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No one is indispensable

Originally posted by furryroadster at No one is indispensable

So, after pulling myself together at the weekend and promising myself to cheer up and not be so grumpy, I find out from the temp this morning that I’m apparently leaving today. WTF?  Called hurriedly into a meeting with HR and the cowardly boss, I was told that for the sake of my happiness it is best that I leave NCVO early, without finishing my notice, at the END OF THE DAY.

Now after giving up 3.5 years of my life to this organisation and working my fingers to the bone on many an occasion, I was a little shocked at the abruptness, harshness, downright cruelty being offered to me. And let’s face it; it wasn’t really an offer, more a requirement.

And my reaction?  Well, to start with I could say nothing and then I went all incoherent.  HR started shouting at me at one point saying that it was me that had resigned.  I remember standing for quite a lot of the conversation.  I swore a lot. Then I did my usual - slamming the door and running to the toilet cubicle for shelter.

On the previous occasion of locking myself in the toilets, HR visited twice and a few female colleagues.  This time only my team mate just back from honeymoon came to find me.  She asked if I needed a hug. That just made me cry more. She went and got all my things from my desk.  On her return, she started crying at how shit this all was. We cried together in those poxy bloody toilets.

So why my eviction?  Well apparently, my request for “she who got the job” to know about the sensitive situation was turned down.  According to HR, it was a case of 6 or 2 3’s. She could be told and then feel uncomfortable.  Or they could say nothing, and I just remain uncomfortable.  They opted to support her and not me.  After 3.5 years service, I became the 2 3’s.  How did that happen?

How can an organisation fail me so badly?  How can an organisation that has known me for that long hang me out to dry just like that?  Well, apparently, when I resigned and I lost all support from the organisation. Seeing as it was my decision to leave (it had nothing to do with the organisation at all!), this was what they could do.

What pisses me most off was that they made a decision without conferring with me.  They didn’t once ask how I would feel about it.  It was a blatant case of bullying.  It occurs to me now that they didn’t actually give a shit about me because I was leaving anyway but they had to protect their precious new person. 

They of course tried to wrap up the shit in shiny paper.  “We can’t have you crying every day at work”.  “Your happiness is important”.  But what they failed to recognise was the one thing that made me happy was doing my job and doing it well.  So in actually fact they were robbing me of my happiness (happy to report this is not the only happiness in my life)

Yes, they were right. I did hate being there but not because of my team, or my work.  I hated being there because my boss turned into a fucking coward, hiding behind HR and not being honest with me or the team.

I feel so fucked over it’s unbelievable.  I want to hire an employment lawyer and take them to the cleaners for making me feel so utterly shit.  But not sure I really have a case for much – well maybe being told by the temp I was leaving today is grounds for some kind of cruelty.

Worst part is I didn’t get to say goodbye to all my team mates and colleagues.  I had to walk out on my own, trying to keep my head held high.  I got as far as the reception desk and got a kind of standing ovation (in the form of hugs, kisses and tissues) from the Receptionists. I of course cried.

Everyone keeps saying on Facebook, “it’s their loss” and yes it is but it doesn’t make me feel any better.  It doesn’t take away the fact that they didn’t want me there anymore and pulled ranked to get rid of me.

I’ve learnt one thing from today. No one is indispensable – certainly not me.

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Working with the enemy

Originally posted by furryroadster at Working with the enemy

Two weeks on and I realise I am slightly depressed.  Filling in job application after job application can have that effect.  But it’s also because I have to say goodbye to my comfy pair of slippers and start over. 

Driving to bookclub last week I was in full voice singing to “Bridge over Troubled Water” (Magic FM of course) and suddenly burst out crying.  Sitting on the train going to work on Wednesday morning and knowing that I would have to meet the person who got the job made me well up and have to pretend I got something in my eye to fellow commuters.

And there she was, sitting on the bank of desks like she owned the place. (I'm sure that wasn't the case) So what did I do?  I just walked right past her without saying a word, sat at my desk and got on with my work, pretending like I had nothing to do with her.

