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Mom lost her job to watch son play for Little League World Series berth

Playing for a berth in the Little League World Series is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Parents know how rare that opportunity is for their children, so many of them go to great lengths to make sure they don’t miss a moment of the action. However, few have to make the same sacrifice that Billie Ann Tomei has made.

According to the Santa Rosa Press Democrat (via CBS San Francisco), Billie Ann is the mother of Cole and wife of Petaluma National all-stars coach Trevor Tomei. She is an office manager for a CPA, and when she asked her boss if she could take time off to travel to the West Regional tournament in San Bernardino, he was not very understanding.

“(My boss) wouldn’t let me take time off,” Tomei explained. “He told me, ‘If you go, write yourself your last check.’ So I wrote myself my last check.”

Parents have to juggle a number of issues when traveling with their son’s teams — including travel arrangements and leaving other children at home who are in school — but the fact that a mother had to make that type of decision just to watch her son compete is pretty disappointing.

Petaluma went on to lose to Tennessee in the U.S. Championship game, but I would imagine Tomei does not regret her decision. Special moments at the Little League World Series like this one are not something you want to miss out on as a parent. Losing her job to witness a once in a lifetime opportunity for her son is likely a decision Tomei is at peace with.

Photo via petalumanational.org



Around The Web

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jerry-Belle/1617237214 Jerry Belle

    Billie Ann had been working as an office manager for a CPA. She had vacation time, but the West regional tournament in San Bernardino came at the wrong time. Her boss was out of the office and needed her to keep things running. 

  • YouHeardMe2012

    Her boss is a douche.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Steve-Lappier/100000339527454 Steve Lappier

    Are you her boss? LLWS = once in a lifetime experience, Office Mgr for a CPA not so much.

  • davedave11

    does anyone have the CPA’s name — I am sure each and everyone of his clients would like to know — can we get 10 mothers in Petaluma to picket

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/O4B52JGG6ACPIFRCBGABBDBCCE Joel Ferguson

    Its from the article linked to above.  It’s not Jerry’s opinion…

  • http://twitter.com/chwarren0430 LOLAVA

     it sucks but he warned her. so from her quote it sounds more like she quit. “He told me, ‘If you go, write yourself your last check.’ So I wrote myself my last check.”

  • nugeph

    Supporting your kid’s activities is important, but not more important than putting food on the table.  If she can afford this, good for her and her family.  But no need to villify the boss (though he could’ve been more tactful).  This wasn’t even the LLWS–it was a game to qualify for the LLWS.

  • nugeph

    It wasn’t the LLWS–it was a game to qualify for LLWS, which I’m guessing would’ve required even more time off.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Steve-Lappier/100000339527454 Steve Lappier

    Hi Joel,

    It’s apparently Jerrys’ response to the article though, lifting a paragraph from the same story. I could only assume that Jerry agreed with the boss. I’m not sure what else you can get from it. Sorry if I’m wrong Jerry.

    Why do you think Jerry copied that paragraph and then added nothing to it?

  • http://www.facebook.com/sabreean Brea Plum

    “Put MY business first, or you’re fired.”  That’s the message here and if he can’t keep the office up and running for a few days without his office manager, then he is a poor businessman.  Which is especially damning for a CPA.

  • prt1231

    Sounds like her boss is an a-hole

  • maroon168

    This is a once in a lifetime experience. Jobs will come and go. People tend to forget that we work to live, and not live to work.

  • http://www.facebook.com/georgecorsi George Corsi

    did you read the article? He can run it, he was just out of the office those days and NEEDED the office manager there

  • bigguy479

    After 35 years in the computer business, if one of my managers asked for time off, for any reason,  I would do my best to allow that.  Even more so with this mom.  Having to suffer a little by picking up her work for as long as she needed to be gone, is just good business.  You have to have happy people working for you and if you don’t you won’t have a good business.  I would like for the people of that town to advertise the fact that the CPA did this, and then see how his business migrated from that point.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/D5SYLE7IZ2BZ7BBUMSPYKEEAKU CliffW

    Actually, it WAS the LLWS.  The whole tournament is the LLWS.  

  • Thomas Torrioni

    That’s headlined incorrectly. It should read “Mom ‘QUIT’ her job to watch son play for Little League World Series berth.” He gave her the option. There’s also not enough info here to form an opinion. The boss might be a dick but if it’s a small office that revolves around her when he’s not there, I would do the same thing as him. If she could afford to quit without financial strain on the family’s budget more power to her and this should not even have been an issue. If that’s not the case and he’s just an asshole to work for, then she’s better off working somewhere else anyway.

    I always tried to accommodate my guys needs. There were times when I could not. There were probably even more times when I couldn’t take time off myself for special events and I owned the company. Too hard to decide who’s the villain here.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/5IPS46W7RIAFC33GTPIR24IWS4 MK

    your better off without that ass***.  Find another job….wonder if that boss has any kids, I feel sorry for them.  Any people wonder why children aren’t as involved with sports or any other extra curriclular activities…because their work doesnt allow them to be!!!!!

  • darcal

    Wow some of you people here don’t have your priorities right if you’re actually getting on the boss. Regardless of her reasons… her boss has a business to run. She made her decision and must pay the consequence of no longer being employed there. It’s not mandatory that your employer automatically approve your time off requests.

