Forum

I know you're sick of hearing... (not MS)

Sorry, but just got to get this latest insanity off my chest.

The background: I’ve had no proper work since March, and am currently towards the end of a 90-day consultation period, which is going to result in 640 redundancies.

Since I lost my former post, back in March it has been MY responsibility to try to find alternative work within the company.

Everyone “on the bench” - which is the euphemism they use when someone has no proper job - is assigned certain tasks by their manager, which can include personal development (doing computer-based-training), and tasks beneficial to the company - since they are still paying you.

Anyway, one of the tasks I have been assigned by my manager, and have accordingly been reporting on every week (so no hint of any subterfuge or acting without authority) has been to do a bit of “free” work for a particular account.

It’s not much, and to be honest, it hasn’t really been going very well, but the idea was that if I could get a foot in the door, it MIGHT translate into a proper post. It happens to be local to me, too, which would have been handy, considering my health and difficulty travelling…

Anyway, having spoken, today, to the well-meaning chap who has been trying to ease me into this position, he suggested the recipient organisation might need a bit of “encouragement” to make it official, and that perhaps the so-called “Redeployment Team” ought to start earning their pay - and their name - and see if there was any influence they could bring to bear.

He suggested I contact them, and ask if there was anything they could do to promote my cause.

Bad, bad, mistake…

Instead of getting back to me about how she might help, my so-called “Redeployment Officer” (is that supposed to be a joke?) has replied that I am NOT ALLOWED to do that work, as if I had been very naughty.

I wouldn’t mind, but this is a task that was officially assigned to me, by my manager, as soon as I went “on the bench”, which I officially and openly declared, from the outset, and furthermore which I have reported on every week, both to my manager, and to my useless waste-of-space of a Redeployment Officer!

That means it’s two months, at least, that I’ve been recording, for her, and for the world in general, that I was doing it.

Never has anybody raised a question or complaint. Until I have asked for help getting it made permanent. And now, instead of the requested help, I’m told I should never have been doing it in the first place!

Work that my manager set me, and that Old Uncle Tom Cobbly 'n all knew I was doing - or at least should have known, if they ever read anything I sent them.

Yes, in truth, I was concerned I was doing it for free, and that this meant the “customer” (internal customer) would have no incentive ever to regularise the position. BUT, having been duly assigned the work by my manager, AND having reported on it openly and honestly ever since, it never occurred to me that it was in any way “against the rules”, otherwise somebody would have said…wouldn’t they?

Well, apparently not.

So now, instead of having help to perhaps translate a favour into paid work, I’m told I cannot persevere with the favour at all. It seems I must literally do nothing, even when there’s work someone wants done, and which I am willing and able to do.

I know some of you will be thinking: “Well, if thats really how perverse and short-sighted they are, the sooner she’s out of there the better”.

And, to an extent, I’m beginning to agree.

I just hope that if and when I DO lose my job, the silly bint who’s supposed to have been helping me, but hasn’t noticed for two months that I’m allegedly doing something “against the rules” goes too. It would add insult to injury, to find that is the kind of person they think “adds value”, when there is no place for me.

How can you meticulously do everything by-the-book, week after week, in full view of everyone,but then be told you’ve been doing it all wrong?

I posted recently about motivation. HOW can anyone stay motivated with this? The one piece of meaningful work I still had, which might have led to something, is “forbidden”, with immediate effect.

I just can’t be bothered any more.

I might just as well sit here, and stuff my face with chocolate, and wait for the call that tells me I’m redundant. I don’t know why I even submit the reports that explain what I’ve been doing, since it’s perfectly clear nobody ever reads them.

Sorry for the rant.

T.

x

Oh Tina, how frustrating!! Sounds like you’ve been well and truly shafted by the company - what’s your numpty manager saying about it?

Luisa x

Haven’t spoken to No. 1 numpty, who assigned it to me in the first place, yet.

The Redeployment Officer only e-mailed me after 5 p.m, to say I shouldn’t have been doing it. So will have to wait 'til tomorrow now.

But what is also really aggravating is that I’m sure (will still have a copy somewhere), that I e-mailed the Redeployment Officer to check that the assignments agreed with my manager were OK, and she answered: “That has nothing to do with me; that’s between you and him!”

So she had the opportunity to say, if they were against the rules, and she said it was nothing to do with her.

I’m toying with the idea of raising a grievance, but it hardly seems worth it, if I think I’ll be getting my P45 next month anyway.

I just think I’ve been so particular about doing everything correctly - even now, when I realise my days with the company are numbered. I’ve tried to play the game, and not give anyone cause to find fault.

Then to be told off, like a naughty school girl, when everything I’ve done has been open, honest, transparent, and completely according to the rules as I understood them.

If your boss tells you to do it, and you do, you don’t expect there to be any backlash, do you? Not unless you knew it was illegal or immoral, and you should have said no. Nothing of that nature here.

T.

x

OK, find the emails to back you up. Then go on the sick.

L x

OK, here we go, summary of e-mail dialogue:

Me to Redeployment Officer:

Lists the actions agreed with my manager.

“Can you confirm these KRAs [key results areas] are acceptable to you?”

Redeployment Officer to me:

“The KRAs that you set are between you and your manager. You don’t actually need my approval for that.”

Me to Redeployment Officer:

“Completely fine - I just wasn’t sure.”

Couldn’t be clearer, could it? I list the actions, and ask: “Are these OK?” She says it’s nothing to do with her. Two months on, she’s claiming I should never have been doing them.

