To share this ridiculous experience with you(90 Posts)
I have been off sick due to a double sided pneumonia for a couple of weeks. Getting there, but still coughing like a donkey. Getting back to work first week in August as I had a few complications. Recently I have been talking to some colleagues about a lunch/catch up.
Originally the idea was to meet somewhere as soon as I'm off antibiotics (Had a prolonged course). A colleague on ML got wind about it, wanted to get involved (she's due to return to work mid August) and started insisting we meet at her place as she couldn't get childcare. I tried to explain to her that a barely recovered pneumonia from a bacteria that her 8 month old DS hasn't had all the shots against is NOT a good idea, but apparently I'm antisocial and unreasonable.
Colleagues tried to appease her and we all agreed to have a lunch together once she's back to work, but she's been throwing WhatsApp tantrums all weekend about it. We normally get along surprisingly well for a work team and I'm really sorry to have caused tension, but WIBU to refuse to expose an 8 month old to a potential pneumonia because his mum couldn't manage a childminder?
YANBU, she's being very silly. Perhaps she's feeling really isolate and stressed about coming back so isn't being very rational.
I'd not engage with the tantrums, just reassure her you're looking forward to seeing her soon and meeting the baby once you're fully recovered
In fairness you don't get a pneumonia vaccine so that makes no difference.
If you are well enough to meet colleagues then you're well enough to be around a baby. 8 months isn't a newborn.
It's hard to get childcare as hoc especially with limited family support. She's probably fed up on mat leave and craving adult company.
YANBU and she's a little bit of a knob for having any kind of tantrum. It's possible that she's having a tough time adjusting to being on ML and feeling left out or isolated. But that's never a reason to make risky decisions regarding a child's health so stand your ground and don't push yourself too hard while you're still recovering.
Thank you, I very much started to question my own decisions. I just don't feel comfortable about it at all. There were days when I barely managed through, from full gym-going, healthy eating, vice free lifestyle with full vaccination programme behind me, I probably never could forgive myself if I passed it on to a baby. Lonely or not, I don't think I could be that reckless in her shoes myself.
I bet that she'd blame you if her DC caught pneumonia if you went though
@Teachermaths yes, you do get vaccinated against pneumococcal bacteria and that's precisely what I had.
Also, a vaccine against the bacteria that causes pneumonia is part of the NHS vaccine schedule.
She is being unreasonable wanting you all to come round when you could have a lovely child free lunch somewhere, especially as you have been ill and will want to relax. What's the betting that if you go round to hers you will be expected to baby worship and talk nappies. Let her have her tantrum and go somewhere else. You can take her out when she's back at work.
I'm absolutely gobsmacked at the moment. ML colleague just texted me, apparently she thinks I am unreasonable as "I took time off" and "left the team to manage as they can", so she "doesn't see why everyone else should accommodate my wishes".
Well, excuse me for being hospitalised with double pneumonia and doing what I can not to pass it on to YOUR dc.
YANBU and this woman is incredibly arrogant and selfish- and short sighted! Just arrange for everyone to meet up with out her. She should get the message. She's given you some utter gold to throw back in her face in that last message you just quoted. The silly cow.
Call her on it "Listen Mary this is the last I will say on it, I was in hospital and seriously ill, my illness/my work/my time off work have absolutely nothing to do with you. I am being considerate to your child so I suggest you put your toys back in your pram and stop embarrassing yourself. Arrange lunch for when suits yourself, colleagues and I will go ahead with our plans not at your house and if you can come great, if not you still have lunch to look forward to"
She is a gobshite, like a lunch in a colleagues house is the same as a lunch out or a lunch looking at someone else's kid for that matter!
*I'm absolutely gobsmacked at the moment. ML colleague just texted me, apparently she thinks I am unreasonable as "I took time off" and "left the team to manage as they can", so she "doesn't see why everyone else should accommodate my wishes".
What, like choosing to have a baby and taking time off, then hijacking existing plans to accommodate her wishes?
Teachermath you can be vaccinated if you’re in a vulnerable category.
Not sure what happened to her, before ML she'd never have done something like this. Another colleague is having a word with her, but it feels like a game of tennis over their already overstretched backs.
She’s lost the plot. You’ve been very ill, (as you know) and she’s behaving terribly.
In the meantime, I never knew pneumonia could be contagious.
Every day's a school day...
There’s viral and bacterial and fungal pneumonia. You can develop meningitis. It was news to me as well when my DC got it 🙁. I was shocked how many other children were in the same ward with the same thing.
