Friday, 20 May 2016

From major influence to no influence

Big Boss Lady or BBL was the owner of the business where I worked after I graduated. For several years she was one of my closest grown-up friends and I had enormous respect for her both as a person and as a professional scientist. She was one of the major influences in my life for quite a while.

She and I had some memorable times together, most especially during our second trip to New Zealand. It was during this trip that the first cracks started to appear in our relationship. BBL was usually so nice to me but several times in New Zealand she was quite rude and aggressive. We hardly ever ate together in the evening and it isn't much fun dining on your own in a strange town. I don't have any idea where she went or what she did when she "disappeared". I did ask her once but she just changed the subject. I never did understand why I was asked to go overseas with her except for company and moral support. But then why did she go off on her own so often?

Not too long afterwards both Ella (by then BBL's PA) and I became pregnant. Pretty much everything to do with our maternity leave was mishandled by BBL and in the end we both got the absolute legal minimum time off and money paid to us. We had both given her miles more that our contracts required but when it came to her showing us some appreciation she just didn't want to know.

When we returned after our maternity leave things got even worse. At the end of our first week back the Big Boss Lady called us into the office to let us know that she wanted us to work in New Zealand for her. BBL would have liked me to run the scientific side of her new venture near Christchurch with Ella as the Administrative Manager. The salary and perks would have been excellent, at least twice what we are on in England but of course everything comes with a price attached. BBL must have been planning this for ages and we felt a bit ambushed by her. After a lot of thinking we said a firm no and our relationship with BBL never recovered.

Things quickly came to a final crisis when BBL was told Ella that she was going to have to leave the business to save money. Then BBL said she could stay but only part time and on a "zero hours" contract. Unsurprisingly Ella said no. So BBL said she could stay full time but on a reduced salary. Still unsurprisingly Ella said no again. Ella then went out and got a job working in a law practice 3 days a week but on about 80% of what she was earning full-time when she was working for BBL. 

I didn’t want to work for BBL after Ella had been treated so badly so I started looking round for alternative employment which I found with no trouble. And there the story ends and it makes me feel quite sad. 




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