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Take This Job And Shove It

As of noon today, I am once again unemployed. Why? Because I wasn't happy with being taken advantage of and I stood up for myself and demanded either better days/hours to work or more pay.

As most of you all know, I've been working Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and every other Wednesday from 8PM to 8AM. Yes, that is every weekend -- all year long. What you might not know is that I've been paid hourly for this position and they have refused to pay overtime, holiday pay (when you work a federally observed holiday), sick time or even vacation. You pretty much earn the same rate no matter how much you work or when you work.

I've been in negotiations to change this so it's more fair.

Firstly with trying to get a staggered schedule (since this is a 24x7 operation, someone is always working). With a staggered schedule, during week 1, person 1 would work WED/THURS, and week 2 would work MON, TUE, FRI, SAT, SUN. That would be 24 hours (week 1) + 60 hours (week 2) for a total of 84 hours every 2 weeks. Yes, the exact same number of hours worked -- but everyone would get every other weekend off. I suggested it to our team lead, pointing out how unfair the current schedule was to those stuck with the weekend work. He decided to put it up for a vote among the team members. Now you know anyone not currently working weekends wouldn't vote for it, and since there were only two people working weekend nights (Dave and me) and more people working weekdays, the vote didn't pass. (Big surprise!!) No minority rights were ever granted with a majority vote -- and Dave and I were a minority of two.

Next, I went to my HR manager and said -- look, here's the situation (work/life imbalance, working every weekend, no holiday pay, working alone on holidays, no overtime, etc.) all I'm asking is that if you want me to work every weekend in the year that I am compensated better than I currently am. I asked for a 50% raise, which I felt was fair -- considering that when I came into this position, I was only told I might be working some unusual hours. I was told that there could be no discussion of pay increases until my 12 month mark. (Knowing how IBM works, and already feeling MIMs in India shadowing us, I know that six more months down the road, I wouldn't have a job with them.)

Finally, push came to shove -- I said that if they were not willing to pay any more that my HR manager needed to apply more pressure to my IBM manager to force a fair schedule for our team, or transfer me to a different team that already had staggered weeks. I pointed out that they scheduled me to work alone 12-hour shifts without breaks on Thanksgiving Eve, Thanksgiving, the day after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, the day after Christmas, New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. When I put this pressure on my HR manager, my IBM manager simply cancelled my contract.

On one hand, I'm very happy this happened. I was getting physically ill from trying to keep this schedule -- plus, I had no work/life balance and was unable to socialize with friends or do anything with anyone (except for Mondays and Tuesdays!!) On the other hand, I'm disappointed that rather than trying to come to an agreement, they simply got rid of me. I'm sure some sucker with no self-esteem will replace me.

I've had over 75 job seekers e-mail me the past month -- and I've already done some interviewing, so with any luck, I'll be back in the work force quickly. If not, I've already applied for UB and am prepared for the long haul once again.

It will be nice to not have to work overnight anymore (well, at least for now.)



( 19 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 18th, 2010 01:16 am (UTC)
Sorry to hear that it had come to that but you were being only fair and right.

Hugs; see you Saturday for 2 hours.
Nov. 18th, 2010 05:48 am (UTC)

Thanks! See you there!

Nov. 18th, 2010 01:19 am (UTC)
Oh, yay! It's always good to stand up for yourself.
Nov. 18th, 2010 05:50 am (UTC)

It had to be done. For my self-worth and my sanity.

Too bad they couldn't, rather wouldn't play ball. Now they're short-staffed for the holidays. Do you think the team lead or the manager will be filling in for missing staff? No way!

Nov. 18th, 2010 03:36 am (UTC)
i did not know You and SIR worked for the same company, as P.I. treats HIM the same way.
Nov. 18th, 2010 05:47 am (UTC)

Which same company? IBM?

I was an IBM employee from 1999-2008, then they shipped my job to India.

When India didn't do the job they said they could, they hired some of us back to manage them (of course, through a contracting agency, not directly, otherwise, they would have to follow the rules!)

I've been overseeing the India staff for the past six months for two of IBM's outsourced customers, Disney and VF Corporation. Due to ineptitude from the Indians, they already lost the VF account at the end of the contract -- they're working on losing the Disney account now.
Nov. 18th, 2010 04:10 am (UTC)
I hope your job search might take you to Ottawa. It would be my pleasure to have you visit of you are called for an interview. I am not sure about your industry, but in general unemployment is lower in Canada.
Nov. 18th, 2010 05:52 am (UTC)
Re: jobs

I really love NYC, I wouldn't want to leave -- however, depending on what happens with the new House and Senate, I might still head north...

Chances are though, K.K. and I would head to the E.U. before going to cold climate...

Nov. 18th, 2010 04:29 am (UTC)
What good is work if there's no way to enjoy the time off and spoils of it? Glad you are out of that living hell, it sounds like you were put into a situation by several people and there was no way toward fairness. Fuck 'em all.
Nov. 18th, 2010 05:54 am (UTC)


I was so depressed last week between my working hours and winter coming that I was getting suicidal thoughts from the lack of sunshine. Not good.

I don't need to "work from home", although it's nice -- I'd rather work human hours.

I've got a lot of opportunities before me -- it's time to start making the job hunt the full-time job.

Nov. 18th, 2010 05:15 am (UTC)
Well, I am currently unemployed as well (seasonal, though)...but I quit my previous job for the same reason you described. So I think that you made a good choice (even if you didn't technically quit). I wish you good luck in your job search, and I think this is going to turn out for the best for you.
Nov. 18th, 2010 06:00 am (UTC)

I wouldn't have quit -- that would mess up any chance for unemployment, without clear proof that I had to quit for my sanity.

I tried to work with them all as best I could and they simply would not negotiate. They don't really want me, they want a warm body that can do the job and not complain.

When you're essentially told "be glad you've got a job in this economic climate" you know that they're quite aware they're breaking the law and abusing you.

I would love it if the rest of the staff working weekends pulls the same 'demands' I did! That's how labour unions start, and that's what IBM needs!!

I promise you, they are still planning on off-shoring more U.S. jobs for the short-term gains it provides them. This will eventually come back and bite them on the ass.

Nov. 18th, 2010 06:11 am (UTC)
As I mentioned, I can relate to your situation. You just described exactly what I went through (minus the outsourcing). It felt great to leave, even though it was a bit scary. Two people quit right before me, too. Anyway, I wish you luck, and I think it is for the best.
Nov. 18th, 2010 06:26 am (UTC)

Thank you so much!

Nov. 18th, 2010 10:00 am (UTC)
Atta Girl!
Sorry that line from "Nine T0 Five" just jumped into my head. Hell we only get one life, and it doesn't go on forever, so you have to ask yourself if you are wasting life being miserable and then do something about it. In the words of Chaz Antonelli..." good for you."
Nov. 18th, 2010 11:02 am (UTC)
Re: Atta Girl!

Thank you!!
Nov. 21st, 2010 04:35 am (UTC)
Enjoy your Quisp, Chaz. *Hugz*
Nov. 21st, 2010 02:50 pm (UTC)

Thank you so much!! You bet I will.

Sorry you couldn't stay later at Barnight.

Nov. 21st, 2010 02:54 pm (UTC)
I was actually up from 3am the night before. Nice seeing everyone that I did -but I'm glad I left early and got home.
--another time...
( 19 comments — Leave a comment )

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