tirsdag 20. mai 2014

Just Because I'm paranoid....

"just because you're paranoid, doesn't mean that someone isn't out to get you"

Instinct ? Rather a mind like a chess player or perhaps just a plodding detective ? Do some things become a self fullfilling prophecy if you give voice to them infront of the would be perpretrators?

For me it is the mind not really putting two and two together, still wondering if it addition or subtraction, the gut has come up not with four, but five! Maybe that colours my future deduction ?

The Paranoia. I harbour is like a millstone round my neck with a flickering crystal ball in the centre. When i even let it slide a little, the reality of being an immigrant and a bit of an uptight but seemingly weak character bludgeons in to take over my life. Put simply, my gut feeling is a golden albatross.

In Norway I have repeatedly been discriminated against in favour of the female quota. Three times. I maybe could understand if i had been mediocre in the job or under qualified. And also my own weaknesses of course have been amplified in a couple of other jobs.

The uncanny thing is then that nearly every time there is smoke, i do find there is fire to follow just as i suspected. In norway with jobs you really do have to go with your gut instinct and be prepared to be walked over or do something proactive about it.

This starts before you apply! Is there a lot between the lines? Is the job temp ? Have you translated the content and interpreted it correctly?

The next step is the interview and here is your chance to a) be proactive b) show you know the score about norwegian wages and workers rights, but also where to compromise...whether to say you work longer hours, the whole of july, and so on. Proactive means assertive : answering with short information and following up with a question about the job. And so on, until you have a picture of the job and they have a rather to the point picture of you and how you will do well in the job.

A job offer is lovely, but remember to take a look in the mouth. Is this as expected? Is the money as good? It is likely here that personnel have come up with the salary here, one of their wee. bits of power. If it is very low then you need to go to the prospective line manager and thank you yes, but say you will need a higher offer. If the job description is vague then get more info and get it more concrete.

Then you have the six month permanency law, which is on your side if you have had the shitty end of the stick, now you can negotiate better pay and sometimes if you are discontent then you can get some better tasks and rid some spinal monkeys  yourself

At the whisp of changes or at your annual development review they have here, then be proactive. There is a good rule of thumb to nip potential changes in the bud: lower responsibility , more of those spinal monkeys, relocation, arrested development, unpaid overtime....so on. Nasty shit which usually comes with a repositioning or maybe just a feeling you get : a patronising gaze, being left out of meetings, being sent on strange courses, having your key projects taken away from you....all the smoke which wafts over before the fire reaches.

The fire reaches with the inevitable call to the boss's office out of the blue, or to an intimate meeting which is an intradepartmental ambush on you. Even then the sitting duck you, can turn and rescue a situation by asking to see the boss after and letting it hit the fan.

Before you threaten to go nuclear, speak to a lawyer and take your contract in with you. Companies here have a nominal "styrerett" meaning they can ask you to perform other tasks or even take a different position on the same money. However in exercising it they can come up against one main thing on our ex pat case and that is discrimination. If you are the only one being moved or being messed about to the favour of a native, then you have a good case.

This quite often happens actually to Norwegian women coming off maternity, usually with their second or third bairn. The company does a bit of straight talking and the woman maybe gets a lawyer and either the company capitulates, or more often a compromise is reached. Omg, who is likely to have a new part time female boss or lose their job to aforementioned? You got it, the stupid foriegner.

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