… the year when, after some difficult times things would go right.
We thought that we were heading in the right direction in march, when I found a job again. It wasn’t my dream job, and I was rather over-qualified, but it was close to home and being a little less than full-time it would work well as I continued to look after my mum at home.
I wasn’t overly happy that I found myself in a small office, alone for all of the day, having to deal with phone calls and visitors as well as sorting out one heck of a mess that had been left behind by my predecessor. But I did it. You have to be adaptable and I knew that change was coming. That the chief executive and the outside accountant were both retiring in the spring. Then we could drag an organisation that was way behind the times into the twentieth century.
When my mother was taken ill I was shattered. Now though she his herself again, but her lack of mobility and general frailty meant that coming home wasn’t viable. The adjustment took time, but she is settled now and, I think, much better for being relieved of many of life’s practical concerns. I’m in the process of applying to the Court of Protection so that I can become my mother’s deputy, and take on the responsibility for everything she needs. It’s a long, painful and bureaucratic business, but hopefully it will be sorted out soon.
It also leaves my fiance and I free to marry, once we get our finances on an even keel. He’s looking for a job, but he’s had health issues in the past, and so it’s not at all easy in times like these.
Meanwhile, my chief executive decided to stay on a little longer. And his very good friend the outside accountant decided to stay on too. And they didn’t want change, they wanted things to stay just the way they were.
I decided it was time to look for another job.
My relationship with the outside accountant had been cordial at first, but it changed. Actually, it became non-existent – he would only speak to me on those occasions when he range to speak to the chief executive and I picked up the phone. He made critical reports to the board, nitpicking, just little things that I could quite easily have explained or put right if I was asked. But I wasn’t.
Because if there aren’t issues with the accounts to be sorted out before that go to the auditor, if the in-house accountant knows her job, how does the outside accountant justify his very substantial fees?
Definitely time to look for another job.
The Finance/Administration Manager quit last week. He was called into a meeting about the accounts, and he was appalled at things that were said. It was clear, he told me, that the outside accountant was stirring things, exploiting the lack of understanding that the board had of day-to day accounting. He told me to watch my back.
I had a week’s holiday booked this week. I’d only had one day off in eight months and I had days to use or lose before the end of the year. A little down time, a little sorting out at home, and a little job-seeking.
On Tuesday night I emailed the agency that got me my job, to say that I was looking again and explain why.
I looked on their website while I was there and I saw an accountancy job close to home. When I pulled up the details it was horribly, horribly familiar. It was the same job description that they had sent me nearly a year ago, but with a rather lower salary, and it had been placed two days before I went on leave.
I was in pieces. I wanted out, but I had given them no reason to push me, they had never asked me to do anything differently or questioned the way that I did things.
The Finance/Administration Manager called me on Thursday. He was taking his notice period as annual leave, but the chairmen had asked him to come in and sort out a few things. And to call me to tell me that I would be meeting with the chief executive and the newly appointed HR Consultant (a friend of the chief executive) on my return to work next Monday.
That was my holiday well and truly wrecked.
Now UK employment law allows dismissal without warning – and without reason – in the first year of employment. And I can’t say that’s wholly a bad thing. Sometimes things just don’t work out.
But even if that is the case – and maybe it is – the way things have been handled here is distressing, and just plain wrong.
My first response was to withdraw, to abandon this blog, the internet, and just curl up with my books, my knitting and my dog. But then I rallied.
I will deal with whatever is thrown at me on Monday and I will state my case. Calmly and rationally.
I will find a new job. A better job, doing what I’m good at.
That may take a little while, and I hate that in all probability I shall be unemployed at Christmas for the second year in a row, but we will survive. A little time off may even do me good.
My mother had a lovely birthday, she is very happy with the cardigan I knitted, and she is being taken out to a carol service on Sunday. I’m a little anxious because she hasn’t been out – other than sitting on the patio – since she moved into the home, and it is cold out. But I’ve taken out her winter coat and a selection of hats and gloves, and I do have confidence in the staff who have been looking after her beautifully.
And Briar is fit again. She’s much brighter, though she hasn’t found the confidence to jump into her chair yet. I’ve provided a little step, and I will make it smaller and smaller until she’s jumping. We’ve noticed that she uses the step when we aren’t looking, but when we are she waits in the hope that we will lift her. But we aren’t going to fall for it!
Now I need to sort myself out. While I’m dealing with difficult things I’m going to be comfort reading and blogging sporadically, and so challenges and commitments have been thrown out of the window. I’m just hanging on to the long-term projects to keep me heading in the right direction.
End of rant – I don’t do this often, but once in a while I have to.
Hopefully next year will be our year …