Then, it probably is.
So, around two months ago you probably recall that I accepted a job with my husbands unit. The job is working with the unit but it’s through a federal contractor. It’s not a librarian job but I accepted it because the work sounded interesting and I was promised from the get go a SUPER friendly, family flexible workplace. Told I could work the hours that worked for my family as long as a military member was in the building while I was at work.
I agreed to a start date of August 14th. In the last few weeks I’ve been doing paperwork for the job. Because of this I felt like I needed to touch base with my boss about my work schedule. Here’s what I was requesting:
I requested this because I need to be able to pick up Charlie from mothers day out while Jason is still in school. It adds up to 40 hours a week so I didn’t foresee it being an issue. I wrote a very friendly and deferential email asking permission to work this schedule. He instantly wrote me back saying that it could be a problem with the lt colonel in the unit. Then he asked me to call him.
In the call he basically lectured me about how I don’t get to dictate my schedule, that we work for the client (the unit) and they make the final calls. I flat out told him that this felt very different from what he told me in my interview, and that I have already resigned my very good part time librarian position for this job based on what he told me, but that at the end of the day I do have a small child that he knew about when I took the job, and she getting picked up from school has to be a part of my life right now. He said that he felt like he told me that while HE was flexible that that didn’t mean the unit would be flexible with me. He did not tell me that. I wouldn’t have taken this major risk having known that. I would have just turned them down and kept looking.
He went on to say that I needed to talk to the Lt Col when I started work about the schedule. I said I didn’t feel it would be responsible to go in not knowing whether they would approve me PICKING UP MY OWN CHILD from school on my second day of work. I felt like this needed to be resolved now. I told him I would email the Lt Col and ask about this. He basically told me that I shouldn’t email him because we couldn’t make it look like we were trying to call the shots, which, again, I was not trying to do at all. He said he would try to contact him next week but did admit to me that he’s had a hard time getting this particular Lt col to answer any of his emails or phone calls about me. In fact, he’s both called and emailed twice. And gotten ZERO response.
He then tried to reassure me that he thought I was the right person for the job and how much I would enjoy it, etc. etc….but at this point I’m pretty spooked. I have quit a really good job to take this job that was supposed to be good for my family, and now might not be that way at all. I had accepted some pretty unfortunate aspects-like the fact that I won’t earn any time off for a full year and that the only way to get a raise is to get a promotion within the company ALL based on the fact that I would have a very flexible, family friendly schedule. I had accepted the fact that I would not be a librarian for a while. And now I’m just feeling like I’ve been tricked. I had to get him off the phone because I knew I was about to lose my cool. I called my husband to tell him everything. He said he felt certain the Lt. Col wouldn’t care what schedule I work at all. I told him that’s not even really the issue anymore-it’s that the guy who is supposed to be my boss basically lied to me about everything that really matters, and now I’m REALLY not sure I want this job. I got so upset that I had to go hide in the bathroom (I was at the law firm and luckily no one was around-benefit of it being the Friday before a holiday).
So basically I’m looking for jobs again. I haven’t quit this one yet and maybe I won’t, but I did just apply for a librarian position with the local VA. I also got an email two weeks ago requesting I interview for a job I had applied for two months previously. I had politely refused the interview based on the fact that I had accepted this job, but I did email them back requesting to have one after all. It’s a long shot-the position is probably already filled, but what do I have to lose at this point?
Mainly guys, I’m mad as hell, and really really worried. And sad that I have lost the best paying, most flexible job I’ve ever had. I’ve already hired a replacement for my law firm gig and she’s really nice and will do an amazing job, but mainly I just wish I could go back six weeks and follow my initial instinct to not accept this job. If i don’t have some scheduling resolution within a week or so I’m going to let them know that I can’t follow through with the position. I don’t think it’s too much to ask to know what schedule you’ll be working before you start a position, especially when you have small children.