I’m Going Out!

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OMG guys, even though I have tons of stories I haven’t been updating because I’ve been so busy…getting ready for external conference!

You all remember the time they passed me over for a new girl who had only been hired 3 months before? She ended up being blackballed from the event because of her behavior there. Or how about last year, when they said they just couldn’t bring me because there wasn’t enough work, but they took a coworker who had left the company and had just returned plus another new hire?

I’d given up all hope of going and had become incredibly bitter that others had been chosen over me when I’d been here longer, proven myself etc. I was definitely losing my loyalty to Anonymous Software Company. Then my boss, Ching, called and made my day better saying that they’d decided to bring me.

I can’t wait to update you all on what happens – be back in a few weeks!

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“Promotion”

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I’ve been working for Anonymous Software Company for seven years – three of those as an intern, the rest in my current job title. At my last review, I requested a promotion and my boss happily put it in the works. I was excited but didn’t want to say anything in case it was turned down.

A few weeks before me, Smokin’ had asked for a promotion and was on her way to receiving one. She revealed her salary, which was almost $10,000 less than me per year, despite having a similar education.

The is the difference in our salaries in $100 bills. No wonder she still has to live at home with her parents!

The is the difference in our salaries in $100 bills. No wonder she still has to live at home with her parents!

“How did that happen?” I asked, aghast.

“That’s how much they offered me,” she said, a hurt look in her eye, “Did they offer you more?”

“No,” I said bluntly, “they offered me about that amount too. I negotiated.”

“Negotiated…I didn’t even think to do that.” Smokin’ said, upset.

The good news was that her promotion would raise her salary up significantly, close to my current salary. She proudly told me this and revealed that her new title would be XXXX. I gave her a hug and waited for my news.

“Good news!” Ching said to me, “management is in the works to promote you.”

“Oh!?” I asked, breathless.

“Yes, to the position of XXXX.”

I felt my face fall, especially when I heard that the raise would not be that much since I am already close to the top of average salary in my current position. While I respect Smokin’, I’ve worked at Anonymous Software company for more than three times the amount of time she has but we’ll be in the same job title. I already feel far behind one of the other interns I worked with, who is now a manager. That would be SpeedRacer.

I confided in Poww, since he’s been in the same position for 5 years and I knew he would understand my feelings.

“You and Smokin’ are both going to be XXXX?” He asked.

“Yes.”

“Wasn’t that Arch’s title when he was first hired?” Poww asked, confusion on his face. Arch, the other person who interned with me, although he interned half the amount of time I did. Arch, who made it his mission to try to learn my job to take it over and only a few months ago was given a huge promotion into management. I felt livid.

So I told Smokin’ and we used our contacts throughout the company to find out. Guess what? Poww was right. Smokin’ and I are both being promoted (even though I have much more experience) into a position that Arch was hired into directly from college. Even though he had less work experience than me and the same education that both Smokin’ and I have. We’re all the same age, we all went to high school together!

I’m upset to say the least. I feel like he was unfairly hired above me from the very beginning. If we have the same education and similar skills but I have more work experience….why was his hire position an entire level above mine?

I’ve always been loyal to my company, but I don’t know how I can be now that I have this information.

Opinion: Don’t Be An Asshole

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The New York Times ran a column asking for advice from a babysitter that noticed that their client was scheduling her time far in advance (causing her to rearrange other job schedules) and then cancelling. She wondered if she should still be compensated.

I think it’s situational – it depends on how much time the sitter has to find something else to do or some other job to take.

If you cancel up to 24 hours in advance, I think that the sitter should NOT be compensated unless, 1) you have an agreement that states otherwise, or 2) it’s a frequent event (in which case the babysitter should have an agreement that states they get 50%, 25%, etc. of what they would have made).

If you cancel day of, I don’t think you owe the total amount, but probably 50% of what the person would have made or 100% if it was a teenager for $7 an hour and you were only going to be gone 3 hours. That wouldn’t be a huge hit to your wallet.

If the sitter is standing in your doorway when you cancel, you are an asshole and that sitter should not only REFUSE to work for you again, they should tell all of their friends that you are a damn awful human being. This happened to me. I cried. True Story.

I used to babysit the younger brother of my brother’s friend – he was one of those children born much later than all of the other siblings…so all of the other kids were in college or high school when he was still in diapers. I didn’t babysit him very often, maybe once every few months, since there were so many older siblings who could watch him.

One day I got a call from his mother asking me to babysit on a particular afternoon after school. I looked at the calendar and hesitated, because it was the anniversary of my dad’s death and I knew that was a day that my mom would keep my brother and I out of school to have a family day together and go visit the grave.

