We got the bad news today

I need to make a note here that I am working out bush at a community where there is no internet service, no cell phone service. I can write blogs on my computer but can’t publish them until I come home for the weekend. So there are several going in now one after the other from last week. Just to let you know it may be that way next week also.

We got the bad news today. We being me and David, the other worker who is temporary, waiting to have a chance to go permanent. We thought all we had to do was wait for them to run an ad for our jobs, re-apply and sit through an interview with people we have been working with for months and without a doubt be hired officially and put on permanent.

We’ve both gotten extensions to our original 3-month temporary contract. I just got mine on Friday. My boss told me it was coming through on Thursday and sure enough there it was in an e-mail on Friday. As per instructions I quickly signed it and got it witnessed by one of the team leaders. I scanned it and e-mailed it right back. I went home feeling confident and more positive than I had since I got the job. With more weeks of experience there is no doubt I’ll get the job permanent. No matter who else applies, I have the hours of actual hands on work to back me. The bosses like me, the people I work with out in communities like me so I’m in!

So I go into work today feeling pretty darn good. David and I are going out to a community about 4 hours away for a week to start working on what they call the “roll-out” of a new plan to collect information and get things going.

We are almost ready to leave and our boss comes by and tells me he wants to talk to both of us before we leave. Nothing suspicious about that, he gives us pep talks from time to time.

We both went into his office and sat down waiting for him to finish an e-mail. He starts out with, “I have some bad news for you guys.” I thought he was going to tell us we couldn’t go out to the community because of something going on there like “sorry business”.  Instead he had news of a totally different type.

He told us that things had changed in regard to our permanent positions. The government had decided that they would only make our positions available on a temporary basis until April of next year. After that there was no guarantee of a job at all. The opportunity for permanent was off the table for both of us. The boss apologized to us profusely but he had no control over it. The decision came down from the top of the top. It is about time for elections and the government may change and everyone is hedging their bets until it is over.

I asked if a permanent staff member quit could one of us then take their job and go permanent and he said no. If anyone quits, their job will become a temporary job only good until April of next year too. Then I said, “well will our time just be extended till next year” and he said no, they will still run an ad and you will still have to go through re-applying and re-interviewing. What sense does that make? He quickly told us that there were no guarantees and if we wanted to take another job he wouldn’t blame us.

It seems that the permanent people are at risk to a point because they could close our entire job area. If that happens the permanent people will be moved into other parts of the government and though they may not love the job they get they will still be on the same level, same pay. While David and I will simply get flicked out.

It all seemed so simple. We have had loads of training from a 4-wheel drive class to going to all kinds of communities with experienced staff, two days of computer training for use of a program and hours of actual work, some on our own driving to communities. We know how to do our jobs, we are pretty good, no we are damn good at what we do. We deserve the permanent position; we’ve worked hard and studied long, listened to our mentors out in the field … we should get permanent.

So that was how my day started, how was yours?

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