  • darcal

    Why? For caring that his business run as normal while he’s away? If she had to aid her dying mother that’s one thing… but this is her kid’s baseball game. She made her decision and is probably still happy with it. She knew the consequence which would be the same regardless of who the employer was. It’s not mandatory that you get time off exactly when you request. Small businesses wouldn’t be able to operate if that were the case.

  • 1Giants_Heart1

    Billie Ann, you are the Bomb for going with your son, I am so proud of the team I was watching them and they were great. Third best in the world and you have all those memorries lucky you and your son… We on the other hand can only envy you or wish you all the best. I wish you all the best to you, your husband/coach, your son and the team.. Oh and your boss will come around, when he realises he needs you and wants to know all about the games…

  • Andrew Cheney

    no sir, it is you who has your priorities out of order. Family comes first always. She did pay the consequence and 9/10 people would have made the same choice…to enjoy time with family. She will get another job, make more money…. but she never could have gone back to spend that time with her son. There are thousands of kids and parents who take the time to be with their kids at this time and hundreds of other bosses agreed it would be okay (because they value family too!). The reason this is a story is because of the one boss who didn’t agree. I bet that she already has had job offers as a result of this story being published.

  • Anjanette Shadley Martin

    CPA firms put in LONG hours during tax season and probably a lot during other times of the year. This is not tax season and she had vacation time. I am sure the boss was well aware of how well Petaluma LL’s team was doing (just like the rest of Northern California) and I am sure she kept him abreast of the potential schedule. Her husband is the coach and her son is playing!!! I agree he has a business to run, I agree with someone above that if you can keep a business running for few weeks then what kind of business is it?  Lots of people telecommute and if there is an emergency I am sure it could be handled via computer, fax or phone….

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/O4MG7VC5LXOBLF7QYDUF4AXO7I william

    Since he gave her the ultimatum and she accepted it, he didn’t have an experienced person when he NEEDED an office manager there…… It was lose, lose for him.

  • Dontbcattle

    Unfortunately, I believe this is a very poorly written article which is too common these days.  We in America comment on too much today without knowing enough and the media takes advantage of it.  Clearly one can not separate the importance of family from that of one’s job.  Most of us work to sustain our families.  Dropping everything for a game is not a good example to set for our children nor is neglecting important things in our children’s lives. The author of the article did not delve into the important details.  What was the relationship between the employer and employee ? Perhaps she was unhappy working there and needed an excuse to quit.  Perhaps she was not a very good employee and the firm was looking for an excuse to fire her.  Perhaps the firm could not afford to not have certain things done during that week.  Perhaps this lady has other income that makes this job not that important to her.  Our media in America thrives on our emotional responses rather than good journalistic integrity.

  • nugeph

    No it’s not. The San Bernadino tournament was a regional. The LLWS is what happens in Williamsport. Look at the LLWS Web site.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JYEAEH4GMWDS6V5PIUU76WEH3Y David

    You have very valid and true points, but I would like to remind you that people work to live, not live to work.  I do not know the details of what happened, but with an event as important as this to their family, I would like to think that a company would give reasonable allowance for the request.  But then again, there may have been more going on there that anyone but the parties involved know about.

  • nugeph

    Having coached a youth sports team that practiced and competed almost year-round, I know how important a sport can be to a family and why it would be important to share that experience.  But youth sports can be a great way to teach kids about priority-setting and consequences.  No doubt, family should be the biggest priority; but that priority can be broken down into lots of sub-priorities.  Personally, I’d put “providing a steady income” ahead of “attending every single baseball game.”  A well-adjusted kid should understand that mom might have to miss a game now and again and that it doesn’t mean she cares any less about him.  If the kid had a test at school and had to miss it for the game, I wouldn’t fault his decision either way, so long as he accepted the consequences and didn’t blame his teacher or his coach for not cutting him some slack.  Same thing here.  Deal with the consequences and move on.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lisha.evans Lisha Evans

    As a working mother, of 6(4 girls 2boys)  children it is a struggle to want to attend every sports game they participate in. My boys both play baseball one the Majors and the other AAA. My kids know that mommy and daddy work to provide, but they also know that we are always there to see our kids achievements. Yes, i work, but at the same time you have to balance work and family. You cant be a productive worker if family life is jeopardized. That employer(dont know if they have kids, or they are already grown up) . and he forgot when he was raising his kids. IF that was me i would have quit also, suppose it was to go to her sons college graduation, again a once in a lifetime event, clearly that boss has one bottom line MAKE HIM MONEY. So to that fellow baseball mom KUDOS!! 

  • YouHeardMe2012

    This wasn’t just any other sporting event.  This was a chance to share in a once in a lifetime experience of winning a big game to advance to the LLWS.  Had she missed this moment to be with her son and husband to share this experience she would have regretted it for the rest of her life. For those that are not sports fans it’s easy to dismiss the situation and say she should not have gone.  For me, the boss is a complete prick who could have been more accommodating if he valued his employee.  So instead of her missing a few days, he’s now left with no office manager and has to go find one.  From a business perspective, it’s a dumb move.  Why would anybody else want to go work for him.