Partner of a Pilot
The Candid Diary of an Airline Pilot’s Girlfriend

Job Security-I am worried…

As you know, I work from home. Things in the sector I work in, as with most areas of business in the world at the moment are not good. The aviation industry is not the only one suffering and having to make cut-backs.

I was due to have my contract review over a month ago, but have still yet to have it, and get officially have our project taken on.  As my line manager left for maternity leave at that time, it hasn’t happened yet. I reminded my new line manager that I would need the review, but he is extremely busy-as he was my manager’s manager; and has not yet got around to doing it.

Whilst the company I work for are VERY good, and extremely well reputed in this business sector; there has generally been a down turn in the World economy that is obviously having a knock on impact to the niche sector that my company deals with. Hundreds of redundancies are being made by our clients! Few, except the companies based in places like Hong-Kong are prospering and growing at the moment. 

I heard on the company rumour network that things are not all that rosy at the moment with our own business’ financials, our share prices are generally moving downwards; and there are people leaving like rats from a sinking ship.  I seriously have to wonder why, because as far as I was aware; the management have predicted this and are not surprised by it. In a business meeting I attended in the first quarter of the year, they predicted a downwards trend into 2009 and then a slow recovery.

The business is obviously suffering; but they appear to have worked this into their business plans and projections. Yet I cannot help worrying today.

My neck injury stopped me working for over a week. Luckily I had a week’s holiday booked, so I’ve only had 5 days off sick, and all the feedback I’ve had about my work prior to that has been excellent.  Yet I asked work to send me a keyboard to attach to my laptop so that I could raise the laptop higher… This is because my physiotherapist stated that ‘my working at the laptop for too long is probably the likely cause for my muscle spasm’.

Apparently if you use a laptop, then you should only use it for short periods of time; because if the keyboard is at the correct ergonomic height for your wrists, you would likely end up with a neck injury, and if the screen is at the correct ergonomic height for your viewing posture, you would likely end up with a wrist injury.

I asked our IT dept to send me a keyboard, since the one I have at home has the wrong adaptor. The guy casually dismissed my reasoning, but said that I could certainly have one from his stock next time I was in the office.

The thing is, my particular office is about half an hour away, and I am not allowed to drive at the moment-AT ALL. I was hoping that things would clear up enough over my week off sick and week’s annual leave, so that I’d be fit to drive and drop into work, but alas not.

On Monday I rang my current line manager (he is the Manager of my whole office). I explained the situation to him on Monday, when I rang to ask for new work, and asked if a keyboard could be posted out to me, and he said no problem-he’d speak to the IT guy and get back to me. I didn’t hear back from him until today. He emailed me, and provided me with some assignments, and then added this:

“On the Keyboard issue, could I come down and see you at 12:45pm on Wednesday?”

So I am officially in a funk! I replied, saying that

“That would be fine, however if it’s easier, you could just pop the keyboard in the post, as my house is a bit of a building site at the moment. I’m assuming you want to do a workstation assessment, so that you know I am working with the correct ergonomic posture? I assure you that with the additional keyboard; I can ensure my posture will be correct-as I can raise the laptop screen sufficiently.  Also, at the moment; I am working on our dining room table-but we are including a designated office work space for me in the extension to our home; and in that respect, it may be prudent to wait until this is completed, rather than repeating the exercise?’

I got an email back just saying:

I’ll look forward to seeing you tomorrow at 12:45 then, give or take,


(Manager’s name)

Why on earth does he want to come out?! I am now convinced that they think I am a liability, and that since I am still on probation, they could just cut their losses and cut me loose. I don’t even know if I am entitled to sick pay, since I only bill them for the hours I work-but I am really in a panic about the whole thing!

Whilst we don’t officially need my income to get by in life; our quality of life is very much better as a result.  Bf used to get extremely moody about our financial situation before I was able to relieve the pressure-albeit with a much smaller salary on part-time hours. I would struggle to find something else at the moment with the job market the way it is. Everyone around me seems to be getting made redundant, and this job just fits so perfectly around my family life.

With Bf being in the aviation industry and having rosters that are all over the place, I would be hard pressed to find any thing else this flexible without the massive child care costs that I would otherwise incur. I could not earn this hourly rate doing most part-time jobs; and would likely die of boredom before I received my first pay slip any way!

I am kicking myself for not having been more careful with my posture, and putting myself and possibly my job security in jeopardy. I am now also getting paranoid wondering if these other ‘leavers’ at work know/knew something I don’t, and are anticipating job cuts. I would be such an easy cut to make 😦

I keep trying to reassure myself that if they make cuts they will still need to recruit or else fold; but the home-working scheme that I am a part of is basically a pilot test run. They are testing this employee model, and if it works well, they intend to roll it out further. Yet as far as I know, the only other home-workers that they have taken on are working from Brussels, and a few in Germany and France… I have been led to believe that those workers have proved a bit of a flop (although in fairness, those workers had no prior sector experience).

I just KNOW I am not going to sleep tonight. Poor Bf is on call from 3am tomorrow, and he just checked on the airline intranet system and could see that there is a flight that currently looks to be without a First Officer due to leave at 6am-so the chances are-he’ll get a call at 3am. He’s gone to bed, and I’m stewing alone down here; knowing that if I lie awake in bed worrying, I’ll just keep him awake when he needs his rest.



3 Responses to “Job Security-I am worried…”

  1. I wish you all the best! What a scary situation to be in 😦 And you know what… the whole keyboard thing is a JOKE! At my old job they were practically begging us to request ergonomic keyboards and chairs so that we wouldn’t have medical problems, etc. I’m HORRIBLE with my laptop and have total wrist and neck issues. But I like to work on my couch… with my laptop, well, on my LAP so I can’t exactly get another keyboard that would help out in that situation!!

    I really hope everything goes well, you’ll have to let us know how your meeting goes!

  2. Hope everything goes well it is completley natural to worry in situations like this esp if you have heard rumours of job cuts but you could be happily relieved as the manager may simply be needing to check you are able to work without injury (I know at our place they must do this by law) as you said yourself you have had excellent feedback so if they were to have to make your position redudant i’m sure his would be a last resort

    Good luck and keep us posted!

  3. I guess they took the last resort 😦

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