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I am trapped. Please give me some ideas...

(38 Posts)
tamarindlazuli Tue 28-Jul-09 22:00:46

I am considering quitting my job tomorrow. My OH is all for it for the sake of my mental health first and foremost but realistically we can't afford to live on one salary for long and I am at a loss what kind of job to even look for, let alone think that I'll be lucky enough to get one during such an economic low.

Basically I went back F/T to a job I hate following 9 months of maternity. I genuinely thought I would have found something else before my time was up but had no luck, but admittedly I was looking in and around the same sector and mostly at P/T options because working F/T did not seem like an option, and P/T in my industry does not really exist to my knowledge...

Work rejected my P/T request, forcing me to either quit or go back F/T which I've been doing for the past 3 months and I am falling apart.
I get up at 5.30am, drop off DS at his childcare at 6.45, get to work for 8.15, have no break until 5.30 when I am supposed to leave but that rarely happens and tonight I left at gone 7.30 and got home by 9pm, not even seeing DS for a second tonight except asleep in his cot.

My OH generally picks DS up so that's covered but it's killing me not seeing him and the guilt is something that I cannot live with for much longer. I am missing DS's milestone developments (he's just starting to walk) and all I get are the edited highlights at the weekend, when I get to see how much he's learnt since the previous week - but not from me.

Anyway now I've got to do it all over again tomorrow and I know that even if I ask for a meeting with my boss and tell her very honestly that if my workload doesn't lighten, I will be forced to resign, because I know the company and their history, that nothing will change and I am better off out of there.

I just needed to tell someone this because I don't know what to do and know I probably know the answer, but it's just having the courage to do it and also have some luck in finding something better. What if I end up in a frying pan to the fire type situation...it's a big risk to resign without lining something up and I just don't have the time to look during the week.

Well I'd be interested to see what people think and if anyone has been in a similar position. I am so physically tired but my mind is buzzing...

ApuskiDusky Tue 28-Jul-09 22:14:37

Hi, I'm afraid I don't really have much in the way of advice, just didn't want to leave this unanswered. Hopefully someone else will have better input!

elvislives Tue 28-Jul-09 22:21:07

Probably a silly question but can't you say to your boss that in future you will be leaving at 5.30?

tamarindlazuli Tue 28-Jul-09 22:30:52

Thanks Apuski - appreciate your BUMP.
Elvis, If I had a normal job I would do that, but in my job my projects are my responsibility and you can't just switch off like that...it even makes it much worse for you the following day. It wouldn't be so bad if we were fully staffed but since the credit crunch came about they've been using it as an excuse (and my industry has not been remotely affected my that - I can see that by the sheer volume of work coming in) so every time someone quits, they haven't replaced them - it's like they are waiting for people to have nervous breakdowns or something.
So basically I could point it out to them but I know they won't do anything. I am not valued in the slightest and to them am completely replaceable in an instant.

greensnail Tue 28-Jul-09 22:40:05

Can you definitely not afford to live on one salary for a while - have you sat down and gone through your finances properly.

I don't think I could cope with seeing my dd so little, and would have to change something if it were me.

You may surprise yourself on how litle money you can live on if you need to. My dh has had to reduce his hours for health reasons and I'm currently on mat leave, so we're currently earning less than one full time salary, but amazingly we are coping.

Ewe Tue 28-Jul-09 22:41:47

Will you be eligible for working tax credits on one salary? Check entitledto.co.uk.

tamarindlazuli Tue 28-Jul-09 22:50:55

Greensnail, well it would leave us with nothing at all and bloody hell I have a credit card bill (not very big but still a monthly obligation), not to mention the usual other bills and mortgage...I am sick with worry about being jobless for more than a month or so because I would hate to be a "kept" woman and not have my own money to spend - not used to that concept...
GOOD point Ewe about tax credits, I hadn't thought of that - our combined salaries mean we are borderline whether we are actually eligible or not.
Also just thought that for our mortgage we've used our combined salaries so that we have higher monthly payments but a shorter term - I guess that could be re-jigged if need be, but probably not without a penalty of some sort.
I must look into the credits though, thank you for bringing it up.

greensnail Tue 28-Jul-09 22:57:30

how about looking for a part time job in a different sector then, if nothing available in your current line of work?

llareggub Tue 28-Jul-09 22:58:42

I really feel for you.

I went back to work full-time when DS was 10 months. It killed me too. What I did in the very short-term was request flexible working so that I worked compressed hours, and worked my full-time hours over 4 very long days. I used to take Wednesday off, which broke up the week nicely and gave me time to recharge my batteries and spend time with DS. I also worked from home when I could which would also claw back some time.

Eventually I convinced them to give me part-time working. I proved during the compressed hours months that I would and could be flexible and make the arrangement work. I now do 2 and a half days and I am much happier.

Sometimes though, you need to take a risk and if you decide to leave, I am sure you won't regret it if you can make the figures work.

tamarindlazuli Wed 29-Jul-09 06:28:56

Thank you for your replies. Having slept on it I am just going to go in strong today and say if something doesn't change immediately, I will be forced to resign even though I'm not in a financial position to do so because the quality of my life has been deteriorating and I am worried for my mental (and physical)health.
Now if saying that doesn't provoke a reaction, then how can I be doing the wrong thing.
I could go on and on about how useless they are. I've not even had a 1-1 since I've been back to see how I'm doing, I mean talk about neglectful.
Anyway the prospect of leaving has given me a glimmer of hope, life's too short to be miserable especially when you have a little one to look after.
And normally I am so the opposite of miserable, look what this situation is doing to me.

moondog Wed 29-Jul-09 06:38:52

Those are insane hours!
Are you at least paid handsomely?

morleylass Wed 29-Jul-09 10:41:04

Firstly I'm not surprised you feel the way you do, those hours are not sustainable with a little one.

