Still Upset

I’m still upset about how my work situation was handled before I went on maternity leave* back in September.

I have not written about it much yet, but it’s still bothering me, 9 months later. So, here’s the story.

Basically what happened is that I was going to cut my contract on Sept. 13th to go on “leave” (not really a leave, since I was on contract, and would have no guaranteed job to go back to). I was told that the $$ was there to pay someone to take over the position for at least the duration of the contract (March 31, 2014), with a possibility of give them an extension on the contract until I want to come back (plan was August 1, 2014, if there was funding at that point).

At the end of July, we interviewed someone, really liked her, and my boss gave her a verbal offer. She was going to start September 1st, to overlap with me for about 2 weeks to learn the ropes. The contract was drafted, and her references were being contacted…until it just stopped. During August, both me and the person who was to take over, contacted several people several times about the contract, and why it was taking longer than expected.

Then, near the end of August. she was contact by my boss and another staff member to have a meeting over Skype to talk about the position. She asked me if I knew what this was about, and I didn’t..I had no clue what was going on. They had the meeting on the 26th, and it turned out it was actually another interview (without telling her that). They told her the position was NOT going to be what it was at the time, and told her how it would be different (totally different duties, and much lower pay).

In the meantime, I was left out of the loop completely on all of this. I was frantically preparing everything to train the new person the next week, and to make sure everything was all organized for her. Three business days before she was supposed to start, she was offered the new job at the new pay and she turned it down. Again, I had not be told any of this, and never was.

I spent the last 2 weeks of my time there wrapping up loose ends. I knew there was not going to be a replacement for me, but not from my boss or other university staff. In fact, to this day, no one at the university has told me that 1) there would be no replacement for my position, and 2) there would be no option for a job for me to go back too (though we agreed I’d go back August 1, 2014).

Needless to say, I was not happy about how the situation was handled. It still upsets me. Nothing was done wrong in the legal sense, but it was just unprofessional. I have pretty much cut all contact with those I worked with/for**, but I have never brought it up with HR, my boss(es), or anyone else at the university.

What would you have done at the time? Would you do something now?

*Not really maternity leave, since I had no just to go back too.

**Though I do see one of my bosses from time to time with things unrelated to work, which can be awkward (for me, at least…can’t speak for them)

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Comments on: "Still Upset" (7)

  1. That is very bizarre and sounds extremely frustrating. Do you know if the reason was that the funding for the position had fallen through or was there something more going on?

    To give those involved the benefit of the doubt, could it have been the case of the couple of people who should have been informing you each assuming that the other had done so? Did you ever point-blank ask your boss what was going on? I think that is really the only approach you can take in these situations. My work structure is terrible for unintentionally leaving people out the of loop even on major issues, or assuming we have been told by someone else. After experiencing this myself, I've started just asking my direct boss (via email) what is up when things seem odd. I figure that it can't hurt if I phrase it as, “just wanted to clarify…”.

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  2. Liz – I started off, giving them the benefit of the doubt that they would tell me eventually, but it never happened. Unfortunately, there is a strong history of ignoring people/situations, and avoiding confrontations, until they go away — so, when I HAD to leave the office because I had to cut my own contract in order to go on leave, that was that. After this and several other things that happened before and since, shows me how this “group” works.

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  3. Even when they found out I was applying to, got into, and accepted my place in teacher's college, there was no acknowledgement of anything that happened.

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  4. I agree with you that this was very unprofessional. When I went on leave from Target they acted almost the same way, so that's pretty sad. My issue was I kept telling them I wasn't coming back since I had just had surgery after giving birth and they said my leave was up and I had to come back and management kept refusing to take my calls and every time I called HR they refused to take my calls. Lack of communication may be something acceptable to a place like target but not there. I think if you can get HR to listen to you and it will make you feel better, then go ahead and let them know how you feel. If you don't see yourself getting any benefit from it, only more stress, then I wouldn't bother. If they were unprofessional then it's hard to see them acting professional now.

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  5. It sounds to me like they were breaking contract – at the very least, the replacement should be hired under the exact same circumstances until the end of your contract. So I don't think this sounds legal… I understand your hesitation – what to do? If I had the energy, I'd probably at least write them and complain about how it was handled. But… is it worth it? If you can get some kind of closure personally, I'd say it is, even if nothing comes out of it. If there is a union, it sounds like something they should definitely be made aware of though.

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  6. They didn't break the contract, because I was forced to cut it myself in order to go on leave (so, if a new person cover the position, it would have just been a new contract).

    So, they didn't do anything wrong legally, but in my mind they were unethical, immoral, and most definitely unprofessional.

    I will be speaking with someone from HR in the near future to discuss the situation.

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  7. Totally agree with that last sentence! I don't see them changing their ways, and I really don't want to deal/work with them ever again. I'm going to talk to someone from HR just to find out if there was anything I could have done at the time, etc..

    So sorry you had such a rough battle at your work too! So frustrating!!

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