... you submit your flexible working back to work request while on maternity leave KIT day (3 days, as had been previously openly discussed with management) and 6 weeks later, HR inform you that unfortunately management have informed them that they cannot accommodate your request?
But they can offer you X amount of hours, which is just a few hours more than you can physically do in 3 business days (even if you worked 12 hour days)?
And that, hopefully this is doable? Because look, we've got some documentation around next year's salary budget here, and it's just impossible, would you like to see? So hopefully you can work with us here because we reeeeeeeally don't want to lose you from the organisation?
And you are shocked and fuming but outside quiet and composed, and carefully say "well I will have to go and talk to DH because my proposal was a very carefully drawn up thing surround childcare of two DCs and finances, and I really don't know what to say as the precedent for everyone else in the business who has returned from maternity is to work 3 days, and I'm aware there have been changes but I was never given any indication of my department being affected by them", and HR do awww hun sad faces and one of them says "well actually you will notice the department becoming more streamlined" and in your head you go "well why not give me redundancy then you fuckers" and you leave, pretending that you're going to some sums and get back to them?
I'm honestly not being naive - I had not expected this. It is totally out of the blue in the context of my employer and my role. I know that we won't be able to bend to their (carefully calculated so as to be impossible) offer.