Talk About "Big Brother"!

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Am I being super-paranoid.. ?

I am second guessing every word I write in my homework.. my emails to the SW, everything I say (did I REALLY need to joke about "being partial" to a G&T with her!? She started it.. was it a test??), do and how it's interpreted.

Being a single adopter, I feel a bit like a woman working in IT.. like I have to justify my abilities even more. And recently trying to balance work with this process has moved challenging.

It is utterly mental at work at the moment.. I'm doing my job, and the BA that left and the PM that left. I couldn't do it without the help of my partner-in-crime. We're also going through the process of splitting our company in two, so we're building a new website, setting up new Twitter, LinkedIn accounts, getting email addresses sorted, business cards.. MENTAL. The lovely L joked to me tonight (7pm still in the boardroom where we've been most of the day and no one else left in the office) that she was glad we had postponed the implementation of a new system, which we'd have had to train on and configure.. "if we'd have done that as well I'd have killed myself".

So you can imagine how easy it is right now, to fit in weekly 2-3 hr sessions in the middle of the day! I admit, when I sat in the initial interview, in my head I saw this as a personal exercise and outside of the Prep Group days (which I was warned would be full days), I never thought the home assessment would encroach on my work time. Other people I know from the Group seem to have SWs that work around them and I'm not saying mine doesn't just that.. maybe because she's a Contractor her aspect is slightly different. She has other commitments which mean some weekdays are out leaving me a fairly limited field to play with in the week. I work flexible hours and the boss knows I don't take the p*ss. So normally.. it's not an issue but right now? With everything going on and the stupid Bank Holiday.. it's almost impossible.

I contacted her to try and rearrange some of my visits coming up and said I'd be available in the evening or at the weekend. It was then I learnt, those times are no good for her either. When I pushed back a little and explained the situation I was told "it's a professional service like any other.. you wouldn't expect a Lawyer to be available in the evening would you?". And I'm sorry, inconvenience aside.. I do not see the role of the SW in this case or others as a "business" in that way. I felt like I should complain to VA about her inflexibility. I'm being as accommodating as I can and actually don't feel like I'm getting much back. She's got holidays booked and her other commitments, which is fine but maybe actually she has too much on HER plate. She made me feel like I was making work a priority when the reality is.. I'm doing all this so I can position myself where I need to be so I DO have the time to stay home or be available when Lily arrives. I'm doing all this so I can afford to have her in the first place and give the things I never had.

With the references too, I was told quite specifically that the SW would make the effort to visit the referees. I said I was concerned because the ones I'd be using weren't close but she was adamant it was part of the job and they'd try and meet someone somewhere if possible but ultimately would work around them. My stepdad lives a 3hr drive away and for a 40 minute interview I realise it's a big task. But I can't help where he lives and she's asking me to try and arrange for him to visit me so she can do the interview at mine. I get that, I really do but he's busy frankly. He’s renovating his house (it’s like Beirut) and can't take time off work so only has weekends. It's a whole trip out to come see me and although we are arranging a trip up anyway, the timing is rubbish and I feel pressured to try and force it to suit her. And that the fact he’s not committing, says something about our relationship or this thoughts on what I’m doing.

God I’m making her sound awful and she’s really not. And I know 60% of this is probably my paranoia. She’s lovely. I don’t know if we “connect” the way I hoped we would but it’s really early days and I just feel like I’m being judged all the time. At work today I was asked to do a pitch for a new client. If we get through a tender process.. really important to us if we win it and a lot of effort has already gone into it. Of course the slot is over one of her visits and I got in such a tizz. Can I say, “no sorry I have a personal appointment”.. the reality is no, course not but then how could I not? I dread to think what she’d have said if I cancelled or asked to move that one too. So I had to decide..

I told my boss over dinner last night that I was struggling a little with the juxtaposition between the 2 important things in my life – my career and my baby. At such odds with each other, yet I don’t want to give either up. But ultimately…. If I had to choose, my baby would come first.

So I did decide and told them I couldn’t make the pitch. I’ll deal with the fallout later. I’d rather do that than go up against my SW! :-)

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