Getting fucked over (even harder) at work

December 13, 2008 at 4:55 pm (Uncategorized)

Seems to be a variation on a common theme, based on conversations with others I know lately.

Well, it might be remembered that not that long ago I was already bitching about my place of employment and how, due to my unfortunate ability to grasp complicated issues like “problem solving,” I and a few select others had been selected to work on a project that was more complex, and thus slower, than the work everybody else was doing.
We don’t get paid hourly, we get “production” pay, which in a nutshell means the more work you get done during your shift, the more money you make. I’m sure that works fine in an environment such as, say, assembly line work where every task is exactly the same and takes about the same amount of time. Not hard to estimate that if you do x number of items in x amount of time you will make x amount of money. I’ve found it doesn’t work as well with the type of work I do, where one item may take 30 seconds to complete, while another one may take much more work and take 20 minutes, and their claims that their production pay should “average out” is a load of crap – yeah, it averages out, to less pay than you were expecting to get.
This has been a problem pretty much the last year, where I would do work that is mentally exhausting and basically not make as much as the “grunts” would would do the simpler, and thus faster, work.

I had always been annoyed by this, but dealt with it, because regardless that for some reason I was being blocked from the gravy-train work, I was still making at least a liveable wage in the end.
However, starting a couple of months or so ago my patience started getting tested. Noting “budget restraints,” they capped the number of items (and thus number of dollars) a person could work on per day, and at the same time knocked down the pay per item. This effected everyone in the office, or at the very least everyone in my department, and bitching was heard office-wide. The “grunts” were especially vocal, as they had in effect been knocked down to half days. BUT here’s the rub – those people who were getting out for the day after 3-4 hours, were still making nearly as much as I was, still working on the more complex work all day most days, in fact some days having to put in overtime to reach my daily work goal. Most of the office that was doing the easy work was, in essence, making nearly twice as much per hour as those of us doing the harder work.

Now here is yesterday’s final camel-breaking straw:
Previous to coming to this employer, I worked for a few years manning a telephone for an insurance company. It was fucking hellish torture, and because of that, I quit (in a very opinionated fashion) to come to this employer where, blissfully, my desk did not even have a phone on it. I made it quite clear upon signing on that the reason I was signing on for this job was because I didn’t want to deal with the phones any longer.
So – guess what I’m doing starting Monday? That’s right, they’re putting me on a goddamn phone. It’s going to be outgoing calls basically asking medical providers for patient records. Repeat about 6500 times or so. Which isn’t as shitty as the phone work I was doing before, but it’s still shitty. And, along with that, they’re paying an hourly wage for it, which I estimate is about $4/hr less than I was averaging before, or probably over $300 per paycheck if I remember right. Merry Christmas!!!
Oh, and here’s how I’m getting a good, special fucking: only myself and one other person are getting dumped on the phones full-time. The rest of the staff is only doing it for half the day, and then doing their other work for other half.
Also, this was given to us as “a 3 week project that needs to be completed by the end of the year,” and when I said something along the lines of “fine, I may be able to deal with this for a few weeks, but don’t go expecting me to stick around on it long-term,” she started waffling with shit like “Well, I don’t see much else new coming down the line… and the work with the current client is dying off, and…” – Translation: We plan to permanently put you on the fucking phone, even after this “three week project” is done, and were hoping to spring that news on you in January.” Motherfuckers.

Now, let’s recap: I was previously pissed because the majority of the staff (and not myself) was making nearly a full day’s wage in 3-4 hours and getting to go home, while I and a select few worked a full shift or longer and made maybe, MAYBE $20 more than day. Those same people (not me) are now going to be working full shifts, making an hourly wage for one half of the day, and working this other work for the other half. This means, basically, that everybody but me and this other person who my boss apparently also doesn’t like, will be getting paid the same nearly full-days wage in 3-4 hours like before, PLUS the hourly for the additional 4 hours on the phone. While I and the other guy will be making only the shitty hourly wage for the full 8+ hours, along with the joy of not getting a break away from the phones. The boss explained it as “well, I know you two have prior phone experience, and I wanted that for my full-time guys.” That is SUCH a load of shit! Probably half the goddamned staff out there have worked phone jobs in the past!
OH! OH! And this is also after finding out that through an email slip, the other guy and I discovered that the gals on our project team, who the boss gets along with better, had a HIGHER DAILY CUTOFF than we did, to the tune of probably at least $30-40 per DAY. So, anybody sense any favoritism from this boss maybe? Just maybe??

The new deal hasn’t started up yet until Monday, after which I’m going to give it a few days and compare notes between how things are going with myself and the other guy, compared to those people I’d been working with previously. If it comes out as I expect, I am seriously considering going into my boss’ office and just straight-up asking if she is purposely trying to get me to quit for some reason. I mean, I’ve been fucked over at jobs before, but for the most part they have always been company-wide fuckings that I had just had the misfortune to be included in. This seemingly “targeted” fucking over is something new, and it really, really pisses me off.

I know that nobody hires around year-end, but I’ve started setting up daily emails with the job web sites anyway, and will be freshening up my resume. Allegedly the job market is tough right now, but I’m sure as hell going to try anyway. You know, I hear employers bitch about how workers don’t have any company loyalty or respect any more – well I tell you what, you have to give some respect and loyalty to receive it.

On a related note, I’m thinking really, really hard about looking into taking up being an electrician – it’s supposed to be one of the best paying trade jobs, the us dept of labor is estimating a 23% growth in the market by 2012, and I think I’d probably actually find the work interesting.
I’ve got a pretty thick “intro to electricity” from the library that I’m reading through to see if I can grasp the concepts OK (I’ve looked at the testing manuals for certification and it’s not all just the practical stuff – they want you to know how electric works down to the atomic level) and so far it doesn’t seem bad, but I’m still only a few chapters in, and haven’t gotten to the math yet. Ugh. Math. Anyway, if I seem to get it OK, I may find a correspondence program or something to get certified.

I had said before I needed to do something about my job and career path, and this is doing a fine job of pushing me even harder.



  1. Contagion said,

    Electricians can make a hell of a lot of money, but I will warn you as I’ve personally known 3 people that tried to get into that industry over the last year and a half… if you don’t have good contacts in the union, you’re going to have problems getting on in a shop for your apprenticeship and even after that getting decent jobs. Two of the three ended up dropping out and the one that is still working at it is doing a lot of “non-union” jobs on the side to make ends meet.

  2. Wes said,

    Go for it dude!

  3. ya said,

    stop bitching and get an education. Jesus. The whole world is getting fucked over by the wealthy 1% assholes running your ass and paying themseleves with 99% of company assets. Steal from them and give to yourself, they’re the man, your the survivor.

  4. shadoglare said,

    Wow – that came from so far out in left field I seriously don’t even know how to respond.

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