The ugly side of advantage

“Anyone who would take advantage of my weaknesses does not deserve my strengths.” ~ unknown

working at homeOver on our other site the Midweek Word-prompt is Advantage. This is my response to the prompt.

Have I taken advantage of someone? I would say not, have I taken advantage of a situation? I would say definitely yes.

Where others see darkness, I will see a light, and will find an advantage.

My mother once said I was born lucky, “No matter what happens, you always manage to fall on your feet!” It was almost said as a complaint. In some respects, I agreed with her, but in other ways, I disagreed. For the most part, I’ve had a fortunate life but that isn’t to say that bad things haven’t happened and when they have I’ve mostly taken the positive stance.

Have others taken advantage of me? Yes, on occasion, and in some circumstances finding the positive stance has been difficult.

I see the best in people long before I see the worst, I will make excuses for their behaviour even though the evidence is plain to see.

I was once warned to watch my back. “He wants your job!” I was told. I ignored the advice and believed the young male teacher simply wanted to be involved. I encouraged his involvement and suggested he be allowed to take on a small part of my role.

Despite being near retirement I was still good at my job, a job that had evolved from virtually nothing to one with many facets, I knew the job inside out, no one else had my experience or my knowledge. The young man had a lot to learn, and I saw nothing wrong in passing on some of my skills, after all, he could be the one to take over when I retired.

The summer break arrived and when I returned to school at the start of term it was as a new widow, I was also recovering from surgery. Feeling low I announced this would be my final year.

It was decided that the young man would share my role, and initially, I believed this to be an excellent idea, I could ease him in gently before I retired, but I was wrong.

Unfortunately, the school management took advantage of this, my salary was unfairly reduced and the non-contact planning time was taken away from me.

I protested and attempted to explain how much time outside of school was already given over to the job, but I was still grieving and too weary to fight it further.

The young man also took advantage and began to present my ideas as his own. His lesson plans never arrived, and I continued as always, planning lessons for a whole school, teaching each year group, running the school website and the VLE, (Virtual Learning Environment) but he had become the golden boy and received my glory.

When I retired my role was split between four people because, I was told, “It’s far too much for one person!

© July 2018 – in response to the word-prompt Advantage from Weekly Prompts.

24 thoughts on “The ugly side of advantage

  1. Hopefully you’re satisfied within yourself now, knowing that you you were the best, and I think your honest and generous personalities are great advantages for you to have 💛😊

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My mother used to say it’s better to be born lucky than rich. She also used to say I was lucky and would never be rich, Well she was right about the last bit at least.
    Then again I suppose I am lucky; 2 lots of cancer and one stroke and still going, has to be something wrong somewhere 👿


    1. Compared to my mum, abandoned by her own mother as a small child, a baby out of wedlock at the end of the war, a marriage of convenience to my dad, my life has been an absolute doddle. Thanks to my husband, I have a lovely home and family and we never struggled. Probably time I started to count my blessings!
      I admire you greatly Brian and I hope you’re beginning to feel a little better than you have lately. Thank you for taking the time to comment today, very much appreciated. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  3. My heart and stomach just sank with this post. This is exactly what I am going through right now. This school year will be the first in 21 years where I will not be in the same school. I started this program 15 years ago. It struggled for the first couple of years. But my Principal at the time, believed in me and understood that success takes time. 15 years later I ran the premier program in the district. Where others had similar programs, they had no where near the course offerings I had. I maintained a very humble approach especially where my colleagues were concerned. I did everything I could to prevent animosity. There were a couple of administrative changes and the new curriculum specialist was a little put off by the success of my program. It took away kids from his program and the success I had with the number of students I had that audition led and were accepted into higher level programs, (100% last 5 years) did not sit well. I started this past school year incorporating a whole new curriculum (that I wrote). I also had some personal issues I had to deal with. The first 2 months were rough and I struggled a bit. The specialist saw it as an opportunity to take advantage of that. I never saw it coming. It wasn’t very long after when I finally got things running as intended. Fast forward to March when I was informed, rather unceremoniously, that another vetted teacher would be teaching my program and I would be reassigned to basic courses. There was no explanation, no reason, and no need. I’m not a brown noser, I don’t do favorites and I don’t “hang out” with people. My focus is and always was teaching my kids. As a result, I had no advocates, no one (in power) had “my back”. And based on who they hired, I realized it was another way they took advantage of me. After some parental and student protests, I realized the decision was not going to change. I agonized over it (still do) and after a lot of thought, realizing that there would be no way I could work with a person that I have no reason to trust who I know has no where near the credential I offer, I could not stay. I was offered a new position doing something completely different at a different school. I continue to agonize, stress and try to understand what and why, knowing I probably will never know the answer. It’s a never ending internal struggle. Your post made me feel that I am not alone. I wish, really wish, I could retire or have the financial luxury to walk away. That’s not happening. So I will make the best of it and attempt to understand the reason in everything happens for a reason. It is something I’ve held in for a longtime and I just felt that after reading your post, I could share my struggle with an unbiased, person who doesn’t know me or the situation, who would actually understand. So thank you for sharing, and your strength to tell your story. And thank you for providing a forum to share my story. I’m sorry you went through that, I hope you find the silver lining, having the opportunity would definitely have been mine. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was hard to click like after reading your comments here. I am so sorry you had to go through this ordeal. The way you were treated was appalling and quite definitely on the ugly side of advantage. I still remain shocked at how easy it is for someone in the workplace to trample over others and with no regard or respect for the other. You obviously worked hard and put your all into your role at school, I know exactly what you’re going through and I am sorry this was taken away from you.

      I wish you all the best in your new school and I thank you for sharing your story here. Keep in touch, I would be interested to know how everything works out. 😊


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