THIS F*CKING WEEK. First, my husband was offered an interview in his home country that would involve an unsettlingly fancy job in the U.S., and his would-be boss asked him to go for the interview next week rather than next month, just as I was deciding that I'd better take that Zoloft for my postpartum depression after all. Then, as I was freaking out over that, I went to see a new endocrinologist because my usual one is awful, and this one (who resembles a senile, mumbling, Czech Ent--like from LOTR--) promptly informed me that I have a "nodule, cyst, lump, something," on my thyroid and sent me for an urgent ultrasound and blood test. He refused to tell me WHAT the tests were for, or actually answer any of my questions about anything thyroid-related, so I googled, and, naturally, they could be for cancer. I called the next day and he said he had the ultrasound results back--"you have big lump"--but not the blood test results, and again he wouldn't say anything else about it. At least now my husband decided the job looked fishy and he's not going, otherwise I'd be trying to decide whether new-Zoloft-while-alone-with-a-baby or no-Zoloft-while-alone-with-a-baby for a week is worse, all while waiting for potential cancer news. But now I don't have to do that by myself, which is a plus! And the senile mumbling Ent dude did not call today and it's been 48 hours, so my fingers are crossed that it's not serious, rather than another way the otherwise-lovely-I'm-sure Canadian healthcare system is letting me down. I'm just ready for some kittens or some puppies or for my napping baby to wake up or something else cute to take my mind off The Stuff. At least my husband seems to be feeling better (you may recall my kvetching about both of our indifferent mental states), courtesy of the potential interview and his decision not to do it.
@stonefruit OMG--yes, that's right! You were there!!!! Thank you for saying that too--sometimes in my less confident moments I wonder if I had that experience just because I'm "too sensitive" or attract misfortune to myself or something. (Incidentally, in the small-world department, I've reconnected with the then-teenaged intern from that program, who is now my neighbor up here and is doing very well.)
@siniichulok Oh--I forgot about the chain bookstore (now closed) where they paid minimum wage and did not hire anyone full time because then they'd have to provide benefits, but they put lots of indirect pressure on us to punch out and keep working. Fortunately, I was so oblivious that I didn't realize it until right before the end when I'd already decided to quit. I also got a warning because I was sick two days in three months, and sometimes didn't have more than six hours between the end of a shift one day and the beginning of the next one the next day (they refused to amend the schedule in any way--you had to let them know six weeks in advance that you didn't like something in the schedule, but they'd only hand you your ever-changing schedule one week in advance, so this was impossible). There's a lot worse stuff not worth getting into, but I ended up getting a temp job that paid twice as much and started the next day, and I gave the bookstore two hours' notice. As a result, I was too ashamed to set foot in the bookstore for the next three months, and when I finally ventured in I realized that I needn't have worried, because the people were all different--the turnover was that high.
@stroopwafel I don't have any useful suggestions, because the times I had bad jobs I just suffered through them until I found better jobs (all in a better economy), so this is something I'd like to know too, frankly. But I just wanted to say that hating your job and being honest about it is not whiny or first-world-problem-ish, not to me. Doing something you really don't want to do and having to act like you love it day in and day out is demoralizing, no matter where in the world you live (I have in-laws in a developing country and yes, sometimes they have hated their jobs too). As for job horror stories...my first job out of college I had two managers who were so vicious and sadistic that I actually preferred to interact with THEIR manager, who was a lecherous hebephile (at age 21 I was too "old" for him, though I did have to "innocently" deploy my elbows sometimes). I also have had a boss who would call me into her office and insult me while she flashed her underwear at me while scratching her legs while wearing a skirt, and another boss who thought he was a combination of Mata Hari and Rambo. And these were white-collar jobs at very "respectable" places in a very progressive city. It takes all kinds, I guess....
I still read Jezebel every so often, but I'm turned off by the articles on there frequently that are all, "let's be reasonable about unpaid internships! OKsomaybetheyaren'tfairtothepoors...but *I* got one and it got me where I am today! If I can do it, anyone can! They teach you important skills and they taught me how to Stand On My Own Two Feet!" Etc., completely obliviously. I prefer the Hairpin and wish it had as many articles as there are on Jezebel,just because I need stuff to read while breastfeeding for hours at a time, but I guess it's a quality vs. quantity thing.
Oh man, I have a four-month-old baby and I gave birth to him in Canada as a member of the provincial health system, and I had all these fears during the 15- and 20-week ultrasounds and I cannot imagine the pain she might feel over finding out they were justified, and making a decision I would make myself (no family safety net and no special resources, yo), and then having people shame her over it and try to make her hurt WORSE. I do NOT want to move back to the U.S. until I'm done spawning, and I know I am very lucky to have the privilege of saying that. Where I live, an abortion is legal and FREE. *FREE.* AS IT SHOULD BE. (going off to sob now)
@stonefruit I have that one too! The anthropologist in me was very happy that the illustrations featured passersby of many different Soviet ethnic groups.
@LilRedCorvette @everybody--thank you so much! I'm so glad to have the Hairpin to hang out on in times like these. <3 We had a sort-of talk; I'm still too much of a coward to say that he hasn't been supportive during this whole thing, because it will be a total sh!tstorm, but I did say that I was unable to support him in my current state the way I have been and that I was concerned that we could not support each other while we are both depressed (really, I am such a coward). He agreed with me. But he said he'll call his workplace's free counseling center, and I emailed the psychiatrist who runs my PPD support group to ask her about whether there are free PPD resources for fathers as well, because he said he'd do it if it was free. I suspect not, but it's worth a try. I should have gone out and called a helpline, but I waited too long, and just as I was about to, this freezing rain came up. I'll try tomorrow. I'm self-medicating with soda water and Call the Midwife (though I'm fast-forwarding through the sad parts).
Anyway, thanks again!
@cabber Oh yes, I'd love to do that, and I just sent a note to my childhood BFF asking her if she can join me on Skype (for a typed, not spoken, session). The problem is that most of our (his and my) other friends are friends with both of us, and I don't want to put them in an awkward position. But I will definitely hang out here--I love this place! @adorable-eggplant--thanks for those links; I'm actually in Canada but should definitely call SOMEBODY. I'm in treatment for PPD at the hospital where I gave birth, so I'll see if I can call them. I don't want to do it in front of my husband, who will just hear me talking about him and be all accusatory about how can I put pressure on him because he's DEPRESSED (I already told him that I never want to hear again about how he hates this country because hearing it over and over and over again every day is sending me over the edge), but maybe I'll go for a walk later with the baby and call them then.
@siniichulok I sat here sobbing and rocking back and forth just now like a madwoman (which I never do) and he watched me impassively and offered me lunch and tea and then went off by himself when I declined. I think we are actually in a Bergman movie or something.