I know you said that you are looking for part time work, but if there isn't anything about would you consider working FT but doing something else, more local? An ordinary 9 - 5 job would at least be more manageable, and there could be a possibility to request fewer hours when you have been there a while?
I hope you find a solution - I work part time and find that a struggle,
x

tamarindlazuli Wed 29-Jul-09 21:17:34

Handsome salary? Well it's OK but not when you consider about 10% of my salary goes on just getting to work, thanks to TFL.
Well I demanded a meeting with my boss and god I had to start blubbing didn't I, (was determined not to) and whilst she was outwardly sympathetic (in the most phony of ways), she said I "must be more vocal" when things are getting on top of me (oh, well that would be every day then angry), and actually said that due to the recession if people didn't pull their weight, it would mean job cuts so we should consider ourselves lucky to have jobs hmm
So a smile with a sting then, and the 10 extra hours minimum I do a week (compared to the 15 hours minimum I was doing pre-baby) are not enough to secure my job? Gosh I just can't compete with my childless colleagues then can I?
It makes it worse being the only one with a child - not that I am a "special" case because having children is normal isn't it, but just not normal for them...

iheartdusty Wed 29-Jul-09 21:22:57

why does it not surprise me that you are the only one with a child...!

this is a horrible situation, but I have no doubt you are doing the right thing by being prepared to get out now if work won't accommodate you.

just reading the other thread about that poor, poor woman lawyer who jumped in the Thames. Don't let that be you.

blithedance Wed 29-Jul-09 21:25:28

Could you do something in the same line of work but either in the public sector or educationally.

For example I'm in construction and had I not been able to get part time I was thinking either a cushy but dull job with the council or look into FE college teaching.

Alternatively could you do what you do freelance or as a small consultancy?

Personally I don't get the "kept woman" thing, I felt I'd put so much into the pot over the years that it wasn't a problem for me to have a while not earning - but every couple is different on that front.

greensnail Wed 29-Jul-09 21:26:35

oh no poor you, that sounds tough. Sounds very much like my ex-manager, i'm very lucky she's left while i've been on mat leave and new one is very understanding.

Really sorry you didn't have more success today and hope you manage to work something out.

cheesesarnie Wed 29-Jul-09 21:29:14

i feel for yousadthose are very long hours on top of being a wife and mother- somethings got to give.Dont let it be your health and wellbeing.

HighOnDieselAndGasoline Wed 29-Jul-09 21:29:45

Poor you. This sounds grim.

Second what moreleylass says about some FT jobs being more manageable than others. I work FT, but get to see DD both before and after work, and find it absolutely fine.

Completely agree with you that life's too short to be miserable. It seems like a good idea to look at the TC situation, and also maybe reducing your mortgage payments. You must be paying out a lot for childcare too.

If you had a bit of a break from the workplace, you'd have time to look for something else, or even think about retraining or moving to a related area.

There's loads of expertise on MN, maybe start another thread asking for ideas of what else you might do.

Good luck.

HighOnDieselAndGasoline Wed 29-Jul-09 21:30:38

Yes, I was thinking along blithedance's idea of a sideways move into the public sector.

tamarindlazuli Wed 29-Jul-09 21:38:10

God yes I read that on the train in this morning, how tragic and desperately sad.
Even though I'm going through hell right now, it's just a job I have to keep reminding myself, that's all. Whilst it's crap, I still actually do have the upper hand because even if I do start to speak up more and lighten my workload and they become frustrated by that (which I am sure they would) they can't touch me with a barge pole because they'd be scared of the consequences (after the whole p/t rejection) - the whiff of legal action and discrimination looms.

tamarindlazuli Wed 29-Jul-09 21:42:15

Oh God it took me so long to write my last post blush(was in response to dusty) didn't notice the other posts!
Thank you lasses for your support, I really really appreciate it.
Working for the council is something I am considering (if they'll have me) - my sister does and they are excellent when it comes to flexible hours and making sure your hours suit you, aren't they?

HighOnDieselAndGasoline Wed 29-Jul-09 21:45:45

Yes, local government can be good. You could also think about whether your skills could be used in an administrative/managerial position in a university, these can also be quite family-friendly roles.

MollieO Wed 29-Jul-09 21:49:08

What about asking to work from home one or two days a week? At least that way you will be doing shorter hours just saving the commuting and also have less stress about dropping off dc and getting to work on time.

moomaa Wed 29-Jul-09 21:53:15

Another suggestion, can you ask for parental leave, they have to give it to you: www.direct.gov.uk/en/Parents/Moneyandworkentitlements/Parentalleaveandpay/DG_10029416 and then use that time to secure another job?

I have worked for a council for 10 years, they have changed a lot in that time, I would now probably not recomend them as an employer for most people for my line of work but you have to remember that every council is an individual employer and has their own way of doing things. It is not like the Civil Service. Having said that, I have always managed to secure the hours I requested.

tamarindlazuli Wed 29-Jul-09 21:55:59

They are totally anti-home working, I've been down that road already. It's a shame because I could so easily do that - when all you need is a phone, PC and a printer like most jobs, but they have trust issues with their staff. Obviously sacrificing hours of my [monitored] time is not enough.
God I really don't know what I am along there, there are hardly any plusses. One plus is my fantastic colleagues, I guess they are the only reason you keep going some days. I work in languages and people who work with languages are usually great - lots of different nationalities, interesting backgrounds, very open-minded - not that you don't get that in any other industry but it's more concentrated there I guess.
If I moved away from it I'd miss all of that.

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