Saturday, 1 March 2014

Watching the wheels..

I've just unexpectedly had the last week off unpaid, and may have next week too. It's a little convoluted but one of the people at the council I was working for asked some contacts at 2 other councils whether anyone wanted a temp when my contract came to an end (with the full knowledge of myself and my agency, Kellys.)

So I had the interview on Monday, and got the job. Unfortunately though it seems Kellys don't have a contract with this new council, which means I can't start. They're sorting it out now. However the person who interviewed me has been ringing me direct, on Wednesday (the day before I was meant to start) implying (although not outright saying) that I should simply go through the agency their council generally use. 'HR has said one way to simplify it..' apparently.

Only it wouldn't simplify it because:

a) their usual agency doesn't know me and wouldn't necessarily take me on. Even if they did they'd want my details, need to set me up for national insurance, check my references and would probably want to meet me and run a microsoft office test; all of which would also take time

b) I've temped with Kellys for 8 years, and they've always had positive feedback about me and found me work. Whereas this new contract is 3 to 6 months, after which I don't know if the new agency would necessarily - not knowing me - find me more work.

Also, I'm fairly sure he's not supposed to do that. I know there's no contract in place yet, but I'm sure there are rules about poaching staff from agencies. Even if he doesn't know that his HR department, who are apparently advising him, certainly should.

Friday he actually said 'the company (meaning Kellys) seem to think you work for them.'

Which I do, obviously. And if I went with this other agency I would also be working for that agency. This is what the situation is when you hire a temp. Of course he would probably rather not hire a temp, but it's not a substantive post, so a temp is what he's lumbered with.

But it's all quite uncomfortable from my end. I don't want to argue with him if it can be avoided because I do want the job - although not enough to break with my current employer. Also I suspect if he was challenged he would say he didn't mean it the way I'm hearing it.

Actually, the more he talks to me the less I feel I want to work for him. He's an incredibly anxious person, and he's making me anxious now, and he seems to be hedging his bets all the time, not quite saying what he means, which in my experience is the mark of a person looking to make sure he doesn't take the blame if he tells you to do something and it all goes horribly wrong.

I can actually imagine me going to this agency as he's suggesting, getting blacklisted by Kellys, having the new agency decide not to put me on their books, losing the job anyway and he would take no responsibility because he never openly told me to do it.

The 'oh there must have been a breakdown in communication' type.

So if this falls through I won't be sorry, and I'm quite enjoying the time off. I calculate I can cope with 3 weeks unpaid fairly comfortably, and I'm lucky enough to be debt free.

A friend did recommend I go to the council on Monday though and set the ball rolling re benefits. Just in case this dry spell lasts longer than I thought. I'm actually really balking at the idea. (I've been working since halfway through my A levels 23 years ago, sometimes part time while studying, sometimes 7 days a week) but she was speaking from experience - ie claim before you get into debt - and it's probably good advice. I can always cancel if it turns out I don't need it.

And I've been applying for other jobs (no interviews as yet) and writing a bit - I was thinking of entering a short story for the Bridport Prize these last 2 years, and I have been writing much more this last week, and better, as well. My brain feels less cluttered with nonsense.

So maybe this will turn out to be a blessing in disguise and force me to do something in that direction. I've been determined to write, starting and not finishing any number of things, since I was a child. Perhaps this is the shove I needed.

This bloke is ringing me again Monday though. I wish I'd never put my mobile number on my CV.

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