Go Ahead, Take My Stapler

Yesterday was my last day in the office. Today is my last day of work (I work from home on Fridays). And while on Monday, I thought of working my last full day of work for 14 weeks in the office, the insanity of that particular idea emerged as the week went by. It wasn't as if I have a ton of close friends at the office to say a temporary goodbye to. My farewell tour occupied all of 30 seconds, from 4:50-4:50:30pm Thursday afternoon.

I work for a small company, around 70 people total, 25 or so of whom work with me in the US office, the rest in NZ. And with travel schedules, and me working from home two days per week, there's not a lot of "office comraderie." And 95% of my co-workers are men, so the opportunities for female bonding and gossiping in the ladies' are few and far between. And have I mentioned I'm the first and only woman to get pregnant in the US office? And that the rest of the women (read: 4) I work with are either past child-bearing age or unmarried and not thinking of children right now? And that besides the new administrative assistant we just hired, whom I believe is in her early 20s, there's no one remotely in my age group? I walk alone, my friends. I walk alone.

So it should come as no surprise to you (or to me), that I left the office yesterday without a whole lot of fanfare. Or any fanfare, for that matter. But unfortunately, it does irk me a bit. Now, granted, I didn't expect a shower thrown in my honor. After all, I do work with mainly men, who give as much thought to pregnancy and babies as they do to Tivo-ing Oprah and buying the latest Josh Groban CD. But I selfishly? stupidly? expected something. A card? A small gift from my boss? Something?

I think my resentment is a holdover from my former job, where I worked for seven years. There, I worked with predominantly women, although the male-to-female ratio wasn't nearly as unbalanced as it is at my current employer. And every time someone got pregnant there, be it their first, third, or thirteenth kid, a big deal was made. There were showers thrown. There were gifts bought. There was massive quantities of food consumed. And I attended each that I was invited to faithfully, whether I was particularly close to the mom-to-be or not. And again, I selfishly and stupidly thought, "Ah Ha! When I get pregnant, I'll have my turn finally. People will gather to celebrate me." Well, as you know, getting knocked up took a whole lot longer than I thought it would. And I left for my new job before getting pregnant.

Today my manager is taking me out to lunch. Which is nice of him. I do love my manager. He's very easy-going, and let's me do my job independantly. I don't need a lot of hand-holding, and he respects that. But am I being silly for being bummed that I'm not getting a bigger party at work for my last day?

15 Responses to “Go Ahead, Take My Stapler”

  1. # Blogger Caryl

    Click you heels together and say, "There's no place like LO, there's no place like LO!" But seriously, I too was in cultrue shock at my new job in NC. Birthdays pass without so much as a wish. Christmas?? Hmmmm, just a wish as you walk out. I remember hauling shopping bags home on my birthday and the last day of work before the holidays. Even I feel slighted and reminisce about the "old days." I remember thinking how can my coworkers know me better than my family? I always received the BEST presents from my LO family. But, as the saying goes, you can never go back, and I deal with my new culture. But, you do have a warm and loving blog community, your friends from LO and your family. So, don’t despair and I’m sure the presents and happiness will be pouring in very soon. Tuesday you start a new phase of your life, so don’t look back, look ahead!  

  2. # Blogger Christine

    I would be bummed too. Although you do get a lunch out of it.

    However, I just wanted to point out to you, as small a consolation as it may be--that everyday people gather here to celebrate you and the Beastie because even though most of us don't know you, we think you're pretty fabulous. And I, for one, am EXCITED for you. Probably more excited than I was for the birth of my many cousins' children.  

  3. # Blogger jenny

    Well at least you're getting lunch?
    I'm thinking they just look at it like you're on an extended vacation - I KNOW that's not what it is to you but that's the crowd you work with.

    Tuesday when there are 15 people in the hospital waiting room, the blog friends waiting online, and tons of others waiting for a phone call...I think you'll have forgotten about the low fanfare send off from work.  

  4. # Blogger CAL

    God, you're worse than a bride-to-be. ;)

    That's what you get for working with a bunch of heteros.  

  5. # Blogger sher

    No!!! You're not being silly at all. It would irk me if they didn't have some sort of send-off. And if there were more women in the office that would have happened. But, as has already been mentioned here --there is a whole world of people who think about you and Beastie each day and throw a party for you in their head. I have wondered if you are registered for Beastie anywhere? I would love to get her/him something.

    And I'm glad you are getting a nice lunch...  

