Anti-IT rant.greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
Ive officially had it. I've given everyhting I can for my company since I was discharged from the Military eight months ago, and for what? To get it in the glutes!!! I hate this! Is it so common for medium sized businesses to screw their employees so casually?
My beef is as follows: I work for a medium, non public (yet) computer/IT support company. We handle a lot of businesses helpdesks as a second or third party, but we are only listed as a callcenter. What this means is they only pay us $10.58 and hour as compared to a listed 'helpdesk', who's average salary is as much as $10 more per hour. Then, to top it off, I've always gone the "extra mile" for whatever endervor I'm in. For example, I have worked every major holiday to include Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, New Years Eve and New Years Day, plus all of the small ones in between. My MAJOR beef is that I discovered the company has been 'shorting' me on my OT hours, AND cheating me on my New Year's "Bounty Money." (The bounty was $200 extra in cash to work as they couldn't get anyone to work for them in any way shape or form!)
Now, here's the fun stuff....I know plenty of folks'll flame going "you shoulda kept track of your hours better! You should write them down!" Well to quote Steve Martin "Well, EXCUUUUSE ME!!" I was in the Army, and my pay was pretty regular, albeit screwed up from time to time. We used to dream of the private sector, and that our pay wasn't screwed up. Well. I was wrong, and on the verge of playing "Post Office." And no, I don't mean the childrens game. I'm furious.
These bastards...Tell me is it common to screw with employees this regularly? Is the whole IT sector like this? I'm owed almost $400 dollars, and these days that to me is a lot of damned cash, esp. after Y2K expenditures.
My wife thinks if they keep f*cking with me I should go to the news and media. She thinks that the story "Disabled War Veteran Screwed out of Millienium Bonus!" would play well locally, and ruin this places rep. Any Ideas Thoughts ect? I'm as mad as I think I've ever been about this... Not only did I miss the party on new years, but I got shafted for the cash too...
-- Billy Boy (Rakkasan101st@Aol.com), January 19, 2000
My experience has been that corporate cultures are usually fairly consistent -- i.e., if they're short-changing you on your OT hours, etc., there's a good chance that they're short-changing your insurance, 401K contributions, and a few other things. Companies like that tend to "nickel-dime" every decision, every expenditure. Another clue: they tend to refer to their employees as "resources" or "assets" rather than "people".
As for your question about whether this is common practice ... well, companies are just like people (because they're owned by, and/or run by, people). There are a few really good ones, a few really bad ones, and a whole bunch of average, run-of-the-mill companies with some good features and bad features. Sounds like you picked a lemon...
-- Ed Yourdon (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 19, 2000.
Billy boy, In my company it's not common at all, but I work for a medium-small business. I suggest you write down all your hours (to the best of your recollection) and take it to payroll. Try to get your supervisor involved, or at least in the loop.
See what happens. I've had it happen to me in prevoius jobs, but not here. Sometimes you can get it fixed. If not, there's always some company looking for a few good techs. Good luck.
-- Powder (Powder47keg@aol.com), January 19, 2000.
Get a new job and pay more attention, forget about revenge, they can afford more lawyers than you can.
Chalk it up to experience, and welcome to the civilian economy. :-]
-- phil (email@example.com), January 19, 2000.
Your state (they all do) maintains an office where private citizens can get advice about payroll issues, legality of employer actions, and your possible responses. Check them out. There's probably a branch office in every city from mid-size up. Department of Labor, something like that.
-- bw (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 19, 2000.
I agree with Phil, but FIRST try at least once, in as calm a manner as you can muster, to get what they owe you. Then go get another job. FAST!
Chuck, who has callusses where you only have a new irritation.
-- Chuck, a night driver (email@example.com), January 19, 2000.
Billy, you said:
Tell me is it common to screw with employees this regularly?
The answer to that question would be YES.
Is the whole IT sector like this?
