Thursday, November 18, 2021

Work-life stuff

 


The sunrise this morning was so beautiful. Since Thursdays are the day Gregg goes to work extra early, it was just me and George on our morning walk. 


Oftentimes these walks are the best part of my day. That's how it was today. What a long, busy, unpleasant week it's been at work! The teachers are joking about tomorrow's full moon and the lunar eclipse, saying it's making everyone act crazy, kids and parents alike. Even the school nurse, Lisa, who's about as sensible and anti-superstitious as they come, remarked on how aggressive and just flat-out weird people have been for the last few days!

Mostly students and parents have acted fine towards me, though. I try really, really hard to be the soul of patience and friendliness to them. No, it's those same old office women making me unhappy, along with a couple of members of administration who happen to be part of their little clique. To be fair, only a couple of the office women (I think) actively dislike me and are unkind. The rest of the "in crowd" just don't notice how often I'm excluded and probably don't realize there's a problem. And it's only a problem in that I get my feelings hurt.

Today was a perfect example. Our principal, Mr. Oates, and his wife welcomed a baby girl to their family early Saturday morning. He took the first three days of this week off to be with his wife and two little boys, and came back to work today. None of the "mean girls" would speak to me at all today, and wouldn't even look at me if they were walking right past my desk. It was odd and uncomfortable, but then by early afternoon I understood: I saw  two of the women quietly bringing in loads of pastel-wrapped packages, gift bags, and a cake and heading to the back office area. It was obvious that they had pooled money for gifts and a cake to surprise Mr. Oates on the day he came back to work after his daughter was born.

I would have loved the chance to contribute to the gifts and cake, and to sign the card I'm sure they had, because I genuinely like Mr. Oates and his family. I was flattered to be one of three coworkers who got an actual text from him around 8am Saturday morning with a picture of the baby and the news that she had safely arrived. (Later in the day he sent out a mass email to the rest of the school staff). I hate to think that he or his wife might think that I just didn't want to contribute! And it stings to realize you're being left out, disregarded. Things like this happen all the time these days.

There are other problems at the school that have nothing to do with me or the bullies. Some of the best teachers are leaving or retiring out of frustration. Lots of people are really unhappy. It's not just me, things are....off. We're not considered a great school in the district. Add it all up, and I've recently come to a decision. 

Sometime in the spring, when positions in the district start opening up (just ahead of everyone having to sign next year's contracts) I'm going to talk to Mr. Oates about either some sort of promotion at our school  or a transfer to something better somewhere else. Aside from the fact that I'm not enjoying my job the way I used to, after five years of hard work I'm ready to make more money and to do a little better for myself. 

37 comments:

  1. Wow, big decisions for sure. But it sounds like your current situation is not good, maybe accurate to say "toxic". I hope you can find a nice change when the reshuffle happens in the spring and that you can comfortably stick it out until then.
    And yeah, that full moon. Things have been weird this week at this end too!

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    1. To be honest, I still really like 75% of my current job, and more than 75% of my coworkers. If/when the time comes to leave I'll be sad. The main issue I have is that I don't make very much money (especially for the amount of work I do and how much I contribute to the school). I still have 20 years of work ahead of me and the more I can build my retirement, the better.

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  2. George looks exactly like my dog. Rescued Sunny
    few months ago. Said she was a retriever mix. What breed is George? My walks with Sunny are the best time of my days too.

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    1. We think George may be a pit bull/yellow lab mix. Sunny is a pretty name for a dog! :) We walk George twice a day, early in the morning and then after dark.

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  3. Good for you, Jennifer! You deserve better and that's all there is to it.

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    1. As I told Abby, I do a lot of work and contribute a lot to the school. I don't think it's always noticed or appreciated.

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  4. Love the sunrise, loathe your co-workers. I hope you get the chance to get out of there.

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    1. Well, overall my job is still pretty good and I like most of my coworkers. A few bad apples can definitely spoil the bunch, though!

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  5. Maybe you could get a baby gift and give it to him Monday, explaining that no one told you about the earlier surprise for him. Those ladies are so rude! You are absolutely right in planning to talk to Mr. Oates about a promotion or transfer. After five years you are due one!

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    1. I'm thinking I'll wait until Christmas and get something small for the baby and her two brothers (both very young), as well as a card and a plate of cookies for the family.

