Officially official

As of yesterday my new role has been officially ratified. It’s taken a while, and it’s good to finally have it sorted out.

There have been a variety of reasons for the delay. Key people took leave at key times which meant that a contract wasn’t presented to me until last week. Then when finally I had a signed contract to hand over there was no-one to give it too – they were out of the office. When I finally delivered the contract there was an inexplicable delay, ended only when I nudged them to get moving. Then at about 4pm yesterday an email went out announcing that I was the lucky applicant, beginning Monday week.

Part of the delay was my fault. Early on Monday last week my new manager in waiting took ushered me into a meeting room and handed me the contract to sign, prefacing it with the comment it was up to me to decide what I wanted to do. I took this as fair warning as she explained the basic terms of the contract.

I had modified my expectations to low on the basis that as I was already in the business there wouldn’t be a particularly competitive offer, and, well, just because. As it turned out the offer was on the low end of my low expectations, hence her hesitancy. I was disappointed, but not terribly surprised, and took the contract back to my desk to properly review.

I didn’t sign. Much of it was standard mumbo jumbo, but I was surprised reading how they had classified the role. My role is continuous improvement. Basically that means meeting with key business stakeholders, identifying issues and opportunities, assessing options and designing solutions, before ultimately implementing the solution. It’s an autonomous, responsible, and somewhat creative role – and they classified it as clerical. And pretty low grade clerical too.

I sent an email. Can you please advise how the classification for this role was assessed? It took about 3 days to get a response, in which time I was quietly seething.

The response came from the regional HR manager and was a paragraph long. And it didn’t make sense – by that that I mean there wasn’t a logical consistency in the explanation.

I had already decided to take the role – little choice really. I sent off another email saying that the response made no sense, however I was willing to sign.

It’s disappointing that something like this happens. Certainly I could use the extra money, but the real disappointment is the morality of it. I think it’s pretty rude low-balling a new starter, and generally counter-productive. Given a fair contract that could have ensured my loyalty for a fair while to come; as it stands I’m actively looking for another role. It sends a poor message also, and while they might think it’s clever it’s actually a false economy. Which job do they want me to do? The $60,000 job, or the $100,000 job? I know the answer to that, and lucky for them that’s what I’ll give them because that’s who I am – but for how long?

I consider them on notice now, and I hope they do too. I’m not here to rubber stamp their offers, regardless of my circumstances. We’ll have a conversation about this down the track, and come my review I’ll be asking for the role to be properly assessed.

In the meantime I look forward to getting my feet under the desk. I want to do good work again. And though it’s not a huge amount of more money, it will make things easier.

I’ve got next week off, and hoped to pop up to Byron Bay for a few days – but Rigby and dollars make than a forlorn hope. I’d rather not be wasting a week of leave, but it’s better than 10.30 starts answering phones, which was the other option.

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