What to do when being the parent means risking your job - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 02-11-2004, 05:33 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm not sure where to put this as its both a work issue and a parenting issue. My dd was in our states Infant Development Program (IDP) as a toddler for delays and we had some serious issues with the only IDP teacher in this area one of which was life threatening to my dd and she thought it ridiculous that I was even requesting the accommodation (a peanut free class room after my dd went into anaphylaxis in her class. She only had 3 students so it wasn't a big deal imo to change the snack) and she refused and made some pretty inflammatory statements and insults. The end result was my dd was transferred to another district an hour away and the state paid me to transport my dd to it. I'm pretty sure she got in trouble for it and normally I wouldn't give a rats behind except I have to work with this women and she's made my work life very hard. I have done everything to be nice to her but she leaves nasty grams on my desk over petty crap (like a kid was playing with scotch tape and put it on her bulletin board and she accused me of intentionally destroying her students artwork. It was a 2 inch piece of tape for crying out loud! I went looking for it and couldn't find it. Another time I left a teabag in the sink to cool and she came in while I was gone and found it and had a hissy. Petty crap like that) on a regular basis. I work as a Liberian/advocate for her students and she will tell families they need xyz but they need to go to another town to get it when she knows darn well its sitting on my shelves and wont even tell them I'm there. (literally, 10 feet away!) and when they ask who I am its "oh, that's so and so, so and so's mom not as a professional that I am. She denies me access to the parents even though our agency's say we will play nice together and I'm required to go in to her class 2x a month to see parents but she gets PO'd when I do and wont let me talk to them. I get yelled at by my boss because she wont refer families to me but there is nothing I can do about it! I try to be nice and remind her we have all these resources right there that she's telling the parents they need. I practically kiss this lady's butt and have even left small gifts I know she likes to get on her good side to help smooth things out professionally and I don't even get an acknowledgement that she even got it. I leave helpful materials for her when I have extras and she just throws them back at my desk (I'd think a 0-3 teacher would want info on SIDS prevention to give to parents or post at school) I have tried everything and yet today my boss decides I need to attend training to learn how to get along with this women who cant keep a freakin aide more then 2 days because no one is willing to work with her and says this is impacting my job and I cant do my job because she wont give me referrals to work with and support the families and it must be all my fault.

Here's the grand finale.... (I've been secretly happy the teacher was taking off 14 weeks on sabbatical to do student teaching in another city)

I take dd to preschool this morning (intensive speech immersion program though the school dist) and guess who is there! yep, the woman who is threatening my job because she's PO'd that I got her in trouble over a year ago for discrimination against my child. You bet your butt I'll be talking to the head teacher and I'm ready to file a complaint with the school because of my experience in the past with her as a parent and I don't want her any where near my child or any special needs child for that matter with the crap I've heard come out of her mouth personally and professionally over the last year but by doing so I risk loosing my job because it will "further damage the relationship between our company and the IDP program". People do not separate me the mother from me the professional and just say X from XYZ said XXX. I got in major trouble when the local headstart was not playing nice with us in accommodating my dd and the school admitted it and all but yet it was the professional who's boss got a phone call saying I was talking bad about them instead of a parent telling someone about there bad experience with the local headstart program (yes I know there are some awesome HS programs around, ours just happens to suck and they don't like taking more then just "speech kids" to meet there specials needs quota). I'm just not sure what to do, there is no other placement available for my dd right now or else I'd be yanking her butt from the class immediately until this lady is gone because I am seriously worried about this lady pulling the same crap again (she literally segregated my dd and basically sent her to a corner alone while the rest of the kids had snack and did fun stuff like painting and glitter and glue projects because she refused to stop serving peanut butter crackers (she claimed the kids needed the fats and oils in there diets, it was junk food!) at snack time and art just happened to follow snack in the class and it was just to much trouble to clean everything and bring dd back in which is a whole nuther issue and my dd may have only been 2 and incapable of telling me but you should have seen the look on her face, she was heart broken!) I love my job but I'm really ready to quit over having to deal with this woman because the stress she's creating is ridiculous. I just feel like I'm trapped, I cant be an effective parent doing what's best for my kid without it impacting my job (remember I'm a single mom with no other income so no job would be BAD) because of the nature of my job and that's just wrong!

