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Have I been discriminated against? (it's long)

(9 Posts)
juneybean Thu 04-Sep-08 21:50:26

I had wanted to talk about this off the board but i'll post here and hope no one I know reads it lol

I've worked for the same company for 7 years, and went part time after 5 years to pursue another career, they were very accomodating and allowed me to work 1.5 days a week to cover the office managers days off.

In February of this year, someone was sacked and I was offered an IT position which in the first instance was referred to as "IT Manager" and whilst I know I'm not qualified for this, since the company is relatively small and the stuff they expected of me was fairly minute I was happy to take that title. This manager (we'll call Ops) told me I could work full time and help out in another department as the IT job isn't full time hours or I would work ad hoc around my other new career.

In a second meeting with someone else (we'll call FD) to ascertain pay and hours, I was told that he didn't think I should be IT manager, but perhaps IT supervisor, so again I agreed. He didn't seem aware of the previous meeting with the other manager and was a bit confused when I said I wished to do it ad hoc. This being because they only offered me £15,000 which was only £900 more than what I was already on. However he agreed to let me do it ad hoc and suggested an hourly rate of £7.50 as "hourly rates are usually less than salary rates" (??!)

Since then several things have happened regarding IT where I have been left out of the loop and where another manager has been doing all the work because "they dont want to have to pay me to come in".

Also through the grapevine I've heard from the Ops that he thinks I'm keeping my 1.5 days on (I hadn't intended to once I found a full time job in my new career).

So I asked FD for another meeting and went in and said "what exactly does the company want from me" and he said "the same as youre doing now" (deputising for OM)

So I said said what's my position and he replied "general admin"

Flowery may recall I was naughty and checked the Ops emails and found an email about someone who I felt would be taking over me.

The FD brought up the new person and said "we're taking on an IT Manager but this will not affect your job"

He said circumstances in the company have changed and the need for a full time IT to take care of everyone has arisen. I said I would have been interested and he said "you wouldn't have been able to do it"

So I've gone from IT mgr to IT sup to general admin.... am I taking things the wrong way or is something amiss here?

(Thank you if you manage to read all this and reply)

flowerybeanbag Fri 05-Sep-08 10:57:04

This is a bit complicated, correct my reading of the situation if I am wrong about anything.

You were working doing general admin covering office manager part time. You were then offered full time work including part of that doing IT. You admit you are not qualified and agreed on reflection that IT Manager was not an appropriate job title.

You declined the full time post and requested to do the IT part of your job 'ad hoc'. What did that mean, was there any expectation of how many hours that would be, how was it organised?

Your employer then seems to have decided that they actually need more regular IT support, and more hours. They have recruited someone to do this without offering it to you. However you had previously refused full time work and wanted ad hoc to fit around another career, and you do say you are not particularly qualified to do IT.

As far as I can tell, your employer hasn't acted well in terms of seemingly taking the IT job away from you without any consultation or discussion with you.

It sounds clear that the ad hoc part time IT bit wasn't working for them, but depending on what the actual agreement was with you initially and how much work it actually was, they should have discussed with you the best way forward.

It's not ideal and how wrong they were does depend to a certain extent on this 'ad hoc' arrangement you had and how it was working.

But I don't think they were wrong in what they wanted to achieve. I think they realised they made a mistake getting you- an unqualified person wanting to work ad hoc- to do their IT support, and wanted instead a qualified full time IT specialist.

Best practice would of course have been to offer you the position, or at least given you the opportunity to apply for the position first. But I think given the other things you've said it wasn't actually that unreasonable of them to think you would want/be able to do it.

What is it that makes you think this is discrimination exactly? I can't see that at all tbh. Depending as I say on the ad hoc arrangement, whether it was actually a lot of hours which were agreed or 'normalised' that have now been taken away from you, you might have a legitimate complaint, but I can't see how discrimination fits in really.

juneybean Fri 05-Sep-08 11:21:45

Hi flowery, thanks for replying.

As we are a pub/restaurant business and the IT position was supposed to predominantely be to maintain the till systems for which I was sent on training for.

However eventually the new IT manager will be going on this training in order to do this.

They offered full time which I considered but I was not happy with the £15,000 they offered so asked if I could do the ad hoc route which would involve coming in on nights when a problem arose after my other job, so no specific hours would be available, it would depend on work load of maintaining till systems or if there was a basic IT query.

Perhaps discrimination was the wrong word, but I feel I should have been offered an interview for the position or at least sat down and said "we don't think its working out so we propose to do xyz"

flowerybeanbag Fri 05-Sep-08 12:07:06

well yes they should have discussed with you why it wasn't working, and should have given you the opportunity to apply for this full time position, you are right.

What do you want to do? What do you want to achieve? I see on reading your post again that you are planning to drop your 'normal' 1.5 day job when you find a full time post in your new career? is that likely in the near future? In which case is this actually a huge problem, or more of a case of feeling aggrieved at unreasonable treatment as a matter of principle?

ilovemydog Fri 05-Sep-08 12:09:03

But aren't you giving the company mixed messages? You've made it clear that your intentions are to pursue another career, so perhaps this is what's behind them not making your role anything but temporary?

Did I get it wrong?

Perhaps if you were gung ho in this field, then I could understand you being somewhat miffed...

flowerybeanbag Fri 05-Sep-08 12:11:55

(Oops just read again, in my first post should be not unreasonable of them to think you wouldn't want/be able to do it.)

juneybean Fri 05-Sep-08 15:59:12

Had they offered the right amount of money I would have done the IT thing full time, but I didn't think they did so I have then said to them that I will do it part time.

At present I am intending to keep on one day a week to cover the office manager which they are happy with.

I don't know what I want to do to be honest flowery, sort of feel a bit "used and abused" by them. It's difficult to leave completely because I've been there since I left school so it's been my only main job, sort of feel attached to it.

Sort of feel sad that they mess me about a bit, I am looking for a job in the new career so I guess it isn't a big problem in the long run.

flowerybeanbag Fri 05-Sep-08 19:20:10

I can understand that. If you've been somewhere a long time and 'given' a lot, completely understandably and reasonably you will feel a bit more 'used and abused' in a situation like this than if you'd only been there a year and had hopped about loads in different jobs.

I think that's why a bit of 'cold light of day' opinion from outsiders who don't have that attachment is a good thing, it gives a little bit of perspective although it can't take away the disgruntled feeling I know.

See if you can focus on your new career as much as you can, that's something really positive going forward, and something you can constructively do something about.

We've all had to let go of jobs we've enjoyed and workplaces we've become attached to, I know I have, but once you get out there you'll be able to look back with fond memories and thrive in your new job.

juneybean Fri 05-Sep-08 20:00:29

Thanks flowery! You're so right and I knew that I'd get the right answers from MN!

I've just found a supply job in the new career so hopefully I can start moving forward now

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