This, boss, is why I quit...

I’ve been in this job for about 6 months. It’s fine, as long as there’s work to do, but the amount of idle time I’ve had since last September borders on obscene - especially when you consider that I’m working for a government contractor.

For whatever reason, when I was hired, it took FOUR WEEKS to get computer access - found out later that the paperwork sat on someone’s desk for 2 of those weeks. But after a week of preliminary training on the software, I was ready to get to work. While in limbo, I verified with my boss that I was supposed to get my assignments from him, not go directly to the govvies for whom I’d be doing the work.

What I wasn’t told was that my “boss” would disappear for hours at a time for whatever reason, leaving me with nothing to do. I lost count of the times I’d go to him asking for work and I might not see him till the next day. Then he’d give me something that might take an hour, and the cycle would start again.

Meanwhile, my husband was telling me how busy things were at his company and how great it was to work there. I finally got fed up, sent my resume, and had a 4-hour afternoon of interviews. When I was offered and accepted a position one evening, I gave my notice the next morning.

I wanted to leave at the end of the pay period - a week and a half later. The “boss” insisted he needed the full 2 weeks, then asked if I’d stay till the end of that week, effectively giving him 2 and a half weeks of my time. Fine, whatever - the new employer was amenable.

I gave notice on a Weds. The next Monday, I had nothing to do. Eventually, a few things came up, but nothing that my idle coworkers couldn’t have covered easily. Seriously - the guy who was hired the same day as I was given even less work than I was… I went to the boss, and he gave me something that literally took 10 minutes, then I didn’t see him again for 3 hours. Oh, did I fail to mention that we work 9-hour days here, with Fridays alternating between day off or 8-hour day?

I am now in my last week here. In the last 23 work hours, I’ve had maybe 4 hours of work. No clue what I’ll be doing this afternoon or tomorrow. A minimum of 3 of my coworkers are equally idle. Thank goodness for internet access. But what a waste of taxpayers’ money! And because of company policy, I couldn’t use these last days to burn up my few remaining leave hours. I will get paid for them, but I’d have preferred to sleep in a few days.

Yes, I told him why I was quitting. I stopped short of telling him he sucked as a boss. I am so looking forward to having a real job on Monday!!

Good bye, boss. Bite my shiny metal ass!!!

Can I have the job you’re leaving?

Yeah, not doing anything sucks. While I ain’t no workaholic, I DO like to actually try to get something done. Particularly when the gubment is supposedly paying me to do it.

I had a similar job. It wasn’t quite that bad but we did have more downtime than I would have liked…though I suppose that downtime was compensated for by all the (mostly bullshit) emergency time.

The worst part in that job for me was I’d be there twiddling my thumbs. So, I start doing random work related back of the envelope calculations or looking at how to make the code better. The bosses DID not like that. Apparently doing something sorta work related was a bigger sin in their eyes than not doing ANYTHING.


Perhaps there is no work, what was your boss supposed to do about that?

A nine and a half hour day (we’re required to take 30 minutes for lunch) stretches almost interminably when you’ve got nothing to do. And add the commute in the morning (not too awful) and the commute home (sucketh beyond description) and I’m gone from home for between 11 and 12 hours a day, more if I stop to run errands on the way home. Is it any wonder we go out to eat or have pizza delivered so much?

Fortunately, the new gig involves 8-hour days. I’ll miss the alternate Fridays off, but it’ll be nice to have a chance to wind down before getting supper started.

When I told several coworkers about accepting the new job, most asked “Are they still hiring??” Kinda says a lot about the environment here…

And on top of all of this, the vending machine is empty, so I can’t get a chocolate fix, dammit!!!

That’s another facet of it - while we’re twiddling our thumbs, we got an email from the next boss up the line asking if we knew of anyone else to come work here. Um, we don’t have enough to keep ourselves busy and you’re hiring more?? The world of government contracting is a rather, um, interesting business…

But you aren’t looking at the big picture.

The more warm bodies, the more the company makes. Particularly if you are a lower paid peon than an upper level manager. Those low level people (with a serious surcharge to the gubment) fund the bonuses and “excess” salary the higher ups.

