Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Working 9 til 5...

Well, I don’t know about you, but I’m pooped. It’s only Tuesday and, even though I had the day off yesterday, I’m already counting down the hours until the weekend. Why? Well, the reason is simple. Work. A necessary evil that most of us have to contend with for at least 35 hours a week, often more. Humph.
I know, I know, it could be worse. Although my job doesn’t quite set my world alight, I find it relatively interesting, at times rewarding, AND my boss is pretty cool (even if he does have a tendency to micro-manage and a bad case of workaholism). And, after facing a service re-structure this time last year, I am jolly grateful to have it.
Another thing I have to be thankful for is the management structure of the organisation that I work in. It is fairly robust, and despite some misgivings about how the whole debacle was handled 12 months ago, we are treated fairly. We are pretty much left to get on with it, are able to work flexibly (LOVING my fortnightly four-day weekend) and we are paid a decent salary.
Sadly, this isn’t the case for everyone I know.
Take friend number one. After completing her PhD she finally managed to secure a health-related research post. Although not something she was trained in, it was an area that caught her interest. The interview panel saw her potential and offered her the job – and all the training she needed to get up to speed.
Unfortunately, that training was not forthcoming. Her manager was never around to offer her guidance and support. And, most worryingly, then blamed my friend for her short-comings.
I’m glad to say my friend didn’t take it lying down – although the experience did knock her confidence. Despite grumblings from her boss, she is still in post, but now facing further drama after the powers that be recognised the blatant mismanagement and pulled up the said boss for her own poor performance. Although things are still pretty grim, my friend is now waiting for the job of her dreams to be created (with her in mind) by the people who saw her potential in the first place.
Now there’s a bit of karma for you.
She isn’t the only one who has suffered from the ineptitude of those in charge. Take my other friend, a medical professional who lives and works in London. She recently gave up a relatively cushy job at a local authority for some hardcore hands-on hospital work. She was offered a competitive salary at interview and accepted. Within weeks of starting her job, she had the largest caseload in her team and has been taking on extra work. Why? Because, being a decent sort of person, she refuses to see anyone else’s grandparent treated any other way than how she would expect her own to be.
Has her hard work been recognised? Her morals rewarded? Well, no. Instead they have now told her that they can’t pay her what was agreed – leaving her £150 a month worse off that she was in her previous job.
It doesn’t stop there. Today I was left without a desk in my own department (don’t get me started on hot-desking) so I headed to my old team’s office elsewhere in the building. It was great to catch up with some old faces – but I was sad to hear that they were facing yet another re-structure. I kid you not when I say I think they have been subjected to such a lack of job security every year since I left nearly four years ago.
It seems to me that those who dedicate themselves to helping others get a bum deal in this world. Want to be a researcher in the field of health? Well, don’t expect any support. Dedicated to making the infirm feel safe enough to go home? That’s great – but you’ll still get screwed over. Work for a homeless support service? Well, hold onto your hats – because the cuts are coming. Again.
And this is why I thank my lucky stars. My boss is supportive. My salary is adequate. And my job, for now, is secure. Yes, they should be givens, but it would appear, in the public sector at least, they are not.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to get myself ready for bed. Tomorrow is going to be a long day, but, you know what? It could be a lot worse...

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