Sunday, June 28, 2015

Please, Sir, May I Have Another?

You would think that an employer would compensate the employee if there is insufficient work to cover the full shift, but we're talking about incentive-based work and showing up is no guarantee of compensation -- or work.

The problem is that the employee (that would be me) has to continue to sit in the chair (or at least mill about the machine) and check the status of work while on the clock, but not for more than 15 minutes at a time, during which the employee (that would be me again) clocks out to keep from screwing up the line count per hour rate which determines the actual pay rate for that week (ain't consistent pay a bitch?) and still keep milling or sitting and checking for work. What a system.

In the meantime -- the 15 minutes while notifying supervisor, lead, and whoever else is on the list that you're out of work while the clock is ticking -- the employee (that would be me) still must keep checking for work, but not on the company clock so as not to screw up the line counts per hour.

On the plus side, the employee can either make up the lost time on her own time (Goddess forbid she has a family or a life outside of being chained to the computer) or lose the time completely. Either way, the pay will suffer -- and so will your compensation for vacation time, which is miniscule at the start -- and pretty miniscule no matter how many years of indentured servitude you decide to keep going. What a system.

I am beginning to feel like the indentured servants working in the early days of the Colonies here in the New World who demanded that they not be served lobster more than twice a week in their contracts. After all, who really wants lobster every single day -- even if the lobsters were as big as a picnic table? Too much of anything gets old really fast -- however it tastes.

I have worked incentive most of my life, from data processing to medical transcription, and it has never been this difficult to earn a buck. At least the other companies paid a flat base rate and the employee (still me) wasn't out of pocket for lost time due to lack of work . . . until more recent years. Employers put lost time back into the employee's lap (still me) and it was up to the employee (me again) to make up the time in order to end up with a decent paycheck. Along with this little nugget of wonderful magnificence also came the death of holiday pay, affordable benefits, and any other perks (read: paid benefits). Well, they did still count holidays as holidays, and some even paid bonus rates (1-1/2 times the base rate) for working on the holidays (Goddess forbid you should ask for it off without life-threatening illness or 6 months advance notice *begging and supplication*), but paying holiday pay, unless it comes out of the employee's vacation time (that would be mine) was not going to happen. When did employers get so greedy and Simon Legree-ish?

As I have said before, any way an employer can screw you, they will -- and they don't mind paying bonuses to other employees (even though it would be more than they would pay the poor wage slaves -- over and over and ad infinitum, ad nauseam.

It doesn't pay to work for incentive -- no matter what they tell you when they dangle the big numbers like a fat, juicy carrot on a really long stick ahead of you while beating you with a metal rod behind.

What happened to employee rights?

Oh, right. That takes a union -- and there are no guarantees there either, as Beanie will tell you when her job was abolished 2 years before retirement and she was forced into another job for which she was not trained. She was, however, informed that if she did not take the job she would not be able to collect her retirement until she was 65 (or is it 67 now?). She's 50 years old. That's a long time without a paycheck, especially after 28 years of service to the state.

Unions take your money and sit there like a spider at the center of the web doing nothing until someone tugs on one of their lines. The spider races to the point where you're trapped in the sticky web and wrap you up in more sticky threads just to hold you in the larder while they suck you dry.

Unions had a purpose and high ideals once upon a time, but the leaders have gone down the same path as the employers using you to spin stronger webs and slowly suck you dry while not having much in the way of influence on the bigger spiders the used to fight with Sting before they devolved. I have very little respect for any union that kowtows to employers and foists a job on an employee (in this case my sister) they neither want nor are trained for.

At least for once my sister took my advice and ran with it. She Looked through the postings, found something she was interested in that was in her pay grade and step level, checked it out, and started today on a new path, with a bit of trepidation, but a whole lot happier and looking forward to her remaining 2 years before she retires. She was so enthusiastic about the new job that she said she might stay longer than 2 years. She has options now and the union nodded and keeps taking her money.

Yes, the unions may have outlived their usefulness. After all, they are part of the reason employers have gotten away with slashing benefits and gave the employers a reason to move offshore where Indians and Pakistanis were grateful for the pittance they call wages and where they can use and abuse a whole continent of people who are now better off than they were before the offshore movement.

What has happened to employers? Are they really so thoughtless that they would cut off the hands (that would be mine) that keep them in business? Seriously, do they really not understand that without the people who have the skills and experience to do the jobs they require, there would be nothing for them to be greedy over? No workers means no work which means no revenue for anyone -- including the bosses (that would be you).

I do believe that employers have forgotten to whom they owe their new cars, boats, houses, mistresses, etc. It's not a good idea to keep pissing on the people who do all the work and make you rich.

As more and more companies and corporations take away more benefits and simple basic services, they stir an already seething pot about to boil over and destroy everything the employees (that would be me) worked so hard to make possible. It's time to stop pissing on the help and realize that well paid help with adequate benefits makes life a lot easier than getting into the trenches and doing it yourself. I guarantee that you have neither the skills nor the experience to sit in their chairs and do the work, and that will mean goodbye to new cars, boats, vacation houses, vacations, and life as you know it. Keep that in mind when you unzip your fly or drop those designer panties before you do your business.

That is all. Disperse.

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