Thursday, February 19, 2015

Work Weirdness

Work has been pretty bizarre for the last couple of weeks... I am pretty reticent about my place of employment, which is a shame, because all of my best work-related stories get left off the blog because it would be pretty easy to surmise where I work if I gave out the juiciest details in an anecdote. The current situation doesn't reveal too much information about the job, so I think I can cover it.

My department on the job is small- after the big reorganization, we were left with four employees, myself and three subordinates. We report to the head of four different departments that have a small degree of overlap. Over the course of 2013, the one woman on the team, who was a part-timer in two departments, concentrated on the other department she was a member of because the job afforded more hours. Four months later, we hired another part-timer, after another candidate failed to last a night on the job. Since the new hire, back in late 2013, there has been no turnover in the department, though two of the part-timers had their hours reduced.

Because of the loss of benefits accompanying the reduction of hours, one of the guys had some choice words for the H.R. department, to the extent that he called me up an hour before his next scheduled day to ask if he'd been fired. I told him that I figured he'd be the first one to learn that he'd been fired, and that I'd heard nothing. Coincidentally, there was a problem with the e-mail server at work, so he thought that his account had been deleted... GOOD TIMES! As far as I know, he hasn't been fired, but I guess the truth will be apparent the day his paycheck is supposed to arrive.

The other part-timer who had his hours reduced has another job, which he's not exactly enamored with (though he's a "recreational complainer", so I don't have a gauge on his actual dissatisfaction). He also has an occasional gig which pays very well, but is too sporadic to be reliable. I told him that I would make sure to adjust the schedule to let him work these gigs, because I understand that one works to pay the bills, so any opportunity to make bank is something I'd make sure to accommodate. Facing the loss of benefits, he decided that he would apply for a full-time job at a local school. When he was hired, his new boss asked him if he could start the following week, which raised a "red flag" for me, because it meant that the previous employee had probably quit in a huff. Since his new job was a Monday-to-Friday position, he would still be able to work on Sunday and Saturday afternoons, which was an immense relief to me because we are especially understaffed on the weekends.

This new development meant that the guy who'd thought he was fired would now be working more hours. We have enough problems finding suitable candidates for these jobs because, frankly, they are pretty outré, the sort of jobs that some people don't last a night on (for the record, I love the work, precisely because it's pretty outré). My standard line is that it's not a normal job for normal people.

On Tuesday, I received a call from the guy who'd started the new job, and he told me that he'd probably quit at the end of the first pay period. He didn't like the students, who he found snotty and overprivileged. He didn't like his supervisors, who he said sped on the campus in their company cars. He told me that he was working in a small booth, being trained on the bag check procedure for students, so that they don't sneak contraband onto the campus, when one of the supervisors came careering down the driveway. He said he bailed out of the booth before the car hit, but the woman who was training him, who apparently had only been on the job for eight months, was knocked on her ass. Yeah, he didn't think he'd last more than two weeks, but our department head had assured him that he'd be welcomed back to his previous amount of hours.

As it stands, I have to cobble together the schedule for next month, but the status of the part-timers is in flux, and I haven't received the formal acknowledgment of the new situation from the main office. I've always been of the opinion that maintaining maximum flexibility is crucial to the operations of our small department, but I have to say that change ain't good.

I figure it'll be a confusing couple of weeks until things fall into place.


mikey said...

Wow. In my job they treat me like shit but other than that they totally leave me alone and I typically work a couple hours a day at most.

Because they've once again given me a new supervisor, and he can't be arsed to decide what I do (we finally met today, but kept getting interrupted and never accomplished anything) I really haven't done any work at all since the new year.

But the paychecks keep rolling in, I 'work' from 9 or 10 to about 3, my commute is a painless 15 minute tool up El Camino Real and I'm just lazy enough at this point to find this a good way to 'earn' a living...

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

Wow. In my job they treat me like shit but other than that they totally leave me alone and I typically work a couple hours a day at most.

I'm pretty much left to my own devices- I work alone about 75-80% of the time. There's a lot of down time, but I'm Johnny-on-the-spot when the shit hits the fan, which happens rarely.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Part-time means no health benefits, I suppose?