Maybe, If You Pretend Hard Enough

For the past month or two, Stephanie has been working about thirty-five hours a week as a contract worker at her former company. Combined with the extra hours that I was able to work during this year’s conference, this has made our financial situation a bit easier to deal with in the month of November. But, as I’m sure we should’ve expected, it wasn’t meant to last. On Thursday, the company told her that they will be unable to keep her on staff in December. She’ll be unemployed again and neither of us has much faith that she’ll find something else anytime soon.

As much as we’d like to believe otherwise, companies are simply unwilling to hire a pregnant woman who is near the end of her second trimester. It’s illegal to discriminate against her, sure. But that doesn’t stop them. Stef had a job in the bag a little while back, having had two very positive interviews that had given her every inclination that she was a top candidate, and then, in the interest of starting the working relationship off on the right foot, she disclosed that she was pregnant. This was before she was showing. She didn’t have to tell them, but she did. And guess what? She didn’t get the job.

Now the situation seems truly hopeless. Who’s going to hire someone who will only be on the job three to four months before she’s on maternity leave? I am of the belief that Stephanie could do any job in the world, if given the chance, but we both know that businesses have to be practical. There isn’t much chance that she’s going to get a fair shake.

So, she’ll take a temporary job that pays peanuts and we’ll have to make it work. We’ll cancel our cable, our Internet connection and maybe, eventually, our phones. Maybe we’ll move our bedroom downstairs to be closer to the fireplace, so that we can save on heat. That was one crazy idea I had while showering this morning. And maybe we’ll stop showering every day to save on hot water. After all, I work in an office by myself so no one would care.

Sometimes all you can do is hold each other and pretend that it’s going to be all right. And maybe, if you pretend hard enough, things might actually work out in the end. So, when I got home on Thursday night and this was the news that my wife had for me, I shut up and held her, and for once I played the part of the strong one and told her, not quite believing it myself, that everything was going to work out in the end.