I know, I know – stop giving me guilt ok? I know it’s been bloody ages since I’ve updated anything on here. And to make matters even more confusing I’m not really sure why I haven’t updated. Not in the mood? Is that a valid reason?
Ah well – let’s just make the best of things & start afresh, yes?
So – what’s been going on with me? Much mental drama, actually. I’ve been thinking about leaving my job.
See, I originally signed up to this job on a 5-year contract to work on a specificn program. And now that 5 years is up, and I think I’m subconsciously getting restless. The actual work I do is still a doddle – I could do it in my sleep, really – it’s not challenging or invigorating, I have no sense of achievement or even really the satisfaction of a job well done. I’m a paper-pusher, and you can’t really take pride in being a paper-pusher – even if I am a damn good one. I’m a PA (and a damn good one, actually :) ) and I keep boss organised and the team of 25 running smoothly. And I do take pride in that, but it’s not challenging at all and I feel like I’m sort of stagnating. See, this is an easy place to work. I’m (fairly) well paid, the surroundings are good, there’s free health insurance, a campus gym for £4 a month, lots of nice people and less politics than other places I’ve worked (though there definitely IS politics – and I hate it). Add to that the important scientific work going on and the possibility of being a part of something monumentally important for so many people, and you start to get a sense of my dilemma.
On the flip side of all that good stuff, I’m not challenged. I don’t use my brain to capacity. The work being done here is very interesting, but my job is boring, same-old, pushing paper, run-of-the-mill and in a field that I find interesting, but I can’t talk knowledgably on. Jeez, I stopped doing science in Year 9! I hated science. Hated it with the intensity of a small sun (as opposed to hating maths with the intensity of a thousand suns!).
Add to that that I am considered less than the other PA’s here, as I don’t have any sort of scientific degree, and boss is not on any management boards. He used to be, but found himself doing more admin than science, and resigned his boards. Because he resigned his boards, I got demoted from PA to Board of Management Member to Senior Secretary. I’m the only Senior Secretary in the place and although in my daily role I do more than most of the other PA’s, because boss is not management I am paid less than the others and considered below the others. It’s something that’s been slowly digging away at my brain and my self-esteem. So much so that in the last month I’ve raised the issue with boss (who didn’t realise his leaving management essentially meant a demotion for me), with HR (who don’t really understand the problem, or the issue, and are not really helpful in any way), and with the Scientific Administrator who technically oversees all the PA’s. Except I was hired by the program, not the institute, so she is not my manager. But she still has final say on my role profiles and/or pay rises. (And she’s a vindictive evil cow, by the way, who I’ve had plenty of run ins with.) It’s a totally fucked up situation, and one which makes no sense to me. But there it is.
And further – there is no possibility of advancement or re-grading leading to a substantial pay rise and a more interesting job. I don’t have a degree, so I can’t be a Research Administrator (as the PA’s with degrees call themselves). The only place for me to advance to is to be the Assistant Director or Director’s PA – and I know the ladies in those posts well and I don’t want to take their job. When I raised this issue in the bi-monthly waste-of-time meeting run by the evil cow, the response she gave me was “well, you should have applied for the post just advertised for the new Head of Genetics”. But that’s not the way to promote good feelings within my team or the Head’s team. Poaching people is not conducive to an open and happy workplace. And I wouldn’t do that to boss.
So you can tell, yes, that there’s some dis-satisfaction with my current position. Mostly political and motivational. But essentially, I feel like I’m biding my time here. I’ve lost enthusiasm for my job. I’m just starting to occasionally dread coming to work. Just starting to think that perhaps I should be off doing something different. In a field I’m actually interested in. Something where there’s even a possibility of advancement.
That’s one of the reasons for my lack of posts. I’ve been trying to figure this stuff out. Still working on it. Still don’t really know where I’m at yet.
But this is it – the turning of a new blog-leaf. I know I owe you, gentle readers, a Berlin review – I’ll do that soon. I AM going to update regularly. I AM going to use this blog as a kind of cathartic crutch, a vent..
I’m just going to pour it all out there and hope it doesn’t mess up the carpet. :)