Truth was I didn’t know what to say to her.  I despised her for no reason other than that she had more experience than me and got the job.  She has done nothing to me personally and I know she didn’t deserve the treatment I had in store.  It goes against every moral/ethic I have in my body to be unfriendly, unwelcoming and just quite frankly mean.   I’m a nice person. It’s written on every job application and on my CV – excellent interpersonal skills.  But being forced to quit has made me unfriendly – to her.

It wasn’t until the boss got in a couple of hours later that he insisted on introducing her to me.  I didn’t jump up and shake hands as would be my normal reaction.  Instead, I forced a sort of half smile, said hello and turned back to whatever I was doing, which was probably nothing because I was trying so hard not to cry.

Fortunately that Wednesday, I had to leave early so the torture was held at bay for a few hours.  But I knew I had to face my demons the next day.  And so I did.

Thursday proved even harder than Wednesday.  I had a plan though.  I got in early. Ramped up my iPod to maximum with a little Groove Armada and got down to work, ignoring anyone who said good morning. (Sorry lady from finance).  I honestly had lots of work to do but I was using it as my amour.  Protection from the enemy. 

I did wonder whether my boss had mentioned to her the sensitive nature within the team and was to find out quite clearly that he hadn’t later in the day.  She managed to catch me whilst unplugged from my amour and asked very nicely whether she and I could sit down to go through a few things.  I knew I couldn’t say “No fuck off and work it out for yourself”, which was on the tip of my tongue.  Instead I agreed to meet with her in the afternoon.  And I dreaded it.

It was all made worse that morning by my boss telling me that he was going to email the organisation to tell them I was leaving and did I want him to say anything in particular.  Not sure why, but his words felt like he was holding a searing hot poker to my left eyeball.  I could barely spit the word “No” out before I had to run off to the toilet and silently sob in that tiny cubicle, whilst the lady in the cubicle next door carried on pooing in ignorance of my breakdown.

 I realise that I blame my boss for my quitting.  I honestly feel he should have done more and could have done more but is so set on kissing the Management Teams butt he wouldn’t dare rock the boat. He’s new – what else could I expect.  I could be wrong but I no longer care.  He’s my scapegoat.

So moving on to the afternoon and the fearfully awaited showdown between “she who got the job” and “she who didn’t” - yes it was as painful as I imagined. She had a nice list of things she needed to know – fortunately mainly around the stuff my official job spec said I should be doing and I answered in a formal, informative if not a little icy manner.  She is a nice woman and I felt bad about being so grumpy but couldn't stop myself.

But then she moved onto dangerous territory, asking questions about all the things that would be her responsibility now, which I had been doing for the last year.  I began to sweat and my voice began to shake a little.  I was literally struggling to hold it together inside.  And then once again a searing hot poker but this time to my right eyeball.  “What would her position look like to me?” 

I looked at her, mouth slightly agape and dumbstruck, visions of Tina Turner singing “It should have been me” swamped my mind. I then looked at my colleague across the desk, who had heard the very question and was looking at me slightly horrified.  After a short pause, that felt like an eternity I replied “I don’t think I can really answer that question, you should ask the boss.  He’s better placed to answer”. 

It really bothers me that she may think I am a Class A bitch.  It bothers me more that my boss hadn’t thought that one of the best ways of supporting me through this time would have been to let her know how sensitive the next few weeks would be for me.  Instead, he’d only thought about supporting her.  Talk about feeling hung out to dry. 

I emailed the boss, still shell shocked from her question, and asked whether he had told her about me applying for the job.  His reply, which was cc’d nicely to HR, said no he hadn’t and if I was having issues working with her maybe he could find other options.  HR’s response further nailed the lid of my coffin in this organisation when it stated that “the organisation expects that you continue to be professional and supportive of her, as you would any other colleague”. 

Suddenly, I felt like I had become the villain in all of this. Like it was my entire fault and that my reactions were unfounded. 

Suddenly, it felt like I was working with the enemy but I was protecting myself from the wrong person.

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I've not been on many interviews since December, and the ones I do get, I suspect I'm beginning to experience age discrimination. I get the call for an interview (so obviously they like my resume and cover letter), I dress professionally appropriate to the job, I interview well (so far as I can tell, and feedback I've had seems to indicate this from practicing with friends).

