I should have realised when I blogged in March about return to work arrangements that it was too good to be true. At the time my line manager was very supportive and nothing was too much trouble.
There was talk of job sharing or using the hours I dropped to hire someone else for a specific project.
Yesterday, I received an email from work which has left me terribly stressed out. They’ve basically rejected the hours I submitted (based on my positive discussion with my line manager) and have started using phrases including: ‘shadowing more experienced members of the team‘, ‘compromise at 29/30 hours‘ and ‘can’t do this role part-time‘. That last is in direct conflict with what I was told two months ago when dropping to 2.5/3 days was fine.
The more experienced members of the team bit is just farcical. The role didn’t exist before I began maternity leave yet I’ve worked in the team, run a project in the team and been in the department at manager level for several years. I’m not a newbie and I’m not an idiot. Two things which my employer has forgotten in their restructure.
The bit that really lit the touch paper for me was ‘need details of your childcare arrangements as you really can’t look after a child whilst working at home‘. How patronising?! Do they think I’m stupid?! I’m very well aware that since I can’t even go to the toilet on my own while looking after Reindeer I’m not going to be able to focus on work at the same time; and my primary point there is because I couldn’t possibly keep him safe and happy whilst dealing with emails, processes and spreadsheets, not because I might miss a phone call! I’m hugely insulted that they consider me to have lost my professionalism to the point that I’d pretend to work at home. I’ve had a baby not an effing lobotomy!
I just want to bawl my eyes out as I really really really don’t need this level of stress. I’ve requested another meeting to try and figure out what has changed and where we can go from here. I love my job but I love Reindeer more and so there’s a real possibility I’m going to have to quit work.
So much for wanting parents to remain in employment.