  6. # Blogger sunShine

    I agree with everyone else. I am sorry that your office did not do anything big for you to celebrate your baby. All of your blog friends are here for you though and we are celebrating for you!  

  7. # Blogger Marie

    No, I don't think you're being silly! That would seem odd to me. Though as you say, it's just the same as it is every other day there. Do they do birthdays?

    LOL @ Cal!!!

    ps -- We're heading out to go camping in a few minutes, and I'll be thinking of you in your final moments of pregnancy... in your air-conditioned bedroom, while I'm in a hot, muggy tent! Hey, you could join us!!  

  8. # Blogger l

    No acknowledgement of this amazing milestone in your life? I guess to some degree, you can chalk it up to a bunch of male heteros, but still! Even by male standards, you should have at least received a few congratulatory cigars. Do they know you had difficulty conceiving and about all the hoops you had to jump through to make Beastie? Maybe they're uncomfortable acknowledging that.  

  9. # Blogger Hopeful Mother

    Yeah, I'd be a little pissed too, and I think us IFers are especially sensitive to acknowledging the amount of anguish and $$ spent on conceiving said child...

    But we will do all the celebrating for you! Who needs work anyway?!  

  10. # Blogger Kross-Eyed Kitty

    I can't believe those men didn't plan a baby shower for you! The nerve of them! LOL.
    I'm glad that your manager is taking you out for lunch, he sounds like a nice man. Did he tie some helium filled balloons to your chair? I hope so!!!
    Just kidding. I'd be a little irked too. Especially, since you've probably been to a jillion work showers in the past. Sometimes, it just doesn't seem fair when things don't come back you.
    But just think: 4 MORE DAYS!!!!
    I'll be thinking of you on Tuesday, anxiously checking your blog for the news.
    What time is your c-section scheduled?  

  11. # Blogger Shannon

    OMG, it really is four more days! I will be glued to my computer that day, waiting for Karrie to post the update!

    And it must be disappointing to get almost no acknowledgment from anyone in the office. I mean, geez, people! Not so much as a by-your-leave with the exception of lunch? You might as well push for working fulltime at home after this, seriously! What's the point of going into the office if not for human interaction of some sort?  

  12. # Blogger annelynn

    Kristi -

    I'm going to be away next week, so I wanted to wish you best of everything for the arrival of Beastie - I can hardly wait to check back in and see the birth announcement!

    I have really enjoyed being along for your journey; I am so excited for you and Rich - and for the bebe you will be sharing your life with.

    Heartfelt thank you's for sharing yourself with us as you have - you will be in my thoughts and prayers! Take care, and much love.

    p.s. I concur with Shannon completely.  

  13. # Blogger Bonnie Loves Cats =^..^=

    This week's WCB #62 will be hosted by Heather at http://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=16572342&postID=115587421173067737. Please sent us your Kitty Blog photo of the week if you wish. Thanks.  

  14. # Blogger Kristi

    Caryl-You're right. There's nothing like the early days there, huh?

    Christine-Aww.. thanks. And I don't want to sound like I feel "unloved." I definitely don't. How could I, with so many supportive friends, both blog and IRL?

    Jenny-I'm sure that's exactly what they think. And don't worry. I know I have plenty of people who care!

    Cal-No freaking kidding. Remember, it's all about me! ;)

    Sher-You're very sweet. But no presents necessary. Just having so many great people reading about my story here and supporting me along the way is present enough for me.

    Sunshine-Thank you! That means so much!

    Marie-We have one celebration a month for all the birthdays that occur in that month, which is nice. Have fun camping. And I am totally camped out in my bedroom today!

    L-No. They don't know a thing about it. I'm sure they think Beastie was conceived "the old fashioned way"! Ha!

    Hopeful Mother-That's right!

    Ramona-LOL. I know, the nerve of them, right? ;) I'm such a whiner, aren't I? My c-section is scheduled for 9:30am. More details to follow Monday on how I'm relaying the news.

    Shannon-I know. Which is why I'm going to be working at home FT in December, and then 3-4 days a week starting in January. What's the point indeed.

    Annelynn-Have a great time on your trip. And I'm so glad you've enjoyed following my crazy journey. :)  

  15. # Blogger GLouise

    yes- you'd think that SOMEONE would acknowledge this major life change! Even men should know to collect a gift certificate or card. Good grief!

    Oh well- at least you can take comfort that you have the best present waiting for you tomorrow :-)

    But i agree- very weird office!!  

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