Friday, February 15, 2008

Work stress

The University's 2008 budget has been cut as they didn't get as many additional students as they'd hoped. Most of our team is seconded to an 18 month project at the moment and there is a freeze on recruitment, which leaves the rest of us struggling to keep things ticking over.

It was quite a job to persuade them to let me take leave for Lucy's christening, especially as much of it is unpaid leave. As it is, I have a lot of work to do beforehand, plus some flex hours to build up.

Our clients in the business areas like to whinge publicly about how ITS resourcing issues mean things don't get done, as though it's an IT problem rather than a University problem.

In response to such an email sent out yesterday, a colleague and and I were hauled into the Director's office this morning for a pep talk on uni politics. Chin up. She's not going to protect us from it or we'll never learn. If you don't like it change it, if you can't change it live with it, if you can't live with it leave. You don't have to have a title to be a leader. What are you guys going to do about it? You can change it. Etc. etc. bla bla bla.

Well, today we found out that the project manager is leaving and that our boss is being seconded as his replacement.

I said "phew, glad I booked those flights when I did" and he said, "I was going to ask you whether you still wanted to go."

"Too late not too now," I said.

Someone else commented that maybe the university could compensate me, to which I responded, "if they can't afford to recruit anyone then I don't think they can afford to compensate me for missing my niece's christening". Some things are more important than money.

I can see the team looking to me for reassurance that it's all going to be okay. We went through similar difficulties back in 2005 when all of my friends left and I was asked to lead the team with a stiff upper, keeping up morale. It was a difficult time. It is a completely different team now and morale isn't so low as people aren't choosing to leave, they're just moving around temporarily. But everyone is feeling the stress.

Thing is, I know I shouldn't let it bother me but I am feeling a wee bit stressed. I'm dreading telling them that I will be going on maternity leave towards the end of the year. I suppose it's a long way off and things might get on track by then. We may get permission for a new project officer or a contractor to help the guys out here. It's just bad timing. I really could do without this right now when I just want to think about my health and my future and enjoy being pregnant. Oh well.... I'm sure it'll be fine.

No comments: