Help me know whether saying no to this is OK!

(15 Posts)
mytether Thu 01-Mar-18 12:53:12

Hi all, I need help to know whether saying no to something is OK. I will try to give sufficient info without making this too outing. So this term I agreed to take on a particular admin role to cover someone's sabbatical. In theory, I get a small abatement to workload on this. In practice, as my workload had already been established at this point, it has made bugger all difference, and in fact just feels like an additional thing to do.

Generally, my workload has been pretty harsh this year - the only colleagues who have got close to mine in percentage terms are more senior and have very generous admin abatements so have much less contact time to start with.

Anyway, the colleague on sabbatical has asked me to design and set up an event for next term (when he will be back) which I will presumably have to then (help) run. This is in addition to something that didn't happen this term which he expects to be moved to next.

My immediate reaction is to say no. I only received my (mostly theoretical) abatement for one term, while his covers two - and is more realistic in its impact too. I have no interest in continuing this role and I desperately need to spend the next 12 months really focused on writing (alongside teaching and other admin stuff) to have any chance of not being shafted in the REF! But on the other hand, it seems terribly jobsworth to be so bolshy and difficult and my natural instinct is to say yes.

What do you think?

OP’s posts: |
geekaMaxima Thu 01-Mar-18 13:56:06

Say no!

Ffs, really, really say no! grin

Of course you can do it politely without apologising - to your regret, you can't take on this extra event as your workload doesn't allow it - but SAY NO.

dizzy174 Thu 01-Mar-18 13:59:06

say no!!

mytether Fri 02-Mar-18 08:59:25

Thanks you two! I had a dream about it last night, really stressful. I think I will agree to set the ball rolling and then hand it over ... compromise?

OP’s posts: |
ghislaine Fri 02-Mar-18 10:07:31

If Sabbatical Colleague wants an event underway now for when he returns SC can spend some of his sabbatical doing it!

Definitely resist doing anything to do with this role once SC returns.

ghislaine Fri 02-Mar-18 10:09:50

Ps I forgot to add that IME saying 'no' will not cause the sky to fall. I was asked to cover an ill colleague's lectures (not in my course). I asked what credit I'd be given for doing extra work at short notice and lo and behold, a solution was found - last year's archived recordings of her lectures will be made available to students.

RaindropsAndSparkles Fri 02-Mar-18 10:13:59

As the last REF was 2014, why do you have to spend the next 12 months writing for 2020 to avoid being shafted. What happened in 2014, 15, 16, 17 with your publications and have you had a sabbatical?

If what you are being asked takes you over your workload then raise with your Head of faculty or Dean to seek a resolution.

mytether Fri 02-Mar-18 12:45:50

Oh raindrops, you have hit me where it hurts. What I have been doing is a lot of impact (along with teaching admin and just life). I have a great case study but my publications have indeed suffered. And I feel terrible and embarrassed and inadequate about it. So I need to get two or three papers out in the next 12 months to be refable.

OP’s posts: |
RaindropsAndSparkles Fri 02-Mar-18 13:32:32

We've all had phases like that career wise. I spent 2.5 years not so long ago moving house, sorting out a dd with MH issues, etc, just ticking over and coasting along but since mid 2016 I have been paying it back and have put in 60 hour weeks and playing catch up over the summer. Still think HE is incredibly flexible but there will always be a pay back if the goods aren't produced.

Deianira Fri 02-Mar-18 13:59:39

Don't compromise, just say no! Your proposed compromise looks like a way of getting you to do half (maybe even all) of the work anyway. Your priorities are in the right place re. the REF - so be strong on that.

GaucheCaviar Mon 05-Mar-18 09:04:30

think of it as saying no is a blow for feminism! You could even wait until Women's Day on March 8th to send the email :-)

mytether Mon 05-Mar-18 09:51:44

Thanks all.

Raindrops, I have had a tough time over the past 18 months, having lost two desperately wanted babies. It's been a struggle to get up in the morning sometimes, let alone concentrate on writing!

I am planning to try and catch up as I start to feel a bit better, but I must say, I can't and won't work 60 hour weeks on a regular basis, I'm pretty impressed that you can. Although I want to publish more, I think the university will be getting quite a lot from me as it is. I do have some papers, and I will be contributing a very good impact case study which I am told is potentially worth quite a few papers, in financial terms.

OP’s posts: |
RaindropsAndSparkles Mon 05-Mar-18 10:45:36

My tether I'm really sorry to hear that. Could you submit a mitigation application re the REF - I'd support an OHP referral for medical report in those circumstances or a request for workload remission.

GaucheCaviar Mon 05-Mar-18 10:57:46

yes that's a good suggestion mytether, do look after yourself, there are more important things in life than REF.

mytether Mon 05-Mar-18 11:19:22

Thanks both. It has been a struggle - I have managed to keep ticking things over in terms of all the usual teaching and marking etc etc and I have done some research which has fed into my impact case study. I just haven't done well on the writing front. I don't know about mitigating circumstances. It's so painful to even talk about, let alone bring up to the authorities, if you know what I mean!

OP’s posts: |

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in