Paul's mate Jenny will be the umbrella manager for the entire of Children's Business Support when she returns from maternity leave and she reckons I'll wing it, but obviously I'm not going to go into it expecting miracles. I need to start applying for Gr3 posts outside of Legal Services, and I might as well start with one I know I'm more than capable of doing; if I don't get it or choose not to go for it, I'll at least have the relevant application/interview experience under my belt.
In going downstairs just now to hand Ian some work, he initially engaged me in conversation about choir as he'd been to see the Bach/Brahms concert on Saturday. I started off explaining that I was on leave of absence so hadn't been in the concert, but as he was on the telephone on hold the conversation was cut short. I then ended up chatting with Naz about the job, as I'd promised to keep her updated.
In the midst of said conversation Ian finished his phonecall and overheard us, then when I clarified I'd got an interview he literally facepalmed. Leanne, one of our locums, sits next to Ian and also looked devastated - I've done probably two pieces of work for her since September but even so, my reputation precedes me (as do my high standards, initative and accuracy). South Team are very good at singing my praises to new starters in the team.
Ian asked - quite rightly - why I was even looking in the first place, so I told him: my team are driving me mental. If I could work one-on-one with fee earners, or if we had allocated typists for each team like it was before, I would probably hold on a bit longer. I said that I'd spoken to David about a reference and he'd advised me of the potential, imminent restructure and the fact that there would be Legal Assistant posts coming out of it (in addition to possible jobs in the Adoption Panel Team), and Ian confirmed that the restructure is in discussion at this very moment and there would most definitely be Legal Assistant posts coming out of it.
I also said that I'd applied for the same in West Team and hadn't got it - Ian hadn't been aware of that, but I think he was on leave at the time. He asked who had got it and when I told him - my exact words were "earmarked" (seriously, at this point I am making no illusions as to my discontentment; the more noise I make, the more likely change is going to happen) - he facepalmed again.
Basically, one of the most well-respected senior solicitors in the team (by which I mean Children's Legal in general), is equally as frustrated with the situation as I am. I'm not sure if I've mentioned before, but Ian is a distinguished, quite posh gentleman in his mid-sixties. We have a surprising amount of interesting conversations despite our very different backgrounds and age difference. Many of the WPO's who haven't worked with him - or indeed, who do not have the requisite level of intelligence to form a rapport - find him a bit intimidating and stuffy. In fact, he is quite the opposite, as long as you approach him with honesty and integrity.
The upshot of the conversation was that he said he'd "have a word" with David. I take this to mean he will not hestitate to stoop to the same tactics as West Team and cherry-pick me for a guaranteed Legal Assistant post; I'd already got the same message from David already when he said, "It depends who's doing the interviews". If my suspicion of team bias had not already been confirmed by PutUpon months ago, it most definitely would have been by now. :P
He also told me not to do anything hasty, and I confirmed that the interview process for the CPR job could well take several more weeks, and even if I do get it I can ask when the deadline is for deciding whether or not to take it. It seems that keeping my ear to the ground in Legal is most definitely a good contingency plan.
Naz asked if I'd suggested reverting to team working rather than pool working, but considering how out of the loop we are lately, I really don't think that'll work. My only chance in that regard is to initative mutterings within the fee earning teams about the quality and turnaround speed of work now that everything is pooled, through discussing it with people I'm friendly with. Word spreads through Legal Services staff pretty quickly, and their issues get dealt with much quicker than ours. ;)
The other interesting outcome of the chats was discovering Jas really likes the Killers too and is "well jell" (her words) of my having seen them the other week. I might copy Battle Born (as well as Flamingo) for her as she hasn't got them. At the point where she was enthusing about the gorgeousness of Brandon Flowers, Naz told us both to get a life and wandered off. :D
So, things are getting interesting, if nothing else!!