Thursday, January 31, 2013

Fired for being fat



I fired myself this week – for being too fat.

Fat might not be the right word. I’m predominantly larger in one area – at 21 weeks pregnant it’s no longer a secret to anyone who sees me that I’m rapidly creating an exciting new addition to our family.

Which I’m so over the moon about.

And yet – I caught myself being chastised by a former staff mate and friend over the Christmas break for admitting to hiding my growing belly from new people I encountered at work.

How ridiculous she told me – in this day and age that you feel the need to do that. And the more I thought about it the more I realized how much effort I was putting into thinking about how to disguise my pregnancy.  Each morning I’d dress for work and wonder if I arched my back this way, or wore that, or didn’t get seen from that angle or breathed in deeply if it was obvious to the casual observer that I was pregnant.

Why? Because part of my role involves pitching for new business for our property management company. At each pitch I always explain that our company policy is that at least two people look after every property – so no client expects to only deal with me every day for an eternity, but yet I still felt the need to hide and hunch even though I’m not planning on going on leave for 4 months!

It’s taken me a while or so to get my head around writing this blog and I’m still not exactly sure the message I’m trying to get across (sometimes I just write and see if it comes to me as my fingers type).

I’ve got two opposing counterpoints running through my brain.

The one that fired me from that role of the job (pitching for new business with clients I don’t have a personal relationship / referral to) this week – because who wants someone who’s clearly pregnant and going to be having time off from work soon to pitch for their long term business.

And then there’s the one that knows that I’m actually significantly better at my job since having my first child.

Since my two year old bundle of flurry, wonder and chattering glory blew into my life I’ve:

·       Become more organized – and that’s a lot for me, because I was pretty organized before hand, but that old saying about if you want something done, give it to someone busy has never been more true.
·      
I’ve become better able to prioritise, distance myself and see the big picture of what’s really important and not focus on minutia as much.
·      
My ability to counteract for my own shortcomings through systems has gone through the roof. I discovered about mid way through my first pregnancy that “baby brain” wasn’t something ludicrous my pregnant friends made up (made readily clear when I missed three appointments in a row because my old system of simply remembering them no longer worked) – so ever since then I just put two back up systems in place for every meeting and haven’t missed a single one.
·      
And not that it directly relates to me pitching for new business – but I know I’ve become a better employer to the mums who work with me. In the same way that I’ve always said someone who is an investor themselves makes a better property manager, someone who is a working parent is better able to understand the unique and beautiful complications of wanting to be a great worker and a great parent.

So where does that leave me? Well it leaves me with still well over 3 months left to work. An amazing team that will look after every client while I am on leave after the arrival of bub number 2. It leaves me questioning my decision to fire myself, but not quite ready to rehire me – yet. And it leaves me wondering what I would do if a property manager clearly pregnant pitched for my business – with me knowing I’d want a long term relationship with them.

What would you do? 

By Kirsty Dunphey with 9 comments

9 comments:

What a wonderful blog!!!!
I say fire the old you and rehire the new and soon to be mummy YOU! Being authentic requires us to maintain our dignity and self respect - sounds to me like that's what you are doing dear Kirsty.

What a wonderful blog!!!!
I say fire the old you and rehire the new and soon to be mummy YOU! Being authentic requires us to maintain our dignity and self respect - sounds to me like that's what you are doing dear Kirsty.

Love this comment Bronwyn! :) Kirsty

Completely agree with the lovely Bron above. But add, that as women we are not only extremely hard on ourselves but on each other. Embrace your pregnancy (congrats by the way!) and know how truly fabulous you are - I mean, how did you get where you are today, let alone at 27yo!?

Be true to yourself and you awesomeness. Any client worthy of you will be happy to follow your amazing personal journey into 2nd time mummy-hood and be happy with the mat leave transition period. Be honest, proud and respect your clients' intelligence - if they don't have this, surely not worthy of you...

Megan Barrow

Congratulations on your pregnancy! and congratulations on being so reflective. Our lives often take us in directions that give us new meanings and different priorities. It's great that you are exploring these, and as both Bron and Megan have said, embrace the new you with dignity and enthusiasm!

Oh to still be 27 Megan... how long can I pull that off for!! :) Thank you for the lovely comment.

And Margaret - thank you! xx

Kirsty

As a 60 year old guy I can only offer my perspective. Keep doing what you do, with allowances for the fact that you will slow down a bit.

I would open a door or offer my seat, but expect you to do what you do, your job, as usual. Pregnancy can be a hindrance, but it is not a disability. My generation will (largely) show consideration, but no see you as an invalid.

I have lived and breathed computers and technology since 1985, but people ask my son to fix their computers because he is young. He looks embarrassed and calls me in, because he is a writer, not a technician.

Racial/age/sexual stereotyping is alive and well, but we learn to live with it...

Do what you want to do. Your skill and determination will show through.

Enjoy!

Oh Kirsty, I'd assume (not knowing you at 27 other than through your book) that you are way more fabulous now!

Hey, been meaning to ask, did you ever get the "what it means to be happy/successful" book written?

Remember to keep fab-u-lous and if you ever doubt it, think of all the people you have and are inspiring just by being your authentic self

xx

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