The secret diary of a single parent bloke
I’ve previously posted about my typical working day (getting the kids to/from school, my awful job, trying to be a good parent (cooking proper food, helping with homework etc), and sometimes designing websites in the evening) and how it’s making me physically and mentally ill.
Today, I’ve been summoned before the Managing Director. Another member of staff has made a formal complaint about me. It seems that someone feels that it’s inappropriate for me to do web design work “on the side”. I was given a real dressing-down about how this is inappropriate and that I’ve violated my contract by not informing the senior management of my outside work (that final point, I can’t argue with).
I pointed out that many other staff had second jobs. But that seemed to be OK. Then it became an issue because I’m a manager and I’m setting a bad example.
I pointed out that a couple of the other managers run eBay stores. That also seemed to be OK.
Then my own personal website was brought up on which I state where I work, that I wrote their website, and I had provided a link. It was effectively just an online CV. This incurred the most wraith, as the MD said that by linking to the company website, I had breached copyright. What a twat.
I pointed out time and again that I hadn’t breached copyright, I wasn’t competing with the company (I was doing web design, whereas my employer was a manufacturing company), and what I did in my own time was up to me.
Again, once I’d countered his arguments, he found another point to focus on: where was I doing my “other” work? Was it on the company’s computers? If it was, then I would be sacked! I explained that I have my own computer at home, and work was too busy anyway (we were seriously understaffed). He said that he had thought of instigating a thorough search of my work computer, but there was no point as I was far too clever to ever let anything to be found. I took this as a compliment, and allowed myself some satisfaction.
I left with a formal written warning, and instructions to remove the hyperlink (which he was still insisting was a copyright issue) or I would lose my job.
Only three people know of my other work, and I reckon I know who it was who complained about me- but I’ll never prove it. I need to get smarter and draw up a plan to get away from this god-awful place and these vile people. I need to do something about my work / life balance- to earn enough to live, stop the running around that is making me so ill, and to spend more time with Natalia and Jack. I feel desperately guilty that they spend 9 hours a day at school, and I’m exhausted of an evening and weekend.
I’d always wanted to set up my own business, and running work “on the side” was part of an idea to make the transition into self-employment, but I’ve realised that I can’t cope with doing both. For the second time in two years, I need to put some serious thought and effort into sorting out my life, and top of the things to get rid of has to be my job.