Dummy spit

I’m not far off spitting the dummy. On Friday I had another conversation where it was made clear that I had to bear all the risk in pushing ahead trying to get things moving at work. In fact I was encouraged to do so. It seems an unprofessional way of going about things, paying lip service to a protocol while encouraging your employees to flount it. Unfortunately I’m the one who gets in trouble in that scenario. Well, maybe I could cop that, though with a slightly sick feeling in my stomach, but then something else happened.

Last week was the busiest since I’ve begun in the job, but also very productive. It’s busy because things come at me from left field needing resolution like yesterday. Typically someone will wander over, a manager from a complementary area, and he’ll tell me he just spoke to my manager about something needing to be done and was told to talk to me. I hate this process. It’s something I’m trying to change to something more systematic, but until then I have to deal with these ad hoc requests and somehow just make it happen.

It’s the nature of these requests that they are verbal and come with little background so that not only do I have to find a solution, I have to define the problem first. And because there are always tight deadlines on these projects I have to rush to make them happen. Now I’m a fast and efficient worker. In terms of these things I think in straight lines. Still, I like to have a method, but in circumstances like this it’s method-lite because I don’t have the time or resources to do it as I would like. And so I’m racing to get things done and ticking them off in my head and at the back of my mind there’s the concern I’ve missed something. That’s what happens when you rush things – things get missed. It’s a long way from perfect, but so far I’ve got things done and haven’t missed a thing. It’s worked, but only because I’m very mentally organised and because I’ve bent over backwards to make it so.

Then late on Friday I was in a meeting where it was made clear that no-one really understood what I did or had to do to get the results that people see. I became aware that they didn’t really care that I had to do it under duress, because I got it done. Like so many on the outside of the things they took a simple and uncomplicated view of outcomes, not considering for a moment that I’m juggling 3-4 of these projects at any one time and have to wrangle each and every one of them into place. Basically I realised they took my efforts for granted and had no compunction in loading me up in more or – as often happens – adding further complexity to what I’m already doing.

Something turned in me then. The one thing I’d set aside festering in me now boiled over. I’ve mentioned before how I’m on a ridiculous salary about $20K under the odds. This is thanks to how they graded the job, which, ridiculously, was deemed to be clerical. I do no clerical work, and meanwhile am convening meetings with the Commercial Manager, the Tax and Compliance Manager, and so on. I’m making decisions that impact organisation wide, and implementing them. And they pay me like I was processing accounts payable – and poorly paid, even for that.

Suddenly I thought why the fuck do I bother? I’d set that grievance aside, but it was too much now. It’s a breach of trust and respect. They fully expect me to keep bending over backwards while continuing to pay me my pittance. Further to that, they’re asking me to do their dirty work, and bear all the risk for it. The thing I’d been holding at bay now broke free unable to contain this burden. I lost respect for them. Once that happens it’s bad news.

I determined to do something about it over the weekend. I sent a message to someone who had floated a job by me around October last year. I knocked it back at the time because it was miles away and I didn’t have a car then to get to it. Now I do. It was an interesting job and the money double or more than what I’m earning now. Unfortunately I heard back that the position was filled.

I’ll keep on looking. I don’t know why it should be different now to what it was before, except that now I’m looking while in a responsible job, and because it has to be. I look forward to the day when I can hand in my resignation and explain to them why: if they had been fair and shown the proper respect to me I’d have been a loyal contributor. I have my heart and soul to give, and happily, but not to an organisation who will exploit it cynically.

I’m a little sick of writing about work, but it’s the main topic in my life right now because it’s unresolved, and it seems likely to stay that way for a while.


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