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To feel like I'm trapped in a nightmare that I can't get out of? (long and possible typos, sorry)

(33 Posts)
Venacava Fri 14-Oct-11 12:10:29

If I could get out of my job tomorrow it wouldn't be soon enough.

Basically I started a new job at the beginning of last year. Organised through a recruitment agency and didn't have any contact with the company until I turned up for my first day of work on the training course everyone gets sent on for 1.5 months.

I had told the recruitment agency I was looking for work in a specific area because I was relocating to live with my dp. Told the interviewers that was why I was looking to work in the new area. Contract arrived, nothing jumped out to me as I have never worked in the industry. A clause about having to live near where I work but all was fine as I was moving there.

I sorted out a flat to rent in advance of the training and things were going to be tough as my dp is a ft student but my wage would support the rent for both of us.

I turn up to the job, they inform me that they are putting me in a role 100 miles away from my house and the clause in the contract means I have to move there. Fuck. I was now trapped paying rent and having to work away from home. I couldn't just quit the job because with no experience in the area I had moved into I would not get another job that would cover the rent and living for me and dp. I phoned the agency up and told them what happened and they were as shocked as I was. The company hadn't made the role clear to them at all.

So I spent 6 months commuting back on weekends. I have been put on ADs and been offered to be signed off work by my dr due to the stress. Things were meant to be getting better this month as the company had arranged a placement for me near where I live so I can finally be home after living out of a suitcase for 9 months. A month before I started I get a message saying they need me to cover a role far away from home. One month max they said. Just to help them out. I turned up to this new placement ad they have told me I have to be here for an indefinate period of time. And I will be expected to move here or lose my job.

I'm trying desperately to find a new job. Anything to get me out of here. I have lost touch with my friends over this, I am so ashamed as I told them all I was relocating to live with dp. My relationship is scraping by because I am SO stressed over this.

AIBU to just want to wake up from this nightmare year?

oldenoughtowearpurple Fri 14-Oct-11 12:14:52

Bumping for you - how on earth was it that you didn't have any contact with the company before joining? no direct interview? what does your contract actually say regarding your specific employment?

Interested to know if all this is legal.

Venacava Fri 14-Oct-11 12:16:04

Sorry if it's very waffley and doesn't make sense. I feel very isolated from reality at the moment.

LizzieMo Fri 14-Oct-11 12:18:02

If they keep wanting you to re-locate, are they not giving you a relocation package?? I know you don't want to go at all because of your DP but I would deffo ask them, they may back off if they think they will have to pay your costs to move. Also- is nothing ever put in writing in your company??? How can one branch tell you one month only, the other one say it is for ever- with no consultation??? I would take advice to see if that is even legal??? If the stress of it is making you ill I would take up your doctors offer and get signed off. Stress can do terrible things to your health.

aldiwhore Fri 14-Oct-11 12:18:11

I think you need to get back in touch with the agency, could they arrange a new placement/contract with a different company?

I think you need to stand your ground. I will say that you shouldn't have signed any contract until you were crystal clear what it would mean. I think you need better advice than I can give but you cannot tolerate this situation any more. Can they really fire you if you refuse to move all over the place?

aldiwhore Fri 14-Oct-11 12:19:12

Oh yes, definitely agree with getting signed off work 'indefinitely' as well. You wouldn't be lying, you are ill.

MamaMary Fri 14-Oct-11 12:19:13

Dear oh dear, it sounds like the best thing is for you to get a new job. this company will forever be messing you around.

Good luck.

Venacava Fri 14-Oct-11 12:19:42

I had a direct interview with them but the role wasn't made clear it would be like this at all. Every other contact with the company had to be done through the recruitment agency. The contract is very vague. If you read it and don't know the specifics of the job it just sounds like any other role with the company.

I'm an intelligent person but nothing screamed at me from the contract that this is what it would be like. And the job role I was given doesn't say anything about having to relocate whenever the company deems you have to.

Venacava Fri 14-Oct-11 12:22:56

The role involves a lot of driving for which the stress is not helping. I don't know whether I would get any sick pay from the company as my contract just says you get nothing until you pass your probation- I have got a letter confirming I have passed my probation so don't know where I stand now.

Venacava Fri 14-Oct-11 12:23:35

The role involves a lot of driving for which the stress is not helping. I don't know whether I would get any sick pay from the company as my contract just says you get nothing until you pass your probation- I have got a letter confirming I have passed my probation so don't know where I stand now.

aldiwhore Fri 14-Oct-11 12:24:29

Sorry Venacava I wasn't implying you are stupid - I've signed many contracts that appear perfectly straight forward and haven't been!

Surely a solicitor can tell you exactly where you stand on this, for a small fee?

Hope you get it resolved soon, but you know you cannot carry on like this don't you? What does your BF think? Have you got anyone in your life who could support you financially for a short time if you walk from the job?

LizzieMo Fri 14-Oct-11 12:25:14

I would get signed off. Get some rest, get your head together, then look for a new job. It is not worth risking your health for . What sort of company treats its staff like some kind of slave to be at their complete beck & call??? You are entitled to a life outside work, to a settled home. I actually feel really cross on your behalf!!!