I say I suspect age discrimination because recently I applied with the local zoo for a ticket seller position. Everyone also there to interview was a good 20 years younger than me. I did great on the tests (I know this because I was told if I hadn't, they wouldn't be passing me on to HR for the actual interview). I never got a call for the next step. The next few interviews it was the same thing: much younger staff, no job offer.

Obviously, age discrimination can be hard to prove, and this isn't about suing people or the like. What is about is this: is there any way I can suss out ahead of time if they prefer a young workforce without making them feel all weird about it? I'm getting tired of wasting time and energy I could be putting into my job hunt elsewhere with people who think a 46 year old woman (and I look late 30s at the worst) is too old for them. What can I convey about myself in interviews that would make them more inclined to hire me, that I might be missing?

PS: I know it could just be I'm not what they're looking for in other areas, I just want to be sure I'm not coming across as 'old and creaky' to them. In other words, how can I--when called for an interview--find out how youthful or whatever the culture is and if I do go, convey to them that I am a good fit, age be damned?

Job Search Despair

Well, I'm out of work again, have been since December. And I can't find anything decent that will hire me. Either my resume is blown off, or I don't get past the interview, or the job is dodgy crap (yay for scammy magazine phone work) or a fake. I'm broke, so learning new skills offered in classes is out. I don't know what to do anymore. I'm trying to escape call centers for good, but recently realized I'm stuck with them until I can develop more office type skills.

I sent my resume to one that sounded really awesome--the company sells educational science toys for kids--and I didn't get past the phone interview. I told them when asked where I saw myself in five years that I wanted to move into QA or a team lead position. I didn't get the job because apparently, they want people with no ambition who want to just take calls forever. I'm more than happy to earn it, but that doesn't mean I want to be on the phones forever.

I'm losing patience and hope. Can anyone recommend anything that will get me some money coming in (I don't have a car, I don't have my own space where I live either, and I don't get on with kids or dogs) that isn't the usual grind? I fail at corporate America forever.
Hi, all! Newbie here. I have two "fired from jobs" questions that maybe I can get some help with and a question about a spotty job history.

1 - I was fired from my last job with a big name company two jobs back (making it my third most recent job). I found a gift card on the property, used my employee number to check it and then used it, not knowing that company policy was to turn it in to my supervisor. So when I was fired I was fired for theft. I learned my lesson from it and will immediately turn over anything I may find to my supervisor. But how do I explain this to potential employers?

2 - My last two jobs were seasonal employment at a homeless shelter. In the 2010-2011 year I completed the entire job. During the 2011-2012 season I got let go (I was sick, didn't want to get anyone else sick, so I asked if I could have the day to get better...no replacement was found through the people who got me the job so everyone who was hired by my church was fired). When I interviewed for my last job they didn't seem to hold that one against me because everyone was let go. Should I go into detail when I mention it?

3 - The last few applications I've filled out I've put these jobs but then put not to contact. But before them I hadn't had a job in seven years, having attempted to go to school and had a child in that time. If there's more room for jobs, should I put the one I had before the seven year break? I left that company on good terms, so I'm wondering if it would look good. I know the first job I talked about here won't say why I was fired, just the dates I worked, but I'm not sure what the homeless shelter job would say.
I have two.

One job fired me and several co-workers because we'd preferred to have lunch on our own as opposed to with the Borg Collective (aka our co-workers who did everything together in lockstep) combined with firing us because they'd fired the guy who'd hired us.

The second firing was because the temp agency who'd hired me for a call center job got in trouble because someone they'd also hired came to work drunk. So they told the agency to fire all of us, because apparently. you can get drunk just by osmosis.

The first was in 2003, and the second happened in 1999. Anyone else want to share stories of being fired over stupid things?

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Full- vs Part-time vs Education

Is anyone here narrowing their searching to strictly full-time or strictly part-time, or is everyone pretty much going for everything they somewhat qualify for? I'm in a transitional, unemployment dilemma.

