Last Stand

January 1, 2009 at 2:14 AM | Posted in Journal | Leave a comment
   Well, crap, I didn’t get this posted in time to be on New Years’ Eve, so it’s oddly the first post of the new year.  Rife with irony.

  It’s New Year’s Eve, and I have to work all day–both jobs.  So, let’s bitch about work, okay?
  Here at the bank, I took a gamble and went down to part-time so I could take time off to finish the move and what-have-you.  And indeed it was a gamble, because when I was done I emailed my boss to say, "Okay, let me back on full-time now"

  –And the whole reason I had to do it that way–I tried several ways to negotiate around the corporate rule structure–was that I was out of PTO (paid time off).  Yes, in addition to a bucket-full of bank holidays, another perk to working here is 11.25 hours of PTO I accrue each month.  Per year, that’s over 17 additional days of time off I can take for vacation, or sick days, or pretty much whatever the hell I want.  Poor planning and lack of foresight caused me to use ALL of my accrued PTO.  Where it all went I have no idea.  I know I took an actual vacation (five days’ worth) back in June when we went to Michigan for Al’s graduation.  Other than that…Shit, I need to save some in case I need time off while I sit in jail waiting for someone to come up with bail money.
  Since I had no time off I could take, I was theoretically stuck working 40 hours.  I *HAD* to work the 40.  The only way to get out of it, I was told, was to be part time.  That also cuts my benefits.  I get about 5 hours per month PTO, and only half a day paid for holidays like the all-important MLK day–
 
  and she said that *her* boss said we have to wait until March to "re-evaluate" the situation.  So I’m fucked, and I’m stuck on part-time.  I need to work as close as I can to 40, so let’s try for 39 hours.
  My friend Kim who works here says when things get slow, the part timers are the first to be laid off.  She also said there could have been another way for me to do this.  I wish I had known all this shit sooner.
  Should I worry about being laid off?  Well, I do work in the mortgage division of a bank.  We are told reassuring things every other day.  On the days between, a desk is left inexplicably empty.  Actually not–we are in pretty fair shape.  First of all, we’re a small bank, not one of the big ones that are dropping like flies.  Second, we are the best in the mortgage arena in the St Louis area.  Not kidding.  Our numbers put us at the top.  That’s funny considering we don’t advertise–or not much–while on TV and radio we are bombarded with commercials from these various little "mortgage experts."  Puh-leaze.
  Towards the end of November, in hopes of stirring the stagnation a bit, the Fed dropped interest rates again.  This fueled a refi frenzy that started slowly and has begun to build.  Now we are really cooking, because people want to refi.  So I have that going for me, which is nice.
  You know, I thought I was making good money here, and I guess I am, for what I do.  I mean, I know that my job isn’t worth that much, and I’m paid several dollars an hour more than it is worth.
  Unlike my job at Domino’s.  I like Domino’s, I do.  But I had been increasingly unsatisfied with…everything.  And the hourly rate is just insulting.  I got a call Monday from our supervisor, Tom.
  And Tom may be a nice guy.  All indicators seem to point to that.  Nonetheless, as supervisor he is in the nominal position generically described as "the enemy."  One of the reasons I decided to take this job as a part time assistant is that it was understood that I would not have to see him.  Seeing a person is the supervisory capacity is off-putting and unnecessarily stressful.  I just don’t need that.
  Luckily, as a supervisor, Tom works only days.  By five pm, he is done and gone for the day.  You would think.  Since I started last January, I had seen Tom a total of two times by October.  I saw him twice in November and was ready to quit over it.  I don’t need a boss harshing my mellow, man.
  I had also talked to him once or twice on the phone, each time a disaster.  So Monday he calls, and explains a fairly inside thing to me, but it’s important to the story that I’m going to get around to telling, or perhaps it is the story I’m going to get around to telling.
  He explains that as of Monday, minimum wage went up.  In fact, it may go up on the 1st, but for payroll purposes, start it when the new payroll period starts–makes sense.  Currently drivers make 5.65 per hour, and minimum is 6.55.  Therefore they have to declare at least a dollar per hour in tips.  Minimum went up to 7.05, so now they have to claim 1.40 per hour in tips.  Of course this is cheating.  In several ways.  The best for the company, of course, is, they don’t have to pay that.  All they have to do is match the FICA and SUTA and so forth.
  Well, were is *MY* raise?  I mean, Minimum is 7.05, and I’m making a little over a dollar more than that.  You mean to tell me that my 20 years’ worth of experience in this business is with 1.45 over minimum wage?  If that indeed is their philosophy, they should never doubt or be surprised by the fact that, FUCK NO, I am not giving 100%. 
  And they for damned sure better not be surprised when I get myself a new job doing less that pays more.  I could be a line cook for 10 an hour, for chrissake.  I may be repeating myself, but what I want is a job where I can work ONE job, and make–
  Well, that doesn’t even matter.  Here is what I want.  After I refi the house, I’m going to begin looking.  Yeah, I know the market is tough.  But I’m gonna look.
  This is what I want:
  Currently I work about 70 hours per week.  I sure would love to work less than that.  Sixty, or even fifty-five.  I’ll take that in one job or two.
  I’d like to make slightly more money than I make right now.  An extra two hundred per month.  That’s an extra fifty per week.  I know what my nut is. 
  For working the shorter hours, I’d like to be able to not work as long into the evening.  Hell, getting out at 11 pm is a big difference compared to midnight or later.
  A little bit of job security would be nice.  Knowing my job is going to be there, knowing I won’t be let go or laid off at the drop of a hat…That would be nice.  I’ll settle for not having to constantly live in fear.
  Along with that, I guess as part of a New Year’s Resolution, I’m going to try to budget a little better.  Maybe I don’t need more.  Maybe I need to spend less.  I could grow a garden, plant some vegetables, get a cow, a goat and a pig in the back yard, and some chickens…And a hydroponics setup and grow a few pot plants.  Not to smoke. 
  It’s a cash crop.

  Did you know that if you replace the word "mandatory" with the word "bullshit" in any corporate memo, it makes more sense?  Try it sometime.

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