employers

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More Changes

Published May 26, 2017 by mindfulofchatter

celebrate_life

 

Before I hit ‘real’ part of this post, a quick car update:

After a small wrinkle in getting the car to the repair shop, the car has been delivered to the hands of the fellas at my local repair shop. I am awaiting a call to tell me if the car is dead or not. Please cross your fingers.

I have finally managed to quit my housekeepers job (Yay!). I actually gave notice two weeks ago, but my supervisor didn’t want to lose me (I am a hard worker and reliable). She was trying to find somewhere else for me to work. But all the ‘let’s try this’ and ‘let me to talk the GM’ were going nowhere. I am sick and tired of hurting so much I can barely walk after work. I am also sick of it taking both of my days off to recover from 5 days of overwork. So I called it done.

My last day of work saw me and my team member with a total of 22 rooms to clean and service. And that was considered an easy day. With summer pretty much here, the workload was only going to go up, up, up. There isn’t the staff to support the number of rooms that need service everyday. I don’t want to be made a cripple by my job. I’m kinda funny like that.

When I left on that last day, I was left as an employee for back-up and for hire when laundry was allowed to have two people working. Not my idea of a good time, but at least it was some sort of work.

But today the tow truck came to take my car to the repair shop. After I got all that sorted, I walked into downtown and waltzed into the local sweets shop to apply for a stockers job.

The young man who is GM greeted me and we talked for minute or two. He then went and got the warehouse manager and an application for me to fill out. All this time I was having serious hair envy. His hair is a gorgeous shade of bright teal that blends into a deep, bright blue. I’d love to do something like that, but those colours are tough to care for and I am not only rather hair inept, but I am hair lazy.

But that is neither here nor there.

The warehouse manager came out and all  three of us chatted for a bit. Both of the guys are young men – young enough to be my kids. Both are adorable, smart and funny. We hit if off in about two seconds. I walked away with the newly created job of Stocker Supervisor/Warehouse Liaison (we don’t have a real job title yet) and a start date. The wages are little lower than the housekeeping gig, but this place is a lot more fun and relaxed. And far better staffed.

I am looking forward to starting this job, something I haven’t felt in long, long time. I have more of a feeling of this being long-term, rather just-until-I-find-something-better. If my dear little car is repairable, this will be better than a good day.

It will be fantastic.

 

 

Questionable New Employment

Published October 14, 2016 by mindfulofchatter

I recently landed a seasonal job at one of those pop-up Halloween stores. The job is fun, but the hours are few and the pay is tiny. I have been looking for a regular job for a while, so this seasonal job is a good fill in. A little money is better than no money.

That little seasonal job was ready to promote me to a manager position for the rest of the season when I got a call from a housekeeping job I had applied for a while back. Whomever she has hired hadn’t worked out, so I was on deck for try out. It is part-time, but it pay a little better than the seasonal job. When going back to my seasonal manager, we realized I can work both jobs by working evenings at the pop-up shop. I won’t be a manager, but I’ll have a wee bit extra coming in for a little while.

But my first day at the new housekeeping job was a trial in itself.

The day was going okay until the end. There were extra rooms to clean. They were sort of divided up between all the maids. The lady I was training with was told she could go home (there was good reason behind that), and I was told to go help make the beds in the one remaining room.

Now, understand, this is my very first day. I don’t know where anything is, what procedures are, or much of anything else for that matter. I wasn’t even told where the schedule was.

The room was trashed. One of the beds was full of poop. Yes, you read that right – poop. Apparently the bathroom had poop all over the place as well. Thankfully, I wasn’t cleaning the bathroom. One gal cleaned the nasty bathroom, I stripped the beds and remade them, another gal emptied the trash, picked up all the trash on the floor, and cleaned the furniture. I was asked to vacuum.

And they all left and went home while I was vacuuming.

I was left alone on my first day of work. All alone. All the managers had gone home as well. There was no one around to help me with whatever would have happened next. I only knew to come in again this morning, because I saw the schedule by accident. So I signed out and left. If anything was done wrong, too bad.

I was supposed to come back with a paper I had forgotten at home, but that manager was gone as well. No one had said anything to me. She never told me she was leaving and to bring it so-and-so. So I didn’t go back. She will get that paper this morning.

There wasn’t very good communication (rather an understatement). This was a horrible experience for any new employee. I am not sure this is a company I want to work for, but I HAVE to work here until I find something else.

And all of this is complicated by the lack of money and the way the paychecks are falling. I can not pay my bills at this point. I may lose everything before the money actually gets to me. I have things for sale, but no one is buying. I have a dying dog who needs certain care, and how do I provide that care now?

