I Guess I'm Just A Terrible Person

I don’t talk about The Day Job much here; I really try to compartmentalize my life that way. But a situation has developed there that has brought up some bigger issues, and I wanted to get your opinions on it.

I’ve said before that I work for a VERY big company. But I’m part of a very small location of a small division of said VBC. Oh, we got the name and whatnot, but practically speaking we’re a very small operation. Small staff — less than half a dozen, with a vacancy that we hope to fill soon.

Anyway, one of my colleagues (technically my peer in title, but vastly inferior in seniority, skills, and every other metric) has been getting on my nerves lately. She’s irritating, she’s aggressively wrong, and she’s had serious attendance issues — which means that I’ve been pulling extra shifts to cover for her.

The boss (whom I’ve discussed before) had discovered a rather intriguing pattern in her absences and was planning to have a little chat with her, when she pre-empted him with a little chat of her own: she’s pregnant.

That prompted another chat, this one between the boss and me: her condition would prompt some changes around the workplace. There would be slack to be picked up, and I’d be getting my share of it. To accomodate her condition, she’ll be working different shifts, shorter shifts, and be excused from certain duties.

Which means I’ll be getting my schedule yanked around, longer hours, and doing more around the shop. With the only reward being the extra pay for the extra hours — I know that any “brownie points” will be essentially worthless.

There’s the natural instinct I have, to chip in and be helpful. Plus the “help the lady” thing. Add in the pregnancy, and it’s tailor-made for a neurotically-driven “helpy-help” like I am.

On the other hand, she’s really irritated me in the past, I’m tired at work, I don’t want to have my schedule yanked around.

Also, there’s a part of me that resents being compelled to “take one for the team,” to “step up,” and “go a bit above and beyond” yet again. I’ve done that a lot of times, and the payback has been sorely lacking. Indeed, the times I’ve done it have not only cut me no slack, it’s bitten me on the ass — I’ve ended up being taken for granted and had more crap sloughed off on me for it.

So here I am, looking forward to several months of getting bounced around the schedule, extra hours, and extra work, for the relief of someone who has been irritating me for some time.

That’s the system, that’s the law. Pregnant women are entitled to certain legal protections, and employers are obligated to respect their condition and recognize their rights. And I’m fine with that — in theory.

In practice, though, the way my company does that is by having me and the rest of the very small crew taking it in the shorts.

So I’m feeling a bit resentful over this, and a bit of unfocused anger. Because I really don’t have a good focus for the anger. No one has really done anything wrong that I can blame for this situation.

I already know what I’m going to do. I know myself too well. I’ll step up a bit (maybe not quite whole-heartedly, or to the best of my ability — just a bit of passive-aggressive thing going on there), bitch a little, and get the crap done as usual.

But I’m not gonna be happy about it.

So the real question here is — how much of a jerk am I being in this?

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