Told my position is now redundant...HANDED BACK THE KEYS & PHONE


So yesterday afternoon,  a bit out of the blue, I was told by HR that our Board has taken a business decision to reorganise our satellite office here since it’s been losing $$$ over the past couple of years. As a result, my position is now redundant and the duties will be carried out by a case manager as part of her ongoing role. 

(Uh-huh. Like she’ll have time to do laundry twice a week, supervise kitchen paperwork to audit standards, attend community transport meetings and sit on the grants approval panel, attend the very early breakfast Network meetings once a month... let alone check out all the venues and the food suppliers we need to at the beginning of the year, before everyone gets back after Christmas. She’ll never manage to get the monthly kitchen self-audits done, and she has to because no-one else who could do them writes in English)

I was given a 2-page letter from the Director explaining the situation, and listing my entitlements. It also invites to a formal meeting next Monday.

I’ve spent today catching up with my union rep, a support psychologist and my super fund. After next week’s meeting, I’ll know more about when I’m finishing, but I figure it’s about a month from now. I’ll talk to the right financial advisers but I’m 63, I’ve been there just over 10yrs. 

What am I missing?

Should I try to work the notice out?

Should I play nice and not say anything, until HR/my manager does? (She didn’t even hint this was coming up nor attend the meeting yesterday, or contact me at all)

Do I bother about any kind of handover, when everyone reckons they know more about doing this job than I’ve put in? (They don’t know the regular cycles of what needs doing when; they’ve never listened)

TIA. I’m remarkably calm. I know I’m still connected to the actual Community, and I’m grateful for that. 


Oh. Writing this is possibly breaking our social media policy. Sigh. 


Not breaking it at all.  Wish you were closer so our community could put our heads together and come up with some job leads.  Do you have the equivalent of AARP in Australia?  They have a data base of age friendly companies and job listings.  That is the practical side of things.  The emotional is a totally different thing and as you know, something you will have to work through over time.  If you need emotional support and more suggestions than you imagine on coping skills, you have come to the right place.


wink thank you, Joan!

Yes, there's COTA and various Seniors & Probus groups that have local chapters and committees working with over-55s looking for work. In fact, there's a local learning hub not too far from me that houses a Men's Shed as well as U3A and various retraining and mentoring agencies for early retirees looking for some light employment. 

I'm not quite eligible for them yet (need my separation certificate and some other paperwork). You've reminded me our local libraries have wonderful, free weekly tech workshops including 3D printing, and all kinds of software. So I can update all those skills cheese

Resume's being updated, and all my quals are being checked for currency. (A cousin is a careers counsellor)

I do wish I were closer...OTOH, you're always here when I can't sleep  rolleyes  Thank you, MOL!


I’m very sorry to read this, joanne. Your calm has been a remarkable hallmark as long as I’ve known you on MOL.

A cooperative handover, it seems to me, might serve two purposes: You’d feel better knowing you did what you could for the community on your way out — and it gives you one last chance to get across to your supervisors (and that case manager) how much you do. If you took a list like that second paragraph to your formal meeting and handed it over with a “OK, what else would you like to know about the needs that’ll have to be filled?” maybe it finally opens some eyes.


I’m certainly taking home my Greek dictionaries! smile They’re the only ones on the premises, too cheese

They’ll also lose access to all the accessibility aids we have; they have no idea what we have in the Centre to help people, that I’ve brought in from my own resources. 

Ah well... 


Do you get a pension?

Can you collect Unemployment Assistance until you find a new job?

At what age can you collect your equivalent of Social Security benefits?


SO sorry to hear this - 

any chance they may take you on as a consultant after they figure out that they can’t adequately cover what you do?


There’ll be some unemployment benefits but I’ll have to wait around 16 weeks or so after I finish work before I can start claiming, because of my payout. That’s one of the things I’m checking on, though cheese 

It’s not a great time of year to be facing this, however one of my strongest contacts is the local Volunteer network. They’ve just started a new Community Visitors program that might be a good fit, and there will be other seasonal projects I might be able to help with. 

One exciting thing: I think I qualify for free travel public transport smile


Scully said:

SO sorry to hear this - 

any chance they may take you on as a consultant after they figure out that they can’t adequately cover what you do?

 We have a saying here: Buckley’s & Nunn (after an old department store). I reckon there’s Buckley’s chance they’ll call me back. I’ve had many ideas on how we could grow our client base and increase funding, add projects, develop joint research projects with other agencies and at best three were used elsewhere 6 and 4 years ago. Current middle management have ignored  everything I’ve said. 


Redundant, awful word, ugly word. Its like your a shelf good, to be thrown away when expired or no longer desired.

