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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

And the next please!


One case against The Owner of The School That Sacked Me done; the next has now begun.

With the delicacy of touch which characterizes The Owner’s attempts at personnel management she told one member of staff, on the day before her annual long summer holidays that her hours would be halved when she returned and that her job would be different!

My advice was to contact the Union at once (a union I might add that I encouraged my colleague to join) and take legal advice.

The result at first was one of those instances when you have to tell yourself that you are in Spain and not in the UK. The first response that she was given from the union was that nothing could be done because the school holidays had started and no one would be in place until September!

Our joint shocked reaction and a return phone call ensured prompt action on the part of the union and the instant provision of a lawyer. Needless to say, the information from the legal gentleman that what The Owner had done was illegal did not raise a collective eyebrow, so the process has begun to make damn sure that my colleague is sacked.

This may seem rather odd to British ears, but in Spanish terms it is much better to be sacked from a job than to leave it. When you are sacked in Spain an automatic process is started whereby you get very generous unemployment benefit for what seems like an inordinate amount of time.

As long as you are sacked.

Being sacked can be used by an employer as a considerable inducement to encourage a person to leave a place of employment with a smile on the face! It doesn’t make sense but it is what is done. So I am helping a friend to ensure that she gets sacked.

The worrying part of this process is that she will not be sacked but will be subject to what I would describe as a process of constructive dismissal – where her life in The School That Sacked Me will be made even more intolerable than it is at present. I keep telling my friend that all she has to do is be seen in public in Sitges having a cup of coffee with me and her dismissal would be instant! With compensation to leave immediately!

I am tempted to write another letter to The Owner commiserating with her on her recent financial loss in compensating her ex employees for the disgraceful treatment they have had at her hands and asking that she short circuit the legal process and tell me the monetary details about the Readathon for Burma that we held last year in the school that I have been asking about by letter, email, telephone call, police report and court order since the money was handed in – those details that no teacher, pupil or parent has been told about.

Or do you think that it would be a little too callously obvious? One wouldn’t want to hurt her feelings, in spite of the carefree way that she plays with other people’s lives.

On the domestic front another concerted effort has been made to bring order (or ‘yet more’ order from my point of view) to the kitchen. With an enthusiasm born of lack of knowledge of that particular room, Toni has dictated a ‘tidy’ policy which has resulted in some re-arrangement. Actual use of the kitchen will, of course, destroy this artificial overlay of order, but I didn’t have the heart to point this out to Toni as diktat’s kept flowing from his mouth about where to put stuff.

The only point on which I was adamant was that the nappies (don’t bloody ask!) were not going to be kept on top of the wine rack. One does, after all (and in spite of everything) have standards!

Talking of which, tonight I’m off to see Turandot. This is one time that I am hoping that some trendy director has taken a radical view and produced a version set in a Communist gulag or in Harvey Nicholls in Leeds or something other than costume drama China. I know nothing about this production so I am a tabla rasa waiting for an imprint.

One lives, as you can tell, in hope!
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