Sunday, February 01, 2009

work pants

I feel the need to vent a bit and may or may not publish this...

All work-related.

Work is pants.

So much in my life has grown and improved over recent years, but work steadily becomes more and more difficult and stressful.

We have a fairly new manager who was, no doubt, brought in with a mandate to be ruthless, to cut back, shake up, make hard decisions, get us into leaner meaner shape.

(after all, isn't that what education is about? being lean and mean...?)

She seems to be following a slash and burn policy, bludgeoning through controversial changes with little (or no) consultation, with too little time to allow for thought or reaction and with no sign of concern for the wellbeing of her staff i.e. us.

Everyone in my section of the institution is stressed, confused, anxious, angry, feeling powerless, undervalued, unable to make even minor predictions about the near future and fatigued. What constitutes a "normal" workload seems to have doubled over night. A low-level but persistent air of panic and paranoia lurks in the corridors.

Good management, huh?

When I'm in the classroom and/or with students I am happy, I love my work. My classes are going well, a lot of students are enthusiastic, engaged, learning... My job is worthwhile and I know I am good at it.

As soon as I begin the walk across to my office, I'm back down into the grim and uncertain reality. The total pants-ness of it all.

I wish I was in a different job.
I wish I was 10 years older and could think about - and possibly afford - early retirement.

And I do not wish to be wishing these things.

Oh for a job - even a boring job, a difficult job - where I could do my hours, shut the door to leave and go home with no work-related thoughts or responsibility in my head.

Its not easy, amidst all this, to keep a balance, to remember to breathe. On the whole I'm not doing too badly, though its hard to keep my mind from constantly returning to it, but I am angry, despondent and very weary of it all.

I see my Mission, for the weeks and months ahead, should I choose to accept it, as a mission to be as preoccupied as possible with Living Life.

I'm a tasks-oriented kind of person.
If I can focus on family, friends, textiles projects, decorating the dining room (begun last.... um.... June...), getting back to swimmingyogacyclingwalking, photography, blogging, gardening as the weather gets better



work pants will have less power to discomfit and I'll be better able to take them off at the end of the day and just leave them

on the floor

under a chair

maybe logan will even carry them off and hide them?

Sorry for the rant.

Here is a picture of the lovely Logan who certainly wouldn't let work pants - or any kind of pants - discomfit him.


Coffee Messiah said...

Seems to be the way of the World and worse as you get older.

Work is interesting, but management is too young and really hasn't a clue.

Imagine 15 people, all working in a shared area. Management walks by at least 15-20 xs a day, and looks at you but won't say anything unless you do.

I now bring my ipod and don't worry about them.

They treat me well, but still, the others could use encouragement a few times a week.

Good Luck! ; )

natural attrill said...

Reading this makes me realise how lucky I am working for myself.

Love Logan!


R.L. Bourges said...

hm... just read an email from a favorite relative in Paris. She's dealing with the same kind of madness in the Institute where she works. Breathing through that kind of nonsense is really hard, the voice of experience reminds me.

Good thoughts to you, lettuce (any chance you and some of your colleagues can form some kind of united front on this?)

Squirrel said...

You're young and beautiful and smart , you can do anything you dream up. I do hope this is a passing phase --of workaday woes. Your students being engaged shows your worth. Bosses are often demented. Logan is adorable, velvety good.

Akelamalu said...

I know exactly what you mean! I work in education too and the same thing happens at my school. I'm thankful that come December I will be retiring.

grumpy old woman said...

Poor you!

I have experienced something very similar in the past and it's amazing how it can affect you and seep into the rest of your life, isn't it?

Chin up, dear one. You know your own worth. Be proud of what you do. Try to build a protective shield around yourself each morning before you go to work.

And carry on doing what you are doing - looking at the good things in your life and drawing comfort from them.

All of this horridness will be a faint memory one day.

Sending you hugs......

Logan is BEAUTIFUL!!!!



Gary said...

Logan is a cutie.

Frustrating stuff you write about but it bothers you because you care and I hope you won't let the BS take away your passion. I love that you state that you are good at your job and that you love it. That is the focus. All the rest will fade adn the things you will remember will be the students and your own contribution to their education.

Keep it in perspective as much as you can and when need be get a little bitter and twisted. :)

Reya Mellicker said...

OMG your cat! How sweet.

I think you should take your work pants and stuff them down your manager's throat.


Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

Oh you poor thing, Lettuce. It seems to be everywhere - a sign of the times. I do so hope you find your balance where the pantsness of work is outdone by the pleasure of living and doing the things you enjoy.

Logan is just gorgeous!

Btw, if you replied to my last mail,and don't mind if you haven't, I haven't got it - you know, our usual problem at work, perhaps! :-)


herhimnbryn said...

Ah Lettuce Lady, keep that pride in your teaching. You are worth your weight in gold.

That Puss is very, very beautiful.

Sally said...

You said it yourself, Let:

'When I'm in the classroom and/or with students I am happy, I love my work. My classes are going well, a lot of students are enthusiastic, engaged, learning... My job is worthwhile and I know I am good at it.'

Concentrate on THAT.

Don't take any of the other stuff personally. Float above it. And try not to become 'infected' with other people's negativity.

