Restructure Hell: Damned if you do, damned if you don’t…

Ok, well things at work are either looking up or looking down, which is terribly confusing really.

Last week, after realising my job didn’t appear to be in the new proposed structure, (we tried to counter-propose to put it back in and failed), I started talking to my team, to the union rep, to friends and colleagues. And the response I got was:

  • Of course you’re in there!
  • Of course you’re in there!
  • But your team is actually getting bigger! What are you worried about?
  • Counter-propose and tell them why they need to keep your job!
  • But you’re already in there!
  • What are you worried about? You job is there!

And so on.

Literally everyone thinks I do a different job (an “advisor” role), – which is in the new proposed structure, when in fact I do not. The problem with this is that 

  1. Advisors are mostly on a higher pay grade than I am, meaning I probably could not be slotted or selected into that role
  2. It’s a significantly different role, meaning that all the work I’ve done for the last few weeks will be meaningless, including my shiny new strategy and several projects I have kick-started.

I can’t decide if I should be flattered that they all think I’m doing a more senior job than I am (and why the hell are they not paying me more in that case??) or if I’m offended that literally no-one understands what I do around here.

Does it make me really incredibly good at my job, that people think I’m working at a higher level already, or does it make me really bad at my job, that I have failed to communicate what I actually do to the entire department?

So many people have assumed that the new advisor role is my role, that even when I explain to them it isn’t, they are still surprised that I’m upset by it, as no-one seems to understand the HR process well enough to see the implications for me. However I have literally been through this exact thing in a previous restructure, so am feeling overwhelmingly pessimistic about it all, as it didn’t end well for me last time around.

Also, even if they have me in mind for the new role, they would first have to prove that no-one else at risk of redundancy could possibly do the job, and go through several stages of proving that before I could even consider applying for it. I am trying to seek clarity on some of the HR processes but so far not getting very far, although after 3 weeks of dogged effort I have finally managed to get management to acknowledge that actually they have cut my job, which they have now finally realised.

So it’s a bit rubbish, but it means that I will either be made redundant or possibly end up with a pay rise – it genuinely could go either way!

Also sad news on the redundancy front – the union have checked with a lawyer, and in spite of my 8 years of service, the fact that I have had one contract break means I lost all my rights to redundancy pay, and would be unlikely to win a tribunal to get full redundancy pay. In 8 years I have been on 10 fixed-term contracts with the same employer, and 9 of those times I managed to negotiate the next contract within the 7-day window laid out in the policy. Just once, I couldn’t do it, and had a 1 month gap in service, losing me all maternity and redundancy benefits. 8 years, 10 contracts and only one 1-month gap between contracts – their lawyer thinks I wouldn’t be able to fight for the additional redundancy pay, which is disappointing and depressing. 8 years of loyal service would net me less than 7 weeks pay if I get made redundant. Which is shit, really.

But, then again, I might still keep my job and get a pay rise, so who the hell knows? So far I have worked through anger, denial, bargaining, depression and acceptance, but every now and then I bounce back to anger, or depression. It’s all still very up and down. And another kick in the teeth – if I do manage find another job before they formally announce my redundancy, then I would lose my redundancy pay anyway (all of it). Damned if you do, and damned if you don’t….

Ho hum, trying to look on the bright side in amongst all of the grimness. There’s not a whole lot of bright side to look at, but I’m attempting to find a few rays here and there.

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