I have a job. In fact I have two jobs. And my world is still collapsing.

 

 

Getting Ready For a Job Interview

Published May 7, 2016 by mindfulofchatter

getty creative -- royalty free -- awkward interview, uncomfortable businessman, job interview, office, work, nervous, anxious, boss employee Just Shoot Me

Have you ever noticed that getting ready for a job interview is like getting ready for a date?

You plan your wardrobe accordingly. If the job is for a factory, you don’t want to show up in high heels and a designer suit. If you’re a guy, you never want to show up in high heels. Uh, unless it is for a drag show or theatre. And you don’t want to under dress for that office position.

It also depends on where you live. I live in an area where over dressing is easy to do and will not get you the job. This is a casual area. Many jobs will let you wear nice jeans and very casual office attire. If you show up in your designer, high-end suit, you will not be hired. They will automatically assume you want more than they are willing to give you.

Dates are the same way. If you are going to the movies, a formal gown may not be the proper choice. On the other hand, if you are going to a formal dinner, you may want to have some sort of formal attire ready and waiting.

Hair and make-up (if you wear make-up) are also key factors in both dates and job interviews. Along with this goes personal taste and preference. Tattoos and piercings are now a part of our culture, but some employers still want tattoos covered up and rings and studs removed on work days. This also depends on the job you are applying for.

But all in all, we do the same things for a job interview as we do for a date. We balance the job/date with our wardrobe. We balance our hair and make-up, choose footwear accordingly and plan departure time to arrive a little early.

Today, on a Saturday, I have an interview. We are meeting at a local coffee house. The job is working for a new company and may require everything for packaging to office work. My kind of job. So my choice will be more casual, but still looking ‘put together’.  So I have chosen nice jeans with a blouse type top and sandals (it’s hot). I’m trying to balance the ‘office’ look with a ‘I can do floor work’ look. I feel like I am going on some weird date.

I am hoping we are looking for each other (see? just like a date).

Wish me luck.

 

Ready For Changes

Published May 1, 2016 by mindfulofchatter

There has been much to think about these last few weeks.

I started a new job which I thought would be interesting. The ladies who already worked there seemed nice. It is a business I knew nothing about until now. It is a company I had never heard before now. It seemed to be something I would like.

But I find am not liking the work, or the business as much as I thought I might. While this is not earth shattering new on any count (most of us have found out we didn’t like a new job), it has made me really think bout my life, what I want out of, and what I want to do with it.

It is not this.

Perhaps I am simply getting too old to let things slide, or put up with snarky remarks, hostile reprimands and thinly veiled anger. So much of this particular persons actions remind very much or passive aggressive behavior I found so disgusting in my ex-husband and his family.

I do understand that employees has no rights. We have no protection from the law. We are required to work as our employers demand. Overtime, time off and even sick leave is all controlled by the employer.

My current employer demands unannounced overtime. If they think I need to stay at the end of my day, I have to stay. Even if my work is done, I have to stay when ‘asked’. To be clear, I don’t mind working overtime if I am asked ahead of time (could you stay late tomorrow? – sure, not a problem).  I will come in early if asked (sometimes even if I’m not asked and I am allowed, I will come in early). I find I DO mind being told at the end of my work shift that I need to stay late. And being told in nasty ,snarky manner doesn’t help the situation at all. I can not make plans if I do not know my work schedule., or I have to cancel plans already made. I dislike decisions about my life being taken away from me.

I find I am not happy with my life, so this unhappiness impacts how I feel across the board. Some days it feel like a one feeds off the other. Ugh. Not good.

I want to make changes in my life. I want to do a different kind of work. Long ago, and far away, I worked taking care of the ASPCA impounded horses at my college. I have volunteered my grooming skills at shelter to make animals more adoptable. I have worked with abused animals on a very small scale. From time to time I help with a breed rescue. While I can’t do much, I do what I can. All of these things made me feel like I was doing some good. Maybe it is was a small good, but was good.

I want to work for an animal welfare program, rescue or non-profit.

I know it isn’t easy work. I know it is hard work. But it is work I will enjoy at the end of  the day.

 

 

Questions About The New Working World

Published January 23, 2016 by mindfulofchatter

talk to phone

At one point in time, talking about the New World meant what would become the United States. For me, it’s about the way the working world now works.

