Tuesday, 21 February 2012

When is promotion not a promotion?

Simple answer: When it’s given to me.
In recent weeks there have been so many changes – I’m moving to a new position, billed everywhere as a “promotion” – but there’s no extra money or benefits, just a new job title, a new department and a whole load of work to learn the new responsibilities.
The dictionary definition of a promotion is: advancement in rank or position. I’m advancing in neither of these. It’s a sideways move, with little reassurance regarding current earning levels, despite asking twice. And being made to feel ungrateful for asking. Let me explain how this situation came about.
We have an overworked department handling the credit risk within our company. The Manager has been struggling to cope with all the European expansion for a while and about 4 months ago it was decided that two people needed to perform this job role. An uncannily similar situation to when my Sales Manager role was deemed too large for one person. They have struggled to recruit into this role externally for four months...they’ve offered a large salary but were turned down by someone with experience. Then we have an internal problem and all hell breaks loose on what is now reverently referred to as “Black Friday”. The Tuesday following I’m asked if I would be interested in making the move. I accepted. A change is as good as a rest, and I didn’t ask about salary up front because (strange as this may sound) I trust our MD. He has frequently displayed loyalty to those loyal to him, so I trust him. And decided that the details could be resolved over the coming days. The decision was made on 31st Jan 2012 but it’s now 21st Feb and I’m no closer to any resolution. Limbo doesn’t come close to describing the feelings of helplessness. On 1st Feb I had to write my own job advert, then watch as they advertise it freely with a starting salary I’ve worked by backside off to earn. Even though the new person won’t be taking on the whole of my role, the project management aspect of my role will pass to someone else...and I’m made to feel ungrateful. Of course, my role has been offered to a man. So I shouldn’t be all that surprised really.
I feel so angry all the time and am spending a greater proportion of my days fighting the urge to hide in the loo and cry. I haven’t done that for nearly two months now and was finding better coping mechanisms, watching my diet, my reactions, making sure I slept properly. But Sunday night I couldn’t sleep at all, it’s been getting harder since the announcement and I can’t find a level.
Despite the image of living in a modern, caring world, we don’t. Well, I don’t. I talk to HR and get commiserations and an eye roll, along with a reminder that I’ve been here long enough to know how it works...
And therein lies the rub.