Being Fired Wasn’t In My Birthing Plan


Yet, here we are, a little more than nine weeks away from the baby’s arrival and it appears that within the next 24 hours my union is heading toward a strike. (It’s a tad confusing but here’s the deal: I work for a large, national union. Within that union’s headquarters, I’m one of about 550 workers who are members of a staff union.) Contract negotiations between our staff union and the national union for which we work appear to have broken down almost entirely. Which means as soon as we go on strike, I become an “at will” employee. “At will” = “Fireable.”

Now, I’m a glass-half-full kind of gal so I’m not going to focus on the fact that at best, I’m about to not get my paycheck for the duration of a strike of indeterminate length, and at worst, I will not get my paycheck, retirement benefits, or health care for a determinate length of time with that determined length being forever. Instead, I’ve compiled the seven best things about this situation:

1. If I lose my job, we won’t need to pay for daycare!
2. I can finally put my puffy paint-pen sorority discount to use again. The sign may say “Hey Management, Go **** Yourselves!” but the dot letters and pink posterboard add a nice feminine touch.
3. I’ll get lots of beneficial exercise by walking on a picket line for eight+ hours a day.
4. In protesting health care cuts for dependents, I’ll become the first picketer in history to have a picture of a fetus (my own) on a sign and not be complaining about abortion.
5. After listening to me address a couple hundred people in the atrium of our headquarters about why the CEO is a hypocrite, this baby will likely infer I am either a tough cookie or just plain crazy. Either way, I think it bodes well for an easier time disciplining her later.
6. Apparently if you sing a few songs over and over during pregnancy, babies are more easily soothed by them after being born. But thus far, I’ve been a little slack about singing to her every day. Now I’ll just be able to yell, “Hey hey, ho ho, Disrespect has got to go!” to get her to fall asleep.
7. Contract disputes hurt more than contractions. I know this now.


10 Responses to “Being Fired Wasn’t In My Birthing Plan”

  1. Kathryn Quigley Says:

    Wait. The union is striking the union?? That is wacky!!
    But I like the idea of the baby’s picture on a picket sign.
    Hang in there.

  2. freckledk Says:

    If #4 becomes a reality, I’m coming down there with my camera. Hello, new screensaver!

    Good luck, Bird! Hope it all works out for you!

  3. Hammer Says:

    If your union strikes your union, won’t that tear a hole in the space-time continuum right in the middle of DC? Good thing I’m renting – property values are about to go to shit.

  4. I-66 Says:

    In case you need it, there is a shload of extra, large-sized posterboard at my pad. Evidently they only come in packs of 10. WTF, Staples?

  5. Allie Says:

    Oooohhhh… paint pens and dot letters! Need any sign making help?

  6. Skywalker Says:

    I can totally do the sorority post thing if you want help!

  7. Phil Says:

    Yeah…as others have already pointed out…(shaking head) “unions”….

    What our country needs is to go back to the good old sweat-shop days, where you made minumum wage and you liked it!

    The other benefit is you can simply declare yourself on “bedrest” until after the strike is over.

  8. Jaime Says:

    Oh – I’m sorry about the possibility of becoming “fireable!” But you’re right, it would be lovely to be able to take care of the baby yourself! Maybe you could freelance from home, or something???

  9. babybird Says:

    Thank you all. We got improved news this evening and it looks like really good progress has been made. Paintpens can be sheathed for the time being but keep those fingers crossed, please.

  10. Hayes Says:

    #2: See! All that plastic cup-trashcan-picture frame-photo album decorating has real life use.

    Can you declare the puffy paint pens as a business expense?

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