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Tuesday, April 17, 2007
The Year I Owe Pregnant Ladies

‘Seriously,’ I said to PY whilst I pushed the Jusco trolley filled with RM300 worth of Barbie dolls for her daughter. ‘2007 is the year I owe pregnant ladies.’

A pregnant lady, possibly in her last week of pregnancy forcefully pushed past my trolley, into the lift as the door opened and its occupants vacated. I was queuing for the lift and waited patiently like how a civilized person would. I was waiting for the lift's current occupants to walk out from the lift before entering it. So I guess I did not expect a pregnant lady to be so gungho about entering the lift - skipping queue and jumping straight into the lift, ignoring people who queued ahead of her.

'See what I mean about owing pregnant ladies?' I whispered to PY as I stood next to the pregnant bump. 'I owe pregnant ladies.' PY secretly laughed. Maybe this was Aphrodite's way of getting back at me for deciding to remain childless at 31? Is this is Freyja's punishment for my selfish and vain excuse for nothing having a child for I cannot bear the thought of pregnancy fats and droppy boobies.

Perhaps super pregnant ladies feel more agitated than usual, especially in their last few weeks. I remember PY feeling so frustrated with her bump that she opted for a C-section because she could not bear with the baby kicking her belly on the last week. Pregnant ladies are permitted to get crazy every now and then. What else can you feel when you have carried 20kg of water, fat and baby around for many months.


Anyway I am fast to realise that 2007 is the year I owe pregnant women. After years of non-maternity in my office, suddenly there is a burst of baby talk and monthly visits to the OB-GYN. Two staff members were pregnant. One, a healthy pregnancy and delivering mid May and the other, an unexpected and complicated pregnancy, with the baby lost last weekend.

I do not have problems with the healthy pregnancy because the lady turns up for work like usual. She does not shove ‘I am pregnant’ excuses down the rest of the staff members’ throat. She is diligent, happy and generally her usual self.

I admire women like her. She is strong and disciplined. This member of staff works like usual, taking leaves only for her medical check-ups. We have also agreed on her terms for maternity benefits; when she wanted to start her maternity etc. The office hired an additional staff to cover her position whilst she is away and we are excited for her and her soon to be born baby boy.


The complicated pregnancy (the 2nd in our office) is a complicated case. She declared that she was pregnant immediately after I printed out her confirmation letter. She was pregnant before she was accepted into her position and she failed to inform us, citing that she did not know that she was pregnant. Starting work in 2nd week of December, she had taken medical leaves and emergency leaves every alternate week because of her pregnancy complications.

The five month old fetus gave up and she miscarried last weekend. Neither me (the big boss) nor her immediate boss bothered her with details of her leaves initially. Now on week two, we are stuck with all the shitty workload (because of her absence from work) and are told that her doctor has given her 2 weeks of medical leaves. She is driving around the city, doing her normal activities minus working in the office. She even managed to fight with the rest of us shoppers during a sales peak hours last week (less than one week from date of miscarriage).

My questions are:

  • If she is fit to drive her kids are for school, tuitions and etc activities, doesn’t it mean that she is fit for work too?

  • If she is fit enough to rummage through a shopping mall sales during its peak hours, spending more than 3 hours there, doesn’t it mean that she is fit for work?

  • Do I have to pay her for 2 week medical leave, especially since she has shown that she was not as poorly as she was thought to be?

I plan to call the Labour Department for details. Have to sort this out soon.


If you think that was bad, wait till you hear the next pregnant lady mishap. My office has bought furniture from a woman. Our first transaction, whilst a little expensive, was well serviced. Good service is something that I appreciate a lot. I rather pay a premium for better delivery and service than to bear with the poor service offered by a cheaper competitor.

Without giving too much information, I shall offer an example of what happened on the year I owe pregnant ladies. First item was purchased at RM300 six months ago. I was very satisfied with the item purchased for the office and made no fuss after knowing that the same item cost approximately RM200 in other stores. A little extra for prompt service is fine by me. Especially since I am running a business and I do not want to waste precious time.

Therefore it comes as no surprise that I would place an order again, right? I called this lady and she turned up at my office with a full-blown 8 months pregnant belly. We chatted for a bit and then got down to business. I asked for the quotation and she said she would get back to me on it. Next thing I knew the item arrived in the office and I was billed RM500 for it.

Yup. Same item, 6 months later and suddenly the price shot up by RM200. And without an invoice or prior quotation.

Needless to say, I was not too happy about the bill. I told her that I had expected a quotation before the delivery and all she coughed up was, ‘So how then? I’ve delivered the item already?’ with her 8 month pregnant belly swinging left right. The receipt that was issued was not from her official company. Instead it was from one of those receipt books that you can freely purchased from MPH, with an unknown stamp, bearing the RM200 I had to pay extra.

I paid RM200 extra, on top of the already semi expensive item. That’s what happened! And I promised myself that I am not going to be a sucker to another pregnant lady this year.


‘Seriously,’ I said to the Bachelor as we walked down the street. We were on our way to the greatest sandwich bar on earth. At least it is the greatest sandwich bar to me. ‘2007 is the year I owe pregnant ladies.’

The Bachelor flicked his cigarette onto the pavement. He stepped on it, snubbing whatever remnants of life out of the cigarette and then he snickered.

‘You do know that Nikki plans to have a baby by the end of this year. I want to see how you run from her once she has her bump.’


‘I can’t call you Little Chicken anymore, is it? I have to call you Broody Hen since you are feeling all broody and moody inside.’ That was the message that Alex left in my mobile a few days ago.

‘You can return back to Malaysia with a bun in your oven if you want’. Another text read.


‘Seriously,’ I said to PY during breakfast. ‘2007 is the year I owe pregnant ladies. I see so many pregnant ladies everywhere!’

‘When I was pregnant, I was very sensitive towards other pregnant ladies,’ she said, offering some ounce of empathy at my woe against pregnant ladies this year.

‘But hel-lo? I am not PREG-NANT?’ I said, enlarging my eyes and tilting my head a little for greater impact to my sentence.

‘Maybe you will be this year?’ PY offered a thought.


'So when do you think you'll be pregnant with a kid?' friends asked every so often.

'Well... I'll try pregnancy when I run out of clothes to wear.
Switch to maternity for 9 months and back to catwalk fashion.'

I wonder why most friends don't find my answer humorous...



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