Apparently, your immune system must be down for a normal person to get it (8 weeks of budget stress and working around the clock in my case) but elderly, immunosuppressed and babies before the completion of vaccination are the most susceptible. Hence my reluctance to expose her DS to it.
She is off her rocker... but give her some grace if she is normally reasonable and write it off as severe sleep deprivation impairing her judgement.
Well she has been warned about the Pneumonia but tbf your Antibiotics should of worked by now otherwise you would be on IV Antibiotics in hospital.
She sounds like she’s had a very OTT reaction to this but to be fair, maybe she feels she’s best placed to decide whether it’s a risk for her child or not.
@DrVonPatak you got vaccinated against 1 strain, there is 24 strains of it. Glad your feeling better.
She sounds like a loon! Don't engage, let other colleagues handle it.
Wow maybe she has PND or some other problem. I don't think it is you or the lunch. I would ignore it and would not take it personally. She is probably exhausted and worried about her return to work.
She's a nasty one, isn't she? I'd be tempted to mention it to HR as it's connected to you being off sick (as opposed to just 'took time off'); and she shouldn't be guilt-tripping you about leaving the team to struggle –that's for HR and your managers to manage.
We normally get along surprisingly well for a work team and I'm really sorry to have caused tension
Don't worry, you didn't cause any tension. The batshit attention-seeker did that all by herself.
Colleagues tried to appease her
I bet they did. All the while she was throwing nasty accusations around that you are "antisocial" & "unreasonable". Nice way to treat someone recovring from double pneumonia.
Your colleagues already know who's being unreasonable & batshit. It's not you btw!
Hell would freeze over before I went to lunch with her ever again.
Trying to protect a baby? You fucking bitch! (I'm obviously massively joking!!). I can't believe she'd even want to risk the baby that way.
She's awful!! I'd report that text to your manager and arrange a meet up without her.
Deffo report her to HR over that text. That's totally out of order.
I hope you responded on WhatsApp to point out that specific advice is that babies should not be exposed to your bugs and you did not feel it unreasonable to avoid any risk of causing her baby to catch a serious and potentially life-threatening illness.
I'll presume PND and hope all this blows over.
I am starting to have a slight suspicion this has something to do with sorting out the budget. This is normally her job and her cover was a graduate, with whom I've been working to get things done. But I don't understand, we got it sorted and I have no intention of stepping on her toes once she's back?!?
Anyhow, I'll leave HR as the last resort, I'd hardly think this would qualify. Yes, I'm not happy with her behaviour, but so far it has not impacted my work. I'll keep it as an option if that changes, though.
YANBU. She should not even want to meet you. What if she carries it back to her DC? She may not catch it but could pass it on! She is obviously lonely but it is not worth the risk at all.
She's unreasonable, especially as you've said you can get together with her when she returns from mat leave.
Quite honestly, I doubt very much that you would still be infectious but you sound like a caring person who isn't prepared to unnecessarily expose a baby to germs.
It's a great shame that your colleague is sounding off. She's blowing everything out of all proportion. I can't help wondering if she has PND.
Whatever, this will blow over.
I hope you will feel completely better quickly. It sounds as though you burned yourself out so do take care in future.
I'll leave HR as the last resort, I'd hardly think this would qualify.
I think it's highly likely that it would qualify. She's attacking you on issues that are directly to do with your role and the company policies on sickness/cover etc. Please don't let her get away with this shit. She might just go on doing it to other people if no one stands up to her.
And ignore any further crazy WhatsApp stuff and texts.
She sounds very UR but you say 'she got wind of it...' Perhaps this all stems from her feeling deliberately excluded.
@DrVonPatak- from your last comment, it might be an attempt to psych you out? She's coming back fighting? But she's badly mis-judged it.
Maybe she's terrified that she's being edged out? Doesn't excuse it, but it might help to explain her huge reaction, especially if she doesn't understand that you can catch pneumonia; I didn't know that it could be until I was lying on my living room floor for three days unable to breathe enough to reach the phone to call an ambulance, as I'd always been told it was something that happened to old people as their bodies shut down.
That sounds terrifying MitziK. How did you get help eventually?
Never mind the risk of passing on pneumonia, I wouldn’t want to have anything to do with her after her behaviour!
You’re not contagious as you will have finished your antibiotics and returning to work very shortly.
You could have been flexible. You chose not to, citing a spurious reason as to why.
