The Woman Behind the Man

Yesterday was one of those days!

If it were a film, it would be awarded rotten tomatoes!

His job move only got canned at the last minute!

I know. There are words to use but not ones that I should use, so I won't.

I have to say, I was so upset I cried buckets, more because of the lack of control over my own life than anything else. Still, it was a low blow and a timely reminder, that our lives are not our own! Also, that my decision to step away from his career is the only decision to make to save my sanity!

We are expecting the packers on Monday.

We have sold some of our furniture.

The dogs have been health checked and vaccinated!

You get the picture.

So why would the company do this? Don't they know there are actual humans involved?

I'm not sure they do or care but they certainly needed reminding!

Since agreeing to come to Canada, for one year only, at very short notice, we've kinda been left to work things out ourselves. The company hasn't really been bothered about including us in anything. In fact we have been invisible, treat like temporary visitors really. It was very clear it was just a holding post, okay fine! It wasn't going to be forever and we all knew we needed to move on by the 31st of January.

My husband has just been a cash cow for the company. Thats the reality of this job. A very successful cash cow nevertheless! Brutal, I know.

Anyway, it was just for a year and then to the next project, so we hunkered down to get it done even though it cost us dearly.

The original package was calculated to ensure we could pay our daughters school fees, but the high/over tax and lack of promised extra hours made a real mess of our personal finances. Within three months we knew that the company didn't do what it said on the packet! I have to say the stress was not worth the adventure.

There wasn't a lot of thought into his 1 year contract really and it left him wide open to risk! Risk of no sick leave, no leave etc. A very confused contract that had him hourly paid but treat like a permanent employee. They even deducted the state pension monthly. All very odd.

Anyway with the move ahoy we could happily start relaxing, knowing that this tough bit was over. Only everything going on behind the scenes was too slow for comfort. I just knew something wasn't right. Then yesterday my husband had to force contact with his boss again. It had all gone a little too quiet. No financial authority to move and only ten days left here!

Then the bomb was dropped. The big cheese said no! He decided that the relationship with the client was worth more than the promises made to us. We became collateral damage.

That would have been that I guess, but I decided to do the unthinkable and make them aware of the damage to our lives and our family finances. That this job was a partnership between him and them. Not a dictatorship.

So I wrote to the boss.

Four hours later, the company chose to honour the original agreement they had with my husband. I should bloody well think so!

I'm still reeling from it all frankly. We were put in an impossible situation!

I know you are probably cringing right now. I mean it's his job, right? Actually at his level it's not just him, it's about us! He's not in the Army now and I refuse to let the corporate wheels mess with my life. It really is high time companies realized their employees are not merely numbers but real living human beings with real lives! Last minute change affects us all and there should be discussion and agreement to change first!

It so true that all too often the at home partner suffers during an international move, due to loss of a job or opportunity! We don't just pack a suitcase and walk out of one life into another! There is so much more involved! I have a job to go back to and my plans are important too! 10 days is not acceptable notice to change our plans.

I was talking about this to friends in France yesterday, many of which are flying solo with husbands working abroad. I absolutely get it! I've tried to keep up with my husbands career but I wish I hadn't! The cost is too high!

We ladies could have been CEO's of our own companies by now, if we hadn't sold our souls to the devil and become the shadow partner!

Roots are also hard to put down whilst forever packing our belongings to start again somewhere, just tagging along, doing our duty! I'm not bitter, I mean it was a choice, but I don't think it works for me or my marriage and certainly not for my career.

I feel strongly after turning 50 that I must speak up, loud and clear when I see, hear or experience something that isn't right. I am both strong and kind but I'm certainly not stupid or a walk over.

The whole point of me going back to France to live and work is to extract myself from the never ending change in my life. To stop the stress and uncertainty. I'm also hoping my life partner of 30 odd years gets the feel for the roots I will plant and comes home to stay!

D x

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