Saturday, May 30, 2009

Call for advice

Dear reader,

If you happen across this blog and have ever worked in a summer legal internship, I need your advice on a sensitive issue. I start my summer internship at a legal aid clinic on Monday. Well, technically, I'm at a training on Monday and Tuesday, and then it's to work. I'm excited about the job! I'll be working for a single attorney with a single paralegal, on a specific issue.

Here's the problem. Earlier this week, I received news that my uncle, who I am close with, suffered a stroke. This was a shock because he is physically fit, relatively young and healthy. He also lives in my family's country of origin (i.e. not in the USA). My uncle has generously hosted me for visits for years, and is all around a very loving, caring guy.

Flashforward to yesterday. The first reliable news comes in. He didn't suffer a stroke, it was an aneurysm that burst. Due to congenital defects, his brain cells immediately started dying, and he suffered serious brain injury. He is now stabilized, but he is quadripeligic, only able to move his eyes up and down. Most of the time he is sedated, but when he's not unconscious, they say he is aware of what's going on around him. This is not going to change.

Tio is on life support, but according to his will, he stated he never wanted to be left on life support. However, in the country where he is hospitalized, the doctors make the final decision. Family is rallying together to fly relatives to visit him this week. I am making arrangements to get my passport in order so I can go.

The problem? My work. I just plan to go for the weekend, which is amazingly possible. But all flights seem to leave during the day. I can take a night flight but I won't get there until Saturday morning, and I'd have to leave Sunday morning in order to be back in time for work on Monday. So I would either have to go for 24 hours, miss all/part of a day on Friday or miss all/part of a day on Monday. And this is my first week. I have to book my flight before my passport meeting this week.

Should I even bring this up to my boss, or just do the 24 hour visit and not say a word? If I do bring this up, should I e-mail her this weekend or wait to mention it at the training? Do I mention it casually to see what she says, or do I approach her directly? Please advise whether I will kill my reputation early by bringing this issue to the table!

Thank you ever so much, reader. I appreciate it.

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