I had that chat with my boss this afternoon. To cut a long story short, there won't be any promotion until February. I do feel a touch more positive about the whole thing though, which is good. Disappointing and frustrating though it is, this news wasn't exactly unexpected. What did come as a pleasant surprise though was the long and open chat that it sparked off with my boss (she's actually my direct manager's boss, but my boss isn't really relevant here). I've known her for a long time now, and in fact worked for her for a few years in a different job. As a result, she knows me pretty well and I know her. She's always been honest and open with me, and I hated the fact that I was starting to suspect her motives. Well, she's just about redeemed herself in my eyes today. It wasn't good news, I know, but we actually spent a good hour chatting about all kinds of things, not least of all my health. It was nice.
She did give me reasons that I'm not being promoted, and although I think it's stupid, I am at least prepared to believe that there is nothing that she can do about it and that she is really pulling for me to get that promotion as soon as possible (she knows that it's now been 5 years since my last proper pay rise and she has already conceded to me that she feels that they owe me). She then told me how much she valued the skills that I have and offered up a few interesting possibilities about where I could take my career. It wasn't earth-shattering, but it was encouraging.
I'd be lying if I said that there wasn't a cynical voice in the back of my head telling me that I'm being played for a sucker - there definitely is - but at the moment I'm going to choose to give her the benefit of the doubt.
I'm still looking for another job, mind. Can't hurt, can it.
One thing that actually made me laugh out loud during our conversation was when she suggested that I could have some sort of career counselling from personnel. I'm sure some good people work in personnel, but I'm afraid that all my experiences of them in the last six months have been entirely negative - culminating in them trying to tell me that TUPE law meant that they couldn't promote me (my boss told me today that when she took my challenge back to them on this, they looked it up and then conceded that they were talking out of their arses. Isn't it their job to know things like that? How do they get away with that level of incompetence?).
Career guidance from them? Seriously?
I escaped work at 3pm today to head off to hospital to get some blood taken - about a pint of blood is needed to run a whole battery of tests (full blood count, immunology check, antibody check etc. etc.). They want to just absolutely make sure that they aren't missing something (either obvious or obscure) before we all settle down and wait to see if it's MS.
In better news, we've confirmed that we will now be taking three weeks off in March to go on a sort of pre-wedding honeymoon to explore Ecuador. We're going with the same small fairtrade tour company that took us to the Sahara and Anti-Atlas mountains in 2001. That was a brilliant holiday, and I'm really looking forward to this one. Best of all was the response I got when I disclosed my medical worries to the guy who runs the tour. I thought I'd better tell him now as this will be an active trip and I want him to know what he might be dealing with. His response was brilliant: he knows all about Transverse Myelitis and MS because his partner suffers from it. He has no worries about my ability to make the tour because he took her in September and she was fine. He also says he has the perfect solution.... (and having met the guy before, I have a very clear idea of what that solution is likely to be!)
Really good news and something to look forward to.
... and we won the pub quiz.
The answer I was particularly proud of? According to Jewish folklore, who was the first woman created by God?