No Billy, the ENTIRE BUSINESS WORLD is like this. Use an employee until they have melt-down, then grab some "fesh meat" right out of school (or the military), and throw 'em to the lions. The process then repeats.
Which is why I became a consultant. At least I get paid well for my time, and I KNOW that there's NO "job security". (whatever that means...)
Billy, I'm not trying to be harsh here, but this is the objective reality of the "private" working world today.
-- Dennis (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 19, 2000.
People = Trouble
Job World = Backstabbing Mega Trouble
Self-Employment = Headaches but CONTROL :-)
Motto = Cover Your Ass Every Which Way
Advice: Make an appointment THIS WEEK at your local BurrowRats of Labor & Industries. They *love* to create paperwork nightmares for wayward employers.
PS: You'll get your $$ and you'll lose your job. But you have good karma and moxie, and will find something way better fast :-)
Oh, and you'll have that paper trail to prove it wasn't your fault so you can collect unemployment benefits while you look for better work.
-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (email@example.com), January 19, 2000.
Billy, Dennis is right. It is not like the military at all. You can be fired just because. For a long time now, even major companies have been laying off or firing people just before retirement so they don't have to pay the retirement. A lot of other things like laying people off who have a little time so they don't have to give pay raises and promotions, then hiring new people soon after.
Unfortunatly the unions had gotten to the point where people had to be promoted even when they did not earn it, and soon there were nothing but chiefs and no indians-the peter principle- so the cost of goods went up and inflation etc, etc, then these 5 million dollar a year killers would go to work for a major company and lay off or fire half the workforce so the company would make a profit--for a year or two, but then they ended up with few long time experienced workers and the company went belly up or got baught out by someone else. Sunbeam is a good example. Where you could have a single job all of your working life, with good benifits and retirement~to what we have now which is basically no job security, few benifits, where you have to choose a few out of all, and they can can you for no reason. You have found out what caused the Y2K error to continue to get programmed into software up into the middle of the 1990's. The newhires, right out of college, not enough experience to even realise there would be a problem with it, when the ones who had been slashed-the older, experienced programmers who understood enough to have prevented the problem. It was a big joke to fire the programmers and techs to save money by getting an IT to do their work Not all IT's but around here(Seattle) they as little as possible so they could graduate and go to work for microsoft. Microsoft itself prided itself on NOT hiring anyone over 30 and only recient college graduates. But then 3 years ago Bill Gates and Microsoft claimed they had NO Y2K problems either. Getting the picture? I hope Y2K and all of the money the companies spent would teach them that experience is a good thing in their workers.The problems with them hiring recient college graduates is that each one had to go through their "learning mistakes" which in the end, cost the companies more than they saved.
The problem was greed, instant gratification. Profit now and the long tirm expence of the company and customers.
Go and join the USAF, at least (now) you are guarenteed a retirement. Or the army or whatever.
Another favorite thing for businesses to do is to hire people as "temps" with no benifits, and have them do the same job at the same, or more hours as the perminate employees,for years!!!
Guess who reciently got busted for doing that? Microsoft. Like they couldn't afford to pay their employees HEH. Unfortunatly city, county and state governments are guilty of doing that a LOT also.
Yes, a good portion of companies do not give a hoot about their employees these days. And remember how you learned to have pride in your work in the military? Not out here. It seems as though people take pride in doing as little work with as little quality as they can get away with these days. Look around to smaller companies who show they do quality work ect and you will find a place where the company and employees are not out to screw each other and work together, rather than against each other. Also watch out for those fellow employees who talk big and dont perform, if they get away with it then leave, management is blind or just doesn't care.
-- Cherri (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 19, 2000.