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  6. My advice would be to buy a nice little present and card, and pop round to his house over the weekend. It would be much more personal, and appreciated. It would even stress that their gifts were just some collective obligation.

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  7. I agree with Bonnie, a separate baby gift with the explanation. Though the mean girls leave you out and aren't nice to you, they are probably doing you a favor. You wouldn't want to be lumped in and considered made from the same cloth they are made of. You'll advance. They will always be what they are, where they are. I know from having experienced same.

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    1. You're right about that, I don't want want to be lumped in with them. In fact, now that I'm no longer in the main office I feel like some of the staff are more comfortable around me. I'm not the only person those women can be rude to!

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  8. Like Bonnie said, giving Mr. Oates a card and gift just from you seems like the right thing to do. However, I would leave out the explanation that you didn't know about the others pooling; the man is certainly intelligent enough to understand that, and he obviously knows you well enough (he even sent you a text before the mass email!) to know it wasn't a question of you not WANTING to join in.
    Five years already? Wow!

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    1. It will be five years at the beginning of the summer, when this school year is done. Time flies!

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  9. I think that a transfer would be preferable to a promotion, that would only make the nasty ones even more jealous!

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    1. I think so, too. I'd especially love to land a plum job at the district office, because one of the rude women would be especially jealous of that!

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  10. Good idea to consider your options, especially with 5 years under your belt at one school. A transfer sounds like a much better idea considering a promotin would only mean you’d have to continue to associate with the “mean girls” and their childishness. These last two years seem to have been much more sour. I MIGHT NOT tell Mr. Oates that you weren’t included in the party but I would certainly tell him why you’re planning to move on... and then still move on.

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    1. I do plan to tell him that I'm not as happy as I once was, and if he wants to know why I'll explain (without going on about it or acting bitter). Mainly I want more respect and more money for the amount of work I put in!

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  11. The quiet and solitude on morning by myself before work I need, and it most often my favorite part of the day. I love you pictures...especially seeing George.

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    1. I love morning quiet and solitude, too. Isn't George a handsome devil? He's a sweet boy, too.

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  12. Have you been there five years already?! That's amazing. Time flies! It's remarkable to me that adults in a professional environment can behave so immaturely. Why wouldn't they give everyone in the administrative office an opportunity to participate in that event?

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    1. Because they want to be clique-y and gossip-y and to be more important than the rest of the staff, that's why.

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  13. You will be such as asset to any school with your compassion for students, parents and coworkers. I hope you move on. Five years is enough!

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    1. That's a nice thing to say, thank you! I try really hard to be an asset, and it hurts when that's not recognized and some people are actively rude to boot!

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  14. Hope you can change to a better situation that pays more. Life is too short to be stuck in a job that makes you unhappy.

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    1. Parts of my job still make me happy, and it's nothing like how unhappy I was before I came to the school. Working in retail management for 15+ years was ROUGH. I remind myself every day to be thankful I'm not doing that anymore!

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  15. WOW, I thought he read them the riot act to stop this but I see it has fallen on deaf ears.

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    1. He didn't read them the riot act; I'm not sure how much of all this he's even aware of. I never ended up talking to him about it last year.

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  16. Did you get Mr Oates and his wife a card of your own? Maybe you could have also bought them some oaty biscuits, oatmeal or oat milk! Geddit?

    Why do some people have to be so nasty? There's a few of them here in Blogland too. Moving on could be the right thing but what about Little P and his mum?

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    1. Little P and his mum are firm friends, now. I'd still see them although obviously not nearly as often. That's another thing that would make me sad about leaving! It may take another year to happen anyway, though, and who knows what might happen in a year.

      I wonder about people who are so nasty. What do they get out of it? Why would anyone want to live their life that way?

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    2. I admit to being nasty about Trump and about Johnson here in England but I feel no regret about that whatsoever. In general I try to be nice to other people. After all, "It's nice to be nice".

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  17. You got a lot of good advice here so I won't add other than to 'do the right thing' which is what you feel is right.
    Love the pooch picture.

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  18. It's difficult for me to believe that adults could act like that. I'm sorry that you're dealing with their immature and mean behavior. However, if it pushes you into finding a better place/fit, perhaps it's helpful in some warped way.

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