Venacava Fri 14-Oct-11 12:25:44

The role involves a lot of driving for which the stress is not helping. I don't know whether I would get any sick pay from the company as my contract just says you get nothing until you pass your probation- I have got a letter confirming I have passed my probation so don't know where I stand now.

PopcornMouse Fri 14-Oct-11 12:27:19

It sounds very much like they were intentionally vague; it's probably a very difficult position to fill and I bet they were having a hard time convincing anybody to say yes if they actually spelled out what would be involved!

Get signed off work, use the time to recouperate and look for a new job. If they want you to relocate, insist on a relocation package (i.e. don't make relocating you too easy for them). Good luck!

Venacava Fri 14-Oct-11 12:33:40

Aldiwhore- Oh please don't think I thought you were calling me stupid! smile My dp thinks it's a joke. He's done the job before that I am doing now (obv not being shifted around all over the country) and nothing stood out in the contract to him as being unusual. He thinks they deliberatley hid from me that they would be shoving me all over the country as no one would do the job otherwise.

The thing is, this is not a small company. This is a big company with lots of money! Ive just found out as well that there is a vacancy very near my house that they will not let me go and work.

Lizzie- I am very angry too. This company do not pay me enough to decide where I am when I am not at work. I mentioned to my manager that I might have to go home in the week if something pops up back at home and he said "well from my pov I dont have a problem with that but I dont want you doing it every night" and thought WTF?! I don't quite think other colleagues need permission to go out at night.

Venacava Fri 14-Oct-11 12:36:32

PopcornMouse- I don't want them to even think I am considering relocating. I moved away from my support network to move in with dp. I dont want to move even further away from everyone to be on my own. Sorry, am just feeling very alone and vulnerable at the moment.

Venacava Fri 14-Oct-11 12:37:17

PopcornMouse- I don't want them to even think I am considering relocating. I moved away from my support network to move in with dp. I dont want to move even further away from everyone to be on my own. Sorry, am just feeling very alone and vulnerable at the moment.

Venacava Fri 14-Oct-11 12:38:37

And I a very sorry for my double posting. I'm sat here crying in my car typing on my phone.

aldiwhore Fri 14-Oct-11 12:38:55

Hmm. Is there an element of them taking the piss because you're new and less likely to refuse? You've finished probation now, seek legal advice and start being more 'difficult' (less of a walk over!).

Why won't they let you work near your home??? It all sounds VERY odd.

Good luck missus. First things first, know your contract, know your rights, even if it costs a bit to get that information, arm yourself.

ChippingIn Fri 14-Oct-11 12:46:36

This is absolutely bloody ridiculous.

Please, repost in legal - we have some very very helpful people around here, but they may have AIBU hidden.

I would be very tempted to get signed off but if you want to stay in this new field, it might not be your best move. Another company will take a dim view of it I should imagine. However, if it gets to the point you can't cope, then do that and worry about the implications later.

Big hug - it sounds like a complete nightmare. However, hopefully you can get some advice on how to sort it out.

lesley33 Fri 14-Oct-11 12:55:21

You work for a big company. Legally that company needs to make sure that it does not endanger your physical or mental health - and they know this. Why not contact HR and say you want to talk to somebody about your job for advice as you think the unreasonable demands are making you stressed and ill. Mention your GP has offered to sign you off sick because he is worried about your health. Tell them you don't want to do this, but you do need advice/help to tackle the issues in the job making you ill. Don't be bolshy though.

Venacava Fri 14-Oct-11 13:10:24

Ok, you all gave me the nudge I needed. I have just phoned and spoken to a solicitor in employment law. Basically I have no rights. I havn't worked for a year so I am not entitled to anything. Even if I went of sick with stress they could sack me.

I said that the contact is confusing and with the job role that they gave me (not involving being shunted around the country) but apparently as long as it is clear to a solicitor then it doesn't matter that its not clear to the employee.

The advice he gave was not to make too much of a fuss or they will sack me. Just to find a new job... Which is oh so easy at the moment.

Venacava Fri 14-Oct-11 13:38:34

Ok, you all gave me the nudge I needed. I have just phoned and spoken to a solicitor in employment law. Basically I have no rights. I havn't worked for a year so I am not entitled to anything. Even if I went of sick with stress they could sack me.

I said that the contact is confusing and with the job role that they gave me (not involving being shunted around the country) but apparently as long as it is clear to a solicitor then it doesn't matter that its not clear to the employee.

The advice he gave was not to make too much of a fuss or they will sack me. Just to find a new job... Which is oh so easy at the moment.

Venacava Fri 14-Oct-11 13:39:53

Ok, you all gave me the nudge I needed. I have just phoned and spoken to a solicitor in employment law. Basically I have no rights. I havn't worked for a year so I am not entitled to anything. Even if I went of sick with stress they could sack me.

I said that the contact is confusing and with the job role that they gave me (not involving being shunted around the country) but apparently as long as it is clear to a solicitor then it doesn't matter that its not clear to the employee.

The advice he gave was not to make too much of a fuss or they will sack me. Just to find a new job... Which is oh so easy at the moment.

Venacava Fri 14-Oct-11 13:41:21

Gah, triple post damn phone!

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