As a part-timer, I’ve felt invisible at work for many years. I love to be busy, love to be challenged and, yes, I love to be appreciated too.
That doesn’t always happen as a part-timer. It doesn’t happen when you get older either, when you’re not as pretty as you once were. When you have responsibilities and you can’t join in the Friday night fun.
There are good times, for sure, lots of them. Being busy at work and chatting and having fun with your colleagues is pretty much the best thing there is. But the dynamic in our office has shifted and I don’t fit as well as I once did. Two of my favourite people have left and two of them are leaving to take voluntary redundancy at the same time as me.
There’s no place for me any more.
I’ve slipped so far. The boss of the whole team is someone I recruited five years ago. My line manager is someone I turned down in the same round of interviews.
As they and others have thrived, I have withered.
Deep down inside, I’m the same person I always was, but nobody is really interested in that person any more.
Leaving somewhere you’ve worked for 15 years isn’t easy, even though it’s not the place it once was. The last few weeks have been strange. On the whole I have less work than I would usually. I still want to work and will still work as quickly and efficiently as I did. But sometimes it dries up. There’s no point starting anything big. I’m not going to be there to see it through. They have to manage without me. I guess they think they can, because I’m pretty much invisible. I don’t know if anybody knows what I do any more.
I wonder if they’ll notice that less tweets are being posted and less papers are being monitored. I wonder if they’ll realise how time consuming promoting adoption and fostering is. I wonder if they’ll miss my local knowledge and my memories of how things used to be, my knowledge of who to ask when the right person isn’t there because this person did the job five years ago and will still know the answer.
It makes me sad to sit in the office and see people doing the job I love – and struggling with it and not enjoying it. It seems pointless that I’m doing some admin task to keep me busy for my last weeks while they’re hating the job I love.
If I’d been allowed to keep that job, I never would have left.
But, although these last weeks have been hard, I know I had to do it. I know I had to become visible again.