Wednesday, September 01, 2010


Home again. The holiday was wonderful! The journey back was nightmarish. I will write all about it soon.

But first I need to get something off my chest. It's three in the morning and I'm wide awake, unable to sleep. And I'm usually asleep by half past nine most nights and up in a couple of hours!

Today I suffered incredible disappointment, not wholly unpredicted as I got an inkling yesterday from certain mannerisms, and not life threateningly awful but upsetting nonetheless. Today the head at my workplace took me into a meeting with just the other manager and told me that in the new restructure my 0.6 FTE (full time equivalent) position was probably not needed. Lots of "It's not set in stone" type comments but one can tell by the sympathetic-not-quite-sympathetic looks and the repeated "We appreciate everything you've done for us" that the decision to get rid of me has been made. I'm not holding my hopes up, no matter what they say.

I managed to hold it together as much as I could in that meeting room. I'm quite surprised. Saved my bawling for back in the privacy of my office. What a way to come back from a wonderful family holiday.

My colleague, who will be directly affected by this considering his workload is already sky high and will have to take on all the extra work, is pretty devastated and shocked. I'm really touched by his reaction. They (the bosses) implied that they told him yesterday but not in so many words. He didn't realise just how far they were taking the restructure. He has thought of lots of things to say against the idea which he will take into his meeting with them tomorrow. He says we will fight this stupidity. I couldn't be more grateful.

But now I don't know what to do. Is it worth the fight? If a fight it will be? Do I want to stay in this place which doesn't want me? Is it time to think about a career change, something I've considered in the past? But it's a great place to work (despite the "You're fired!") and I've made the most wonderful friendships which I'm not willing to lose. The flexibility with hours has always been great... But I can't help think that my move to part-time work at the beginning of 2008 was the start of my downfall. I've never felt really discriminated against for wanting to work and raise a family before, but today I really did. I felt that being female and a mother was such a huge disadvantage to my situation and "career". I've never been overly ambitious. I thought I would be happy in the same position at work for years to come. There are other possibilities for my role at work, but when I suggested one I was met with surprise. I would be interested in looking into more training in Electronics? A girl? I don't know if I misread those raised eyebrows in my shocked and upset state, but that's the way it seems to me. They'd never even considered it but were happy to suggest it to my colleague. I'm disappointed to say the least.

So here I lie in bed tonight, thinking back to all the things I could have done differently to not be in this position now. Thinking about all the things I will need to do tomorrow to show Them that I'm not so dispensable. I've been in this place for 11 years. A third of my life! Nearly all of my working life! I've put in many more hours than necessary, than I've been paid for, but ruthlessness and The Budget prevail. It's all about the money in the end, isn't it? Not loyalty. "Thinking of the future," I was told. Whose future? I'd like to know. Certainly not mine, nor my colleagues. He'll get more money perhaps, but certainly more stress to go along with it.

So anyway, that's off my chest for now. I'm still not any sleepier though. Just "in limbo". Hoping they're wrong. But at the same time not holding any hope. Self confidence at rock bottom. Sucks to be me right now.


ginevra / occasional glimpses said...

Sad to hear.

I know you'll be feeling lots of conflicting emotions: I'm sorry I don't have any advice, but I really hope this is the start of a wonderful (and convenient) new job for you.

SadieandLance said...

Oh no Jen, that's horrible.

I think you should take them to task on the discrimmination, at the very least stand up for yourself in the best way you feel comfortable. Universities are usually pretty good at accommodating part time people. Also, why don't you give the union a call and get some advice on the situation from them? The fact that you've made some suggestions for alternatives and they've acted surprised or reluctant (inspite of offering someone else something similar) seems wrong to me and lazy on their behalf.

Be strong, stand up for yourself!

Unless of course you'd rather kiss them goodbye and step into a new journey, in which case yay for you!

Suzy said...

I just read this now - that is really awful. What a horrible thing to have happen, and even worse if you feel that it's partly because of working part time and choosing to spend time with your family while they're little. Grrr! It definitely seems wrong for them to assume that you wouldn't be interested in other opportunities.

Anyway, I hope this is leads to something exciting and new, but I don't blame you for being hurt and upset in the meantime.