Companies now use web crawlers to ‘read’ resumes. No one actually interviews you until the computer has deemed you a perfect fit. This means if you didn’t use all the right key words, you aren’t going to get past the online application. Who decided a computer program was better than a human at choosing candidates for job openings? It is no wonder unemployment continues to be high. I have been told by the computers of Fire Mountain Gems, Home Depot, Staples, Office Max and Jo Ann Fabrics that I am not a candidate for their stores in any capacity. I find this funny about Jo Ann Fabric since I sew and help other beginning sewers on a regular basis. Not the mention that Jo Ann Fabric has recently began hiring male clerks who know nothing about fabric or sewing. But, of course, they know all the right key words.

Next big puzzle to me, even more so than the web crawlers, is the use of text messages to hire, fire and lay off workers. How is this even remotely professional? How can any boss be okay with letting their workers do that, even still, doing it themselves? Is this the new chicken? Has it become so uncomfortable to sit down with another human face to face and talk about what is happening with their future?

I have been laid off via voice mail. I have been told my hours were cut in a rather cryptic text message. Honestly, the way the text was written I had no idea it meant cut hours. It sounded more like a re-shuffling of hours that resulted in different days off. And now I have been denied a face to face meeting and let go (okay, fired) on the telephone in conference call.

None of this is a professional way to manage people.

I have no idea if my former bosses boss knows how it was handled. There is a lot of don’t ask, don’t tell when it comes to managing employees. Unless I raise a stink about what happened, I am quite sure the mucky-mucks of my former employer will be told nothing about how it was handled.

I am not going to raise a stink. I find it a release to be free to develop my own business. For some odd reason I am not worried, or scared. I feel calm and ‘right’. It may fall on its face, but it feels like I am doing what I am supposed to be doing. It is an odd feeling. Even watching my precious few dollars shrink, I am not worried or scared.

I do know I am confused about how the so-called professional world is now handled. I don’t know if this new use of talk, text and voicemail is going on elsewhere, or if is only in my little part of the world. But I find it unfathomable that people will call themselves professionals and use these tactics on their employees. To make it even more confusing, they treat their employees in this manner, then wonder why they can’t keep people. Good employees do not stay where they are not treated well. How others are treated is an indication of what to expect. But it seems that message does not get through. Even when stated bluntly, it is ignored.

So I am glad to be leaving that world behind giving myself the chance to grow and prosper on my own. I am thankful for the people who are helping me. Even the fingers crossed are appreciated.

I may need all the luck I can get.

Getting Let Go With No Grace

Published February 14, 2015 by mindfulofchatter

Unemployed-merl

I am once again unemployed. I was released from my once beloved job on Monday.

When I began this job just shy of two years ago, I thought it was going to be an opportunity to grow my skills and help grow a small business. I was promised things on the first interview. I was told of a vision for a growing small business.

Neither the promises nor the growth came to be.

This is an embroidery business. To put embroidery onto your shirt, jacket, sweater, hat, or whatever, the design needs to be digitized. This turns the design into something the embroidery machines can read. Once the machines can read it, they reproduce it onto your garment. I was promised I would be taught to digitize. This never came to be. Oh, I was shown every 3 – 6 months how to click right or left for curved or straight lines, but this is not teaching anyone how to digitize. One promise down.

Next up – sales. I was to earn a commission on all new sales I brought in, plus commission on re-orders from those sales. The catch was there was no commission on digitizing, and other little details of the orders. So a $600 sale netted me about $40 in commission. Honestly, without my sale, there would be NOTHING TO DIGITIZE. Can we say cheap?

I was also let down on sale follow ups and other little things. But little things add up, and after a while I had had enough. Why bother to go sell when I don’t make anything from the sale, and there is no follow-up from the owner. I lost sales because of the lack of follow-up. Add to this the sudden discontinuation of my commission on re-orders. I am not longer a happy camper.

I attended two weekly meeting for this business. I didn’t know it was required by my state to be paid for them, so I went and spend over 3 hours a week for work without pay. And one wonders why I didn’t want to go any longer.

My paid hours didn’t increase. I was still working part-time and trying to live on what I made. I did this because of what I was promised when I started this job. But I was failing to make ends meet every month. I had very few bills, the cheapest apartment in town, no credit cards and no cable T.V.. And I still could not make ends meet. I don’t know about you, but this gets old very quickly.

Business policies came and went like the wind. One day we did this, the next we did that. Yes, we will take apparel supplied by the customer. Wait. No,  we don’t. Wait. Yes, we do. Oh just a sec. No, we don’t. But we did. Even though it was posted in the shop that we did not take customer supplied apparel. I gave up trying to keep policies straight.

And then the death knell came.

The business owner became an area director of a business networking organization (one of whose weekly meetings I attended).

