so, after a two-year stint of being unemployed or underemployed, moving to Southern California to try my luck at getting a job and moving back to the Bay Area in defeat, last February I finally landed myself a job. It seemed like a cool job at the time…my coworkers were nice people, the job itself was something I’m used to doing, although not something I feel like pursuing a career in – unless I can do the flipside, which is human resources (I work for a pre-employment screening firm…not exciting, but it’s definitely an interesting job).
Six months have passed, and my feelings toward the job have completely changed. Turnover in the last few months has been unacceptably high…the most senior person in our (very small) operations staff has been there four years, while the next most senior has been there 8 months. I’m the third most senior person in ops, and I’ve been there SIX MONTHS. And I may soon be the second most senior, because the first person is actively looking for another job.
Last Friday I went out to lunch with 2 of my other coworkers. One of those was the aforementioned person who’s been there 8 months. I found out from him that our boss is cheap and stingy – while he talks a big game about “giving people their due” and “rewarding people” with raises and stuff, one of our former co-workers worked at the job for four years without ever making above 13 dollars an hour (the rate I’m currently earning, after having received a raise after my 90 days were up).
He’s put into place some weird “performance bonus” program that, at its core, is intended to pit us against each other. He’s been trying to create an atmosphere of competitiveness amongst us that, frankly, doesn’t exist. My co-workers at this job are the first group of people with whom I can actually stand to work, because we don’t play office politics. We pull together when we need to, we help each other out, and we really function as a team, rather than paying lip service to the word “teamwork.”
The boss is also very focused on the “numbers”…obsessively so. We’re handling a workload right now that’s nearly impossible to handle with such a small staff. He expects us to complete 10-15 files a day “on average”…yet the minute we slip below that number, we’re pulled into his office for an hour or four to discuss why our numbers are low…time we could be using to make phone calls or do the research we need to do to get our files done. :rolleyes:
I can understand that we need to produce to a certain standard, but he needs to take into account ALL that we do on a daily basis: we don’t have an actual “receptionist,” so ALL of us are taking phone calls all day long, screening calls for the management and sales staff. We ALL do audits (proofreading of each other’s work before the files get sent out); nine times out of ten we’re doing data entry because our data entry person is part-time, or else we don’t have one on staff (we have the most trouble retaining those). And this is only in addition to our regular responsibilities. At 13 bucks an hour (mind you, I live in the SF Bay Area), I frankly don’t think I’m getting paid enough to play receptionist, data entry clerk, FCRA expert, customer-service whipping girl, tech help, quality-control staff, AND information-desk clerk…all in a single day’s work. To add to all this, the rules of the game change EVERY FREAKING WEEK. Every time there’s a new standard put into place, it directly contradicts the one that was in place before it…and then when the standard gets changed, it gets changed back to what it was in the first place. :smack:
I’m so frustrated I can’t function anymore. All I do is obsess about how many files I’m putting out per day, and freaking out if that average goes below 10 (I haven’t yet managed 15 files a day), because last thing I want to do is get hauled into my boss’s office and sit there for an hour trying to explain that I can’t focus on my work because I’m too busy screening his personal phone calls and doing all the above, in addition to working a good, oh, twenty or so files a week from my main client; files which are extremely work-intensive, and which I can’t focus on when the phones are ringing off the hook and I have to interrupt whatever I’m doing every five minutes.
I enjoy the people I work with; I enjoy the work I do (honestly, I do!). I just have issues with the way my boss runs his business. I understand that he runs the show, but it seems like he expects a lot more than we can realistically give in a 40-hour week (he doesn’t like to give overtime, especially when we’re behind, because if we’re behind, he “doesn’t feel justified” giving OT to someone who “can’t produce up to standard.” I’ve learned to accept that being behind is a permanent state of affairs with this job).
My boss has made all kinds of promises he hasn’t delivered on, about hiring on a larger staff so that he can groom those of us who are there now for management positions…basically, the whole six months I’ve been there, we haven’t grown. We’ve maintained the status quo, or else been short-staffed and drowned in work (and subsequently dealing with irate clients who wonder why their reports aren’t being delivered on time).
I’ve made the decision in the last couple of weeks to start looking for a new job. I feel I’m worth a lot more than 13 bucks an hour; I have 10 years’ work experience in various fields under my belt. I’m a hard worker, I’m bilingual, I’m technologically savvy, I’m flexible and adaptable, a quick learner and all the good stuff that an employer wants. I was making 18/hour at my last full-time job (2 years ago) before I got laid off, so I know I am worth at least that much. I understand the economy’s a different animal now than it was two years ago, etc…but there’s no reason I shouldn’t be making at least 15 bucks an hour right now.
I still haven’t figured out what I want to do career-wise…I’m interested in many different fields. I figure, I’m only 29, and I have some time to work out what I want to do with the rest of my life. But I can’t be at the bottom of the totem pole all my life, either. I’m kind of wondering…where do I go from here?
I’m a little bit scared to take the plunge and try and look for a new job, because the market’s so weird these days. Plus, I’m scared that any potential employers looking at my work history over the last two years will decide I’m unfocused and unstable, and not hire me on that basis. I feel like I’m a little too old to be in the “still feeling my oats” stage career-wise, yet I feel too young to be tied to one career path for the next 30 to 40-odd years.
I’m not sure what I’m trying to accomplish with this thread…I guess I need to vent, or I need some reassurance that I’m doing the right thing…help and advice are appreciated (job leads would be, too! :D).