I’ve been in the middle of a weird work situation. That being that I am freelance, and that one of the partners of the agency that hires me for the main part of my week, doesn’t want to accept the professional relationship as such.
As a freelance, you are your own boss. Or so I thought. I have no contract, therefore no health cover, sickpay, holiday pay and other such delightful perks of being employed. But what I do have (a bit like Mel Gibson, in his guise as William Wallace), is my freedom. And I love it. My worklife is exactly where I want it in this moment. I manage my time and my week the best way for me and my life and situation. And as such, in response to the question, “What extra are you available to work next year?” I responded, “two or three more classes, at the site where I work at the moment”.
Probing and prying ensued, and quite honestly, not the kind of probing I enjoy. At all. ‘What did I do with my time? What did I do on Fridays, what about Monday morning?‘ and so on and so forth relentless questioning. Whooaa there feller, none of your damn business……. If I want to run a sex dungeon in my spare room for the rest of my week; as long as I show up on time at my main job and do my work well in a professional manner, it’s nothing at all to do with you. (Unless you’d like to book in for an appointment, of course).
Before starting the conversation, there was of course some attempt at buttering up, “would I like an increase in my rate?” For the LOVE OF GOD MAN, of course! Who would be stupid enough to say no to that? Aaahh wait, here comes the catch – travel two and a half hours out of my way, for a couple of hours more work. No thanks. And anyway, there’s no clear gap in my agenda to accommodate that. So……. no thanks.
Also, now might be a good time to mention, that the place in question has the charming nickname, ‘Guantanamo’. Yeeeesss.
Throwing everything at it, that might attract me to the outer perimeter of the solar system to work, (like a heightened opportunity to wear my fabulous corporate wardrobe/heels), I stuck resolutely to my ‘NO’. I believe they ask you to check-in your killer heels and slinky skirt, for a regulation boilersuit at the desk, and I am just not good in orange.
And so, when someone isn’t prepared to bend time, to fit classes on the International Space Station into their week, what does one do? Employ an ever-so-slightly mafioso approach. That’s what. I should also remind you that we are English teachers.
“Let’s just saaaayyy……. Your. Flexibility. Would. Be. Appreciated” (strokes cat) and, “nothing is certain Anne, nothing. ” (Offers pinky ring for kissage).
I’m expecting to wake up next to a horse’s head in my bed, any day now. Next to a pile of bloodied text books.
No amount of billing and cooing, or veiled threats will sway me, I absolutely will not be coerced or bullied into anything I don’t want to do. This is as true in my professional life, as in any other situation I may find myself in. Say a bit like a request for an*l sex, for example. No thanks, I don’t have the space or the inclination.
So, I am waiting for confirmation of the hours I had booked in already, am bracing myself for the worst case scenario; and having a meeting next week with the CFO of one of the biggest companies in Catalunya.
Never, but never push the PANK.
(I may write a post next week, sobbing into my keyboard, lamenting the loss of my current job.)