Seriously?
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#2 of 6 Old 02-11-2004, 10:16 AM
 
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Wow. You would think that working for the special needs school would work in your favour!

It's very hard when workplace conflicts arise between people who have to work together. And it sounds like this woman has more "credentials" than you, which usually means people will take her word over yours, and consider you more dispensable.

I think if I were in your shoes, I would start job hunting without letting anybody know. See what your options are. I guess quitting is not one of them, social services being what they are here in the US.

But you sound like you definitely need a different job. Maybe a move to another district where your DD can go to a different school? The way they are treating her sounds really bad, and I'm torn between wanting to tell you to quit, and realizing that that would put you in a pretty bad situation....


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#3 of 6 Old 02-23-2004, 05:14 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Well I talked to dd's teacher and she was shocked and had a little chat with the lady and assured me it will never happen again In the mean time i've been getting to know her replacement teacher in the 0-3 program and she told me something interesting.... she hasn't met one single person that had anything good to say about her! Nice to know i'm not the only one that doesn't like her:

Seriously?
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#4 of 6 Old 02-23-2004, 03:43 PM
 
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Satori - you have rights protecting you from wrongful termination. Protecting your child from immediate impending danger, and then being treated hostily for such is really questionable behavior on this womens part and your boss's.

If I were you I would start to document everything, and I mean everything down to a T with the t crossed, what this woman says, her body language her actions. Write down her behaviour towards you and how it directly impeds you from doing your job correctly.

In addition do the same thing for your boss. Any communication you have with your boss regarding this siutation should be handled in writing (i.e. Dear Boss - I just wanted to summarize what we discussed so I make sure I understand it correctly.....)

Remember if it came down to a lawsuit scenario you need to have an accurate diary to substantiate your claim. Write dates, times, conversations, events. You will be so glad you did, and it is hard to dispute something as solid as a diary.

Also, go back now and recreate everything you can from memory as best as possible.

Good luck and stand up for yourself here. YOU ARE NOT IN THE WRONG ~ and plus you will probably get some good karma points if you keep other children away from this horid woman.
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#5 of 6 Old 02-23-2004, 05:53 PM
 
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Ditto to what goodcents said - start writing it down.

Also, to me, this woman sounds like the kind of witch who will be meaner to you the nicer you are to her. I would stop being nice to her - i.e. don't suck up, don't go out of your way to be nice, be cordial but cool.

I would also figure out who to complain to that she is ENDANGERING YOUR CHILD'S LIFE for the sake of some stupid peanut butter crackers. I would be complaining a blue streak all the way up the chain of command! If your dd has the right to the educational assistance she's entitled to surely she's also entitled to a safe learning environment!

Stand up for yourself, mama! You and your dd deserve better.

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#6 of 6 Old 02-24-2004, 07:02 PM
 
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Go ahead and document stuff, but chances are that all it will do is make you mad when you find those notes in a file a few years later... (sorry for the synicism... I've been there...)

My advice? Look for other work and practice diplomatic ways of saying "that woman is a loony!" Someone that mean spirited will never successfully convince anyone that she's a good person for very long. You can keep to the moral high ground by only talking about her with people who "need to know." Share the specifics of your concerns with her boss/supervisor, or as high above her as you can get. Tell them your experience as a parent, and then tell them your experience as a colleague. Don't whine, just the facts. Then with everyone else, say things like "We have different styles" and "It's not a work environment where I feel comfortable."

Believe me... if you stay in the same community, you will be happy when people see you as someone who could stay calm even when dealing with a crazy woman. You will not be happy to be "the one who won't shut up about so-and-so"

When working with her, do as much as possible through email or in writing. That way, you have documentation that you provided her with information, requested referrals, etc. If she throws it back in your face, that's not in your control, but you've got proof you're doing your job.

And then get out!

I've been there... even if you think you can't find as good a job, you will be happier and you never know what will come up if you show your good intentions.

PS, I can even run into my crazy lady, now, and not feel like I'm going to vomit. And it's only been 4 years!
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