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BOOK FOUR: TIME-OUT

…I think I was getting tired; tired of having to do it all and of working within the same old dynamics, with the same old struggles and conflicts. I became even more tired when the coordinator tried to become that bit more domineering and autocratic, as I began to raise my concerns with what I felt were her unrealistic demands and lack of foresight in other key areas as well.

As I grew in confidence as a manager, I began to take and stand my ground, expressing more of my mind in certain situations, especially those I believed compromised the needs of our client group, all of which led to the power struggle taking a more definite shape. This was the same kind of struggle that I had already been forewarned had happened in the past between Mrs Bailey and all the previously employed (female) managers. When she began undermining and discrediting me in my absence, as well as presence, in committee meetings and in the presence of staff, I could feel another enough is enough coming. I could hear, ‘Seconds out… time to depart.’

When I started work there I had resolved that the next time I was in a work situation, or otherwise, and those same old dynamics began to present themselves again and threaten to get out of hand, I would quit. The Barbara and Martha experiences had taught me this, so when an opportunity arose around that time, I grabbed it.

The opportunity came in regard to the restructuring of the whole early years child care provisions in Hackney, which meant a number of early years child care providers at that time came under certain threat in regard to funding, Julian’s nursery included. This resulted in an increase in fees to try and make nursery ends meet, much to parents’ and carers’ dismay. I was on the nursery management committee at the time, acting as its chair, which was another demanding responsibility. So as the situation at work lingered on, I took that particular new nursery development to make my exit at work…

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