more reader updates

Five more updates –

1. Remember the reader who wanted to volunteer for a local charity, but was concerned that volunteering would mean they’d never have incentive to hire her for a paying job (#4 at the link)? Here’s her update:

I thought I’d let you know that the charity in question moved some things around, and there is now a full time position that I had a phone interview with the director for this morning, and will have an interview with the whole BoD (all 14 of them!) next week. They were impressed with my willingness to help out!

2. Remember the reader whose company had stupid rules for pay raises associated with promotions? Here’s the update:

I really appreciated your advice and all the great comments. Well, I did receive an offer from my job. Fortunately, they started with a strong offer right out of the gate, about a 19% raise.

Turns out that although the 10% is their “standard,” they also consider “equity” pay. When comparing my salary to others doing the exact some job (and there are about 5 others in my company doing this role), 10% would have put me at a distinct disadvantage.

While I never did find out what the exact pay range of my position is, I was a was able negotiate up to a solid 20% raise (using many of the points you outlined in your response), which is closer to what I wanted and happily accepted. I guess the method of “lowering one’s expectations so when they are exceeded you don’t fight” still works. 

3. Remember the reader who was agonizing over cover letters to the point that she was missing application deadlines (#2 at the link)? Here’s her update:

I’ve just gotten a job without needing to write a formal cover letter at all. A contact personally put me in touch with an organization who was desperate to hire someone with my qualifications. I wrote an email (less formal, less pressure) about how my background and interests seemed to fit their company’s needs and attached my resume. That I didn’t yet have much information or a job description also worked wonders at taking the pressure off. Turns out, the position and culture fit seem fantastic. After some back and forth and an interview, I got an offer within two weeks of that first email.

Now I’m on day 2 of my two-week notice period, and I still haven’t had an actual conversation with my boss about the situation. He’s cut off all direct contact with me since I emailed him my resignation. (I emailed it because he was out of the office, as is common, and I didn’t want to delay succession preparations.) He canceled the meeting I set up to discuss my resignation and instead is funneling all preparations through a coworker. She in turn is framing all correspondence as though she came up with the ideas and info on her own, and only including me in emails as a BCC: recipient.

I can’t even imagine what the reasoning is there, but there you go! Yay for new jobs!

4. Remember the reader who worked at a company with a ridiculously rigid attendance policy, where you were docked a point for any absence without 24 hours notice, regardless of the reason, or for being a minute late to work or after lunch, and after 10 points you were fired? Here’s the update:

In July, they finally changed the policy. They had so many complaints through our survey that they changed it. It is much better now. We can come to work anytime between 6:30 – 9. We need to make sure we work at least a 4-hour day and a 40-hour work week. Of course we still need to use PTO and request time off if we need time off aside from the normal schedule. If one wants to work a 9 hour day on Tuesday because they want to leave earlier on Friday, do it. No manager needs to give permission. No points given anymore for punching in a minute late or leaving a minute early or even for lunch, as there is no real schedule to follow anymore, just work the amount of time stated. This is a trial until September. A lot us do not trust the company to even keep it as they are very controlling and might have done this to compromise but then say, “we tried and it didn’t work.” Wouldn’t surprise me at all.

We still get a point for a call-in. And if we mess up our time, we get a point, as well as the possibility of losing our flex time. And if one is on a PIP, we lose it. We all have meetings at 9 am, group meetings to discuss stuff. If we are late to this meeting by even a minute, we get …. You guessed it a point. No fudge room at all at any time.

Although they have done a great job in listening to us and treating us a little more like adults as it relates to attendance, the turnover is still high (9 people have either given notice, walked out, or gotten fired within just the last two weeks). The reason for the turnover is extreme frustration in work, bad training, micromanaging at its worse, and really a host of other issues. More than 70 people have gotten fired, walked out, or have given notice since the beginning of the year. We have about 230 employees and keep hiring more, but for every 2 or 3 that are hired that number or more leaves or gets fired.

5. Remember the reader who was frustrated with her coworker’s new part-time schedule, because she was having to pick up much of her coworker’s work? Here’s her update:

I chatted with a recruiter and was told that my specialism was in high demand. I had three phone interviews with different companies within two weeks and was invited to two in-person interviews, and the recruiter said that other roles would be coming up as the year went on, particularly if I was willing to commute to work.

Having been reassured that there were indeed other jobs out there, I asked for a meeting with our director and HR and pointed out that I was working an extra 10-13 hours a week. I observed that within 6 weeks, the firm would be in breach of the Working Time Directive, as I had never signed an opt-out (I’m in the UK). I concluded that apart from the firm’s legal responsibilities, this was a situation I was not willing to put up with, particularly with peak busy season approaching, and, much as I had liked the firm and the role, if they did not sort it out, I would leave.

This lit a fire under HR, who finally got their collective finger out. They called a recruiter to see who that recruiter already had on their books who wanted to work part-time, and to discuss how to advertise the role.

Shortly after this, Mary (the original coworker with the part-time schedule) resigned. Later on, I discovered that Mary’s agreement when she became part-time included that she was supposed to fully manage her own reduced portfolio. If need be, she was supposed to log on in the evening to finish stuff after her kids were in bed, similar to the way in which other professional staff stay beyond 5:30 from time to time if something needs to be done. The fact that she was departing at 3 and leaving me to finish her reports due the next day, email clients, and so on was, apparently, Not The Idea At All, and when HR/the director found out about it (I had taken my log of the previous week’s work in to the meeting to show just how much work there was), they were decidedly unimpressed and she was reprimanded.

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