So Monday the 27th October came and went.
I got up feeling fairly accepting of what the day was going to bring, that was until I read a tweet from my dear friend and it brought home that it was actually a meeting with some quite a serious implications for me. She talked of being with me in spirit and that everything would be okay. Then I started crying and for a while I was quite tearful on and off. I maintained 'my front' around my daughter however and tried to appear nonchalant and looking as if I was at ease with the world. A skill I am becoming used to.
I walked my dogs up and over the hill at the back of the house and it felt weird thinking I was going to a meeting whereby they would be deciding whether or not to start a ball rolling that could eventually sack me and why? ....Because I've been signed off sick by a medical practitioner for five and a half months.
One would think the half pay looming would be motivation enough, but no the Winsor review brought in these new regulations and procedures. I pondered as I walked about the first I had heard of it and them and it was after I had been off work for a month and my boss who had not been in touch at all decided to come and visit me at home. It turned out that he actually wanted to complete paperwork with me in regards of the Unsatisfactory Performance Procedures at that early stage. He sat in my lounge filling out paperwork in regards of my 'unsatisfactory performance'. There was one question that asked him as a line manager how could the officer improve their attendance and performance?! At the time I was incensed by the question and the whole process as it suggested to me I was being unsatisfactory 'naughty' by being off sick.
Then he put that away and went through all thirteen of my case files asking me where I was at with each job and what I had done. Like a progress review. But let's remember I had been off work a month by now, had been in hospital and feeling horrific with crashing headaches, aching body, crippling fatigue and so on. The pressure I felt was immense and I had to read back through my own logs and progress comments to even recall what each job was and where I was at with it.
I spoke to my boss once more between this one month stage and the service of further paperwork relating to the unsatisfactory performance procedures at the five months stage.
I got home from the dog walk and jumped in a bath wanting to get myself washed and dressed with plenty of time to spare. The meeting was at 1400 hours, I had to drop my daughter to a friend around 1315 hours and meet the federation at 1330 hours so I didn't want to be late or rushing which would panic me more especially with 'mini me' in tow! Then came the 'what to wear' dilemma. Business, casual or a mixture? I didn't want to look to obliging or together but on the flip side not too dishevelled or rebellious! I stood staring at a flowery blouse for ages trying to decide if it was so jolly and frivolous for such a serious occasion. I couldn't decide and went downstairs where my daughter said I looked 'weird' which helped immensely as you can imagine! By now my nerves are frazzled and jangling and my next dilemma was whether or not to straighten my hair or not!? Naturally curly unruly hair or straight business like bob?! I decided on frazzled like the inside of my head! I also decided the only make up I would wear would be mascara and a small amount of lippy. Again not wanting to appear too 'with it' or ready for work! Overthinking things or what?!
I kept checking the clock it was now 1130 hours.... the clocks having just gone back 'mini me' then announces 'I'm hungry' grrrr and I try and concentrate hard enough to muster the motivation to go and make her some lunch! Then the federation representative started texting me and I got distracted by that! I decide against my 'financial' better judgement to order a pizza as I just could focus enough to fix food. So an order was placed and I start to feel tight chested again....
Then the fed rep asks me if he can ring me.....urghhh...... last thing I need right now I was thinking BUT he's doing an awesome job and I owe him big style so he rings ......
MEETING CANCELLED MEETING CANCELLED MEETING CANCELLED!!!!
STAND DOWN STAND DOWN STAND DOWN!!!
Turns out that during our text conversation I had told him that I would be returning to work on the 5/11 as I just cannot manage on half pay. He had then gone and fought my corner with my line manager and HR quoting police regulations at them and generally hassling them big style about whose interests it would be in to hold the meeting or to put me onto Stage 1. Initially he said they were not having any of it but eventually they agreed and cancelled the meeting. Never underestimate having federation support and if you aren't a member and you are 'job' get yourself some membership right now. Incredible advice and support when you need it most and in the current shoot them first ask questions later times and with all the tactics being used you never know when you'll be next in the firing line and in need of their help.
So there I was all dressed with nowhere to go and my daughter was sulking as she had to stay with me and not go to the child care!!! CHARMED I'M SURE!
As it was we went to the park and she crushed her foot on a stepper which has left her on crutches!! That's karma for you!!
Now I'm counting down the days until I go back to work :-( a week today.
A phased return a bit at a time.
I'm already looking forward to my leave at Christmas and hoping I get that far without doing something drastic like resign!
The day after the meeting was cancelled a colleague contacted me to ask me how I wanted my 'long service medal' awarded?!!
Ceremony or privately?
Talk about two contrasting days!