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Question
Posted by: Emme | 2013-02-13

To work or not to work?

Dear CS

I’ ve had it. After almost eight months of ‘ restructuring’  at work it just not coming to a point. First up, one of the employees was retrenched and now they are looking for someone else in that same position. According to the ‘ consultant’  that has been part of the process, this is common place. I can’ t really get involved as my job is also not a sure thing and I’ ve been fighting very hard to keep it. Furthermore, since ‘ consultant’  started here he was like ‘ we work as a team, and support each other  I’ m here for you, just helping out’ . It was pretty obvious that he wasn’ t very sincere, but after working quite closely with him for several months, I started doubting my gut feel.
The thing is, I don’ t know if it is just a consultant thing, that they are not very honest or whether this person has a split personality, but yesterday it became very clear that he does not have my back, quite openly as well. The thing is I’ m tired of standing up for myself, this has been a horrible, very stressful time and I’ m done. I have the feeling that there is an agenda in place to actually get rid of me, without sounding completely paranoid. The reason I’ m saying this is that firstly they implied I was incompetent, when that couldn’ t be proved it seems the new strategy is that I’ m getting new responsibilities almost daily.
There is no way that one person can do and do well what I’ m supposed to do here. My salary is quite high compared to the rest and the company is starting to struggle financially, but if that is the case why not openly renegotiate the salary? Obv I don’ t want to lose my income, but I’ ll rather to take a cut than not have a job.
My normal reaction is to completely ignore consultant. I don’ t do confrontation and I also feel confrontation in this situation is maybe something he is ‘ looking for’ ? I really cant just ignore him, because my job is basically still in his hands, so how do I deal with him? And how do I deal with this whole situation? The MD is not open to discuss anything as was made evident in the negotiations after the restructuring. He just says, ‘ do what I tell you to’ . At the moment I either want to leave, giving up [but have nowhere to go] or to put up a last fight. To prove (to whom?) that I’ m good enough and that I am worthy and that I want to give him some of his own medicine, but I’ m not conniving or clever in that way.
Any pointers would be appreciated.
Thanks

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Our expert says:
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I dont understand them replacing someone who was restructured into redundancy - that sounds mopre like a disguised way of sacking that person. Sounds like the consultant, like many but not all of that genre, is a phony and is only out for himself. Maybe you should consult the Dept of Labour, and a labour lawyer - deliberately oberloading a worker to the point of forcing them to be unable to function, so you can sack them, is called Constructive Dismissal, and is specifically illegal. Get a proper legal opinion and protect yourself, while looking for alternative employment - but dont resign until you have the right legal opinion.

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