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Is this just a pride thing.........?(12 Posts)
This is going to be long, apologies but I really could do with some advice..............
A couple of years ago another colleague (let’s call her Abi) and I were asked if either of us would be interested in taking on responsibility for managing an additional office - at the time we were each in charge of our own site. We were both initially keen but then she withdrew when she realised I was also interested, leaving me the only one interested. The company could have advertised externally to make the process competitive, but decided just to “interview” me, following which I was offered the additional responsibility. It’s a fairly large company, so I don’t want to give the name....... let’s just refer to it as TC.
The two offices have around 30 staff in total, so not huge staff teams, but there’s little scope for doubling up of tasks, so it really has been like two separate roles. The deputy managers in each are fantastic and this has been a huge factor in the split working being a success.
Right from the get-go, Abi has seemed like she wanted me to fail at this. She’s in her late 40s and I’m 55, we’ve both been working in our industry for 25+ years (me 31 years), both our positions are about as secure as they get these days, I doubt either of us is looking for promotion, etc. There’s no need for competition between us, nor is either one of us having to impress people.
However, from Day 1 she has made a number of comments along the lines of “It’ll never work”, “you’ll never manage to do it”. Not in a caring way, but more in “I’m going to sit back and watch you fail, smile and then say I told you so”.
So, anyway, I started working over the two offices and, although I was putting in 50+ hour weeks for the first 9 months or so, we got everything back on track......... I should have said that the second office I took over had been in some trouble with the regulatory authority and had been in a sort of Special Measures scenario, which is why, I think, TC wanted to appoint someone whose work they knew as they couldn’t take the chance of another disaster.
For about the past six months, however, I’ve started to feel a bit overwhelmed by it, like I’m stressed out all the time. My sleep is affected - I often wake at 2/3am and don’t get back to sleep. I recently had a virus that floored me for about a week (I was off sick for 4 days) and even now I haven’t fully recovered - the GP said it could have been because I was run down. I’m also Mrs Narky-Nark. I still love my job but am wondering if I have indeed bitten off more than I can chew and that Abi was perhaps right all along. However, there are other things going on in my life that could equally be to blame for me feeling overly stressed - my DH is unwell and presently having hospital tests (there are markers that suggest a 25% likelihood of some sort of malignant tumour, meaning 75% chance it’s something benign, but still a worry), my 90-year-old DM has dementia and I visit her in the care home 4 times per week, and I’m menopausal.
Last week I was asked (informally during a chat) by one of the Management Board members how working the two sites was going. I was positive, not wanting to open a big can of worms, especially since it may not be work that’s stressing me out. She said they were going to review it after 3 years (which I already knew as they’d said so at the outset) and decide whether to leave things as they are or go for a dedicated manager (which is the structure in most of our offices). My DH says this is my opportunity to go back to the way things were.
I’d lose about £5,000 per year, but both myself and DH work full-time with ok salaries so the money isn’t the main concern. Of course, my main concern is Abi. And I know that this is pathetic, but I just can’t face the glee.
Any advice would be welcome and I won’t take criticism personally.
Your health comes before everything. Forget about a silly jealous colleague. You're more important.
Thanks - short and to the point and probably right. I just need to swallow my pride and then enjoy having more time to spend with the family - including three amazing DGCs who are growing up so fast!
Your health is most important here. But from reading your post you know that already and its good you can see the potential stress points, your personal life and work life both sohbd very busy!
How long until the 3 year point? From your post I'm assuming somewhere between 6 and 8 months?
No matter the outcome I think either is a success, if they choose to maintain 1 manager 2 sites, you've clearly shown your capabilities and management skills. Saying you don't want to do it anymore isn't a failure, be honest and tell them how busy your life is outside of work, if I was in your shoes I would be broken both in energy and emotionally!!
If they choose 2 managers 2 sites, you've still achieved a great deal by getting the second site out of special measures. That in itself is an amazing achievement for only being there half the time!
They’ll be reviewing it for 1 April next year so, if they’re going for a dedicated manager, they’ll want to decide by the end of December. We’ve had some interim reviews and they’ve involved me - I expect they’ll arrange something round about July/August. They’re lovely people, very supportive, and I think they’d be agreeable to going back to one manager for each site if this is what I recommend. I’m lucky to be in this position, I know, and I truly appreciate it.
I’m not sure why I’m getting all hot and bothered about what others will think of me as I’m not usually like that. But I just have visions of being at managers’ meetings (with Abi sitting at the top table with her Devil hat, pitch fork and flames) having to “explain” why it didn’t work out! Maybe I’m just more paranoid than usual because of the other things that are going on, particularly DH.
I would step back.
Ignore her. Do you really value the opinion of someone who has been so critical and unsupportive? You have managed to do far more than she has done. You are the winner here. Not her.
Health and family trump work.
But you haven’t failed? You’ve sorted out the additional office and got it to a point where it can be run by a less experienced manager. Sounds like job done to me!
You've done what you were brought in to do - to get the other office back on track. It sounds like the ideal time to hand over to someone else.
I agree with a PP, Pitch it so you come out well:’ I’ve sorted out these issues, put these structures in, but it’s clear there is capacity for more focus on both sites and this is also a really good development opportunity for someone more junior to step up as a single site manager’
I’ve never been stressed at work before menopause, and you also belong to that lovely demographic the sandwich generation with multiple caring responsibilities at home, with the stress of dh illness and your dm. You sound awesome. But prioritise you.
How would you advise if your personal life was easier? If you would still advise a manager for each site, then you have not only succeeded in turning around the 2nd office, but given valuable advice based on your experience. This alone may increase your value to management.
Thanks so much for your posts - lots of positive and supportive comments, and definitely some food for thought.
I think I’m going to be sensible here - health and family need to come first, so I just need to work out a sort of exit strategy. I think my body’s telling me to pull back and I think I need to listen to it.
You’ve really helped me focus and reach a decision that I think I’d already made anyway, but just had to admit it to myself.