Monday, January 5, 2009

Beyond the beyond.

I think my patience with my employer has hit critical mass. While I made the decision a few weeks back to start looking for another job, it was not until Friday that it really hit me how badly I need to get out of it. It's bad enough that one is treated like so much cattle, expendable, and can be culled from the herd without so much as a second thought, but when they start messing with my hours, then I have a problem.

The time system that they have is quite frankly, a piece of shit. It's not uncommon for it to screw up, and basically punch you in/out incorrectly, which is what happened last Wednesday. I worked an extra hour during day, and the system misplaced the punch in time. Not all that unusual, so you just send a note to the supervisor and he/she corrects it, right? BZZZZT! Wrong answer, thank you for playing! It seems that whoever corrected it simply decided to totally delete the extra hour, thank you very much.

This is typical of the type of nonsense we all have to put up with there. Some months back, I had a problem with my computer that basically put me down for an entire shift. Since I work from home, this can be a bit of a problem. I don't have the luxury of walking over to another cube and logging on to another computer. I called the supervisor to place a ticket for me, and then waited for IT support to call, and waited, waited, waited... You get the picture?

Well, they never did call, and I waited up until the end of my shift at 3 am. So, I naturally spoke to the boss the next day, and told him what happened. You see, they weren't going to pay me for the shift. Excuse me? It's not my bloody problem that your computer screwed up. It's not my bloody problem that your IT help desk can't call me back within a reasonable amount of time in order to get me back up and running.

He eventually saw the sense in my argument, and they agreed to pay me for the shift, and put in place some procedures to avoid this in the future. It's a shame that it took my having to state the obvious to them in order to get them to wake up. We now finally have a dedicated help desk team just for the work from home people.

Too little, too late.

Now, regular readers will know that I am working towards being a full-time freelance writer. I took a nice step in that direction last week as well, with my first big job; I wrote up a press release for a local film company that is having one of its short films made into an internet webisode for Atom TV, and is being produced by Comedy Central. You can check it out here:

While this is a good start, I still have to think about a regular income until the writing business really takes off. I've retooled my resume, and Tuesday am taking it in for a review by a career counselor. After that, I'll start using whatever connections I can, plus the usually sources of, Linkedin, etc. You know the drill.

While I have no desire to get fired, I would, quite frankly, not be upset if they did. I would collect unemployment, and throw everything I had into my business, not that I am not doing that already. Health insurance would not be an issue, as I would go back onto Mrs. Nighttimes' coverage.

Of course, Mrs. Nighttimes' opinion on this is not quite the same, so for now, issues aside, I look for another job while staying employed. Common sense says it's the best position to be in; my brain however, is melting away like fondue. I don't want to stick a fork in it and call it done.


Peter said...

I guess you're making all the right moves in a complex and quite unpleasant situation.

What I've noticed the past year was how employers started abusing their power, and got away with it. They still are.

Even in a highly regulated country like Belgium people are scared losing their job, as benefits are low and the economic crisis has resulted in new jobs being scarcer by the minute.

VioletSky said...

Oh dear, for a moment I thought I had stumbled on my brother's blog - except he doesn't have one. He does have the same type job as yours and the same problems and hates it the same way. We had this very same conversation over Christmas!

So many advantages to letting them fire you than walking away, though.

Jay said...

It's hard to believe that they would treat their workers in such a cavalier fashion. I know it happens, but how can they possibly think it's OK?

I don't blame you for wanting to get out. Best of luck with increasing your freelance work to the point where you are not dependent on anyone else.

So what did you think of the short? LOL!

Mr. Nighttime said...

Peter - Well, that is one of the fallout's of the global economy, a domino effect. No one is immune.

VS - Yes, if they were to fire me, I could at least collect unemployment. Then again, my sense of pride doesn't want me to get fired. I would rather leave on my own terms, and not theirs.

Jay - I think the short is ok, but not really their best stuff. They have some funnier stuff here:

VioletSky said...

Notice I said "letting" them fire you - the idea is to keep control and to win by losing, so to speak.

But, yeah, pride could get in the way of that plan, too. It certainly has for me, in the past!