Today I am home with a sick child (who doesn’t look all that sick but has had a temp on and off for the past 5 days now).
It has allowed me the time to reflect on my current situation at work which I have been reluctant to think or talk about until now.
Not that long ago, I was lucky enough to work in a supportive, compassionate, happy work environment. Our small team rarely had any troubles but if we did, it was quickly resolved my a manager who was acutely aware of the needs of each team member and how to appease them.
At the time I recall thinking how lucky I was to have a person I could confide in about work and family without feeling vulnerable about my position.
All that has changed in such a huge way that it has left me really struggling to want to go to work some days. When my manager was called on to work in another office within our government department, a new (male/childless/career driven) manager was temporarily given the job of overseeing our highly capable, highly knowledgeable and cohesive team. It was supposed to be a short term thing, but that was over six months ago now.
This said manager seems to be part of a new male dominated leadership team that has come about through a series of retirements, secondments and bad luck. I began to feel very conscious of the disadvantages I am faced with as a part-time working mother.
As a formerly well respected, highly accomplished team member, I have had to endure being sidelined and embarrassed on many occasions. It seems that said manager appreciates the company and adoration of young people – especially those who are a little naive – and has taken it upon himself to mentor such people by handing work to them that they are neither qualified or capable of doing.
After suffering inner turmoil for some months and taking this out on my poor children and husband, I decided to confront said manager to tell him how I felt. Of course he was most sympathetic on the surface, but it seems to have done little for my situation.
For someone who was so happy in their job just a little while ago, I’ve actually been looking at job ads. That in itself is depressing as any professional wanting to work ‘part-time’ with any ‘flexibility’ knows. I find myself wanting to set aside my usual capable, efficient self and do the bare minimum as a kind of protest, yet I can’t do that. I will not tarnish my reputation as a valued staff member only to make a point (which will probably not have the desired effect anyway).
I am still at a loss as to how to accept the situation and keep my sanity. Luckily I have an extremely supportive partner who listens to me and gives me considered advice. It’s obviously something I need to get off my chest…