Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Letter to the Boss

I'm in trouble at work for absenteeism and my division chief has given me an opportunity to respond.  This is the letter I wrote.  

Bottom line up front, I might not want to defend this. I'm not sure it's worth it. Fighting to keep this job would just mean more of this.
This job is harmful to my health as evidenced by the increasing need for sick leave, high absenteeism, and recurring need for mental health services. This viewpoint comes from a perceived lack of opportunity to advance my career and a lack of parity with contemporaries outside of government jobs. There is no opportunity to advance from my level; all announced positions require a higher applicant grade than I have. Because of the lack of advancement opportunities within this job, compounded by the lack of training, I am not competitive in the modern workforce and am at a severe disadvantage being so far behind my contemporaries in the job market. Despite this deficit, my current task is far below my capabilities, which only makes the disparity more pronounced.
My task does not appear to be of interest to my employers. It is not on their list of major network services. For that matter, several of my previous projects failed to be incorporated into the Army's network which only shows declining relevance. This task is so marginal that I am the only person in the organization with this responsibility and yet it is a critical function when I am absent as apparently all support capability in the organization grinds to a halt. It is still a low-level administrative function where my skill set is wasted.
There is apparently, according to statements from my supervisor, higher-level work available. Work which is advertised as mentally stimulating and enables me to use my knowledge in an engaging and rewarding task. I am denied the opportunity to advance in this way; the reason given is that I do not perform at a higher level now. I counter that my low-level task does not require or offer the high level performance I am capable of. And that brings up a recurring concern of mine; that my leaders are unable to tell the difference between an employee incapable of higher level performance and one who doesn't offer it because it isn't required on a current task. It is clear I have been mistaken for the former.
In closing, I am tasked with work well below my capability and with training and advancement denied by policy.

It sounds like a resignation letter but it's a big relief.