Agree with Isleepinahedgefund BACK AWAY while you can, your other colleagues have seen her behaviour now, PND is not an excuse - she's marking her territory.
Actually I'm still on antibiotics as my consultant (luckily) decided to take a sample on a check up, because I was still having low grade fever. It came back positive, so my antibiotics were changed. I still have 5 days worth of it to go and was specifically told mot to go near high risk groups, hence my reaction. Yes, I know this isn't usual and the consultant ordered some more tests at a later date to check for a metabolic disorder I can't pronounce, but there it is.
But in originally op you say agreed to meet up after antibiotics
You’ve been away two weeks
She’s been away months.
I would have been flexible. You presumably won’t meet colleagues whilst contagious. So same applies to baby.
She’s obviously very keen if prepared to do lunch for you all.
If she cannot get cover for a lunch, how is she going to get back to work?
@S1naidSucks, I finally felt 'better' enough to get the two buses to the GP. And promptly slumped in the waiting room.
He drove me back home after stopping off at the chemist to pick up my prescription for the biggest antibiotics in the world and phoned my boss to tell him that I wasn't coming in for a fortnight, posting the medical certificate to them himself as they were being dicks about it.
I have an overactive immune system, so whilst it had to be horrendous for me to even get ill in the first place, I also have/had the ability to recover from things pretty quickly without antibiotics normally (which is just as well, because the same immune system is allergic to almost all of them).
These days, I'd have ended up in hospital on a drip and oxygen, but not so much of a thing in the mid 1990s, apparently.
@Mitzik well done. You made me think that, if you could have done it, I can pull through this too.
@AmIbeingdaft81 it all makes perfect sense when you write it down like that, but it doesn't override my sense that I really shouldn't expose a baby a risk, however small it may be, it just doesn't sit right with me.
The mom has nothing to fear from me, territory wise, I'll be more than happy never to look at a budget model again.
Regardless of whether her baby is exposed or not, she's a dick for taking over your lunch and making it about herself. You've been sick ffs. What if you wanted a nice relaxing lunch out somewhere that wasn't stuck inside? You might be sick of being in a house. I could be projecting here as I've had experience of long illness and being housebound. If I was looking forward to a lunch out I'd be disappointed to have that changed to someone else's house and have the option of menus and choosing something to eat disappear.
You’re not currently about to return from ML are you AmIBeingdaft81?
maybe she feels she’s best placed to decide whether it’s a risk for her child or not
Oh yes, all parents are well-informed on microbiological risk. They are all also doctors.
You’re not contagious as you will have finished your antibiotics and returning to work very shortly.
Antibiotics don't immediately kill everything (well, not anymore - apparently the sulphonamides did when they first came on the scene). That's why you have to keep taking them; they kill off a large swathe of the bacteria and then you have to keep the pressure on the bacteria for the next 5-7 days until even the last ones remaining have been decimated. You still have them in/on your body, and are still shedding them; you're just not shedding quite enough to cause illness in someone who's got a healthy immune system. A person who does not have a healthy/mature immune system (like, say, oh, A BABY) will be at risk.
Pneumococcal vaccine is administered at 13 months IIRC. Even if the mum was immunised against pneumococcal bacteria and is breast-feeding, that will not be sufficient to completely protect the child.
OP, YANBU at all!
I suspect she is probably on a very limited budget if she is coming to the end of her Mat Leave, and was hoping to save a few quid by hosting, but is too embarrassed to say this and has now got herself tangled up in this stupid argument.
I think YANBU
Potentially seeing it from her perspective, she's on Mat Leave, returning in the same timeframe as you, and a bunch of colleagues are meeting up socially and she's excluded because of you. Would she usually be invited along? Someone has clearly invited her this time.
Another vote for her possibly having PND, if she's usually reasonable and sensible. Is there soemone other than you who could maybe put it to her that she's making a twat of herself and everyone is worried that she might need help? YANBU at all.
Good grief! don't ML colleague spoil your nice lunch OUT somewhere.
@Maudebegone hardly, her DH is a very high earner. Although, if mumsnet stories are anything to go by, there could be an issue on that side, although I doubt it in this case.
PND is still top on my list of suspects.
It sounds bad enough you being ill and hospitalised, @DrVonPatak, let alone having to deal with all that histrionics.
I'd stay off the WhatsApp and blank any further interaction about the social event, it really isn't your problem, and it just becomes a shitstorm the more you try to please people like that. As I always mutter to myself "they'll get over it"
Main thing, look after YOU, avoid stress and get well again.
