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Thread: Almost 6 month in post

  1. #1

    Default Almost 6 month in post

    Well time really does fly and although I'm not quite there yet 6 months is really just around the corner so something tells me I'm actually going to make it. I'm sorry this is a long one but I really thought it was about time I got my awful work experience out there. It's the first time I've really spoken about it and I can't believe how close it came to ruining not only my immigration dreams but my career and reputation also. I haven't mentioned any company names as I don't want to open up possible law suits. I would say though to anyone looking for child care don't let the shiny new places blind you as you really don't know what's below the surface and sometimes it's the ones people turn their nose up at which really do provide the best they possibly can.

    The last 6 months have been so full of up's and downs that I really don't know where to begin. Every time I've thought life was settling down and I was getting in to the Kiwi spirit of things something has happened to knock me off track again. But I've held in there and I like to think that I'm now a stronger person for it. I'm also looking forward a lot which has to be a good sign and can't wait for summer and the million plans I have already.

    As many of you know I came out here on a WTR visa (not the kind you get from a ITA application) and this was all due to a job offer I managed to get during a trip out here in November. I'm an Early Childhood Teacher and spent weeks in November visiting centre's and having interviews. In the end I had over 15 job offers and a couple of companies trying to outbid each other for me, a great position to be in but also extremely overwhelming. In the end I went with my feeling's. I didn't accept the job with the most money, or the one which appeared to have the best overall company, I picked the one that I got the best feeling about at the interview where the people seemed to be awesome and the building it's self made me think wow when I walked in the door. It was set right on the marina with views of the ocean, it was brand new and had only been open a few months so there was so much room to put your own stamp on the place and really get involved from the beginning. There was also room for promotion very early into the job and when I accepted the original position the promotion was one of the conditions. So all appeared to be well and after Christmas at home with the family I flew back at the end of February to take up what I thought was going to be a great position.

    I don't know why but before I left the UK I had the urge to put in my EOI and to be honest it was the best decision I ever made as I don't know where I'd be now if I hadn't got my residency early.

    When I started the new job it appeared to be as wonderful as my first impressions, the people were great the centre was fantastic and I had some really wonderful babies. The only difference in the place from when I was there in November was a change in Centre Director. The lady who part owned it had decided to have a say in the running of it and had taken on the position herself. What a landscape architect knows about running a child care centre is questionable in it's self and her in experience soon became very clear as staff started walking all over her and soon the situation was spiraling out of control. I would never again work for a place where the centre director didn't have that childcare background. It started a couple of weeks in when I began having problems with one staff member. She was an older lady, also an immigrant but she was having problems with her residency visa due to the fact that her qualification wasn't recognized by the NZQA (turned out later she'd lied and there was no qualification at all). She started by just generally trying to make my life hard. She wouldn’t do anything I asked her to do, she would undermine all my decisions and she would ask to swap shifts then turn up at the original time meaning I had to work extra long days. I was in a senior position to her but couldn't actually get anything done because she was always putting road blocks in my way. I finally spoke up about it after the centre supervisor witnessed her physically pushing me out of the way but really nothing was done and it was all brushed under the carpet with a she's just jealous that you're more qualified and you're PR is going better than hers comment.

    A week or so later it got worse when I was pulled aside and told that a couple of parents had complained because someone has told them I was bad mouthing them and spent my day verbally abusing their children. The parents wouldn't say who told them but later that day it was discovered that the other lady had stolen the contact numbers of all the parents from the files and had been phoning them over the weekend. Still nothing was done other than a quick slap on the hand for the other lady for contacting the parents inapropratly. As time past the lady was showing more and more signs of being completely unstable. One day she would come in as high as a kite the next she would look awful and wouldn't be able to function all day. The director gave me a book and asked me to write down every situation as she was starting to be a danger to the children. She was leaving plastic bags on the floor for 6 month old baby's to play with. She dropped some pills and one was found by the toy's. She also locked children in the bathroom and outside unsupervised. really the list goes on. Each situation was grounds for instant dismissal but it none of it even came to a warning.

    It took till the 2 and a half month point for them to finally suspend the woman on full pay because it was getting out of hand. She was obviously mentaly unwell or on some kind of drugs but every time someone pointed this out all we heard about were what the company lawyers said and how they couldn't do anything. By this point she had called parents and told them everyone in the centre was physically abusing their children which I can say was all made up and didn't come from even the smallest amount of truth. When they suspended her she called in the police and the ministry of education who began investigations and could have turned out to be extreamly serious if it wasn't for the fact that now she was she threatening suicide to everyone who would listen. Work suddenly became an awful place to be and I'd end up at home every night in tears. The centre director kept telling me she knew the accusations weren't true and I had her backing 100% but her actions never matched up and from those actions she was appearing to tell all the parents, and other staff I was guilty. The promotion suddenly wasn't mine any more given to someone with no experiance or want to be in that position, and I was moved away from working with any one I got on with. I also wasn't allowed to be with children anywhere I couldn't be seen, and the sleeproom was compleatly opened. It was awful I was being punished for being bullied by another staff memeber. In the end the lady quit before she was finally fired but really it was only the beginning of the issues. Parents were pulling their children out and she still had all the phone numbers so even when she left she was still calling and causing trouble. The crazy thing was that at this time it was still a wonderful place for children and the care they were getting was great untill they started pushing the experianced staff out and replacing them with people who had no idea what they should be doing.

