Today’s video: The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas
Sassy, to answer your questions as to what kind of job I have that I can watch DVDs at work, here’s my response. I run a word processing center at a local college. During the summer months, even though we’re required to work, our workload is dramatically reduced to the point where we often have no work to do at all. There aren’t too many people that come near our part of the world around here so it’s relatively “safe” to play our CDs, watch DVDs, and sometimes I even knit. As I said before, I keep a small “window” open on my computer (about the size of an index card) that stays on top with the DVD playing, and I can still work on my spreadsheets or other documents if/when anything comes in.
Remember when I indicated that Lisa was going to ask her boss for a reduced work week? Wait til you hear this…
This is how she asked for it — she gave her boss a memo outlining what she was asking for, and that she’d be happy to discuss it when the boss had a chance to read it. This memo started off by pointing out that, in the past 5 years, nobody in the company has had a pay raise and, rather than whine to the boss about it, Lisa has taken it as her own responsibility to supplement her income.
With this in mind, I find it necessary to ask you to consider reducing my work-week here at O’Neill’s from 5 days a week, 40 paid hours to 4 days a week, 32 paid hours, Monday through Thursday, 8:00 to 5:00. I ask for this schedule to commence immediately and continue through the summer until a week or two after Labor Day. Pat doesn’t work on Fridays during the summer, so this is an excellent opportunity for us to put more time into our work, so that we can better meet the needs of our customers, as well as put our company on more stable ground.
I have to be honest in telling you that, if things work out the way I think they can with our company, I will most likely be leaving O’Neill’s at some point down the road. It is likely as well that I may ask for a further reduction in my work week by one or two more days a week until such time that I begin to work full time with my own business. I am asking you to consider these possibilities and to consider the flexibility I am asking for here.
As you can see, she was completely forthcoming and honest, and merely asked for consideration of her request. She didn’t demand anything.
Her boss was FURIOUS and insulted that Lisa would even ask let alone expect it. She told Lisa “I didn’t realize you were that miserable here.” Nowhere in the memo did it indicate in any way, shape or form that Lisa was unhappy (although, in truth, she HAS been miserable for some time now). She sent Lisa home for the day, much like you’d put a 5-year-old in a time out, so that she could “think about what she’d done” and so she could “cool down.” Initially, Lisa said “I don’t need to go home and cool down, I don’t need to cool down at all.” But she finally relented when she realized that she was, in fact, becoming PISSED at her boss. So, she was home by 10:30 and, during the course of the day made just short of $75 doing some of the work that we had taken on for our business.
Around lunchtime, the calls started coming in from co-workers, telling her that after she’d left, the boss had gotten herself all puffed up and went to each and every employee to tell them that Lisa had asked for Fridays off and had been sent home. She then told each and every one of them “If anyone else is unhappy here, they can just leave.” With only one exception, every hourly employee (that is not in the “top three”) called her and was furious at what had taken place.
So much for confidentiality, eh?
For some time now, the boss has been drinking at work. Sometimes her speech is so slurred that it’s hard to understand what she’s saying. As Lisa says, decisions are made out of a bottle.
We gave this a lot of thought over the weekend, and talked an awful lot about it and have arrived at the decision that, if Lisa doesn’t get fired today (which we think is what will happen), she’s going to submit her resignation on Friday anyway. Either way, she won’t be working there by the end of this month. She will work our business full-time (and the work just continues to come in to support that) and begin to draw a BETTER paycheck from that than she had at this job.
But here’s the thing…who WOULDN’T be miserable?
- When Lisa accepted that job nine years ago, her health insurance was paid in full (as was everyone else’s). In January of 2004, that benefit was cut in half. For just a single policy, paychecks were reduced by about $150 per month. In the past five years, health insurance premiums have increased more than 25%.
- Five years ago, it cost Lisa $5 per day (roughly $110 per month), round trip, for gas to go back and forth to work. Today it costs her $12 a day (roughly $260 per month). No pay raises to offset the cost of living, health insurance benefits decreased, and the overall increase in the cost of living, and their paychecks didn’t change at all.
- Five years ago, the company had 22 employees. One was fired (and needed to be), four were laid off, one died, one quit for a better job, one left to go to school full-time, and one quit to have a baby and be a stay-at-home-mom. Of the 13 remaining people, three are full-time on-the-road sales reps, located out of state. That leaves ten people (including the owner) to do the work that 22 people once did. Twice the work, for less and less money each year. It literally COSTS these people money to work there.
- The boss drinks, heavily, while at work and, with her “Let them eat cake” attitude, can’t figure out why her employees are unhappy without a pay raise in the past five years while she travels (on the company dime) around the country and (personally) to Europe.
How can getting fired be a bad thing for Lisa?
As I write this, I’m waiting to hear from her to see what the verdict is. Lisa is absolutely certain that she’ll be fired because we believe that the boss is more angry about Lisa’s having shoved the reality of the plight of her workers in her face than the fact that Lisa asked for the time off. She’s not totally unlike Paris Hilton — she was born into money, and has always lived comfortably with money, and has never once had to struggle financially.
I told Lisa that there’s only one rule that she absolutely MUST follow today if she’s fired. That rule is “No skipping delightedly down the hall when you leave the building.”
So, send positive vibes that Lisa IS fired today, okay?