I think I’ve already mentioned that I NEVER expected to be a match as a donor for Lisa. But, I also feel that you newer know until you try; you never succeed if you don’t try, and on and on. Well, my being a direct report to Lisa kind of makes some folks uncomfortable. I never really, perhaps naively, felt that work considerations would add to the stress of this whole journey. Wow. Have I learned a lot! This is where I will be trying really, really hard and trying to channel my chief diplomacy role models (Donna and Jennifer!). Some of the possible perceptions:
– With Lisa as my boss, she will be indebted to me and I will receive favorable treatment – thus any positive recognition at work or promotion is because I donated a kidney and NOT based on my own contributions to the company.
– Lisa is coercing me, and as a direct-report to her, I may feel as if I can’t back out of this without repurcussion.
– My intentions are to get further in the company or for favorable treatment or something else in exchange
Now, lets debunk those myths a bit:
1. For ANYONE to believe this, they do not know Lisa or I. Lisa is mean to everyone! Just kidding – but she totally passed over me on a conference call today. Went from M – Z in staff. I’m giving the woman a kidney and she skips me on the agenda…does that sound like someone who is going to show favoritism? No really – I work my ass off and always have; I’m proud of expertise, the relationships I build and my commitment to always doing a good job. I understand how someone can get to this perception – but what ever happened to human decency? The reality – if I didn’t work for Lisa – it’s really doubtful I’d be donating this kidney. I also don’t know that had Lisa and I not gone on this crazy travel spree last fall (where we tried to visit 14 states in 3 months to get in meetings before she had the babies) and I hadn’t gotten to know her if I’d be doing this. But I did get to know Lisa and how happy she was to be pregnant – and that made the difference.
2. Ad nauseum – Lisa has asked – are you sure? I won’t hold it against you if you need to back out. There is no coercion here and certainly anyone who thinks that has no idea how stubborn I am. I decided to do this – I matched – I’m healthy – I really want those babies (and Bingley) to grow up with their mom.
3. I really hope that if someone was going to donate something to get ahead in their professional life they’d choose something other than a body part. Maybe a nice bottle of wine, a gift certificate for a massage. but a kidney? really?
So, earlier this week, I agreed to some statements attesting that I am not being coerced and that I’m doing this of my own free will. People can have their perceptions and if they don’t take the time to ask me directly or ask Lisa before coming to negative conclusions – then shame on them. But I can’t change that. I don’t fault my employer for making sure all aspects are covered to protect themselves and Lisa and I – but i also would like to extend a plea to believe in humans. And believe that sometimes people just do things because they can.