Dennis is right. I have been through similar experiences. Go ahead, get mad - but don't go ballistic or make a big stink about it: GET EVEN. The way you get even is the way Dennis did: "living well is the best revenge." Get out of the loyal, follow-the-leader mindset that can be taken advantage of so easily; it's appropriate and works well in the service, but not in biz. Do your personal best, but expect betrayal, no matter what line of b.s. they hand you (this goes for partners, banks and the government as well). Ultimately, if you want peace of mind and a good living, you will have to be working for yourself. Try to see things from a fresh perspective, and rise to the challenge without being bitter. Not easy, I know, but nothing worth doing is. You can "get even" with these pr*cks by working for yourself, perhaps eventually employing others - and treating them with decency. Trust me, this is ultimately more satisfying than opening up a can of whupass, or getting trapped in the "victim" mentality (which is right where they want you).
It doesn't matter how old or young you are, or if you're disabled. The only significant barrier is in your mind. You have the fire, you go that extra mile, I know you can do it. You just need to go that mile for yourself and not for scum. THINK BIG. Good luck!
-- beenthere (email@example.com), January 19, 2000.
Ditto here Dennis. Realize that there is no such thing as "job security" anymore then "Quit today and work for yourself". In my eyes, salary is just another form of slavery.
I worked for a small little software development shop for 5 years and was completely 'used up' by them. Since contracting I've seen more of the county then I ever imagined. I can work have the year and take the other half off!
Don't let them own you Billy Boy!
-- mark (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 19, 2000.
Don't get mad. Get job training. Then find a better job. If you invest in job skills today in computers you will have more opportunities. Pick your skills wisely. For instance, Oracle Database administrator is a hot skill. ANd Cory Hamasaki had a blurb on how to teach yourself it with some "free"ware. Learn it. Take a job in an entry level spot for a year working with Oracle DBAs. After you have some experience, start putting out the resumes. Just remember to always give eight hours work for eight hours pay and stay current on your occupation. Then when you leave a spot ask your manager for a letter of recomendation. Aim towards consulting if you like working long hours and getting paid for them, or, find a company with a need, go in and stabilize their data base situation and sit and collect the pay check.
I forget where the blurb from Cory is. I think it was on his web page.
A veteran? Well, Thank You.
Watch six and keep your...
-- eyes_open (email@example.com), January 19, 2000.
I'm a long-time programmer and I've worked for some real crooks and I've worked for some great companies. It's just like anything else; some are good, some are bad. It has nothing to do with the IT industry per se. Look around, talk to your friends, find ones who like the company they work for and try to get a job there.
Oh! And you should ALWAYS make photo-copies of your timesheets before submitting them. It's called CYA...
-- TECH32 (TECH32@NOMAIL.COM), January 19, 2000.
Is it REALLY the company or just an ignorant payroll clerk? My husband works for the county. He keeps a daily diary which includes his time. He has mistakes on his paycheck at least one out of 3 checks. But its not really the county that is trying to screw him out of the money. Its just some bimbo that can't figure out the time cards. From the top man down, they know that chubby hubby keeps a diary and there is never any argument. In fact there was an accident once involving two other employees and hubbys diary was requested by the attorneys. It also makes some of the higher echelon, the ones getting the payoffs, a little nervous to have this diary. Taz
-- Taz (Tassi123@aol.com), January 19, 2000.
Good advise from all...much thanks to all on allowing me to "vent my spleen" as it were...(Usually don't blow my stack like that except at people making the "UN troops taking over" stories!) Thanks again all.
-- Billy Boy (Rakkasan101st@Aol.com), January 19, 2000.
Billy, what everyone said. Coporations suck. Look out for yourself. Best of luck.
-- Mara (MaraWayne@aol.com), January 19, 2000.
Many good posts here. I would try Chuck and Phil's advice 1st. Try in a 'calm' manner to get your just wages. If that does not work, try the white pages for "Wage & Hourly" (experience talking now) and give them a call. All it took for me was one phone call from those kind folks to my employer and I got my money. And no, I did NOT lose my job for doing so. Good luck, as having been in the military I understand BOHICA...
-- consumer (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 19, 2000.
No it is not only the private sector that screws you, the government does it as well. I am as angry as you, I am mad as hell, but it does me not good. I have nobody to turn to. I write senators and they just send me form letters. I email senators and they just send me form letters.
