Ok I have now moved from feeling devalued to just feeling like I am literally the invisible woman. For the past year we have been functioning without a senior research person. Alot of the responsibilty has fallen on two sets of shoulders - another research officer who is working on one particular project, and mine.
The other research officers duties relating to the SRO position have only been specifically related to her project. Everything else has been dumped on me. I get to manage the students. I get to edit/proof read the papers. I get to manage junior staff in directions the analysis of the research should take. I get to oversee the purchase of major equipment. I am not employed on one particular project - infact more often than not I am the troubleshooter they drag in at the end when they realize the project is fucked up beyond belief.
For the past two weeks the SRO position has been advertised (I only know that because the secretary happened to mention it). Here is the complicated part though - our department is a mix of university and government employees. The other research officer and myself are both university employees. The SRO position is a government position. When I heard the position was being advertised I rang the appropriate HR department and asked the status on the position - was it to be filled within the government only, or could university employees apply? I was told it was to be filled from within the government - they would only advertise it externally if it couldn't be filled from within. Still I persisted. What if I had already taken on alot of what the position entailed, I asked. No, sorry came the response. What if I could get the Head of the Department to support the fact that I already had taken on board alot of the duties? No sorry, your resume will not be looked at.
I left it at that. I couldn't talk to the Head of the Department about it because he is sailing around some tropical island right now. Today was the last day for applications. I walked into the other research officers office this afternoon to ask her if she had noticed something about one of the programs we use. She was working on her resume.
"Oh, are you going for another job?", I asked.
"Yeah the SRO's position" she replied.
"But they are filling that from within the government first..."
"Well Head of the Department told me to apply and he'd pull a few strings".
I walked out, before I said anything I might regret at a later stage. Nearly a decade of loyal service and this is how I am treated? I sat back down at my desk, pulled up my resume, immeadiately posted it on the various internet jobseeker sites and started browsing advertised positions. I am beyond stunned. What do I do? Do I confront HR with what I know now? Do I wait until I see if the position is indeed filled by this bit of fluff? Do I even say anything at all - if I do I better make sure I have a job to go to, because this is going to be professional suicide...