Fairness

Andrew Teoh, unsplash.com

A few days ago I was asked to make a decision regarding my job, stay with increased duties or transfer into a new position. I was given only a week to decide.

I have two bosses that I directly work with and report to, I have no peers or colleagues, only superiors. I have very little authority to do my work, I have to check back and receive permission for nearly every decision that I make, it makes me feel like my hands are tied. It makes me feel inept and set up for failure. The decisions I make are under the scrutiny of various superiors, some of which take out their frustrations on me. I have to handle it with tact and submissiveness. If someone steps on my foot, it’s my job to apologize. I’m only slightly exaggerating how I feel in my current job. I am a sensitive, intuitive person that can often see through false flattery and manipulation. I prefer directness, so I’m truthful and candid, but I don’t think candor is respected in the office environment, being agreeable and positive with a “can do” attitude is. Pointing out holes or problems doesn’t win you points or promotions, that’s what I’m finding.

In the new adjusted position, I’d have my current two bosses, along with two new bosses that I would have to “assist” with their various projects, while continuing my current duties. The desk space is awkwardly situated and not private. I’d have to change my work hours, which would include working until 8pm once a month. I was told I couldn’t take as much time off for vacations. How is this a good thing?

When I received a classification promotion over a year ago, my pay a little more than doubled. I went from working PT temporary/no benefits to FT permanent/with benefits, plus I was bumped up in classification from Aide to Assistant, which increased my hourly pay by about $10 more per hour. All those things have helped me and I’m grateful for being promoted. But on the other hand, the specific job duties that I was hired to do, didn’t match my expectations. The role that I interviewed for, turned out to be misleading, things that were said verbally, ended up changing after I accepted the job. Maybe it was my misunderstanding, but I think it’s happening again. The familiar vagueness is present again in the new “offer”.

Now I’m being asked to either take on the added job duties of an executive assistant that’s retiring, as well as continue my current job as a scheduler (or I have to transfer to a different job assignment, located further away. I wouldn’t be able to walk to work anymore). I’m not being offered a promotion or increased income. Am I being punished or taken for granted? I don’t understand why I’m being asked to fulfill two different jobs while being paid the same income. When I asked for details about exactly what I’d be required to do, I received a vague answer of “I don’t know exactly.” But I’m expected to make a decision? I’ve received only positive performance appraisals, (three so far, that I have documentation of) and have been in my current position for over a year. Do you think this is fair? I have union representation at my job so I’m going to try to get their assistance. Should I feel flattered or insulted? What do you think I should do?

10 Comments

  1. Well, to start my analysis: that’s a huge raise. A few years ago, I switched jobs (more money, different field). We talked extensively about the job over two interviews, but when I started, what I did day to day was nothing like what we talked about… and I hated it. I tried to stick it out but only lasted three months. Is your job bearable? Where you are in life, I’d think the short commute would be a huge factor in your decision. A night each month until 8PM (a board meeting?) does that even work with your child care? Because you’re an hourly employee, they can’t ask you to work extra hours without OT, so while you may have competing priorities, you still only have 40 hours. So many factors: are you after a job or a career? Etc. I hope the decision you make works out for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If it was presented as a raise, my internal response would’ve been different, but no they’re not offering that. Either I comply or I get moved to a different position. I wouldn’t get OT because the one late night per month is 11:30-8pm with an unpaid dinner break. I’ve been stressed in my job 6 months into it and have coped for over a year. My job is to find coverage for sick staff, we’re understaffed so it’s an impossible situation and I get the stress of others, I’m low on the chain of hierarchy. I’m a hardworking person but need to feel appreciated and need some autonomy, not micromanaging. I’ve invested over a decade in this work because I believe in libraries as being beneficial. I think I need to transfer, I imagine the stress level will never go down and the more work I do, the more work I’m given. Thanks for your comment, Jeff. It helps me to see with more clarity and make a decision.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I hope things improve. I’ve worked jobs that were impossible before and the impact on my psyche was notable. You *can’t* be successful, but you beat yourself up for not being successful. Lose/Lose. Thinking of you.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thanks, Jeff. You described the situation perfectly. I appreciate that you understand how the situation feels and how draining it is. I’m doing to do my best to figure this out with self-care in mind.

        Like

  2. Tough decision. Fortunately you have a union to help you with this, as well as any potential consequences. Any way new duties can be agreed upon in writing? When I have had to make tough decisions, I always filtered it through ‘Will this help or hurt my … daughter?’ and … I have always made the right decision. Family first……
    Greg

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I like the get it in writing idea, I was thinking that too. Unfortunately the general job description for my classification is very vague, it seems to encompass anything basically. I agree that the work I do, the money I make directly affects my child, so I don’t want to lose my job or make my “superiors” upset with me, so I have to discreetly decline or find some way to protect myself while keeping my current position. My intuition is that the longer I stay in this position, the more difficult it will be to leave. I’ve gained at least 20 lbs in one year because of work stress. Thank you for helping me to sort my thoughts, Greg. I think we usually know what to do, but we cope, hoping for improvement.

      Like

  3. Yes check with the union, yes get things in writing, yes money affects your family BUT so does your health and wellbeing. You need to look after yourself. Remember, to be wealthy means to have a lot of what you value most. That might not be money.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good points, thank you, Terry. I’m going to try to advocate for myself with union representation. You’re right, well-being is so valuable. Stress effects my health, and money is just money. I appreciate your opinion.

      Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.