>Writing workshop – what makes you feel under pressure?

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I’m writing this one for Josie’s Writing Workshop at Sleep is for the weak.

There are lots of things that are making me feel under pressure at the moment, money, saving up enough money to pay off debts and pay for removals to Spain, actually telling my mum and other family members I am moving to Spain (which I will do once M passes his probation in the next week or so – wish me luck!), sorting a school out for E in Spain – Basically Spain in general is causing a huge amount of stress but I can live with that because I’ve made my decision and I’m happy with it.

What is driving me insane at the moment is work! Not my actual work, I love working with my offenders and helping them turn their lives around, it’s the office politics that are driving me absolutely insane at the moment!

I was off on Monday as E was at home with an upset tummy. I called my boss and after trying to get through for over 3 hours (which annoyed the life out of me because before I could just speak to anyone and say I wasn’t coming in but now there is a “procedure” which meant ringing every half hour for over 3 hours and calling 3 different phones only to get the answer phone, costing me money and no one had the decency to call me back, but that’s just an idea of how petty it is in my office now!) I finally managed to speak to her and she asked why I didn’t have other suitable child care arrangements in place. I said that as E was meant to go to school and was sick I had to take the day off, usually my mum would have E but she was extremely unwell herself and I couldn’t have asked her to have E. So she asked if I had any alternative child care plans arranged for the following day – I felt like asking if she was thick and hadn’t just heard what I said. Does she think there is some magic child care service that takes sick children when they have to be kept away from school or nursery just because their parents bosses are twats? I think not!

So after working at another office yesterday, I had a “return to work interview” with her today. Why it needs to involve an “interview” I don’t know, my kid was sick, either pay me, make me take it as a days holiday or whatever, just stop wasting my time and killing trees with all this unnecessary paperwork and meetings for meetings sake! During the “interview” she asked why my mum couldn’t have E on Monday so I told her she has a bad back, arthritis, has had a hip replacement, thyroid problems, angina and now has something up with her Achilles tendon and the boss replied that I would have to think about how I can arrange suitable childcare arrangements for E if my mum is ever too ill to look after E when she is off school. (Again, if anyone knows of this place you can send sick kids to, please let me know!) I joked that I would have to give up work and she said it was a good idea! I bit my tongue but felt like telling her where to go! I wouldn’t mind but I’ve been off once with Em being ill so far this year and I always make the time up anyway, so what the hell is her problem – you wouldn’t think she was a single mum herself would you!

Other than the moronic conversations I appear to have with my boss, the office politics and backstabbing that is going on in my office is driving me insane. Not amongst us mere mortals, but the management basically making our lives hell! One woman who had been in post for years and had been acting manager was pushed out of the job after being interviewed for it and my boss (previously mentioned) got the job instead after being there for less time than me (I didn’t apply anyway so not bitter on that front) or anyone else in our team and has since been heard with the big boss saying they hope it will give this woman the push she needs to hand in her notice now. Another colleague was diagnosed with ME and was told her job was being made redundant a week later after being asked to take long term sick leave because of her ME, then advertised the exact same job and have now filled it with someone who will be another one that doesn’t fit in with the existing team. This poor girl with ME has basically been discriminated against because of her illness and been made redundant unfairly because of the same job she was made redundant from being re advertised! (She’s seeking compensation thankfully and has a fantastic solicitor)I wonder who will be next for the same kind of disgusting treatment?

It’s very much a them and us atmosphere in the office these days, hence why I take every possible opportunity to escape it, even though I do love all my other colleagues. It wasn’t that way before my new boss came to power, infact it was more like after she started. She never fitted in and refused to report to the woman who was eventually demoted in her favour – not the characteristics you would look for in a potential manager in my opinion! She is very organised and could be a fantastic boss, she just has to learn to distinguish between being some robot manager to actually remembering that her staff have feelings and are used to being treated like adults rather than school children (we have star charts – I forgot to mention that! I asked if I could have a pupil of the week certificate like E does at school if I’m a really good girl!). It’s got to the point where I can’t stand being in the office any more because I can’t be bothered with all the school playground rubbish that’s going on.

It probably sounds silly that I would let something like this get to me and allow it to make me feel pressurised, I never have before and to a certain extent I try not to allow it to get to me now, but it just annoys the life out of me how we are being treated. At the end of the day I go to work to earn money, not be involved in all of this crap. I enjoy working with my clients and do a bloody good job with them, I meet my newly imposed targets, help my colleagues and take on a lot of extra work because I end up helping every one else in the office. Is it too much to ask to leave me the hell along and just let me get on with my job?

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