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Been told I am 'replaceable'

(15 Posts)
minko Thu 31-Jan-13 19:37:28

I have worked for my current employer for nearly 18 months. I have struggled with the hours 9-4, 5 days a week and really struggle with the 20 days holiday, but I love the job and I've tried hard to make it work. My husband works long hours and I do all the house/childcare. He also earns a good wage and I don't 'have' to work though I chose to. However, last week things got on top of me, I felt exhausted and I ended up crying at work.

My direct boss was super-considerate and put me on to our director (it's a small company). He listened to my woes, I asked to change to 4 days a week. He said they needed people for jobs, not fit jobs to people and that I was 'replaceable'.

Of course he has a point, but where do I go from here? Struggle on? Do they want me to resign? I am good at my job and very experienced but that is clearly unappreciated. I'm finding it hard to find the motivation to work now, I'm also v. angry...

ratbagcatbag Thu 31-Jan-13 19:39:24

When you say struggle with the hours/holidays, does that mean that you are late/leaving early or taking unpaid leave etc?

OneHandFlapping Thu 31-Jan-13 19:40:27

Isit a joint decision that your husband works long hours and you do all the childcare, or is it his decision?

Because if it's just his, and the result of this is that you are going to be thrown onto the employment scrapheap, then it's him you should be looking at first.

minko Thu 31-Jan-13 20:11:39

I suppose it is a joint decision, he worked and supported us through the time when the kids were little and I stayed at home. He also earns 10 times what I do, so it makes sense for him to carry on. Part time hours are not a possibility for his job and he commutes for nearly 3 hours a day.

When I say struggle - on the surface I am a perfect employee - but I'm always so tired keeping it all up. Work and then care club/ homework/Brownies/swimming/playdates/cooking/washing etc...

My problem is with my employers. Maybe I am looking to them for a bit more appreciation. But then I guess it's not their problem...

AgentProvocateur Thu 31-Jan-13 20:18:34

I don't think the problem is with your employers. I think it's with your husband. So what if he earns 100 times more than you? They're his children and its his house too. If you enjoy your job and you're good at it, please don't give it up. Ask your husband to do more, or else cut back on the extra curricular activites / get a cleaner. There must be another solution.

flowery Thu 31-Jan-13 22:25:12

I agree with AP, the problem isn't with your employers. You're not struggling with hours of 9-4, and with 28 (presumably, including bank holidays?) days holiday, because none of that is excessive at all. You are struggling with doing everything else yourself. Sounds as though your husband earns well, so if he is not willing/able to help more with all the non work stuff, outsource most of it.

SarkyPants Thu 31-Jan-13 22:35:01

I agree.
You either need more help from your DH. Or you need more paid help like a cleaner.

How are chores shared at the weekend?

Numberlock Thu 31-Jan-13 22:37:54

Is your husband of the type 'I don't mind if you work as long as it doesn't affect me'?

frustratedashell Thu 31-Jan-13 22:40:43

Yes I agree with flowery and sarky. Youll end up making yourself ill otherwise.

ceeveebee Thu 31-Jan-13 22:44:20

If he is earning 10 x what you earn then you should be able to afford help with housework. Although I notice you don't actually mention housework so perhaps you already have a cleaner?

Your employer was quite harsh with you but it is the reality - jobs are not designed to suit individual circumstances. If you want to reduce hours / or compress them, you need to make a business case for it and show your employer how it would work without damaging their business.

prozacbear Fri 01-Feb-13 11:19:31

I'm sorry you're feeling this way, OP.

As someone who often represents the 'employer', I'm sure your work are sympathetic to your woes, but they can't be seen to be making exceptions for people just because they're finding things difficult. That said, if you can put a business case together for hours that suit your life better, they will be much more sympathetic.

For example, we have parents here on flexitime (including myself), which employers tend to be far more receptive to than missing an entire day - an hour each day 'feels' like less than someone being absent and uncontactable on a busy Friday, for example.

Ultimately, however, it is your employer's right to refuse you flexitime, and while I'm sure they do appreciate you, that may not extend to directly/indirectly losing revenue through your absence.

Aside from this, I agree with flowery - your hours and holiday are generous, so the issue lies at home. Whether or not your DH's job is more important, or pays more, you still have a right to fulfill yourself through work.

janey68 Fri 01-Feb-13 18:02:40

Agree with the advice above. Your work hours are not excessive at all, and I assume your children are school age as you mentioned having been at home when they were young. It's not that the workload is unreasonable- its the fact that you are doing everything else on top! If your dh earns ten times your wages then surely you can afford a cleaner and maybe even pay for some after school care so you get a bit of a breather. It would be ridiculous for you to give up work and have nothing rather than negotiate with your dh so that there's a better balance

TheDoctrineOfSciAndNatureClub Sat 02-Feb-13 10:18:44

What everyone else said about hiring a cleaner, outsourcing ironing, ensuring DH pulls his weight at weekends.

DH and I both work, both do house and childcare. If one if us did it all,
We'd go mad.

What are your current childcare arrangements? Can you extend the childcare cover to 6pm a couple of days a week so that you can catch up on yourself/have a rest etc?

If you want to work four days a week you need to put in a flexible working request but it can be declined if there is a good business reason.

LovesBeingWokenEveryNight Sun 03-Feb-13 08:30:12

Can I ask you what did you want the director to say? How can he help you?

flow4 Sun 03-Feb-13 15:17:33

I am sympathetic. I can't manage full-time office hours myself, though my kids are both teenagers (somehow my teens seem to get ill, have appointments and have more crises than they did when they were younger! confused ) I often work full-time, or more; but I only manage it by having a part-time contract so the extra hours I do are just that - extra - and I never feel like I'm letting anyone down.

I also work flexibly and from home sometimes. Is there any possibility that you could work from home, say one day per week? I am more productive at home (our office is full of distractions) and without the commute, I can work for at least an extra hour. I also often work til the kids get home, stop to cook tea and do the other things they need, and then start work again for another 2-3 hours in the evening. I am a manager, and many of my team also work from home occasionally, and two have a regular arrangement where they work from home one day per week.

BTW, your holiday is not 'generous' - people who work 5 days per week are entitled to 5.6 weeks paid holiday per year - i.e. 28 days (including bank hols). There are 8 bank hols per year (usually), so your 20 days are the legal minimum - assuming you are also getting the bank hols off.

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