Tuesday, February 27, 2007


An MWoC is a meeting without coffee. The type where your boss calls you in and criticises you for, well, as long as they like really. Usually because they are getting it in the neck about something and want to feel that they’ve solved whatever the problem is, when in actual fact all they’ve done is pass on the blame for said problem. To you.

One week ago today (in fact almost to the minute) I was in an MWoC. It only lasted an hour - the friend who coined the term had one that lasted three hours. (She had her revenge by weeing on the teaspoon when making the boss a cup of tea just before she left the job, but that’s another story!) And it has taken me this long to calm down...

For two years now, I’ve been doing two people’s jobs – mine and that of my manager. This started after only three months in the job, and I have to say I’ve kept things ticking over ok, but the point of taking me on was to increase the work and profile of my section – not something I’ve been able to achieve on my own.

You may think that after two years, I’d be in a position to become the manager myself, but to be honest I don’t want it. The question of management crops up occasionally, and recently the boss put in a request for funds to employ a full-time manager – which was unfortunately turned down. I work in a small organisation and in trying to oversee everyone’s work, unfortunately the boss is of limited help and hasn’t been available to give me the support and training I need to move onwards and upwards. But now there’s been a definitive ‘no’ to employing someone else to work with me, so the pressure is back on.

The MWoC probably didn’t start well when I was asked ‘where do you want to be in a years time?’ and had to honestly answer ‘not in the manager role’ – the boss knows I want to move on to other things and has dangled a few carrots regarding other opportunities, which unfortunately haven’t been forthcoming. After that, it turned into a session where all my ‘flaws’ were pointed out (I don’t work overtime (which is unpaid) if I don’t have to, and I use up my holiday allowances each year – shock horror!) and I was accused of ‘slapdash and lazy work’ and of being less committed to the organisation than my colleagues.

I calmly pointed out that I didn’t feel the organisation had been particularly committed to my development in my time here, and thus probably hadn’t shown 100% enthusiasm for the job, but quite frankly, what can you expect? And as for slapdash work, one recent piece of writing wasn’t what a colleague wanted it to be, and thus it has been deemed weak. When really the brief was very badly articulated and it was a good piece of work, just not exactly what this person was looking for.

Anyway, the upshot is the boss is now treating me like a school child. And I am looking for another job. Know of any vacancies for a well organised ex-scientist who likes organising events, playing with spreadsheets and databases and doesn’t want to work in policy any more?!

Apologies for the rant. Normal services will resume shortly.

P.S. another thing – it appeared in the meeting that a so-called friend in the office has completely screwed me over in order to show her own ambition. I hate not knowing who I can trust.

P.P.S. Shirl, if you read this – I soooo wish I didn’t have to help James pay the rent, ‘cos otherwise I’d have asked if I could resign there and then too!


Anonymous Whirley said...

Hon, I feel your anger.

It's utterly crazy.

Too many organisations these days count long hours as a positive and outside interests as something which takes away from employees ability to work late or over weekends. How dare they ban knitting over YOUR lunch break. For goodness sake, it's hardly an offensive pass time. Perhaps they'd prefer it if you were snorting coke from your desk and working 60 hour weeks?

And how strange as well that professional integrity isn't appreciated when it produces results someone doesn't want to see. (And guess what, put a bad brief in and you just never get back what you wanted.)

I fervently hope your job search goes swimmingly well and that you can leave - after peeing on the teaspoon - for a place you'll be appreciated and respected for who you are, outside interests and professional capability alike. Eegits.

2:38 pm  

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