I'm very sorry this happened to you. I can tell from your postings you're very intelligent, caring and nice.

Sadly, life can be so unfair. I hope something really good will come to you.


There's a little less smoke in the air now (it's windy this morning), I think I'll go to aquafit today cheese 


Wishing all somehow works out for the best, Joanne!


Here’s hoping it all works out.  I partially like DaveSchmidt’s last sentence, above, possibly adding in a question as to how they plan in dealing with the loss of accessibility aids of yours which you mentioned. 


Sorry to hear about your situation. It sucks.

I wish you well in finding a new and  better position.


ctrzaska said:

Here’s hoping it all works out.  I partially like DaveSchmidt’s last sentence, above, possibly adding in a question as to how they plan in dealing with the loss of accessibility aids of yours which you mentioned. 


And since you are devoted to your community, if you feel moved to do so, I would try to do the cooperative handover (for their sake at least.)  But then remember the importance of self-care and know that there is every chance that this might be one of those cases where a door closes, but then a window opens for you ...

(I know, I'm an eternal optimist.  That will be my hope for you anyway!)


Just got a phone call from one of the ladies, asking about a team member who’s been unwell. While we were chatting, she mentioned something about him retiring (he often half-hints about ‘one day...’) so I answered vaguely no, he’ll go long after I have. But I made it sound as if plans were hazy and distant.

She still started to cry, and panic. Just the thought that I might leave scared her, and she’s only been with us 5 years. 

Oh dear. 


Remember back when I used to run the radio station? It’s now part of what is called the Reading Network. 

My federal Member of Parliament is responsible for their funding (and their lack of adequate funding). There’s an opening on the national Board for a State representative. I’m applying. 


Sounds great!  Hope you get the position.  With the support you have in your community, I am sure you will find something which is a really good fit and makes perfect use of your knowledge and skills.  Keep open to opportunities and don't feel uncomfortable about networking whenever and where ever you can.   


Soooo funny; you have to laugh or else you'd cry (in frustration). 

I really had a bad migraine attack last week, several days' worth extending into the weekend. Plus an allergic reaction to the smoke in the air. My family doc decided to put me on endone, maxalon and antihistamine with strict instructions to go to Emergency if things didn't improve; and not to go to work on Monday. So I told HR on Friday I couldn't keep our meeting, told my team I wasn't coming in, and told the local office I wasn't coming in so the new team leader could unlock the building at 7:30am or make arrangements. (Well, I had to leave voicemail for her at lunchtime)

My team stood around waiting for nearly an hour on Monday before anyone arrived to let them in. I'm not sure if the office actually checked the voicemail, or just didn't remember that no-one has a building key.

My formal meeting with HR is now next Monday. I finally heard from my manager late yesterday afternoon (the first I've heard from her in three weeks) when she emailed me at home to let me know that she's cancelled the kitchen audit scheduled for Thursday 26th. cheese (our food licence depends on this audit: it's the independent audit, and must be held once every 12 months, by law. Our last was in August last year. She wants the next to be in 2020. If there isn't an independent audit until then, they can't even bring Domino's pizzas for lunch - we have to fill in paperwork for everything) oh well. Not my problem any more.

I possibly have an interview next week, in a related field; I spoke with their HR manager. Just have to get the application in. 


smilesmile That kitchen audit is now in November; apparently, the independent inspector wouldn’t move it any later than that cheese 

Mind you, I haven’t heard another peep at all from my manager in any way, not even to say whether she’s attending the formal meeting on Monday with HR and the employment consultant or to brief me on details for my last day which is also a fancy community function Head Office is running here in the morning. Hmmmm.

(I’ve suspected for a while she’s managing a larger team than she can comfortably handle, on too many sites and with too many diverse shifts and skills. She just can’t keep up with the timely communication required)

Told my Thursday group that there are some big changes ahead and when I go on leave next week, I won’t return. Explained who’ll take over, & they’re not to worry - for most, you could see the blood drain from their faces. So scary to watch! Some interagency colleagues have written beautiful notes; some families have said such warm things. Such a privilege to be in this field.


Exit interview this afternoon, and the Director came from Brisbane together with HR and the employment consultant. My union rep was on the phone. Director is a lovely woman, I respect immensely, and we've always got on right from when we met at my first interview. 

She was almost in tears today, and by the end of the meeting, so was the man from HR.  I don't think they were expecting me to be reasonable or calm... She's happy to be a referee, and in some ways I'd rather her than my manager who has only known me a short while. It was nice to be able to share with her (after the meeting) some fun stuff the groups are doing,  and also some of the opportunities I have in the weeks ahead. 

