My request for time off for the ride in September was denied. I really hadn't thought this was a possibility until 3 weeks ago when I asked the union rep for advice. I mean, we get 3 "personal" days a year (although I knew I probably wouldn't be allowed to use them...I had to take an unpaid day to run my last marathon in 2008...to call them personal days is quite a misnomer). I expected I would have to take the days unpaid, but I didn't really get that they could completely deny them. The principal said he would support it before I requested the time. So when my favorite HR guy stopped into my room after school Friday, I knew it was bad news. I was, I think, very professional in my pissed-offedness, I thanked him and just let him know that I would have to speak with the union to see if I had any other options. He proceeded to tell me that he has arthritis in his back, so he knew how I felt.
Yeah. Anyone reading with RA, you don't need me to tell you how that made me feel. Those of you who don't have it, understand that osteoarthritis (what we all usually think of when we hear "arthritis") and rheumatoid arthritis are nothing alike. I don't even want to bother to try to explain, so I won't. But at this point I couldn't get the guy out of my classroom fast enough.
Bottom line is, I have no idea if I will be able to convince anyone (my only hope is the superintendent, and possibly the Board of Ed) that I deserve this. Apparently, through our contract, the HR guy probably does have the right to deny it. So I can ask for special consideration (which they will grant in some situations, but usually it's for deaths or serious illnesses...and...I don't know that I can convey how important this is knowing that they probably just won't care), but I don't know what my chances are.
Two days later I am less emotional about it, but still pissed. I may be able to get them to give me one or 2 days, and maybe ride for 3 or 4 of the 8 days. I may be able to do the ride another year (without having to do all the fundraising again), though for many reasons I feel like if it's not this year, it just won't happen. Fred will definitely still be going, so at least I don't have to tell everyone who donated that the whole thing is off...just my part.