“Zoogie2, this would REALLY help me out. My elderly mother is flying in and it’s only for two to three hours when I pick her up and take her out to dinner so we can catch up.”

I needed the money and I figured that by that time in the evening I’d already want to escape my depressing family, so I agreed.

After a long day of grave visiting, family meals and going through countless photo albumns (along with sniffles from my mom about how proud my dad would be of us if he was here, he’s our guardian angel looking at us from a cotton-like cloud while playing a harp and smiling down on us serenely, etcetra) I showed up at the house a bit sadder and more emotional that I thought I would be.

I knocked on the door and the mom opened it. Barely glancing at me, she said, “Oh, I decided to take my son to the airport and dinner with me. Sorry.” Then closed the door in my face.

Should I have gotten a better apology? Yes! Should I have been compensated for my time, regardless of what memories the day held for me, but definitely consider what kind of emotional hell I was ignoring to help her out? Fuck yes!

She didn’t just cancel on me, she let me drive all the way to her home and knock on the door. She didn’t even have the decency to give me a call or attempt to cancel. The disrespect of her  actions is galling. At the very least, I was out gas money and my time; when I came home and told my mom what happened we were both pretty pissed.

So I called all of my babysitter friends (because at 10 cents a pop, texting was too expensive and I had a limit) and let them know what happened. For the rest of my time in high school, that mom had an incredibly difficult time finding a sitter and when she called me I always said the same thing, “Sorry, I’m busy that day. Goodbye.” I would have confronted her but I was afraid of losing other clients. She certainly suffered for a few years being blackballed.

I’ve been on the other side of the coin as well – one time I was supposed to babysit a family’s two little girls at 6pm but around noon of that same day I started throwing up. My mom attempted to call the family, but they never answered their phone (this was pre-cell phone era). She tried every few hours, leaving numerous messages, so what could we do when they showed up at my place to pick me up? I had to tell them I was too sick to babysit and YES, I felt really badly. I’d called a few friends to see if anyone could cover, but no one could. Because I was apologetic, had clearly tried my best to alert them and find a replacement and because they were the forgiving type, I still babysat for them for another few years. So I understand that sometimes, shit happens.

If the columnist were me, I’d ask myself how important this client is. If we part on unhappy terms, will they tell everyone in their Mommy & Me class and will that negatively impact my ability to get other work? How close are you to the parents? Are you their main babysitter or just a backup? That will defnitely determine how much weight you hold with them. Maybe the problem is that you’ve become ‘part of the family’ and you must love their kid as much as they do, which means you’ll be flexible in seeing her. There needs to be a distance between you as an employee as them as employers.

Can you sit them down after your next babysitting gig and explain how this is affecting you and that as much as you love babysitting for them and spending time with their little sweetpea, this is a job and as such, you think the last-minute cancellations either need to stop or you need to be compensated. Figure out what points you want to make with them, and if they dump you for some 17 year old who needs money to bedazzle her phone, that’s the breaks but at least you won’t feel used or disregarded.

That’s The Government

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I was thinking about going somewhere tropical in the winter months, so I decided to update my passport. I haven’t had a valid passport since I was in Jr. High, so I knew the process was going to be more difficult than a quick mail in form. Who knew the employees would talk me in circles until I wore a small circular patch into the carpet?

I printed and filled out all of the relevent information, gathered my documents and called my local post office to see what I needed to do. After following 100 prompts on their automated system, I finally got through to a real person, although I wondered if I was still talking to a robot based on the lack of emotion and life in their voice.

“Are you planning on coming in on a Saturday or during the week?” He said, in his dead tone of voice.

“Uhh Saturday. Do I need an appointment?”

“No, Saturdays are walk ins.”

“What time will the office be open?”

“10 am until 3pm.”

“Thank you!” I said in a bright and cheerful voice. On Saturday I did my hair, fixed my makeup and walked into the post office. I followed the signs to the small room and waited outside. And waited. And waited. Finally, I walked over to the employees behind the counter.

“Hi, I’m here to turn in my passport information.”

With a glower, the post office guy told me to wait by the door and someone would help me soon. So I waited some more. This is part of the reason no one likes the post office! Finally, a woman came out through the passport office door and asked me why I was standing there. I explained I was there to turn in my papers and get my picture taken.

We’re closed.

I was taken aback, I had called two days before to confirm they would be open and it was only 2:05p. “I thought you were open until 3.”

“We closed at 2.”

“I called on Thursday and the person I spoke to said you were open until 3. ”

“We closed at 2pm today.”

“But I was here waiting outside the office at 1:50 and no one came out. So I was here before you closed at 2. Also, the sign on the passport office door says you’re open 10am – 3pm on Saturdays.” I said defensively, pointing at the sign.