Still haven't heard from my manager. Person taking taking over my duties doesn't have time for any kind of handover (probably figures 'the team' know everything, except they don't). I have 1 working day left, 4 hours of which will be crammed with a major community event. smile 

(Oh, I sent a Happy New Year/goodbye email around the agency at lunchtime. I usually send Shana Tova greetings as I'm going on leave; we're multicultural, not everyone realises when their clients' holy days are. Made sense to say goodbye too.)


Thank you for the update on the meeting, joanne, which I’m sure we were all anxious (not eager — anxious) to hear about. The way you’re handling this, particularly the poise,  tenderness and even notes of humor that you’ve maintained, is inspiring.


Thank you, Dave. 

For me, I can see the business side - I'm the easy one to let go, in effect the agency is losing most of my salary each year trying to keep our site open. And I only work 2 days. 

There'll be something else for me, I'm not worried about that. But it's really interesting to see the reactions of much newer staff who've been told I don't have the right skills or understanding suddenly grasp the extent of my disability/aged advocacy, or my wide experience, or the different approach to creative projects I bring... 

Our Christmas project this year has started early, and is Bread Tags for Wheelchairs. The same charity that started in California has an Aussie version, and it's captured my participants' hearts. We're all collecting our tags, and I'll forward them to the local delegate. The charity will sell them to the one place in Australia that can recycle them; and poor people can get the wheelchairs they need.  Director loves it! 

Knowing my local library has a sign language conversation group on Tuesdays, and a monthly 3D printing workshop, computer skills workshops in all kinds of programs... There's so much I can brush up on while applying for jobs, it's going to be fun. (Plus my stand-up paddleboarding!) 

Next week will feel a little strange, vacation-but-not-really.


Next week is literally going to be the first day of the rest of your life. So many options for modeling the next stage.  Take care and enjoy.  Great things are coming.


cheese we have to start the Rosh haShana thread, too, and see what everyone's cooking... cheese

(I should sleep)


I’m off to bed early, for a change...well before midnight! Last day tomorrow.

Had a session with the counsellor today, who wanted to be sure I had solid plan for getting home in case I felt too emotional to drive (aww); she approves of all the steps and plans so far, and is making herself available if I need her. 

Gotta take in my ID badges, my phone & charger...I’ve cancelled my signature on the supermarket accounts...

I just can’t decide what to wear tomorrow...sensible black pants? Bright coloured dress? Smart red dress (for fancy family lunches)?  I got my roots fixed and the coloured ‘flash’ on the left side is bright raspberry among the dark auburn/brown curls. (Belinda managed to bring back my 70s big hair with curls!! smile I just thought she was cutting off a chunk of ratty ends, next thing I know, my hair is curly again)  Too many decisions - time for bed!


Et finis...  question ohh

It was an easy day filled with PR duties (the big event), but that means the Director had a lovely opportunity to mix with around 40 participants and community members. 

They were asked for feedback on the agency; my people don't hold back. They'll bail up the Director and tell her straight up what they think! 'Why do we the awful chairs?', they asked, 'six years now, time for new ones. And new tables while you're at it'. 'We want to go out more', they said. When it was announced that I'm leaving, 'why?!' a couple demanded angrily. 

Manager finally appeared around midday. Said some nice things about passion, dedication, commitment and caring. Was a bit surprised by some of the 'hidden in plain sight' things she noticed for the first time. 

I think she was a little surprised the Director and I were so close during the day - people forgot we have Centre photo album, and I brought it out for the Tea...then, we were talking about past staff, and lovely Men's Choir, and how they got the older ladies (in their 90s) dancing, and later still, talking about palliative care and minority linguistic and cultural backgrounds... 

I tidied my office as best as I could. It's still a dog's dinner; I apologised to the team. At least the Kitchen Logs are up-to-date! And there's lists of regular tasks in lieu of proper handover. 

I was fairly calm most of the day - except when I locked up, and realised I left things still in the Hall not in the office but didn't have a key! Then I remembered the spare (hiding in the kitchen), fixed everything, and really locked up...found myself sing The Leaving Song from school:

we've loved and laughed and cheered and sung, as day by day went past

But now, old friend, it's time to leave and we must finally part.

We've loved and laughed, and talked and sung, 

Goodbye. Good luck to you.

Goodbye, good luck, goodbye, good luck..goodbye good luck to you. (BAWL YOUR EYES OUT)


This is not the entertainment we’d like to fill our ‘escape time’ with, we'd rather more joy.


Joanne I'm sorry it came to this. I hope you get a new and better situation soon. 

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