Don't even bother trying to explain or rationalise it - why should you care.
And you caring about her baby... "Never let a good deed go unpunished"
Well, well, well... after a lot of toing and froing I decided to give the colleague a ring, clear the air, reassure her that in a no way would I dream of professionally stepping in her shoes, more than happy to back off as soon as she's back, even offer an office buffet when she's back to make her feel included, explain that I'm under doctor's orders not to go near babies etc.
Apparently I was not in the office when the mini baby shower took place and didn't sign the card. I did throw in £10 a week before when the collection box was doing the rounds, but I didn't sign the card, so she thought she'd give me a discreet chance to "give her baby a proper gift" and even offered to pass me a link to a specific item, which, on a later check, costs upwards of £75. I haven't sent my sister a present in that range when she had my niece!!!
I told her in no uncertain terms that I have no intention of doing anything like that. For the sake of office harmony I will refrain from involving the HR, but I told her on the phone just how unprofessional she came across, especially after covering her arse in the office for months!
I'm still fuming. Haven't told about this to any but my closest colleague and we both agreed it would be best to sleep on it before whatsapping a storm. But still... 😤
So despite you contributing to the office baby shower present she wants an additional £75 baby gift because you didn’t sign a card?! Wow ...
Did you not have much to do with her before this, OP? Because usually that level of self-obsession and malevolence shows up in little ways before the person really reveals themselves. She almost certainly has form for annoyng her colleagues and making stuff All About Her.
I'd probably send an email to your closest colleague to cover your arse, confirming what she's said to you and you're a little concerned that she might be vulnerable to PND so might benefit from somebody being 'there' to give her additional support and reassurance as she seems to have fixated upon you/demanded gifts with menaces, which you're sure she would never dream of doing ordinarily.
That way, if she does come back very hostile, you have a 'paper trail' in case she claims victimisation.
If she doesn't have PND then she has a very serious attitude problem
Shes batshit-you need to tak this further now she clearly isnt letting it go
What?! She’s nuts! This doesn’t sound like PND to me - she just sounds like a grabby cow! I don’t think I’d be able to resist telling other colleagues about her behaviour.
Really hope you feel better soon - pneumonia sounds horrendous
I’ve never seen depression manifest itself as being an entitled CF like this before
Jeez OP this started out as a "she's taking over my lunch" thread to a complete CF thread. Even if you hadn't donated to her baby present, so fucking what. Is it a rule in your employee manual.
Like a pp said definitely keep someone in work informed of her carry on by email. Hopefully there will be no need to produce it but if things get a bit crazy on your return to work at least you will have something in writing.
Good luck with this crazy lady. Rather you.
Regardless of whether her baby is exposed or not, she's a dick for taking over your lunch and making it about herself You've been sick ffs. What if you wanted a nice relaxing lunch out somewhere that wasn't stuck inside? You might be sick of being in a house... If I was looking forward to a lunch out I'd be disappointed to have that changed to someone else's house and have the option of menus and choosing something to eat disappear.
I agree wholeheartedly with this. Then I saw OP's update and agreed even more! (If that's even possible).
Co-worker is a grade A selfish, self centred CF of the highest order! Going forward I'd be restricting our relationship to professional courtesies only.
so she thought she'd give me a discreet chance to "give her baby a proper gift" and even offered to pass me a link to a specific item, which, on a later check, costs upwards of £75
I'm glad you set her right on this. What an arrogant, entitled, condescending bitch (she is)!
How did this go from lunch to a £75 baby present she is a massive CF.
Weell she certainly spunds bonkers. I suspect shes a bit isolatedand lonely and thats her real issue.
Put 9f curiosity, y baby had pneumococcal jabs, are they against some varieties of pneumonia? Maybe she's imagining full protection because of that. Either way I wouldnt want to risk it
She sounds like a lunatic but if you are still contagious in August I am not sure if lunch with anyone is a good idea. You sound like you have been through a terrible experience you poor thing. I think you might want to have a chat with HR on how to respond to her. She may come to her senses but sometimes when people do they are so embarrased by their behaviour they treat the person they were terrible to even worse. You might want to lay the ground work with HR now incase she gets worse when you go back to work. I hope you have taken a photo of the text she sent you. Hope you feel better soon.
It sounds like she's annoyed by the attention you're getting, and her pregnancy and baby are no longer in the limelight. She wants attention.
Wow OP go to hr asap before she starts to accuse you of bullying or worse then watch your back this sort of crazy self entitled cfucker don't go away quietly.
just how unprofessional she came across, especially after covering her arse in the office for months!
