Loss is more than financial

1st July 2011 at 01:00

This morning, for the first time in weeks, I received the phone call asking: "Are you available for work"?

Unfortunately, I no longer get ready for work. I was beginning to look foolish - all dressed up and nowhere to go. It's not an easy job to be available at the drop of a hat, to enter a school as an outsider, to pick up numerous lesson plans and to deal with endless new faces.

Soon, however, I am to have "second class" firmly stamped on my forehead for all and sundry to gawk. "But you're nae a real teacher." "Yes, Jimmy I am, just a second class one on half pay."

For me, the loss is so much more than financial. So am I available for work? No, I'm afraid I have crawled into a dark place, a place where nothing seems to make any sense any more and I can't see a way out. Bullied, victimised and abandoned.

"It could have been so much worse," squealed the EIS.

Yes, but they shoot horses, don't they?

Catherine Carrigan, Belmont Road, Aberdeen.

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