  2. #2

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    After that I could see them starting to push me out to so I jumped before things got really bad. The centre was a ship wreck waiting to happen and I wasn't going down with it. No one would listen to me anymore and I was completely ignored when I spoke up about a new staff member who couldn't cope with crying babies all day. I told them she was struggling and mistakes were going to be made but got told I needed to keep my nose out of things that didn't concern me. The week I left though my concerns were realised and a lactose intolerant baby was fed the wrong formula and ended up seriously ill in hospital because of this woman's mistake. A mistake that I've never ever seen made in the whole time I've been doing the job. This was one of her biggest mistake, slamming a child's finger in the bathroom door one of her many others. I'm not the only one who was pushed out 5 other staff members left around that time and all of us are doing so much better out of there. The kid's have continued to leave and all I can think is thank goodness they got out too. I wouldn't touch that centre or the company again with a barge pole and I still seriously worry about the safety of the children in it's care. It is going to take a really serious incident for something to actually be done.

    Anyway I'm out of there now and after some stress of not having my PR stickers in my passport in time to take up the job I'm now settled in a new centre and having a blast. I have a great team around me and I even got the promotion I deserved. I'm now Head Teacher for the under 3's in the centre and have 2 rooms to manage (as well as a much larger pile of paper work). The centre I'm now in isn't the most pretty and it's last ERO report wasn't exactly amazing but I'm turning it around. Since I started my numbers have doubled and the staff are now working as a team. We've had amazing feedback from parents and visitors and I'm extremely confident that when ERO come back at the end of the year our report is going to be as good as we deserve. I'm now also with a company which everyone told me to stay clear of but actually the support I've received from them has far surpassed anything I got before. I'm on a better wage, I have more benefits and at the end of the day I go home with a smile on my face. I now love my job, it's just a shame it took me a couple of goes to find the right place.

    Other than that things are still all change. I've been living with friends since I got here in Otara, and although it's not as bad as some make out I can't wait to get out of it. Last week I signed my rental agreement and on the 4th of September I move in to my own little 2 bedroom place in Beachlands. Bought my sofa last week and my bedroom set the week before (thank goodness for savings!) Have a feeling though I wont be alone for long as another good friend has her eye on the spare room. I love the Beachlands area, it doesn't feel like being in Auckland at all and I also love being near the water. I can't wait for summer and know that it's going to be a great one.

    I'm slowly settling in to the Kiwi lifestyle although do miss the family lots. I don't know what I'd do without skype and the knowledge that I’m going to be back home for a few weeks at Christmas to see them all. Saying that I don't have any real intention to go back to England yet for anything other than a holiday (and a few packs of hula hoops). Although New Zealand really doesn't feel like home yet, it's getting there and I'm very sure that one day when that feeling happens there will be no going back. SO IRRV here I come and NZ there's just no getting rid of me.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Manchester > Now Tauranga
    Posts
    4,393

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    Wow. Bit of a turbulent time then. Puts my work difficulties of only one of my PCs being networked slightly into perspective

    Here's to a a better second 6 months and feeling more settled by xmas.

    Duncan

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    36,002

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    What horrible experiences you've had - I had some rather similar at one point in my career, so I know what you've been through. So sorry to hear about it all, and congratulations for coming through, still forward-looking and positive.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    431

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    I am glad you found somewhere nice to work eventually, one of my good friends is an early childhood teacher like yourself and she's had some awful jobs with some very similar tones to what you have experienced, along with the crazy people too. From the the things she tells me, sadly yours isn't a one off experience and there's a lot of people out there that should never be left in charge of children.

    Onwards and upwards!!!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Celaya, Mexico
    Posts
    368

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    Sounds like you're doing a very good job now you've been given some responsibility and a good back-up team. Sorry it had to be so unpleasant before things got better, I remember how excited you were about coming out.
    The second six months can only be better....

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Warkworth , NZ
    Posts
    1,402

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    You have had a tough time but good for you getting through it.

    Early childhood is an 'interesting' career; thank goodness there are people like you who have it as a passion.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Whangamata - Coromandel NZ
    Posts
    404

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    Hugz

    What a nightmare . . . .

  9. #9

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    Thanks guys it's really crazy to read how many people have also had some horrid work experiences but good to know I'm not alone.

    I think the worst thing for me is the woman who tried to ruin my career is still in the country. She obviously has some serious mental health issues and the fact she lied about her qualifications should be more than enough to have got her out but she appears to know how to work the system.

    The old centre called immigration and explained the situation to them and how she was no longer employed by them. Immigration stated that they would give her two weeks to contact them or they would revoke her visa but it never actually happened. Since then she's vanished and shown up working for another child care company, she has also managed to change her visa to work for them as she's still on a work visa while her PR is still being processed. No one can work out how she did it as she's not a qualified member of staff and therefore any place would have to prove no one here could do the job. When I tried this myself before I gained my qualification I was turned down flat even with a begging letter from my job offer stating how much they needed me. I've really no idea how she's done it and I feel sorry for the new centre now who has employed her because she's a ticking time bomb waiting to go off again.

    Guess it's just something I have to let go of but it does drive me so crazy when I know how hard myself and everyone else on here worked to get through the process.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Kuwait
    Posts
    268

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    I hate to hear you had such a difficult time. Thank you for sharing your experience. The information is quite valuable. Hope the rest of your stay is great.

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