Someone close to me was forced out of a job this week because of something I posted on my blog.
It was to do with the Sadford saga. My partner was forced to resign from her position at the school because one of the cabal of teachers would not have her in the classroom; this was the final in a series of acts of workplace bullying which began at the start of the year and was never addressed using the schools own policies and procedures.
Now, she’s not as sturm und drang as me, but according to my legal mates, there’s a clear case for constructive dismissal. She’s just upset at having to leave a job she enjoyed (well, the children part of it, anyway).
However, I’m not as understanding. She was forced out because she was my partner and a discreet supporter of Marlene Campbell. Anyone who has ever lived with me will tell you that I don’t discuss work at home, nor do I expect people I live with to blab about their work.
After I’ve spent the day internalising a really complicated situation in my head, the last thing I want to do is tell someone about it, and I figure the reciprocal applies. So the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy applies. The commercial project I am working on at the moment is reduced to “yeah, he’s buying some pipes.”
My partner never told me anything about school other than the work she did with the children. And even though I have a mountain of Sadford material, I made a point of keeping it away in my office and not discussing it. And she didn’t ask about it.
Sure, she saw the blog and wasn’t happy about some of it, but that’s the way things roll (although regular readers may have noticed that I have removed the blog post that caused this latest act of bullying).
Anyway, on Tuesday, the acting principal broke the bad news. He’s an apparently very nice bloke, however he seems somewhat emasculated by the school Commissioner; but this week’s drama ignored several salient points:
- They completely ignored the school’s complaints policy.
- They broke the Teacher’s Council rules on how to be a nice and decent and professional teacher. Registered Teachers Criteria #1 about Collegiality is only a starting point… (mind you, the Teacher’s Council isn’t worth a pinch of shit at enforcing those but I’ll do a complaint anyway).
- They set themselves up for a shit mountain of legal trouble (even if I can’t get any traction at movement on our side)
There’s also one other little thing. I have always been very good at research. Years ago, I was employed by a large listed company to research people they worked with.
In some cases it was just to find out what their interests were so the directors didn’t take rugby haters to an All Blacks Test, in other cases it was to find chinks in their armour that could be exploited in commercial negotiations.
I did the same thing in the UK as part of an internal audit role and in other contract roles. I am very good at it.
I can find out whether people only have one door handle on a bedroom door and why. I can find out who they met and when and why and probably get a corroborated transcript of the meeting. I can find out what school administrators say to their acquaintances. My drinking mates at the Northern can hear the whining Sadford teachers’ post-work piss talk on a Friday.
Most of all, I have very good networks. And I’m an optimist and very patient when it comes to getting results.
I also have an ever-growing pile of information from parents about their Sadford experiences over the last 12 months.
You might have made someone very sad and briefly unemployed, but you have also lit a fuse.
Someone close to me doesn’t want it to affect the children’s learning, but as I see it, this whole sorry multi-million dollar bitch session started by people with spurious intent was never about teaching and learning.
So, if that’s the way they want to play, let the games begin.