck it up and make the best of it?

CalleighDoodle Fri 11-Dec-15 16:46:27

Work doesnt care about growing a human being. They are concerned with your work. They will probably also be concerned with your attitude, re: spat back???

I wouldnt like that much travelling, but if it is expected as part of your job and you want to go back, suck it up.

Moonriver1 Fri 11-Dec-15 16:46:56

When's the Christmas party?

cryingoverphotosofkittens Fri 11-Dec-15 16:50:23

@Moonriver1 - Party is Friday night
@CalleighDoodle - It's the party I want to skip, so that I'm not too exhausted to deliver my actual client work...

Moonriver1 Fri 11-Dec-15 16:54:17

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

00100001 Fri 11-Dec-15 16:55:55

". I know this sounds very glamorous and exciting"

it sounds bloody awful fgrin

00100001 Fri 11-Dec-15 16:57:03

Also - you're only 20 weeks that's not really a reason not go if you're fit and well.

LaurieFairyCake Fri 11-Dec-15 16:58:58

So the issue is that instead of going to the party on Friday night you want to fly home that evening so you actually get one day free from bloody travelling (the Saturday, since you're flying back again on Sunday)


Sounds utterly shit thanks

laundryeverywhere Fri 11-Dec-15 17:01:44

It sounds like you have a pretty amazing career of the type that can be derailed by not smoozing, and taking even a little time out is a no no. This is the sort of job where you have to be superwoman and if you aren't you will probably not go on up the career ladder. It's not that you aren't allowed time off, I am sure you are, but it's tough at the top as they say.

DPotter Fri 11-Dec-15 17:03:28

This time of year its easy to get fed up of work socialising so I don't blame you for not wanting to go, pregnant or not.
However its a good opportunity to practise diary planning to minimise the backwards and forwards quite so much.
I'd love a Saturday in Paris - any chance you could fly your partner out to join you and have a romantic weekend in Paris ?

Tartyflette Fri 11-Dec-15 17:04:06

Work "parties" that you are obliged to attend are bloody WORK, ffs. They are a chore. And presumably you won't even be able to have a drink to take the edge off. YANBU.

cryingoverphotosofkittens Fri 11-Dec-15 17:06:32

Thanks for honest opinions and kick up the back side. I'll probably be fine and not much more wiped out that usual after a string of work trips... It's more exhausting over thinking it than just getting on with it anyway.

For the record, I politely and professionally pointed out that I have a very hectic schedule next week and was concerned about toll it would take on my energy levels and perhaps the Christmas party was worth skipping for the benefit of my work. The dismissive tone from my boss provoked my childish reaction, I will bite my tongue next time.

mintoil Fri 11-Dec-15 17:06:47

Can you not stay in Paris instead of coming home on Saturday and fly direct to "client" on Sunday evening? That is what I would do. Otherwise I think you are going to have to suck it up.

CalleighDoodle Fri 11-Dec-15 17:09:17

I agree with tarty in the respect that this is a party that isnt a party. It is expected as part of your role. So it is therefore work. So yes suck it up. Or look for roles that dont require networking abroad. If youre not happy about it at only 20 weeks pregnant, how will you cope with a small child?

Janeymoo50 Fri 11-Dec-15 17:13:14

Hmmm, don't like the spat back bit about growing a human BUT blimey that's a pretty hellish week of travelling and working!! You must be getting pretty exhausted as you're getting bigger. I'd suck this one up if I honestly could but totally understand if you said no - it sounds grim.

PiperChapstick Fri 11-Dec-15 17:19:38

Christ alive only on MN would a woman who's 5 months pregnant and doesn't want to take 3 flights in 4 days be considered an 'idiot' hmm

OP YANBU. that's a lot to expect of anyone let alone a pregnant woman and I dread to think how you'll be similarly dismissed once you have a baby and can't do trips like this any more, or if you had a pregnancy related illness

waxweasel Fri 11-Dec-15 17:20:04

TBH, I'd make up some sort of sudden appointment that you need to attend on the Thursday to prevent you from flying. Midwife wants to see you following 20 week scan, whatever. Something vague but essential sounding. Then take the day off and sleep. YANBU - it sounds hellish. I'm 23 weeks and would rather chew my own arms off than do a week like that (or attend work Christmas parties sober....)

Dipankrispaneven Fri 11-Dec-15 17:27:04

Why do you have to fly to Paris on Thursday? Couldn't you make it Friday afternoon? And could you go straight from the Paris hotel to wherever your client is, to cut out one plane flight and that 2 hour drive to the airport?

herecomesthsun Fri 11-Dec-15 17:31:21

We went to Paris when I was about 12 weeks pregnant (pre-arranged holiday and surprise pregnancy). (It was such a shame re no alcohol, no shellfish, no unpasteurised cheese etc.) and I did get very tired.

I think more rest would sound like a good idea if at all possible as has been suggested.

Sparkletastic Fri 11-Dec-15 17:35:59

Jeez I'd hate your job - makes me knackered just reading about it - but if you love it then I guess you have to play the game, or resign.

mupperoon Fri 11-Dec-15 17:45:04

Some of the responses here are unbelievable.

Fwiw, I had a similar nightmare schedule of flights/meetings around Europe (2 countries a week for 8 weeks) planned when I found out I was pregnant. There was no way I was flying that much in the first and second trimesters. I spoke to my (male) boss, who, because he was a lovely bloke and not a tosspot, found someone else to go in my place. At this point he could have told me I was surplus to requirements as I was a freelancer, but no. If he had been like your boss and tried to make me go, I would have handed in my notice.

Your client should come first and a Xmas party is just a party. YADNBU.

FrustratedFrugal Fri 11-Dec-15 17:45:05

OP, my sympathies. YANBU. My job involves monthly trips, sometimes far-flung ones. I would skip a trip a Paris and spend a weekend (or just one day) in bed. I did fly to Buenos Aires three weeks before I gave birth to DD1, and I crossed the Atlantic at least six times when I was pg with DD2. So I've been there.

It is super easy to say that you are having contractions and should rest, any doctor would approve.

FrustratedFrugal Fri 11-Dec-15 17:50:46

Oh, and I took some time off eventually, and then went back, and my career is still amazing, but I travel less. Sometimes they respect you more if you put your foot down.

EddieStobbart Fri 11-Dec-15 17:56:23

I work for a multi national with offices and clients globally. They aren't always the most understanding but there is no way a pregnant woman with that travel schedule would be expected to make an additional trip for something that wasn't directly client focused. Your boss is not reasonable.

Don't talk about growing human beings etc, just state you are tired and won't be able to make it.

Namechangenell Fri 11-Dec-15 18:05:20

I used to work for a large airline. I wasn't crew but many meetings for head office staff that could otherwise have been held via video conference or on Skype were held in person, well, just because <we could>. When I was PG, if ever there was something I thought was too far, I just said that my midwife had advised me not to fly and that was completely respected. To be fair, I also had a lovely boss who told me not to worry about work when I told him I was PG and my team sent me a huge bouquet of flowers the day after DC1 was born.

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