I have been offered (and accepted) a new job at a 4-year college as (basically) a research assistant. I am really looking forward to it, and want to make the best impression possible, especially since the terms are that after 2 semesters I will be up for a promotion with more responsibility and presumably more pay. The problem is, I have known for a few months that I will need surgery. I'm on medications that are working, but the side effects in the strategic term are disastrous. The surgery will leave me bedridden for 3 days to 3 weeks.I am assuming at this point that I will have at least some flexibility in scheduling the surgery.
I have not yet met with the primary contact (we have been corresponding by email). After orientation, I think he will hand me off to a professor whom I will be working with for the duration. As far as I can tell, these are my options;
- Tell the contact person up-front, immediately (via email).
- Tell the contact person at orientation (the 16th of this month).
- Tell the professor, once we've been introduced.
- Wait until I have a date (or optional dates) for the surgery.
- See if I can get the surgery over winter break, and then decide if I should tell anyone.
Obviously, the above also applies to HR, which may or may not want all that stuff going through them.
Which of these should I do? On the one hand, I don't want to put anybody in a bad position where they are short-handed at a critical juncture. For all I know, they may have work I could do from home (I may be detailed to Comp Sci dept., for instance). On the other hand, I don't want to put them in the unpleasant position of having to plan for a 3-week absence that may or may not happen. Then, obviously, I leave myself open to the question of why I didn't let them know when I took the job, etc.
So, what is the best way to handle this situation?