Saturday, April 20, 2013

A Second Opinion

During the past week, while all the world has been worrying about the Boston bombings, I have been totally self absorbed and worrying about my own petty problems.

Yesterday I logged in-world determined to block out anything that had to do with first life. Whenever I was asked how I was doing, by caring friends who had read my blog, I simply answered - as I have done all week -  "I am fine" or "I will be fine" because I just didn't want to get into it all.

I tried that trick with Dejerrity too, but was unsuccessful, because he wouldn't let off and I guess I was so filled with it all and needed to talk about it with someone I trusted. So I started talking about it with him and all my frustration and confusion came gushing out.

It is all about my only remaining social arena in first life, i.e. my workplace. I have been the manager of a department consisting of six other lawyers, a conciliator and three legal assistants for the last twelve years. As I have mentioned earlier we had an employee survey at my company last year, as we have every other year. The results of this survey were delivered in the beginning of November last year. Usually I and my department come out of these surveys with flying colors. Not so this year, I flunked in many respects although my results were still excellent in others.

I am not used to bombing in any tests - ever. As far as I can remember it has only ever happened once before, and that was at university when we had an examination about a month and a half after my beloved maternal grandmother had passed away.
The lousy results of the employee survey had to be followed up of course, and we have done that to some extent, but are still not finished so I was not in the least surprised when my boss on Monday asked me to meet with her and the HR manager on Tuesday for further discussions.

At the meeting on Tuesday I was offered what I - at the time - perceived to be a Mafia-like "offer that I could not refuse". While constantly reiterating that she had complete confidence in me and that she believed that I could and would once again function as an excellent manager of my department she all the same maintained that I needed to take time out to work on some of my issues. my physical health (22 sick days last year) and general well-being. She then went on to offer me three months to do so with full pay and released from my managerial duties, which during the meantime would be taken over by my substitute. If all went well and I managed to get on the right track, which she repeatedly told me she was convinced of, I would be reinstated by September.

All my warning signals went off simultaneously and paranoia took a firm grip of my mind. I saw this as a roundabout way to remove me from my position and started  to kick and scream - figuratively - and told them straight off that I would not accept anything that included me stepping down as manager. No way, no how, it was certainly not going to happen if I had anything to do with it, never ever, totally unacceptable! (Do you get the gist of my line?)

I also told them (or rather my boss, the HR manager did not count) that if they wanted to remove me as manager of the department I would prefer a clean break and not going through these strange motions, to which my boss answered that she had no intention whatsoever of removing me as manager if I only got with the program.

At that point we decided to adjourn the meeting and to meet again on Thursday. After thinking about it all Tuesday evening and a worried nights sleep I went to work on Wednesday and sent them an email in which I asked to be relieved from all my duties as manager forthwith. I received an answer from my boss that they still wanted to meet with me on Thursday.

So I went to the meeting on Thursday prepared to discuss how to leave my position and the handover process, but my boss - the stubborn and irritating woman - was not on the same page as me. She told me straight out that she was not prepared to accept my resignation and repeated again that she wished me to consider the matter carefully because she was convinced that if I was given the time I would be able to fulfill my obligations perfectly while at the same time improving my physical health and general physical condition and well-being.

They were going to send me the offer in writing and she wanted me to discuss it with someone I trusted over the weekend.
So this was the point I was at on Friday evening when I logged in-world determined not to worry about the chaos in my mind that the discussions at work had resulted in.

While I told Dej about the events I remembered certain things that I had managed to block out during the process. The most important ones were that I actually admire and like my boss, despite her tendency to move to immediate action when she is confronted with a problem, and also that I have worked with her for thirteen years and fundamentally trust her.

Dej's reaction to the offer and his opinion of it also made me consider it as less threatening and more of a beneficial offer that I could and definitely should rethink and see the possibilities it gave me to improve my present way of life.

The conversation with Dej has given me food for further thought and I am no longer stuck in the paranoid state of mind I was in earlier.

P.S. I would like to apologise for my distraction to those who also tried to speak with me during my conversation with Dej, especially Vampi, Diana and sirhc.

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