Here is my story. You will probably scoff and snort when you hear it. A person in this situation has nothing to grumble about. Just listen to my side. I have retired from the AF, twenty years, I have retired from the Postal, almost twenty five years. Wow what a set up you will say. To be sure it looks that way on the outside, but listen to how the govenment has screwed me, and I am having to live almost at a poverty level because of it.
While in the AF, they paid my full social security in, giving my full quotas, that was given to us at that time instead of a pay raise. Now when I am suppose to draw full benefits, they cut them in half, which in my case amounts to between four and five hundred a month. All who retired before a certain date, I think it was 1990 draw the full amount. However since I retired Dec 95, they have kept that amount from me for over four years. Nov 1996, I had a heart attack, and am not really able to work, my wife is crippled with rumetoid arthritise, and several other types of arthritise. Before retiring, counting on drawing full social security, we adopte a child.
Not only did they short us on the social security, but the military turned us over to blue cross blue shield when we became sixty five. When I joined the military, we were assured that we had medical coverage for life, what a laugh.
The only difference between civilian and government shafting, in the civil side you may have a chance to recoup what you were shafted out of. With the gov. you are shafted for life.
When you sign a contract with them, you are forced to keep your side of the deal. However they are ammune to their side.
My brother blazed the trail for me. He went through twenty years military, and also retired from the postal service. But since he retired before 1990, he draws full social security for himself and his wife, and so do all the others that retired before then. The government has shafting people down to and art.
-- Notforlong (Fsur@aol.com), January 19, 2000.
Billy Boy, I have read your posts for months as a lurker and I appreciate all you bring to the forum. I'm sorry to hear you have been treated so shabbily. Everyone's advice is great, but a couple of things I can add is this:
My state, GA, has a Wage and Earnings board division of Dept. of Labor to investigate complaints. However, GA is a "right to work" state, meaning you can be fired for any reason, employer's discretion, provided it not be discrimination (race, religion, etc.) The last time I had experience w/OT issue was the late 80s, the law then was some small businesses were exempt from having to pay time and a half based on # of employees and gross revenue. Unless you are a salaried employee, as an hourly wage employee they still had to pay you for # of hours worked. Also my experience up to 1994 was a company could offer comp time in lieu of OT instead w/out breaking the law. The catch 22 was some were so overscheduled they couldn't take the comp time either. Real gray area legaly, w/ people encouraged to work off comp time by taking longer lunches, leaving 30 min. early--very shabby.
Perhaps start with a friendly written enquiry, working your way up the chain of command, so they will be forced to address your claims in writing? Then, armed w/ the facts, contact the Dept. of Labor. If you have a legal claim, the state will handle it for you w/a hearing, at which your employer must be present and may bring legal council. The state will tell you if you have right to redress, and they will represent you at no cost against your employer. None of this sounds pleasant, I'm sorry. I hope it is a simple "oversight." Good luck.
-- mellowdog (email@example.com), January 19, 2000.
Herein, lies flaw, of the whole system,IMHO. The original military retirement laws, were effected when we were in consequence of imminent War. Those old laws, reconized the hardships, the horror and suffering the American Soldier experienced, and sought to give them compensation throught V.A. housing loans, educational loans, and 50% retirement at 20 years and average age of 38. The picture has changed, drastically, over the past 50 years. You Military, for the past years, have no where endured the horror of the past ages. You may think you have, after all, this was your "Life's Book". Before you get all huffy, think long and hard about the few professions which allow a retirement after only 20 years of service (the rest of American has to work 40 and more years). The professions which allow retirement after only 20 years are the police force, the Firemen, the Air Traffic Controllers, and the military. Which one profession has more substained daily trama, for 20 years? We are not all entitled. Flame away....
-- Just Had to (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 20, 2000.
Where on Cory's page is that Oracle stuff?
-- Leo Champion (email@example.com), January 21, 2000.