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Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Let's see who's really boss !

Well, it has certainly been an interesting month for me, and we are still only a couple of days in.

As this will be my last year as Editor of the village newsletter, I decided to play an April fool on the readers, informing them that the access road to the village is being converted to one way in order to save the Council money - the logic being that if drivers use the middle of the road, potholes around the edge will no longer have to be repaired. People only believed it and started ringing the Council ! My own phone has been ringing off the wall with people suspecting that it "may" be an ApriI Fool, but wanting to check anyway ... I had one call from a man who was most irate and informed me that the joke was in very bad taste, before slamming down the phone ! He seriously needs a sense of humour, not to mention a life ! Personally I think it's hilarious.

The other news is re work. When I went in on Sunday, after having been the only housekeeper on duty the previous day, as is the norm now at weekends, I was informed that our Director had been moaning about the way in which the tables had been laid. Further investigations revealed a note in the housekeeping book to the effect that this had been "a shocking layout" and that in his own words, "this lazy and slothful behaviour will not be tolerated". Well, considering the way that I work, and the fact that only last week the residents were singing my praises at their monthly meeting, I really saw red. It is one thing to write notes, but quite another to make them personal. He knew full well that I was the only housekeeper on duty that weekend, so this was therefore a personal attack aimed directly at me. When you begin to make personal remarks of this nature, it verges on bullying and this is somehting that should not be tolerated. He should know that the comapny that he set up has rules in place to protect the staff from this sort of thing. As such, this is something that I was and am not prepared to tolerate, no matter how high up he is.

So, for the most of Sunday I was spitting blood. I said to the Administrator, who arrived just as I was leaving to do the wages for the previous month, that I did not know whether to cry or hit something soft. She said that she knew exactly how I felt - the voice of experience, as I have seen him make her cry on more than one occasion.

So after having mulled it over, and discussed it with Coran after I got home, yesterday morning I went and spoke to our Acting Manager (the real Manager is on leave of absence, rumour has it, pending investigations to do with some complaints). The Director has never liked her, and has been trying to get rid of her since the day she started - their personalities clashed from day one, so there is definately something going on there. Whatever it is, it has no doubt added to his stress,  but this does not in any way excuse his behaviour.

Anyway, the Acting Manager listened, was very understanding and said that she would speak to the Director on my behalf. When he came in later, my heart was beating like mad, but I stayed out of his way and let her deal with it. I was in the laundry folding towels when he left. He walked past me on his way out with a face like thunder, and said "Oh, and next weekend, make sure the tables are laid correctly". This set my pain body off all over again, and much to my chagrin, I sat on the toilet and cried.

After a few minutes I pulled myself together and realised how futile this way - by reacting the way that I did I had given my power back to him all over again. For a few moments I pondered as to whether he had gone, and whether I should find him and add some comments of my own, but I realised that if I did, I would be playing exactly the same game, and this would not be appropriate. So, I pulled myself together, washed my face and got on with my work.

When I took the towels upstairs, the Acting Manager was there with the drugs trolley. She informed me that she had indeed spoken to him, and he had not liked it - too bad ! I told her what he in turn had said to me, and taking full control of the situation, and reclaiming my power, stated that if he ever does anything like this ever again, I will issue a formal written complaint so fast that it will make his head spin !

When I got home Coran was on his way out to the meditation group, so I came and joined him, and after discussing it with the rest of the group and of course meditating for half an hour, felt a lot calmer. They all agreed that I had done absolutely the right thing.

When I got to work this morning, the Acting Manager asked me how I was. I told her I was a lot calmer, and that I was pretty angry yesterday, to which she said she had noticed! I added that that did not mean that I had not meant what I said, and she said that she understood that and that in her opinion my reaction has been completely justfied.

So, when the Director came in today, I again tried to stay out of his way, but on the way out he found me again and this time stated that he had repeatedly asked the housekeepers not to leave their mop and bucket by the outside wall visible from the dining room, as it put the residents off ! What a stupid man. I replied that I was not aware of this instruction, but now that I was would make sure the mop was kept elsewhere. I promptly left a note in the housekeeping book to that effect, and after he had gone, went and sat on the toilet and laughed !

I feel very good though knowing that I have put down my boundaries and fired a warning shot as it were across the bows. He knows now exactly where I am coming from, and will be in no doubt whatsoever as to what the consequences of such behavour will be, if there is any hint of a repetition. Like most bosses, he likes to think that he is in charge, and throws his weight around every so often, but he hasn't learnt that the staff are really in charge, as they do the job and generate his hefty income. Were it not for us, who are willing to clear up mess for 5 percent above minimum wage, he wouldn't have a business. He hasn't learnt this yet, but he will, with a little guidance from me !