Having worked part-time for two years to accommodate my caring duties, I have recently taken on a new full-time role now that my niece is at boarding school. I am about to complete my probationary period, but just as I am learning the role the rug is being pulled from underneath me and the goal-posts moved.
At each stage of my working life I have constantly had to prove myself, even though I work my guts out while making positive changes to improve the role. Today I was informed by my new boss who has only been in the role for 5 weeks, that he is looking at having my probationary period extended because he has only known me for 5 weeks. Therefore he does not feel able to sign off my probation at this present time. He also wants me to re-write my job description. Is that legal? What does his appointment have to do with my probationary period? I work for the company and he is not named in my contract!
At the time of being offered the role, there were two other identical roles based in two other departments. All three shared the same job description The other two successful candidates are not having their probationary periods extended or job descriptions changed, even though the job description does not reflect what we do. My boss wishes to remove a role which I line manage and incorporate it as part of my role, increasing my workload.
When he joined the department 5 weeks ago my boss reviewed all management roles upwards, noting that it was important for staff to have a work/life balance. Today he informed me that my new workload will be full on and is likely to be tough to fulfil! Is this the same man, or does a work/life balance not apply to me?
As the weeks go by it has not been lost on me that he is gradually becoming pally with one of the department leads who recently revealed that he is a freemason. The first complaint of this department lead was that he and his contemporaries were not considered for my boss’ role, when our previous boss announced her departure. According to some, I had a meteoric rise into my new role shortly after joining the company. I was never sure if this department lead was comfortable with that, as I heard him complain on many an occasion that current staff were rarely selected for new roles. To be fair this was at a time when the organisation had taken on a large number of highly paid contractors to take it through an expensive process which never happened called ‘Transformation’; a more appropriate term would be restructuring.
I deliberately choose never to inform those I work with that I am a Carer, as in the past I have found that part of their power trip is about control. An example of what I have previously experienced is: ‘Caroline, you are doing an amazing job. However, as your sister is unwell we thought it would be better if we demoted you to the ‘shitty job’ beneath the one you have been brilliant at. Instead I would like to bring someone of my own choosing into the role. That will give you more time to look after your sister! Oh by the way, we expect you to do a handover and teach the next person everything you know!’ God knows how they would behave if they also discovered that I have a niece on the autistic spectrum and an elderly, sight and hearing impaired mother moving closer towards her maker. Of course I immediately did some employment law research and as I guessed, a probationary period cannot be extended unless evidence shows you have been underperforming. The fact that my previous boss left and another has only been in the role for 5 weeks has nothing to do with me!
Based on the statistics that only 16% of people on the autism spectrum are in employment, I fear for my niece and nephew when they delve into the world of employment. It is difficult enough as a neuro-typical person trying to navigate one’s way through what is going on in the minds of colleagues, let alone managers. Those in power often have their own agenda which is more inclined to benefit them rather than the organisation, without considering how their behaviour and decisions impact others lives! It is hard to gauge whether or not they like you, just want to make a clean sweep, or wish to bring in their cronies!