The focus switched from the business to the networking organization. Things slipped at the business. The attention to detail became fuzzy. I caught several mistakes the owner made on orders. The work that went out the door was sub-par. I saw it. I think others saw, as well. But the owner did not. And still doesn’t.

I was left in charge of the business more and more often as the owner went to meetings for this organization. A vacation was spend overseas, and I ran the business for a month all on my own. Since I was never taught to digitize, I was set up with someone who did it for a living. Things were taken care of, maybe not perfectly, but taken care of. After all, I am not the owner and can’t make the deals an owner can.

When the owner returned from vacation, I sat with them and told them that I did not make enough money. I needed a raise of some sort. I outlined the promises made, and the why I had taken the job and stayed on.

I got the blank stare. I got blamed for moving (I moved in with my S.O). Somehow, not making enough money was my fault. Not the part-time hours. Not the days of no work. Somehow, it was all turned on to me.

We limped forward. Nothing was the same between us. It was time to move on.

Then on Monday, I reported for work as usual. The owner was out of town again. I had always watched the shop on these occasions, but I pulled up and the new sales gal was there. When asked point blank what is going on, she lied (the poor girl ought not lie, she sucks at it). There was no work (again). The owner then texts the new girl to have her tell me there is no work. Professionalism at its finest.

After I return home, I get a voice mail from the owner. The owner let me go via voice mail. Okay, so now that is professionalism at its finest. Who the heck lets employees go via voice mail?? It is stated in said voice mail (which I saved, just in case) that I should return my set of keys and pick up my final check. Okay, Roger that.

I showed up at the appointed time, keys in hand. The owner was no place to be found. The new girl had been left to take care of it. I could not believe it. I have never worked for a person so afraid to do their own dirty work. It is appalling to leave not only an employee to do this, but a new employee to boot (there is only one employee. Well, now there is only one employee).

Oh. My. Gosh.

So I am free to find a better employer. In the meantime, I am honing my crafting skills. I have learned how to make real mini top hats (Real hats. No cardboard, no craft foam.) I will be all right. There will be a new job for me at some point.

And this time, I will be far more careful about who I work for.

And The Search Goes On

Published March 13, 2013 by mindfulofchatter

job-hunt

 

Job hunting sucks. It always sucks. No matter who you are and what field you work in, looking for employment just plain stinks to high heaven.

Employers have the upper hand these days, and they know it. Long ago and far away, you would be offered a job in an interview. If they liked you, they hired you on the spot. Not so much these days. You have fill out applications, go to an interview, sometimes two interviews, pass ‘tests’, or background checks. It all takes time and effort on everyone’s part. It’s slow. It’s annoying. Blah.

I have filled out applications and sent inquires out. I get replies from some, silence from others. Some, of course, are spam. No one in my area is paying $15 an hour for a receptionist. If you live in an area where they do, please let me know. I am open to re-location.

My friends have directed me to websites where I can sign up for job alerts for the city I live in and for the school district. I would love to work in a school library. I grew up working in a library. No really. My Mom set up and ran the library where I attended elementary school. From about first grade on, I learned how the file books, set up card catalogs and check books in and out. I think I was the only kid who actually understood Dewey and his decimal system. I spent many a summer morning erasing pencil marks out of text books. But I don’t have a degree in library science. Quite honestly, Library Science sounds like a made up degree. I know it isn’t. The school district sent my mom back to school to get one. She’d only been running the library for something like 10 years. Apparently 10 years of setting up and running a library means you still know nothing about libraries and their systems. Employers. Go figure.

I know my age is against me in some of ways. I can’t do the heavy lifting and endless hours. I’m not young and cute anymore (well, I AM adorable, just not so young on the outside). I know employers look at my age and wonder how long I will work for them. I’m not sure why. I am more apt to stay at a good company than a young one looking to move up, up, up. I don’t want to move up, just forward. I am content in support roles. I’m not out to cut throats to get that $1.oo a more an hour. I am happy living the life I have, for the most part.

I am either over qualified (I hold an Associates Degree), or under qualified. For me, I have a lot of experience, but then again not quite enough. It’s the same story for a lot of us face when looking for work. Few employers want to give you a chance to see what you can do. I have watched people at their jobs and known I could work circles around them. But I don’t get the chance because my resumé doesn’t show I haven’t done that particular thing.

I have even applied for seasonal jobs. It’s income that will keep me afloat until a regular paycheck comes along. But so far, nothing has popped up with a neon sign that says ‘We Want YOU to Work For US!’.

Kinda sad, really. I love neon signs.