My job role was funded to do a particular task, but my employer told me to do something different. I argued that I should do what we were paid for. My work was blocked, I was picked up over trivia- and lambasted over the actual mistakes I made- and we lost the funding.
In the CAB conference this year, I sat with two managers criticising the national organisation for working with another body to run a helpline rather than using local CABx to employ the helpline advisers. Probably, the national organisation made that decision because of the LSC phone line debacle six years before. I wrote about this a year ago. How do I process the experience, now?
It was horrible. It is one cause of my lack of confidence now: I thought at the time I could deal with the idiocies of any two of the funders, the CAB and the benefits system, but not the idiocies of all three.
I was right to make the argument that we should do the job we were paid for. And we should have done, having taken the money for it; what we proposed instead was arguably a worse service for everyone involved. Possibly I should have relented when told “No”- the tasks I was given to do, by the people who paid me and were entitled to tell me what to do, were much simpler than the tasks the funder envisaged, and they found me another funding stream when that one ended. It was easier to get funding then. I would have been better off had I just gone with the flow. Seeing that, I might be better able to go with the flow.
I don’t think a similar mistake would be made now. And I might find myself in a similar clash of personalities. I hope, having more self-knowledge and self-respect, I might be less driven, better able to react, and more empathetic. That is important. I have done useful work this year.
Now I have shifted from negative to positive thinking, the question remains: can I trust the World and myself, despite this? I have to, is one answer, hiding away in a sulk is not a permanent solution. And- it was a clusterfuck, it is rare that so many things go wrong so completely.
Here’s a new way of looking at it for me. It is not proof of my general uselessness and incapacity and badness. It is a bad thing that happened. Despite that, I am a good person.