Saturday, February 14, 2009

Houston we have a HUGE problem

Remember when I asked you to keep your fingers crossed for the approval I was waiting for at work? Well, let's just say that last approval that I was waiting for did not come.

Yesterday at work my boss said she wanted to talk to me before I left for the weekend. I kind of had a bad feeling about it when she wasn't all smiley when she told me this. So we met. And she said when her and our other boss presented the proposal to the department boss, he just about flipped his lid. Not cool. I won't get into the details and reasons that he wasn't ok with the plan, but in the end I guess they were in talks all week about the situation and came up with the following proposal to present to me:

10 days of my accumulated vacation time
5 days of my unaccumulated vacation time (this would use all of my vacation time for a year)
10 days of no salary
5 weeks in USA

Now, let's remeber what I had originally asked for (and received A LOT of positive support for, thus making me believe whole-heartedly that it was going to work):

2 months of long-distance work (my job is all over the internet, so really it shouldn't matter where I am)
10 days of my accumulated vacation time
10 days of no salary
3 months (or 12 weeks) in USA

Unfortunatly there is a HUGE difference between 12 weeks and 5 weeks. And now I'm in a sticky situation where I have BIG and difficult decisions to make.

Maybe you wonder why I need so much time......well, think about all the little details that have to be taken care of, not to mention getting my dress fitted, and then after the wedding there's that thing called the honeymoon....which we are so trying to coordinate with my cousin's wedding in Mexico on the 27th. So the month of vacation time (paid or not) is something I'm not really willing to budge on. And then with only 5 weeks off of work, that would mean I would only come to Colorado 2 weeks before the wedding..........seriously, would it even be possible to plan your wedding and get there 2 weeks ahead of time?

I suppose I could look at it like a destination wedding. Like my cousin, we are getting married out of the country.....only I have never been to the ranch where we will be having the wedding, and it is impossible to do crafty DIY projects in Chile--both of which seriously hinder my planning. Plus all of the people helping me plan (with the exception of Christian) are in the you know that awesome feeling of getting together with your bridesmaids and doing crafts, or having a bridal shower, or whatever.....ya all of that would be g.o.n.e.

I know I should be thankful they are even saying 5 weeks. BUT I did come to this job being frank about the time I needed off and they said they would totally work with me on it. Plus my previous job was guaranteeing me those 3 months off of work if I had stayed. SO yes, I am HUGELY disappointed. I arrived at my house in tears yesterday, with visions of my wedding being flushed down the toilet. There are all million thoughts running through my head and emotions pumping though my body. I don't know what to do. There are so many variables that come into play that it is hard to make any sort of decision. Luckily I have my husband and my parents and my friends who can help me see straight and make a well-thought out plan. Although I am very logical, when things are emotional (and weddings are HIGHLY emotional), I do what my gut says and I take no pity on those in my path. Whether or not that is the right thing to do, that is how I work. Luckily I kept my composure very well yesterday and didn't say anything. I think I was in shock. I couldn't really even react.

And I wouldn't call this post a reaction either, more just an explanation of what is going on right now...and perhaps a call for advice from my few friends who read my blog. I will not publically go into more details as I don't think I should speak too soon about my choice, or what I think my work will decide. I just had to get a little bit off my chest.


Amanda said...

You can still have a completely fabulous wedding. Really!

Let me just tell you a bit of my own experience with my wedding:

Things didn't go perfectly, as nothing in life every does. I had to be flexible, abort some ideas, and live with some loose ends and change some plans. This was from big things to little things.

What about getting your dress in Chile? They have some really great stores in Vitacura. You could probably also pay someone to make it really cheaply.

In my opinion, five weeks off from a job is pretty generous. Unless your a teacher with the summer off or something, hehe.

I did have my wedding after getting to Chile two weeks in advance. I had a lot of help from other people. I had to trust them and deal with the decisions they made for me.

I also did A LOT of the prep work from my house ahead of time. My luggage was filled with wedding stuff.

The good thing is that technology makes everything really easy long distance, too! Do you have a wedding planner? If you find one who is willing with work with you long distance, that could be REALLY helpful!

Good luck! Don't despair, it will still be fabulous!

La Chilengüita said...

I'm glad your wedding worked out. I know thiings will work out in the end and I have been really flexible with wedding stuff, but there are certain things that cannot be changed.

I don't think I would have had a problem coming from the US to Chile with all my wedding stuff in tow because I would have had all the resources necessary to prepare ahead of time. Here it's not possible to do all the fun little crafts and go to Michaels and stuff like that. That is what I am missing. Plus I want to be with my family and actually get to plan things, not just see a picture or a website and say "yeah ok". It's like my whole wedding will be a surprise.

I already have the dress and a day-of coordinator. We can't afford anything more than a day-of coordinator and the fact is that I want to be the one hot glueing my little crafts and whatnot. I like that stuff and I think it makes the wedding all that much more personalized.

