Two more updates from readers –
1. The reader whose client hadn’t paid her yet
Well, a few days after I contacted you, my newspaper client did actually email me back. She responded by clarifying the terms of our contract, that although I sent my full invoice at the beginning of the month, she would pay it in bi-weekly installments, starting the next week. (I think this might be because they do not have very much money themselves, which you’ll see later in the story.)
So the week of Christmas, I got my first paycheck, which was about one-fifth of my total invoiced amount. I went and deposited in my bank account. Two weeks have passed and I was supposed to get another paycheck by now, but I haven’t yet. I thought it was weird but I figured maybe I’ll get it today or tomorrow?
I went online and checked my banking account. There was no money in there. What? I checked my banking history. The check from the newspaper had bounced … and I had been charged outrageous fees. I couldn’t believe it! It was such a paltry sum of money, and it got rejected for insufficient funds.
So right now I’m trying to figure out how to navigate this situation. Of course, I want to ask her for my money, plus the fees my bank hit me with. But I don’t really want a check because I have no guarantee it’s not going to bounce again. Also, in my contract it says I get paid biweekly by check, but I would like that to be reevaluated if this is an issue for them. Ugh, I hate this!
2. The reader with a jerky manager in an unsafe workspace (#6 at the link)
I wrote to you originally back in 2012 about an awful manager and some pretty horrifying work conditions.
I really, truly wanted to thank you and your readers for the responses. Seeing what they had to say really made me take a good look at how terrible the place I was at actually was.
I stuck around for about 6 months after sending in my question, but things really just got way out of control. We found out my manager had actually been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, but refused to take any medication for it, which explains his odd behavior. They started rolling out terrible, sexist policies that forced the women in the office to always wear makeup and have their hair down, otherwise we would be written up. (We couldn’t wear our hair in buns, braids or ponytails, in a call center where we all wore headsets!) The policies were actually so ridiculous I made of copy of it to take home and show everyone. It’s over 11 pages long and just describes exactly what women should look like when we’re on the job. Strangely, however, there were no restrictions on what the men could wear/look like. As for the other things, like black mold on the ceiling and rusted fire sprinklers, people put in complaints with OSHA, but from what I hear that still hasn’t been fixed.
However, none of that is what made me actually leave the company. It wasn’t until I was told not to talk to anyone (management, law, coworkers, ect.) about a customer who committed suicide on the property. Without explaining the details of the situation, I had been frantically trying to get security to check on the woman for over 40+ minutes, and when they finally reached her, she had passed. They asked me not to talk about it because had they gotten to her sooner, they actually could have saved her life. The situation they put me in stressed me out so much that my hair started falling out, and I would just cry for hours before going to work, to the point where I would vomit. Just thinking about it today makes my blood boil.
This will be the only job that I ever quit without notice, which I know is not something I should do, but I went in about 2 hours before my shift and told my manager that I was done. I was without a job for a couple of months, but I had my sanity and dignity back. Now I work at one of the greatest places in the world, a place that actually cares more about its workers’ physical and mental health than just getting the work done. I wish I had listened to everyone’s advice sooner to get out of there, but if nothing else I hope someone out there will see this and realize no job is ever worth suffering over!
I’m forever grateful for your advice on resumes, interviewing, and terrible awful jobs.