Thursday, December 02, 2004

The Long Overdue Work Rant

I am happy and grateful that I have a job. My job consists of babysitting a bunch of over paid salespeople tasked with selling, you'll never guess, software. A trained monkey could most likely do this job, ok, maybe only half of this job. Overall, it's a good job and I am glad to have it.

I have in the almost 9 months I have worked for this company never called in sick or taken time off, with the exception of the birth of my daughter and to have minor out-patient surgery. I don't expect kudos for it nor do I want them. In my book, you go to work each day, on time, and do your best. Imagine my surprise when I requested a couple of days off, (My Anniversary, and My Birthday) and was told to find someone to cover my shift.

I work the "closing shift" from 11am-8pm. I am pretty ok with it and it works out for us right now. I don't fault my supervisor for this policy, hell not even his supervisor, the policy I am sure comes from far above. At least I hope it does. The core issue is not really that I have to jump through hoops to take time off that has been earned, but that companies like mine are forced to do a lot more with a lot less.

Now, this is nothing new, I have not just scooped Drudge or anything. There are a lot of factors for doing more with less. In our case, we have 6 out of our 8 techs that are damn good and we can do the work that was previously done by about 30 if the old-timer's stories are true. As with any company if you can trim your costs, you make more profits so there is no surprise that we run a small crew on this account. Hell, if I was the Ops manager, I would do exactly the same thing.

I wish I could offer solutions to this issue but I don't have any. And I am certainly not going to scream about out-sourcing, because if you know me or have read this blog for awhile, I think the individual has to step up and take responsibility for his or hers employment. If I was a shitty employee, I would deserve and expect to be fired. It's my "job" to be the best I can, only then can I expect employment. Some would say, but that's not fair, everyone does not have the same skill set. My answer, too bad, someone has to take out the garbage and vacuum the floor.

I guess I am just old fashioned in my thinking that your best employees should be rewarded and the slackers be fired. Nowadays, everyone is so afraid of not being politically correct or being sued by a fired employee that the worst employees are not only given the privilege of continued employment but in some cases showered with bogus awards designed to make them feel better about their position in the company.

I used to care about things like that, but I found that my greatest reward is that I get to work another day and provide for my family. Sorry for the length, this rant has been building for a long time. As for those of you who I work with and read this, sorry, sometimes the truth hurts. By the way, you may want to Google "The Queen of the Sky" before you think about any work related action against me as the result of my online opinion. Remember the first amendment protects even me.


Anonymous said...

Do you have work people that read your blog and do you have to "watch" what you say?

I like to rant on mine about work stuff but am a little worried that I might someday get into trouble for it...

I kind of manage a team of 7 here for our Service Desk (not allowed to call it a Helpdesk!) and I need to do the same thing, if someone requests time off I ask them to ensure that they find someone to cover for them.

Oh well,
Alistair -

The Mad Tech said...

I do temper what I write sometimes but since I have never named my employer or any of my co-workers I think I am on pretty safe ground. If you write without naming names as they say, I think you will be fine.

Any employer that censors or punishes an employee for their opinion that is expressed off the clock and online is just asking for a large lawsuit in my humble opinion.

The Mad Tech

Michael_the_Archangel said...

Bunk - part of a compensation package is time off (vacation, sick time along with benefits) - did they tell you when they hired you that YOU had to fill your spot when you were sick or whatever??? I doubt it.

It is policies like that that FORCE, and I do mean force, the American worker to say, "Okay, fine, on that day I call in sick." Is it honest, no, but is it honest for them to force you to find a replacment or not allow you a day off?

If you've got it coming, part of managments responsibility is to find people to cover. Sounds like time to find a new job to me.

The Mad Tech said...

Thanks for your comment Michael, as with any sane person, the looking never stops.

The Mad Tech

Anonymous said...

Well, what happens when you want to take a week of vacation? Are they going to tell you each day is provisional? I'd ask.

Btw, my basic working philosophy is the same as yours. It is my job to ensure that I'm a valuable employee - just sitting there like it's government work isn't going to get me anywhere. On the other hand, sometimes you have to push to get what you deserve at your current job or get a new job, and it amazes me when some manager or owner cops an attitude about that.

It cuts both ways. Some managers or owners don't see that, and you're right - they reward the squeaky wheel. In those cases, you might have to squeak!

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, many employers have low caps on the amount on vacation time that can be carried year-to-year, for instance, my company will not allow more than 40 hours to be carried over. Some, like a former employer of mine have a use-it-or-lose-it policy where if you have any vacation time left at the end of the year, it's gone whether you use it or not. Others have modifications, where if you don't use your vacation, they will pay you the amount that the vacation was good for.

Like I stated above, my current company will not allow you to keep more than 40 hours without penalizing you for having over the amount by not allowing you to gain additional time until you are under 40.0 hours of vacation time. Once you go under that amount, you start acruing additional vacation time from the point where you went under the mark. Unfortunately for someone such as myself, who rarely takes vacation time off, it results in snide comments by management saying to the effect that "you should have planned ahead" or the ever popular "that's your problem, not our problem." Add in that no more than 1 person can be off at a time in my area and that if all of the vacation hours in my area exceeds the number of available day-off slots, it creates issues like MadTech has stated.