I know five weeks seems pretty generous, but considering they TOLD me I could work from home for 2 months, thus being able to do the prep work beforehand and then only have 4 weeks off of work.....telling me I only have 5 weeks in total to try and do everything I need to do in 3 months is NOT ok. This time was part of the negotiation to change jobs. I guess you really have to know the whole story. But that is why I explained that I had been told it would be ok. Now they are changing the story. That is where the problem comes in, because a lot of plans we have already made.

Thanks for the support though! I appreciate it!

Anonymous said...

I got nothing for you... just a HUG!!!

Also, congrats for holding it together. If they were renigging on something promised, I would have told them off on the spot. You definitely went the much better route.

Emily said...

I don't think it's at ALL generous, and I am so sorry! I've heard you talking about this for a while, and I know you thought it was pretty much a done deal and just a question of getting an official signature. This is crap. Is there any hope at all that you can talk to the boss, maybe in person this time, and explain that you were under the impression that this was verbally agreed to when you accepted the job? Maybe you could try to convince them to let you work from home for 1 month, then the 4 weeks off...not exactly ideal, but better than 5 weeks.

Ugh, I cannot imagine how stressful this must be, so I'm just hoping it all works out as well as possible.

Mamacita Chilena said...

Well, it's sort of a gamble, but you can basically counteroffer them and say, "I'm sorry. I was told from the beginning that I'd be able to receive these 12 weeks as part of the deal when I switched jobs. This was seriously misleading and I'm unwilling to work for a company that treats it's employees as such. If the offer is only 5 weeks because you're concerned about my productivity working from home, let me assure you that it won't be a problem. I'll continue to be just as much of an asset to the company as I have been. If there's something we can work out in regards to the other 7 weeks of working remote that I was promised I'm willing to come to an agreement. But otherwise, I'll be forced to leave the company."

I REALLY doubt that after they'd promised you and you came back with that, that they'd let you quit without counteroffering you a better deal with more weeks working remotely, especially since it's what you were promised in the beginning (do you have that anywhere in writing, in any email or anything?). Then again, this is Chile and while I'm good at working that sort of stuff in the U.S. I have no idea here.

So I guess that would be a risk, and it depends on how much you really want to keep your job whether you should do something like that. How much does it mean to you?

La Chilengüita said...

Thanks for your opinions girls! There is just so much to think about.

Just to clear up some doubts--although I was promised that we could work something out when I came to my new job, nothing was formalized (I should have insisted) and thus a time-frame never defined. BUT previously I had said I wanted 3 months before the wedding (meaning leaving in March) and then I was told it would be better to go after the quarter-end so then I changed the leaving date until April.

The other thing that was explained to me is that they don't have a problem with me working from afar in the sense they know that I will do it. But one of the issues is being out of the office for 3 months, ie. not having my appearance in the office...they feel it will look bad to the rest of the team, especially I was the last to be hired. I understand not being in the office could create problems as the other people won't know the details of the situation, but I dunno....

And the crappist thing of all, I REALLY REALLY like my company! They have treated me very well and I think it is probably one of the best companies to work for in Chile. So it makes it even more diappointing to be disappointed because in general they treat their staff really well. I think a lot of the issue is that I'm so young and haven't been at the company for more than 1 year. But people marry young, and us expats always have extenuating circumstances. Life is like that. So we'll see....I'm gonna talk to my parents about it tonight.

Fned said...

Urgh! I can understand what a crap situation this is! Planning a wedding is already stressful enough w/o adding this layer of problem!

Although it's not much, can I tell you that I seriously think things will come out ok in the end?

Our wedding was planned in a four month period in which neither Hubby nor I had a single day off before Dday- 7 ? Besides, we were on our own since our families were scattered in 4 different countries. I had so many things planned at the beginnig yet, as the weeks passed I realized they could be modified / adapted / changed or discarded based on our possibilities (of money and time).

In the end, our wedding was a reflection of what our lifes were like in that particular moment in time. Our guests were impressed by the original solutions we sometimes had to come up with in order to make up for certain constraints.

I think Christian and you will probably find similar solutions and original ways to counter this setback so that you can make the very best with what you have in terms of time, logistics and possibilties.

And in the end, I guarantee you, it WILL be the most beautiful day in your life.


Shannon said...

Hey, I hope everything works out for you.
I am still working on getting a visa for Ro...the new story of my life...

Woodward said...

Sorry to hear what is happening to you.
I have learnt the hard way to only believe what is in writing here in Chile and even then it's not always 100% true. I ended up having my wedding in Chile which was a lot of fun to organise (constantly fighting unfulfilled promises).
It can be very frustrating being let down like that though watch, everything will work out for you as it should.

Disclaimer—La Chilengüita is a blog created upon my personal experiences and which expresses my personal opinion that in no way represents the views my employer, family or friends.