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Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Rancor  
I was denied my request to use vacation time to go to school. Just a few hours a day for the summer session for a class I need to graduate. Sum total is the equivalent of less than 10 days spread over 6 weeks. What's the point of accruing vacation that you can't use? So I filed a grievance. Also the staff I work for are circulating a petition in my support. It's nice that the staff support me, but it really sucks that I even have to do this. Here we are trying to recruit people to the union and I'm getting the shaft from the very same union.

Management has completely locked themselves away in a fortress of silence. They refuse to admit any real wrongdoing, even as they insist on layoffs because they screwed up the budget. Now it's all cutbacks. Well, not *all*; no management cutbacks, of course. Since they can do no wrong. Their excuse to the board was that they overhired. But we're a non-profit, which is a lot like being on a fixed income - you know in advance how much money you'll have for the year. It's just mis-management, that's the bottom line.

I'm trying to figure out what to do. Right now, everything's up for reassessment. Maybe I won't go to UCLA. Maybe I'll move to Seattle. I hear the UW up there has a great psychology program. I also noticed on their website that they offer an evening degree course. UCLA doesn't have that. The soggy northwest would be great for my allergies. Housing's cheaper there too. But it's far from family and friends. Neither me nor my husband has ever been far from family. It would split his band up. And we don't know what the job market's like up there.

But I'm tired of Los Angeles. Hell, I'm tired of California. Sick of Arnie, sick of the budget crisis, sick of sprawl, overcrowding, traffic, and deathly sick of the absurd real estate market. Do I really love L.A. or do I not know any better? I've never been anywhere else. I'd like to try somewhere else, even just for a couple years.

I need to make a decision about one thing *real* quick. Class starts Monday. It's very unlikely management will even bother to respond to my grievance before then. So do I drop the class? I think I have to, since management could drag this out for a few weeks, by which time it's moot. I'll still continue with the grievance, just to set the precedent. But, unfortunately, it won't benefit me. Why must I always blaze the trail for others? I don't want to be a leader; I just want to do my own thing.

It's a good job; I like the work and my co-workers. But this is just a symptom of how the union has changed over the last few years. The whole labor movement is changing, and not for the better. I really think they're going down the wrong path. It's quite possible our local won't even exist next year; or will be limited to the central valley instead of being statewide. It's almost certain our local will lose its southern california presence in the near future. Maybe now's the time to get out.

Anybody know anything about the Seattle area job market?