Tina

x

Hi Tina, first of all we are not sick of hearing…, I like the people on here and I like hearing about things. Crikey, this all seems really incompetent to me and I am not surprised you wanted a rant. This is no way to treat someone but I suppose, since it’s getting late now, you’re going to have to wait and see what happens tomorrow morning. Yes, i’m not surprised you are finding it hard to be motivated, i think virtually anyone in your positin would be the same, I certainly would. Sorry Tina, I really can’t think of much else to say , I’ve been up since 5.30 to get to work before the Olympic torch closed the main road in Aberdeen and to get the children to a place where they could see the torch and I am starting to flag a bit now. Cheryl:-)

I can understand you wanting to pull your hair out,and yes it appears to a bystander that you have all the evidence you need to show you were working in good faith.

Let us know what your manager has to say …as Cheryl says no we are not sick of hearing it.

At least by venting on here it may help the stress levels and therefore you ms.

Hang in there…and if you really feel your p45 is on the way would a gievance give you a bit longer with the money coming in as they have wasted your chances of finding another project?

Pip

Hi Tina

First, we are not bored by your continuing saga - and it might help others.

Second, I think that Pip may be on to something - but you do need proper advice.
Given that you were assigned the work by your manager, and the RO says that you should not have been doing it, do you have a case for constructive dismissal. You could even claim that you were set up.
If you can do this ahead of the dreaded notice letter (or maybe even after it - which again is where you need proper advice) you may be able to take the firm to an Industrial Tribunal (and they may enlarge your redundancy pay to avoid this).

One possible source of such advice could be the nearest office of any large union - and there are still one or two left. One quick phone call and “Look, I know I’m not a member, but I think my employer is out to shaft me …”.

Think about it - but act fast.

Geoff

Hi Pip,

Apparently there’s an almighty row going on about it this morning - thankfully not involving me, to any great extent - although I’m hearing about it on the grapevine.

Redeployment are not happy I’ve been doing work “for free” (although it’s minimal really, anyway), whereas Line Management are not happy that we’ve been open and above board about this from the start, and only now is it a problem! As we’ve not been at all furtive about it, there has been ample opportunity for objections, if I really shouldn’t have been doing it.

I do see Redeployment’s point, and it is something that has worried me as well: IF my work is given away for free, what incentive does the recipient have, ever to translate it into a funded position? On the other hand, how can you gain experience and credibility in an area, and perhaps secure a more permanent position with them, if you’re not allowed to do a little something for them?

I think the hope was that we would offer them something for free, and with luck, they would like me, and like what they got, and want to make it permanent. What’s known as a “loss leader”.

Yes, I know that strictly, doing work for free stifles demand for what might potentially have been a paid position! But on the other hand, we’re all working for the same company - this is an internal customer we’re talking about.

So I’m still getting paid, whatever. But apparently the company would rather have me literally getting paid for nothing, than to help out in an area which wants and needs help - but doesn’t want to pay for it.

Honestly, no wonder we are going to the dogs, and having to lose people in the first place. What kind of logic says it’s preferable to have an employee doing nothing, than to do a freebie for their own colleagues?

This actively discourages anyone trying to get a new post. You have to get the budget authorised first. But if the recipient doesn’t know you, and hasn’t seen your work, why are they going to raise a budget for you, when they don’t know what you can do? It’s Catch-22!

It’s just really horrible at the moment, for everybody. I’m trying to tell myself it’s not even worth getting upset over, because as far as I can predict, I won’t even work there next month. Is it worth a load of stress about a job that’s in its death throes anyway? If I had a future there, this might actually matter. But if I haven’t?

The poor guy who encouraged me to do the work, in the hope it might lead to something, and who also encouraged me to contact my Redeployment Officer, to see if she could use her influence, is upset it’s all backfired so badly.

I’m not actually “in trouble”, because I haven’t done anything that wasn’t sanctioned by management. So if anyone’s “in trouble”, it will be them, not me.

But it just seems to stifle any initiative. In the “real world”, plenty of people do unpaid work experience, or volunteer work, as it’s a known way to get your face known, and broaden your skills, and may lead to something permanent.

But in this crazy company, it’s not allowed. Not even if the alternative is being paid to sit and do nothing.

Tina

x

Hi Geoff,

To be fair, this wasn’t ever a “proper job”. It’s at most a half-time post IF they funded me, and asked me to do it permanently. So I don’t think there’s any “constructive dismissal” here. We can’t prove there was ever a vacancy I’ve been prevented from accepting. In fact, that’s what the whole row is about: there’s NO declared vacancy, therefore I shouldn’t have been doing it.

At most, I’ve been deprived of a few days’ work experience, that we’d hoped might impress enough to prompt a vacancy. But it was always clutching at straws a bit. It might have saved me going completely mad from boredom, and at least I’d have felt I was doing a little bit that was useful to someone. But was it ever a job, or the promise of a job? No. So I can’t demonstrate any loss.

Tina

Hi Just a quick one, did you inorm yr employer you have been. Dx. Try looking for guidance in DDA Or the HRA… Another tact could be Tru approaching the client you have been working for You could always speak to thee empsupport officer at DWP MIKE

Hi Mike,

Yeah, they know I’ve been diagnosed. I told them even before I was diagnosed, as it was obvious I was going for tests - I wanted to quash any false rumours that might start.

I actually don’t think this one has anything to do with disability discrimination. At least 640 of us are facing redundancy, and the other 639 don’t have MS, as far as I know.

The “client” I’ve been working for is an internal client. They’re the ones who would like the work, but don’t want to pay for it. So the whole reason this has blown up was I asked Redeployment if they could do anything to “encourage” the client to pay. Rather than helping me, Redeployment were instead outraged I’d been “helping” client at all, when they hadn’t raised a formal requisition.

Instead of being allowed to continue, while Redeployment spoke to client about making it official, I’ve been told to drop it altogether.

Tina