Friday, June 9, 2006

I’m thinking that I must be due to get hit by a bus. Although now we live in the middle of nowhere, there’s like one bus a week so my odds must be considerably reduced being outside of an urban area.

Anyway, the point is I am feeling lucky!

Yesterday I had a meeting with the HR Director at work. A few weeks ago I sent them a letter stating that:

  • I changed my mind and was coming back to work after 6 months instead of a year
  • I needed to put Oliver in the creche at work for 8 August – 8 September
  • I needed my desk to be moved to the building the creche is in for that time
  • I needed a place in the car park for that time

The reason for the early return was that Mark was being made redundant this autumn, so any additional financial intake would be a good thing, and I only discovered in February or March that if I didn’t go back to work for at least 3 months, a large part of my already tiny maternity pay would have to be paid back. The part that wasn’t mentioned was that I was only planning to go back for the 3 months; with a likely move to Canada at the end of the year, and not really wanting to be there anyway, I was going to hand in my notice as soon as I got back.

The bad bit was going to be the month with Oliver in creche. The commute – trying to keep him happy. Disrupting his ‘routine’. Having him not see his parents except at lunch and briefly in the evenings before bed, after having had us around (or least me) all the time for the past 7 months. I am really happy to eventually have him in childcare at least part time, but it seemed a big sudden change for a little boy and we were expecting a month of hell.

However, when I let work know about my return, I was called in to discuss my position in light of a restructure, not really boding well for my position. There are major cuts to adult education budgets in the 2006/7 academic year; we all knew it was coming, and that there would be an effect on salaried positions. And yesterday they let me know that my post was being deleted. At this point, I’d be looking at redeployment, just complicating everything.

So somehow, without being a very good negotiator or poker player, I have victoriously emerged with the following:

  • I will return to work for 2 months but not actually be present (a combination of ‘garden leave’ and annual leave
  • My last day of service will be the end of August (meaning I will have worked there over 3.5 years)
  • I will then receive a tax-free redundancy payment (based on length of service) and 2 months’ salary in lieu of notice

It is bittersweet; I was really looking forward to coming back for myself. I was going to start using different parts of my brain again, to once again be immersed in the hustle and bustle of London, to work in a fantastic part of the city that despite living here for 4 years still smacks me in the face with awe when I see the sights on a bus journey to a meeting. I get to work in Soho, in the West End, in Pimlico, in Paddington. My neighbourhood includes the Prime Minister and the Queen (okay, so they don’t normally partake in adult education classes). I would like to think that I have contributed a lot to my organisation in the past few years, and helped some people access education and training that they might not have been able to get to. I would also hope that by leaving I am sparing one of my staff from going. ‘Cause I was going to leave anyway, and this is going to be so much easier on Oliver. Despite the bad moments, I am going to miss it.

And my auctions have done so well on Ebay that I am just feeling seriously lucky, and I think I need to spoil myself with a few new wardrobe pieces and stop just buying clothes for the kid.

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