“We’re only open if you have an appointment. The last appointment was at 1:40p so we’re closed.” She said, as she started to walk back through the door.

“Wait, I called and they said that Saturdays are for walk-ins only. No appointments.” I was frustrated and it showed.

“Well they must have been mistaken, we’ve been taking appointments on Saturdays the past few weeks.”

“Fine,” I said, my voice strained, “I will call right now and make an appointment for 2:30p.” I felt a blood vessel in my temple pop out.

“Appointments must be made 24 hours in advance. We are closed on Sundays.”

I almost screamed as she turned and walked back into the passport office. I completely understand why people “go postal”…

Update: I did get my passport a few weeks later, out of necessity for my Europe trip. Yes, I did give them the evil eye the whole time.

I’m a Failure, It’s Official

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Remember that mandatory training that I was forced to take with the promise that when I passed the multiple tests required I would get a bonus? Well, after being forced to schedule the second test before I felt ready for it, I requested light duties at work so I would have more time to study in the weeks leading up to the test. That was denied and I was assigned additional work that left me struggling to leave work by 8:30pm every night.

Basically, I was fucked.

So the day of the test I drove an hour to get to the special testing facility, desperately reciting everything I could remember of the material. I studied right up until they led me to my testing station and then I did the best I could.

The best I could do was 99, the test was out of 110 and 100 was required to pass. I failed by one point.

By one point….

One fucking point!

Supervisor From H-E-Double L

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In case you didn’t pick up on it, Studly is back! He HATED the past few months away, because he was literally in hell. He was sent to an airport in the south east USA and aside from the muggy heat wave going on there, he had a manager who hated him. After having his knee surgery he was declared fit for duty but required to have physical therapy to get full range of motion back. He made appointments during his personal time and it didn’t affect his work hours at all, but the supervisor objected to him using the vehicle all of the traveling employees had access to in order to get to his appointments. She knew he was seeing a doctor, but not why he was seeing the doctor and she repeatedly asked him what his visits were regarding and told him that he could “trust her” with his medical history.

He politely declined to share a number of times and when he finally did tell her she declared that his injury was “too serious” to keep him on the business trip and that she would be sending him back. Part of the perks of being sent away for three months at a time is increase in pay, so being sent back early would not only cut his pay back down but it could affect his ability to go on another business trip. I advised him to contact HR and let them know that she was using his medical history against him after badgering him about what was wrong with him.

After much drama, the manager’s boss said it was fine for him to continue work since it wasn’t impacting his job and then the Big Boss bitched out the Hellish Manager for acting inappropriately. From then on, Studly was on her shit list. She started picking on another employee, telling them they were required by the department to buy a printer for their computer, even though they had an office with a printer. When this other person objected and asked Studly (since it was her first business trip and she and Studly knew each other for years), he stood up for her saying a personal printer wasn’t necessary or required by the company handbook. Despite being proven right (again), the damage was done. She really hated him, constantly picking at every little thing he did. If he used the company car in a way she didn’t like (ex: parking it “too far away from the entrance”) he got in trouble. If he took too long of a bathroom break, he got in trouble. The other employee bought the printer after seeing the way the supervisor treated Studly.

One weekend, Studly decided to take a roadtrip to nearby famous city. He alerted a supervisor that he would be back in time for his shift on Monday, rented a car using his own money and took off. He got a call hours into the drive from Hellish Manager screaming at him for leaving the hotel they were staying at. She told him this was strike three – he would be sent home and would never be allowed on the road again.

She tried again to get him removed and again was told he didn’t do anything wrong. Finally she resorted to small trickery to get him in trouble. Everyone turned in their physical timesheets to Hellish Manager and she was supposed to sign and fax them to Headquarters. Everyone else’s would get signed and faxed, but his went “missing” or she would fax without a signature, blaming him.

The final straw came on his evaluation at the end of the trip. She gave him marks so low that he was in danger of being fired. After much in-fighting, the Big Boss ruled that he deserved higher marks and Studly came home happy to be away from Hellish Manager. I’m glad he’s home too…

Always Proofread

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Yesterday Poww and I were chatting over IM and he sent me a website without telling me anything about it. My mind read it one way…not the way the business intended. THIS is why you should review before you buy a domain!

Poww: dicksonweb .com

Zoogie2: uhhhh what kind of site is that?

Poww: ?

Zoogie2: dicks on web .com …seems like an odd thing to send. I just want to be careful before I click

Poww: wtf? dickson web.com

Zoogie2: ooooooooooo

I bet Freud would have something to say about this….

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