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I am dreading my return to work - wondering whether resignation would be better but what about future prospects?

(3 Posts)
scaredofmonday Fri 02-Jan-09 12:24:25

I have had a job for 4 months - a job that I thought I would love, in a newly created role within education/social care sector.

I am very good at what I do, and along with one of my colleagues, over qualified and with lots of experience but both happy to be doing something very worthwhile so not too bothered -or so we thought. My colleague is due to retire in the next 10 years and is winding down on the employment front but he is excellent and far smarter and wiser than me. He shares the same concerns as me but is far better at accepting the situation.

There are a lot of politics involved and as workers on the ground we get a lot of crap from all angles and have to do a lot of defending of our line manager's decisions about the role. Across the county we are the only team to deviate wildly from the Government spec. for the post but in truth this shows great forward thinking and the dynamic style of our line manager and so I am happy to defend her on this til the cows come home. However, she is also flaky, awfully organised, vague and petty with near non existent managerial skills. She has made a joke out of something serious because she didn't know how to handle it, she will try and make you look incompetent in steering group meetings to cover her own failings and I get a lot of credit and knowing looks from people far senior to her when I work off site so I kind of know it's not me. However, raised eyebrows and bitchy sympathy arenb't goign to help me, it just helps me focus on remembering I ^am ^ doing my job well.

My problem is, I do not have a halo to polish because I have had to take a lot of days off sick because my children have been ill over the last term and I am a lone parent, plus I had to take some time off in Dec due to a very personal difficulty and it is clear that this has caused no end of difficulty back in the office. I feel a real failure for this and 2 days at the end of last term I did not go in simply because I couldn't face the music and the snidey comments from my line manager. To be honest, I think the situation is depressing me on top of difficult circumstances at home. I want to go in and enjoy work not have my good, hard graft pulled apart by a line manager who can't accept that I work faster and better than she thinks I'm capable, and have been delegated some of her responsibilities by her manager. She hates me for this I think.

Anyway, what I'm saying is, I am applying for a far more senior post this week which I may get but would be lucky to, if not I only have this job which is massively getting me down, shall I plough on, take some sick leave and come back when I feel better able to cope with the atmosphere, or resign?

To give you another perspective of the weird work atmosphere, all 3 of my colleagues have had years of therapy between them, one tried to commit suicide not that long ago, I struggle with feeling low at times and I don't know if I can cope with this kind of atmosphere. Our team meetings are like counselling and go on for 3 hours plus sometimes.

God it all just gets too much! Help!

racingsnake Fri 02-Jan-09 21:13:23

Can't think of anything to help. Just to say that you are not alone and that things can ease off again. I work in a place that was (probably still is) quite toxic, due to one manipulative member of staff. People left, others had breakdowns, mediators were brought in, making it MUCH worse ... My first year back after maternity leave was awful, then somehow it jusy got better for me. I think I somehow managed just not to care so much. I avoid the staff room and somehow the bad stuff doesn't touch me.

I do think the education/social field can be poisonous. Dedicated, caring people are very easy to manipulate if you get a bad one in there, and strangely enough some very unbalanced people are attracted. So many vulnerable people who make them feel so much better about themselves?

misi Fri 02-Jan-09 21:24:54

what a crap situation.
I would generally and usually say, if you love the job, stay in it, but having ''run away'' from a situation like you are in myself before, I have no moral authority to say that anymore hmm
if you do not get the new job (hope you do and good luck for it), can you and your colleagues not get together to do something about the situation? line managers often let you think they no nothing in the hope they don't have to do something about it, but when confronted with doing something or losing the good workers, can be spurred into acting and I would guess your boss's managers probably know what she is like.
it sounds simple but is probably a very hard thing to do, but if you love your job and you are thinking of resigning, you have 2 options, 1 is to leave and let this boss drive you out of your job and leave the department to her weirditees (is that a real word?) or 2 is to stay and fight (thats on the off chance you don't get your new job). In the meantime, there is no harm looking for alternative positions and you never know, a more interesting job may arise?

I am a lone parent, but my son is only with me at weekends at the moment, his mum took him away from my 5 and 6 day a week care some months ago, while the court is sorting this out, I looked for work but despaired of getting a good job because of my circumstances. I found a job as a retail manager and where weekends are usually the only days of the week you HAVE to work, the cheif exec of my company has told me to work the days I want to work because they want me to stay (and the company that owns the company I now work for is notorious for its inflexibility) so there are managers and people out there that do care for their employees. try your employers, they may surprise you and if not, then look for better ones, but believe me, if you just leave without fighting or getting another job first, you will not feel the better for it.
you have one of the hardest jobs going in being a lone parent, I am sure you can do whatever you want to do workwise and do what is best for you.

good luck

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