WHAT an ACE cat you've got to come home to.

Barbara said...

Bureaucracy has spoiled many a great job.

Malc said...

That's so depressing. I know so many talented people whose working lives have been ruined by inadequate little. . . err. . . people who care nothing for the happiness of their staff.

How often do these people need to be told that a happy staff is a productive staff? We wonder why British business is up to it's neck in the smelly stuff.

Thatcher's revolution is alive and well and, by the sound of things, working in your office.

You have my sympathy - you don't deserve it.

Malc said...

Sorry, correction - you don't deserve the treatment you get at work. You DO deserve my sympathy. It's been a busy day!

Vintage to Victorian said...

Hi Lettuce

I felt quite sad reading this post. I was in a similar situation 20 years ago when I was lecturing in college in Northampton. I missed being with the students when I left, but was so relieved that I no longer had to deal with the bureaucrats and those who thought they knew best!

Chin up!
Sue x

e said...

Nasty set up, sorry for you, but here, in America, I can't lay my hands on a job, nasty or not...

Still, your posting is sad as we have all got our priorities screwed up...

Focus on the parts you like until you can be shed of this and enjoy your sweet Logan.

What a charmer!

Shammickite said...

Pants = No. 1??? Haven't heard that before, very obscure.

Commenter Sally is quite right, concentrate on the pleasure and satisfaction that you get from doing a good job, and just ignore the beaurocracy as best ytou can. And be happy. Life is too short to be otherwise.

Shammickite said...

Logan is constructed of silky velvet.

Chick said...

I think you should pants know...pull her pants down & reveal her granny panties then run like hell : )

Logan's big paws make me smile.

goatman said...

Rants are good -- let it out.

Reminds me of an organizational chart I once was presented of the DESE (Department of Education . . . blah blah) system in our state. It covered the entire large piece of paper and did not even include my group of teachers who work nights with prisoners trying to obtain their High School equivalency through a test-taking procedure to evaluate their knowledge (I taught the math). I realized that most of the people on this chart were not teaching and were probably just trying to justify their jobs with some sort of programs and nonsense for those lower on the chart to accomplish.
And guess who are lower on the chart, yup! The teachers.
But I always reminded myself that it was I who saw the accomplishments first hand and was congratulated by the passing student for my part in his pride.
This is a treat which the boxes on the chart will never receive and one which you as a teacher certainly deserve.
Keep up the good work

flawsnall said...

Hi Lettuce: I, too, am in the teaching biz. I tutor in English writing and literature and some misc stuff, i.e., scholarship essays or letters of intent---all day long in 30 minute increments a variety, diverse group of college students. It's my primary job. And I feel you on this one. Except I have brain shut downs during the peak of a semester because students literally drain me and sometimes I drain myself with the repetition. But in the end, there is so much gratification in our jobs and after rest (1 month holiday paid off time), I am happy that I do what I do, especially when I see myself in my students only years ago. It's there turn now--so I give give give and never expect to receive. Of course, it is more complicated when it's the admin peops that drain you---it's the worse case, but hang in there for your students---you are so needed!!

Lynne said...

Hi Letty! Back from vacation and checking in to see you. I fully expected to see a post regarding all your lovely SNOW. ?

So sorry to hear work is frustrating. It's not any fun to work under those kinds of conditions. Rick had to put up with similar situations for years and he was miserable. I hope something changes for you soon.

I must have missed knowing what you decided to name your cat ... Logan. I like that. He looks wonderfully soft and right at home. Love those dark padded feet.


mouse (aka kimy) said...


hell with that leaner and meaner shit....let's hear it for chubby and lovey....

well at least there's sweet logan to brighten those pant(ie) days


The Devil Makes Work said...

Hello there,

Long time no comment. I just read this though and can really identify with you. I was in a very similar position myself in an HR job. In the end I left with no job to go to, but in the end I felt I had no choice. My boss was exactly the same, and she caused so much upset but no-one would do anything about her.

It's a very hard situation to be in when you feel like you can't just leave.

I'm thinking of you.


Gigibird said...

Even though I had to give up work through very ill health it was one of the happiest days of my life when I no longer had horrible people making my working life a misery.

Hopefully all the bad vibes that this person is no doubt getting will make her move on to another job soon.

Try and keep positive and bide your time…..and please give your lovely pussy cat a cuddle from me:-)

lettuce said...

thanks for all your very nice comments and sympathy

it seems sadly to be a pretty common experience

reya and chick - if only.
thoughts to make me smile
as logan's big paws do too

shammick, you should try to use this expression - it was quite big over here and is oh so apt sometimes

logan is indeed sweet and velvety with razor sharp claws, he is rather bitey and very affectionate and loves people

milly (elephants&redwoods) said...

I can sympathize... we have had layoffs and cut backs throughout my org. Ugh.

ArtSparker said...

Mike Rose, who's an education professor in the U.S., posted recently on his blog about teachers being disrespected and lost in the shuffle because theoreticians are in bureaucrats in not being in the field themselves, so of course they must know best. Sorry to hear that you are expected to handle misery being inflicted by the powers that be as part of your employment.

Steve said...

Managers are hell.

I'm so glad you concluded this post with a kitty photo, since kitties are the antidote to all that is negative in the world...

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