Monday, March 19, 2007

Walk a Mile in My Shoes

So you've worked at your current place of work for six years . . . been instrumental in establishing their policies, procedures, marketing materials, human resource management, mentoring, refits, database integrations, costing services, service level agreements with clients, liaison with manufacturers and suppliers and all the manifestations of running a small office as well as maintaining their website, doing all their marketing, writing a newsletter and managing three staff members.

Then . . one day . . .the Partners ask during a performance review (which I designed by the way)"Where do you see yourself in five years time . . .?"

OK given that I'm 50, hanging onto a property that should render about 21 700 sq metre blocks and a close to $2 million in my pocket - if I'm patient . . . I said that I'd like to get rid of my Practice Management responsibilities and work part time doing marketing. Well that's the last time I tell the truth at work. I meant in five years time you nit wits . . . not right now!

You'd think I'd have learned by now. So my Practice Management responsibilities are being pared away and given to another member of staff who is very capable but simply not as experienced and time poor and there's every likelihood that she'll leave within the next 3 years to start a family.

The insult does not end there . . . another body is to move into the 'quadrangle' the hub of the workplace where I can hear and see all, resolve issues and keep my finger on the pulse. As a result, the new body is to have my position - my lovely workstation. I 'm relegated to a corner with some partitioning, away from my administrative colleagues so as not to 'influence' them and to allow them to blossom without my influence . . . I am pushed from the hub that's kept me so well informed over the past 2 years and allowed me to be an employee/employer advocate. I'm dragged so far away from this little hub that there's no way I will know what's going on day to day . . . I can't see anyone and I can't hear anyone . . . perhaps I'm not meant to. I have a quiet wish that it all goes to hell without my influence and control but I don't think so.

All this I can take, the rejection, being shot off into a corner, losing 30% of my responsibilities but . . . I will not sit at a second-hand table without a proper keyboard shelf or drawers. That my dears was my 'best friend's' suggestion this morning when I asked for a new workstation . . . she thinks I am a monster for demanding that I will not be relegated into the corner on someone elses hand-me-down . . . especilly when a part-timer gets my lovely position and my lovely workstation.

After chucking a major wobbly . . I think I have at least preserved my desk and my sanity. I will retain my lovely workstation so that I don't lose face in front of everyone who will surely think that I'm on the way out the door if I'm caught working at a second hand table that used to house a guillotine and franking machine! Was I wrong to protest? Well I don't think so, it's not about the desk, it's about respect and sending a clear message to everyone that even though I'm out of sight and mind, I am still important, highly paid and highly valued.

So from early April I will be totally disarmed, I will be the one in the corner, near the front door that doesnt' know what's going on and is constantly mistaken for the receptionist due to my location . . . I do hope real estate picks up soon . . .or that Thommo gets a shot of empathy and realises what it's really like to be an employee rather than an owner. Walk a mile in my shoes babe . . .It sux feeling insecure, financially vulnerable, wondering if you're really valued or just an encumbant that's too hard to fire. Ah . . .this used to be such a lovely place to work but too much change, too little planning and not a lot of empathy has done me in.

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