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Should I stay or should I go?

I am really stuck and I can’t see a way out.
I can’t give up my job, which is becoming more difficult as the years go by, due to changes in the work we do. I would love to resign but it would leave me struggling to find a job. We had deaf awareness last year and I am teaching sign on a daily basis. My colleagues do enjoy it, but they don’t use it.
Fair enough, to each their own, but I feel I am wasting my time. Also daily team meetings are a nightmare. My manager emails me info in advance, but I still miss out a lot in the meeting, as there is no interpreter – apparently it is not cost effective. Shall I stay or shall I go?

Evelyn

Deafauntie says:
Whoa! Lots going on here. Separating out all the different issues would probably be a good idea. Let’s deal with the smaller ones first.
1) Deaf Awareness only works if the training was short and relevant with a 10 Top Tips conclusion and then a follow up a month later. If this is not done, you may just as well sit at home and watch Eastenders or Coronation Street.
2) Why are you teaching your colleagues signing? They obviously enjoy the bit of fun but have not yet made the link between signing and inclusion. Drop it this instant. If you really want to make a difference then use that time to discuss one point that bothers or hinders you at work, and the practical solution that would make it better.
3) You are attending staff meetings without an interpreter? Hello? What’s going on here? Not only are they contravening Equality Laws (others can advise on this better than I can), they are losing any sense of humanity.
In your longer letter you say ‘it is for confidential reasons’, but I fail to see what this can mean. You are not the first person to tell me this. Someone had to sign a 15 page document to say she and her palantypist would not divulge any information learnt.
It is at such moments that I realise the world has gone mad. If it is only a matter of cost, then an online interpreting service, such as SignVideo, seems to be the way to go. Do suggest this to your manager, then stand back and see what happens. Where is your Access to Work advisor in all this? Should you stay or should you go?
Well, let’s see how you get on with some of these suggestions. Contact me again in two months’ time as that’s how long it will take you to begin to turn this around.

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3 responses to “Should I stay or should I go?

  1. Trust me you are not alone in this problem. ;All good advice above. I too had to do similar, especially since 1995, and even I was a Manager of hundreds of staff. It still was not easy!

    In an ideal world cost should never be a factor when it comes to a disabled person doing a job and it is for good valid reasons. In your case it sounds as if you really need to get this area of problems sorted under the EA2010 Act, and see how it goes. Try and get everything in writing from now on to show that you have made every effort to get “things right” and keep going.

    After a while your dilemma of “should I stay or go?” will become clearer in your mind and in your own time. In my case it became very clear after 20 years!! No regrets at all.

    If you do reach to that point of deciding to go…..give yourself six months before doing that finale resignation letter. Seek legal advice, and re contact Deaf Auntie too!

    I hope that you don’t reach that point but if you do, we will have some experience and advice ready for you.

    For now take your time, and make a start in attempting to improve things for yourself and others, get everything in writing via emails, and keep them very safe!.

    Good luck who knows it may be much better in the near future!

  2. You could also look at remote speech-to-text, which is a minimum one hour booking (£65 per hour), then 15 minute blocks – see http://121captions.com/services/captions/remote-speech-to-text/

    Certainly request a meeting with your manager and explain the problems – but be sure to give him/her the solutions as well. Ask for a monthly progress meeting with your manager, to check that you are happy with communication support on an ongoing basis.

  3. Hi Evelyn. You ask, “Should I stay or should I go?”. You should definitely not go unless you’ve been accepted for another job. People who are in a job find it much easier to secure another job than people who have resigned. I suspect this is all the more true if someone has resigned because of their hearing loss.

    My advice is to hang in there with your current employer. Make it clear what your needs and rights are, but not in a threatening way. You say things are getting harder because of changes at work. Is there another department that you could transfer to where this is less volatility? Have this discussion with your manager.

    In parallel with this I believe you should start the process of looking for another job. You’ve nothing to lose by doing so. In fact you’ve got a lot to gain. You’ll find yourself listing your skills, experience, interests and aspirations. This will help you identify and articulate what you’ve got to offer an employer. And this could turn out to be an excellent way of improving your situation with your existing employer rather than jumping ship and jong a new employer.

    As a precursor to all this, follow Laraine’s advice and break your issues and concerns down into bite-sized pieces. I’m sure you’ll find this helps you prioritise the major issues and to get things into perspective.

    Best of luck!

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