…will be the focus of today’s post.
Let’s start with the crappy bit first – UIF Uphills. Three and a half years ago, when I was pregnant with Boobah, I had been working for just about two years. Besides the fact that that didn’t allow me to qualify for the full 121 days, which I only found out when I didn’t receive my last month’s payment whilst still on leave, the whole process actually went very smoothly. I didn’t have the tremendously long queues I heard other people complain about, all my paper work was in order (because I read every single last sentence on every single form) and the officials who assisted me were all very friendly. Most days I went in, I was out under 30 minutes. I didn’t use an agency then, partly because I didn’t know they existed, and also, because we didn’t really have money for that then and also, it was so easy for me to do myself, that it didn’t really occur to me at the time.
That is then the basis of my decision this time to do the whole UIF thing by myself again. This way, forms and paperwork can’t be lost in transit, and if anything goes wrong, I can only blame myself (or the government) which may result in less of a headache when it comes to admin.Except perhaps when it comes to filling out all the forms required… Did you know that if you changed companies within the last four (4) years, you need to have your previous employer(s) complete a UI-19 form also? I certainly didn’t know that! Now this may be okay for some of you, because either a. you’ve been at your current company a life-time already, or b. you may have just changed jobs once in the last 4 years. Now me, on the other hand, just so happened to have had 4, yes FOUR different employers in the last 3 and a half years.
- The company I returned to after my first bout of Maternity leave (+/- 1 year)
- Then the company I went to after leaving the 1st company – more money and things like that (+/- another year)
- Then I got head-hunted by an agency to work at the place I work now (11 months)
- And lastly, the company/client I work for now, decided to change employment agencies, but they still wanted me, so I was forced to move to the new agency (2 months at the moment, but there’s still about 2 or 3 months left before I have to go on ML)
That’s 4 different employers. So that’s FOUR different places I need to go to to fill in one stupid form so I can claim my benefits. I have had to book a day’s leave for next week, so I can go around to all these previous companies and have them fill out my forms. On the one hand, it’s going to be nice to see all the old people again, because I never left anyone on bad terms, but on the other hand, two of these companies are on the other side of the world, which is partly why I left them in the first place! I’m actually not looking forward to spending the whole day in the car, on our highways, to Rivonia and Midrand, from The Vale…
In other, happier news, after about 4 years (just under if you want to get technical about it) of having lost touch and growing apart, my we’ve-known-each-other-since-std.3-and-were-bffs-from-std7-joined-at-the-hip-siamese-twin-sisters-until-i-fell-pregnant-at-21-former BFF and I have reconnected. When our break-up happened, it wasn’t a particularly messy split, it just so happened that at 21, I was pregnant, she was not, we each just started a serious relationship and everything that comes with that and she could still go out and party and I didn’t want to, so we grew apart and yes I missed her but that’s just the way things happened…. Turns out she’s also pregnant now (13 weeks) and initially, when she just heard the news, I sent her an email of congratulations, rather than just ‘Liking’ her Facebook Status thing. I knew she still worked at the same company and I still knew her email address off by heart, even though I’ve changed jobs 4 times (see above), so I thought it would be more appropriate to send her an email. Nothing fancy or too gushy or anything, just a simple congratulations, I hope it all goes well for you and that you have a lovely time being pregnant type of mail. Not long after that, she mailed me back. I was surprised, to say the least. I don’t know why I felt this way, or why she might not have responded, I just didn’t expect her to.
Anyway, so after some back and forth mailing, it got quiet for a while. Then she sent me a reply on something about 2 weeks ago. At that particular moment, I couldn’t respond, so thanks to my mush brain, I kind of forgot. I would always remember at the most inopportune moments that I STILL haven’t replied, but then there was nothing I could do about it at that moment. So yesterday, I decided to make a conscious effort to make time to reply to her. But then, as it turns out, there was so much I wanted to tell her, that I would’ve ended up writing a whole novel. So I did the even better thing – I phoned her (Yup, the company number is still the same also). When she answered the phone, she didn’t sound surprised that it was me on the other end, and answered me in the kind of tone she used to when we spoke to each other, EVERY SINGLE DAY. Didn’t sound surprised, or skip a beat, she was so normal about it!
Now you have to understand, I was actually quite nervous about making that call. Whether I’ll admit to that in public or not, I was. What if it turns out to be one of those awkward conversations, with a lot of gaps and pauses and I’m sitting with a mouth full of teeth and end up looking like a retard?!? So her response just immediately made me feel at ease, and we spoke for almost an hour! An hour, it was SO nice! We eventually said good bye, because work kept interrupting (how very rude!). But she said she’d mail me the rest of the conversation, which she did. And I responded. Maybe I sound like a love sick puppy at the moment, and that’s okay too. It’s just SO nice to be able to talk to someone, who knows me from way back when, accepts my quirks, and is an In Real Life Friend. (Not that that detracts ANYTHING from my ITC friends, you hear! You guys know how important you are to me, and that I have more in common with you than most people I know, and that I lost a whole bunch of IRL friends because I felt pregnant at such a young age, and that I share *MUCH* more with you than I do with most people in my life! – I heart you!)
So we’ve made plans to go to the Baba Indaba that’s happening this weekend at Gallagher Estate. It will be fun, because it’s going to be just the two of us, TD is working and watching the Rugby afterwards with his guys, her husband made plans with his mates to go biking, so there’ll be no pressure or anything. And because we have something in common again now, and she understands now more than ever what I went through with Boobah and the 1st time pregnancy, I’m hoping we’ll be able to bond again and become friends like we were. Then I can also have someone IRL to actually call my friend (yes, that’s a sad statement to make, but it’s also the truth. More often than not, I CHOSE to end a friendship rather than be strung along, and my working environment is not conducive to forming friendships with new people).
Hope you all have a fabulous HUMPDAY!!
Much love x 3.5