Wow, does that sound familiar! Was that employer’s initials N and G by any chance? I used to work there and had the same exact experience. After a while I gave up asking for work, and because I’d done everything I could think of on my own (that I was authorized to do), I stopped asking and just spent time looking busy. The year before I finally bailed out for another job I spent 4 months doing absolutely nothing between two projects, and then had several months of doing nothing before the next project rolled around.

In government contracting rules (by the book) they were supposed to fire and hire on a project by project basis. So if there was no more work, they should have laid me off. Of course that gets expensive to lay a worker off only to rehire him 4 months later, even worse to hire someone else and have to train him up. They do that all the time these days, but at least in the group I was working for they didn’t. I call it Just In Time Hiring.

BTW, in my group what actually happened (all the time) was that there would be no work for months, and then every project manager wanted/scheduled me to work on his project at the same time, so I’d have to turn someone down (can’t be in two places at once), and when done with that project I’d be sitting around until the next bunch of projects needed to be done. They were just horrible about planning ahead.

You could have left both both commas out of the title and it would have still worked.

That’s fine, but the OP sounded like she thought her boss was bad because they weren’t available and feeding her work. This situation sounds like endemic fraud, not middle management incompetence.

I made a pretty good living out of fixing fucked up work situations. I’d get hired, and within six months would have everything humming along, then have nothing to do other than monitor things. I came to love it when a big problem would pop up that I could get my teeth into.

Actually, he is a bad boss. He doesn’t manage well at all. He would eventually have work for me, but rather than coordinating with the govvies to know what had to be done, he’d run around after I specifically asked, trying to find something. The only time I was kept regularly busy when when I coordinated directly with the two govvies I was supporting. Unfortunately, the 3 projects they handled are all but done. I spent about an hour this morning doing a few administrative chores, but they’ve got nothing else, and since I’m done for all intents and purposes, I’m not even talking to the boss this week.

Yeah, I’ve got an attitude.

JcWoman - the company goes by its initials, so, no, not what you asked. Check you PM.

I interned for a government agency in DC during the summer after I graduated from college.

My boss had never had an intern before, and she was busy with a big lawsuit for the majority of my tenure. So, on the rare occasions that she had free time, she didn’t know what to do with me.

On my busiest day, I wrote a draft of a memo. Not a legal memo, mind you, but instead a memo that basically announced that there’d be a meeting in a week.

There was a lot of web-browsing and LiveJournal-ing that summer.

Ugh. My sympathies. Not having enough work is the worst.

I’d take the leave. The government is paying for your fringe benefits, as the cost of vacation is priced into the loaded labor rate they are paying the contractor. If they give you shit send an email to the COR complaining about a wage dispute. If your position is covered by a CBA, even better.

I’ll be paid for the leave, so I’m not losing anything, other than the time I spend doing nothing. Just a few more hours to waste…

Just took my grandkids to see Zootopia. There was a scene in the movie where the star and her partner, the fox, visit the department of motor vehicles. Only sloths worked at the dmv. Sloths who took a full minute to say “Hello, may I help you,” and another minute to enter a license number in the computer. Moral, you were working too fast. Behold the sloth.

I had a similar situation recently but I actually liked my boss. It was just that ‘work’ to be done and the title and pay just didn’t match up. I could usually complete everything and more in one morning, leaving 4.5 days worth of working on freelance projects, etc. My boss and everyone up the line kept telling me how great I was doing and how much of an impact I was having. It was crazy.

What lead me to leave was two-fold. First, I wasn’t learning anything on the job. If I was learning but not working much, that would have been one thing. But the little work there was was way below my skill level. I could not see a clear path to build on from the job. Secondly, I started realizing how, if their were ever any cutbacks, I would be easy to let go with little impact or thought.

I’m in a much more challenging position now and though I love it on most days there are some days where I daydream about that job and how low stress and easy it was…

I have one advantage that lots of others don’t have. I’m retired. I have a pension check coming in every month and an IRA and I’m eligible for social security. I’m working because I want to and because I like the kind of work I do. But if this new gig turns out to be too much, I can just take my crayons and leave.

It makes it much easier to tolerate crap.

Oh your darned right you’ll take your crayons !!!

How else could you pursue a career painting with melted crayons ??