Oh Bugger

So, I love this job. I like the people I work with and I like the feel of the place. I also like the fact that I spend most of my afternoons writing.

My boss just had a word with me. See, at the moment the job is temporary but they’re thinking that they’ll make it permanent. The reason for my hours being so nice (12 – 4) is because they were hoping to attract a Mum with kids to the position since it’s not something that they want anyone to make a career out of. They just want someone on the desk answering phones. Well, yeah, and I like doing that… but I get the feeling that my boss thinks I’m too young, I’ll be wanting to leave them to pursue whatever career I have in mind… I suppose it’s true, if I had an offer on a manuscript I would seriously think about leaving them but I really like this job and I get the feeling I’ve just been told that even if I apply I won’t get it.

I’m too young and too enthusiastic.

11 thoughts on “Oh Bugger

  1. Have you mentioned your career plans to them? I’d say the job is ideal for a freelancer, since it’s steady part-time hours. It might somehow be ‘fairer’ to offer it to a mum, but there’s no reason why *any* person with good reasons for wanting a long-term p/t job shouldn’t get it.

  2. Princess Lex has a point. If I could get by on a part-time job, I would do, just so I could devote a larger portion of my time to being a potentially-successful writer.

    Apply anyway.

  3. Additional things I’ve considered since you mentioned this to me….:

    As someone working in environments in which at least one/two other members of staff are on maternity leave at any given time, I think it’s perfectly acceptable to deeply resent the implication that a woman cannot be career-minded if she has children. Just about every single woman I have worked for or with has popped a sprog or two and doesn’t consider it the point at which she must only seek positions that offer a few hours for four afternoons a week. Having kids does not stand as a qualification.

    Princess Lex is quite right in pointing out that the position is right for someone who – such as yourself – is a freelancer looking for a more reliable income that will not impose too much on your own projects.

    Thirdly, a point that you made yourself this afternoon: you, more than most others (certainly a "Mum with kids") can be flexible. It sounds to me as though your boss suggesting that you may be doing half and hour less per-shift was a load of crap. Half an hour is neither here nor there, but I suspect he was looking to see what reaction you’d have to having your hours reduced. A lot of people would (rightly or wrongly), find themselves very put out. The fact that you have so much leeway in your day-to-day schedule and that you don’t, for example, have to work a certain number of hours a week to qualify for family tax credits or whatever would make you a strong candidate for a position which (from the sounds of things), is still in a state of flux and settling.

    There are a number of other points I’d like to raise, but I’m likely to get carried away and I’ll be seeing you for lunch this Friday anyway.
    One final thing I will say, is that you should consider talking to your immediate boss (not the big boss) who you get on well with. Explainhow you feel to him; explain what was said and how you interpreted it. Find out if he agrees or disagrees. Put forward your case and, if you think it would help, be honest.

    Say: "No, I’m not looking to make a career out of this, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t work fucking hard and do better than anyone else could do in this position. I get on with everyone, I do a fantastic job. Location-wise? This is pretty much perfect for me; no travel expenses and no traffic to fight; you know I’m always going to be reliable and on time.
    I’m a writer and that’s where my career lies. Working here means that I get to pursue that while I do a great job. I might sell a manuscript tomorrow, or next week, or next month. But that’s something that would always work in conjunction with this job. I’m not about to leave to pursue a career in marketting or engineering. If you let me go once this contract is up, I’m just going to go back to my writing. Nothing will’ve changed for me, but you’ll have to train up someone entirely new."

    …or something.
    Whatever. Bored now. I’ll see you on Friday, but in the meantime, try and talk to the people you work with and make sure you have a strong bank of folks prepared to argue your case. After all, they’re the ones you’re working with.

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