You mean taking the maternity leave that she is legally entitled to and presumably didn't come as a surprise to your team?
So in her eyes you didn't sign her card (snub 1), didn't attend her baby shower (snub 2) and you've tried to arrange an out of work get together that only excludes her (and her attempts to be able to include herself in it have been rebuffed by you with what she sees as excuses - snub 3) and she's picking up on an attitude from you that you are displeased she's gone on maternity leave and left you all covering her work.
All that coupled with having to return to work in a few weeks with the usual feelings of lost confidence and reduced status that ML returners often get and the emotions of having to leave your baby with someone else.
I'm not surprised she's acting a bit odd to be honest in that context.
Obviously she's wrong to suggest a present, that's not something rational people do - did you not say you had contributed but didn't get to sign the card?
She's a nasty cow. And she needs a life. Who on earth would spend so much time and energy fuming over a card not being signed and a colleague not giving a £75 gift?
I know I'm banging on, but please tell HR. As a PP says, she may well start accusing you of all kinds of things and it'd be a good idea for you to get in front of it. And I'd stay off WhatsApp so there's nothing she can use against you.
Who goes thro their office greeting cards and check off every single signature on the card?
I loved reading the messages but couldn’t tell you who didn’t sign the card. And in our office you can sign the card without putting any money in.
How expensive was her baby gift from colleagues for her or expect you to fork out £75 for her?!
I actually would go to HR and show them he messages and relay the conversation, just in case she’s still gunning for you when she returns to work. She doesn’t sound like she has PND, she sounds more like she’s spotted a weakness in you and is trying to exploit it to her advantage.
I’d go and speak to HR, ask for it to be noted just in case the matter escalates when she returns from maternity leave.
No, I told her she was acting unprofessional for stirring up a storm in a teapot for the sake of her greed. It had nothing to do with her maternity leave.
Many have offered on WhatsApp to throw a welcome back party, I offered her a careful walk through on her last keep in touch day to make sure she's in the loop, except in ended up in the hospital before it could happen. She was more than welcome to join the lunch outside, but chose not to, citing unavailable childcare (fair enough), except she knew about that for a week now and it wasn't supposed to take place until early August.
Basically I did everything possible to include and attempt to reassure her, believing it was the reasons you stated that were causing this, but no, she openly stated that she thought I haven't, in her eyes and by her words "shown enough admiration for her baby, especially when it comes to gifts".
So excuse me if I feel a little disgruntled over the whole affair. I'm leaning towards HR involvement this morning, but I'm still waiting to cool down completely before making a decision.
I have read the whole thread...but did I miss why she just couldn't take her baby to the lunch out that was organised? Babies are perfectly portable!!
She said she couldn't, none of the team would have minded, it was her wish.
she openly stated that she thought I haven't, in her eyes and by her words "shown enough admiration for her baby, especially when it comes to gifts
Wow. I know many new parents think the world is as besotted by their baby as they are, but I've never personally heard one openly say something along those lines.
And I've certainly never had a real life parent demand gift/s. Is she always this greedy and irrational?
I think mitzik is being sensible about covering yourself with a written email to someone, doesn’t have to be hr yet.
I'm starting to believe this too...
Wow this woman is totally self centered and must think the star of saint David is above her fucking house or something!!
If I threw in every single whip round in work every month I might as well give up my wage it gets ridiculous. I've missed cards a few times because I've had a day off or wasn't around when it was going around big whoop!
Sounds awful what you've had I hope you make a speedy recovery soon.
I've just had 5 weeks off with a chest infection with no voice and considering I need my voice for my job I've been stuffed, I'm not 100% but I'm returning tomorrow and dreading it already!
Good luck on your return
So you have been of work ill? and lady has been of work as she decided to have crotch fruit? and now wants all of you to go around her house to admire the loins of her crotch? really I think if she is struggling now for child care for something planned weeks in advance she is going to struggle to come back to work, the baby could even come with her for the meal but she doesnt want that because after five minutes of oohh and ahhh she wont be center of attention, obviously she thinks she is the only person to have ever given birth, On a lighter note would love to know where you work that people want to meet up and get together for a meal before your back in work and not all bitching and moaning and wanting you back in work with comments like if your well enough to be out your well enough for work. take care love and dont go back to soon x
@Ericabro Crotch fruit
That is a disgusting expression.
I quite like Crotch Fruit. Bettered only by Crotch Goblin.
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