Where I am now:
I've kind of given up searching for a part-time job. I hate retail (after three retail jobs, I have learned to hate the entire retail world), and the only food service I have experience with and won't make me sick is a large coffee chain we all know, which won't hire me back despite my previous experience from a few years ago. My most recent employer, whose computer system fired me because I was listed as being seasonal, won't hire me back for the same position despite an obvious opening. (The hiring manager gave me the run-around and told me the position wasn't available AS SHE WAS INTERVIEWING ME.) It's a shame because I loved both of these jobs. It always seems like my part-time employers are just screwing with me, and I don't want to be unhappy anymore.

I've starting looking for full-time jobs in editing, plus any freelancing openings for anything editing realted. I've always liked editing. In fact, it was my first job and I wouldn't have applied to it if I hadn't actually wanted to do it (this was during Freshman year, when I had no pressure whatsoever to have money). I just don't have much experience besides my first job and writing my novels. (Writing full-time is a separate matter as it takes at least a year to produce a novel. I'm far away from submitting a manuscript.)

In the past two weeks, I've applied to seven editing jobs in several different states. I'm still waiting for replies from six of these. While I know it might be weeks before I hear back from any of the companies, I get depressed when waiting for supposed rejections. Should I decide to be broke while I wait?

As I live with my parents and they're all too happy to have me (I moved in with them this past August soon after graduating, finding myself without a job related to my major), I'm not too worried about money for living costs. However, my already low funds will reach their limit in exactly one month. I recently got hired by my old dance studio to help out with one class, which equals to $8/week. Obviously not enough, but they don't have other openings. Do I take a part-time gig just for some dough? I would feel guilty if my mom had to pay off my college loans and car because she had to pay for most of my tuition when I was still in school.

Speaking of school, I've been considering getting a certificate in something. Because of my dance background, Pilates has always been appealing and I enjoy doing it. Getting a teaching certificate takes about one year, would likely require me to briefly relocate for an out-of-town school, and costs money for exercise classes and related business management classes. I've also considered grad school for library science. I've always wanted to work for a library and would love to turn my young adult knowledge and guilty pleasure into something that could serve a community. Grad school would take about two years, would definitely require me to relocate unless I wanted to attend a second-rate, online program, and costs a lot more money. Every time I think about going to school for anything, two things come to mind: my hatred for writing papers (would apply only to the grad school option); and the voice of Suze Orman yelling, "Why are you doing this if you can't afford it?"

This week, I'll be applying for administrative jobs in medical offices even though I have no experience with either administration or medical anything. Their $10/hr paycheck looks more appealing than the ads themselves. I can't find any more editing jobs, unless you count technical writing or business letter proofreading. I have no idea what these are, but some days they look interesting. Does anyone else get into these applying spurts where everything looks interesting, followed by days of feeling inadequate?
Today, I was fired from my student job where I worked in the Duplication Center, picking up campus mail and doing the filing of work orders. Recently, I took out another student loan, and it ended up being a larger amount than I felt comfortable receiving in the mail. I inquired at the business office if the check had dispersed, and if so, could I have it instead of them mailing it out. The business office claims that I told them I was going to take the check, no matter what, and that they did not want me picking up their mail anymore.

I was called into the office this afternoon by my boss, and it had been decided that since I was not allowed to pick up mail for the business office anymore, that I was being let go. I feel like my question was completely misconstrued, and that it was not a fair basis for firing me. I simply asked a question, because I am an honest person. I could have easily taken the check and not said anything, but I chose honesty.

The questions I have are, who do I speak to at the college to get the situation straightened out? Was my boss in her rights to fire me? I don't necessarily want my job back, because I feel like I would just be mistrusted at this point. I was caught completely off guard, and I don't have the luxury of taking months to find another job. I feel like a warning would have been more appropriate in this situation.

Thank You In Advance

newbie to the group

Just wanted to say HI...im new to the group. I was let go a week before christmas. How is everyone's job search going??? Mine is still going.
Hi, all. I'm filling out a form for a job with a British organization, and there's a huge section on it with questions about disabilities, race/ethnicity, religion, and sexual orientation. I'd really rather not fill this out because I object to being asked, but I'm used to seeing great big "You don't have to fill this out" notifications for this sort of question. Am I required to answer them? Will it affect my chances of getting the job if I don't answer them?

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