Posting this on behalf of Garner. _____________________________________________________________ When I took this job, I knew it was a one year contract. I expected the work would be dull, I didn't expect any extentions on the contract (there wasn't even enough work on the original project to last a full year), and I assumed I'd be able to find something else after the contract ran out. The work was what I expected, there's no guarantee of any extention, and I haven't found anything to move into after this. Call it two out of three. Shortly after I joined the Council, a woman was hired to help the building admin staff. I think she was hired as an admin or at least admin assistant, but she's been put to work mainly as a secretary, also having to cover reception an awful lot. She has, as such, not been happy with the nature of the job. She also has not had any better luck than I at finding something else to move on to after her contract runs out. We've spoken about our respective positions (assy* end up and hung over a barrel, for the most part) before, and the difficulties with finding something more long term in this town at this time of year. But she's having a rougher time of it. She's enjoyed her job less, felt a bit cheated with the nature of the duties as well, and her contract runs out tomorrow. I've got until the middle of January. Plenty can happen in that time. I've even been told that it's looking more promissing that there might be some quarterly extentions available on my contract. I'd rather not be strung along, quarter to quarter, but my management is sympathetic and has told me I'd be free to jump ship mid-quarter if something else came along. Nothing's definate with any of that, though. But appearantly my compatriot in contractual wage slavery was given a verbal promise that it would definately happen. And there's been nothing from personnel yet. She's written them three times, and three times been denied. I expect there's no cockrel crowing in the garden after that third one, either. I assured her that I'd had similar issues with personnel. My manager was unable to get a response from them when she requested the manditory forms for my six month review. In contrast, the poor woman who'll be out of a job this weekend hasn't even HAD her reivew yet... This seemed to relieve her on one level (at least personnel isn't deliberately singling her out for slight), but discourage her on another (would she really want to stay with an organization who can't find their human resources with both hands?). I can sympathize. I mean, I'm still technically in the same boat, it's just that my ship isn't sailing for a few more weeks. And what's more, we were quite lucky (blessed if you want to look at it that way) recently, receiving a small sum of money that, provided we don't squander it all on christmas and other unrelated commercial frivolities, should provide us at least a month or two's insurance if our combined income is halved in the Garner household. So, I could be worse off right now. I'm stressed enough about it as it is, and the job market in this town is so depressing that I'll be going to the doctor to talk about prozac or similar next week, but there are safety nets. We'll get by for right now, and before it gets to a point of no return, I can always take a job sweeping floors for three quid an hour. So, I'm not that shaken up by my own situation, when you get down to it... and yet the woman who's contract expires tomorrow is down there now covering reception for our building with tears in her eyes. She's not letting it show, but her stare is noticibly watery, even if her upper lip is britishly stiff in the face of adversity. And *that*'s what's shaken me a bit. I mean, the christmas decorations are already going up in shops and in the town centre. People working in the private sector may already been budgeting gifts based on an expected christmas bonus. The seasonal work (just perpetuates the problem, really, but at least it's a paycheck for another few weeks) that was on offer in local shops two weeks ago has been filled by spotty faced teenagers by now. Christmas is coming, with lots of lights and tensil for some, but it's also the winter of discontent for folks who are looking for a job. And that poor woman's trying to do her best not to cry while covering reception in a busy local government office building. *glingle glingle glingle* *Due to E-man's E-mail E-filter, the suffix of -y must be added to anything naughty. It is a shity E-mail filter.