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Is this person taking the piss?

(42 Posts)
Multifacetediguana Sat 03-Mar-12 13:57:05

A colleague in my department has just announced her third pregnancy in as many years. She has returned from Maternity leave twice already pregnant and because she has high risk pregnancies (gd) she has to have numerous appointments and scans and so in the past few years, when she has been at work and not on mat leave she has never done a full week without any absence. She has also regulalry missed work through her dc's being ill, which is perhaps inevitable. I know how important maternity right are, how hard women fought to get them, and have taken advantage of them myself, and i am aware that this colleague has been unlucky in terms of her health etc, but the problem is that her erratic attendance is fostering a lot of resentment amongst the rest of the department who are having to cover for her. A case of compassion fatigue, I think. People feel she is taking the mick and I am increasingly inclined to agree with them, even though I am sympathetic to her situation. Aibu?

McQueasy Sat 03-Mar-12 13:58:25


Multifacetediguana Sat 03-Mar-12 13:59:42

Yes iabu or yes she is taking the mick?

McQueasy Sat 03-Mar-12 14:00:30

Yes you are being unreasonable, not she is taking the piss
We all go through difficult times, hope you and ur colleagues find a bit more compassion

Llareggub Sat 03-Mar-12 14:01:12

You are being utterly unreasonable.

insancerre Sat 03-Mar-12 14:04:46

She is obviously being entirely unreasonable and should have had her ovaries removed to save you and her colleagues the inconvenience of having to have a litttle bit of sympathy, understanding and empathy.

MaybeBBaby Sat 03-Mar-12 14:09:26

Firstly GD doesnt make u high risk!! I had GD SPD and severe anaemia, an still wasnt high risk! So you dont know much.

YABU and sound terribly bitter about it! I wa treated brilliantly about my appointments, and Im glad i dont work with you!!! angry

nappymaestro Sat 03-Mar-12 14:15:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Multifacetediguana Sat 03-Mar-12 14:18:18

Maybe she uses the term high risk herself, I was not aware it was incorrect. I have been pg at work myself and grateful for the support of my colleagues. But seriously, to have not done a full week in 3 years??

insancerre Sat 03-Mar-12 14:22:46

So, she has 2 children already and is about to have her third in 3 years and is still managing to work full time?
Blimey, I think she deserves a medal!

SardineQueen Sat 03-Mar-12 14:23:12

God I remember when I was pg my boss didn't want me to have time off to go to the hosp for my anti-D jabs on the basis that "she didn't have to have them and had never heard of them".

Begrudging someone time off to go for scans and hosp appts is really shit. Most people would rather be at work than sitting in overheated uncomfortable waiting rooms for hours before variously having to disrobe be prodded and poked and jabbed with needles.


SardineQueen Sat 03-Mar-12 14:24:17

Ohh sorry this isn't in AIBU!

Whoops blush

Mrsrobertduvall Sat 03-Mar-12 14:26:17

I disagree...I think YANBU.

Coconutty Sat 03-Mar-12 14:28:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

tantrumsandballoons Sat 03-Mar-12 14:29:34

Personally I think it is taking the piss, how can she have not worked a full week in 3 years?
I have been in the same job for 15 years, been through 3 pregnancys, maternity leave, dc illness etc but my attendance record is a hell of a lot better than this.

I don't understand why people think this us acceptable, people like this are the ones who make employers reluctant to hire working mothers.

DumSpiroSpero Sat 03-Mar-12 14:36:59

TBH I can see it from both sides. If I was her employer or colleague I would find the situation frustrating, but what's the alternative? Women having to give up work completely if they want kids? Dictating how many children a woman has or how big an age gap between them?

It can't really work any other way so it's just a case of like it or lump it.

Mrsrobertduvall Sat 03-Mar-12 14:40:06

Sorry...I thought it was aibu too!

Coconutty Sat 03-Mar-12 14:41:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

bigkidsdidit Sat 03-Mar-12 14:58:04

Well... I had a baby last year and am working full time so I don't believe women should stop working. But this is taking the piss a bit I think. Someone in my work has done this, two year long mat leaves and both times come back pregnant. It's impossible to plan, to get her projects flowing smoothly etc. it's really hard on the employer.

bbcessex Sat 03-Mar-12 15:02:09


SardineQueen Sat 03-Mar-12 15:43:41

The gripe of the OP is that this woman needs to have lots of hospital appointments when she is pregnant. How is that out of order?

Like I say, my manager tried to stop me going for anti-D jabs on the basis she didn't need them. Was she being reasonable too?

mockingjay Sat 03-Mar-12 17:29:16

YANBU to be fed up of covering for her OP. Yes women should be entitled to maternity leave but not at the expense of everybody else's long term workload. That sounds like very poor management. Does the company contract somebody in while she is on leave? I know that doesn't cover hospital appointments etc before the leave, but definitely a good starting point.

Perhaps a you could make your concerns known - in the form of having too much work to do yourself, rather than she is not doing enough? The company will continue to take the piss if they can IMO.

bunnyspoiler Sat 03-Mar-12 17:40:52

It is hard on the staff left behind, as much as we all appreciate the flexibility and protection offered by enhanced rights, longer paid mat leave and protection it is difficult to argue it does not have a negative impact on others. Most women where I work are now away for 12-15 months with leave accumulated and training up a constant stream of short term replacements is very hard for the other staff. Especially when the person is also off sick on and off throughout their pregnancy or when they return. I'd like to see how the scandinavian countries manage it. Their staff cannot be as overworked and so capacity for cover is better (is all I can think).

Floggingmolly Sat 03-Mar-12 17:54:29

Well look at it from another viewpoint . If she had a chronic illness that rendered her incapable of doing her job properly (and being unable to work a full week on a long term basis is surely that) it would be grounds for dismissal.
When she's not at her desk, who picks up the slack? Choosing to go through a 3rd pregnancy in 3 years while attempting to hold onto the job you haven't actually done properly for years is a bit of a piss take, actually.

Multifacetediguana Sat 03-Mar-12 19:30:09

Thank you for your responses. I struggled to understand a decision to have another dc as she does not have straightforward pregnancies or easy babies (both terrible sleepers) but someone suggested that the risks associated with gf will increase with age so that is perhaps why she is having them so close, not that it is any of my business, I know. And she really is not able to do her job properly. We are a strong and supportive department and will always be willing to help a struggling colleague, but this has gone on for 3 years! She also does not do herself any favors, for example
She openly admits that she lies to payroll and tells them that she is sick rather than her dc's so she doesn't get it unpaid.

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