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It never rains but it pours

TheCaterpillar posted 3/6/2019 13:49 PM

I guess this is 50/50 a rant and a request for your prayers and thoughts on behalf of a loved one

My heart is so heavy and my mind so full of worry. Someone very dear to me got sent home from work today. We'll call this person G for the sake of this post as I don't want to disclose their real name.

N has been struggling for 2 years with uncertain work, barely earning enough for a roof overhead and food in belly. N has worked hard, has made some poor judgements but is trying, and I mean really trying to be a good person. July last year N got a job whch was low paid but steady work. It was a salary rather than commission and while it would leave nothing for savings it'd mean bills/rent would be paid each month. N was promised medical insurance after 2 months. After 4 N was asking the employer about it, not wanting to push and being grateful for the opportunity. The employer promised and promised and it took them another full month to produce the necessary forms. When these seemed to take time to process N asked what the hold up was. After many excuses N finally got medical in January (legally this should have been the case within 4 months of taking the job).

N had been promised a performance and pay review in November but the employer was busy so it was promised in Dec/Jan. In Feb the review was held and while they decided N was not ready for a promotion N was ready for a small hourly rate increase. NOt being greedy N was grateful. This meant being able to pay bills, rent AND put a small percentage of pay into a savings account for emergencies.

Back to today. N was told by the employer than N was not working hard enough. N would be sent home (without pay) and would be given until Friday to come up with a plan of how to be more productive or else N would be let go. This is not a disciplinary for a one-off event, this is a general "you're not working hard enough"

WTF!!! How can you go from being eligible for a pay rise in Feb to being (effectively) suspended without pay in first week of MArch? N is devastated.

I realise companies have to turn a profit and can't afford to keep on perceived "dead weight" but the mixed messages in this instance are plain cruel.

My heart is full of hurt for them. I'm desperately trying to know what words I can say or actions I can do to help. THe company in question is small (team of less than 10) and for the last 7-8 months they've been like a family. N did not see this coming and is hurt and financially frightened at losing the last bit of stability. This person has lost so much in the last few years. This job was supposed to signify things turning around

Notthevictem posted 3/6/2019 14:42 PM

I hate to say it, but little raises like that sound like a cost of living adjustment and not a performance increase. I'd wonder if n is giving you the whole picture on what they're doing at work... getting a one week suspension for lack of performance doesn't normally happen unless there are multiple verbal indications.

I'd definitely feel for my friend but I don't know if I'd take their side or give them shit for not working hard enough. Especially if their previous work history is questionable.

TheCaterpillar posted 3/6/2019 15:00 PM

Previous work history isn't questionable. In 2017 N was let go due the structuring changes. After 2 years of hard work the office for that city had gone from 2 people making a loss to a team of 12. All managers were let go for the region (there were 7 spread across 5 states), regardless of whether the individual office was succeeding or not. N went from a manager on a good salary and benefits to unemployed overnight. N had relocated to this region specifically for the promotion to management and tbh this area is limited for employment options. N should probably have gone back to hometown at this point but having spent 2 years settled in didn't want to leave. N worked at 2 jobs, since. Both commission based so income was up and down month to month. I've had experience of this and it's hard to live and N will freely admit to not having planned for the harder months.

I agree about the skepticism. I tried (gently) to enquire if something happened. Just the other day I saw N who was joking with other colleagues about it had been a rough week but thye were turnign it around. At corporate level the company is struggling and maybe it's a last one in, first one out situation?

It's just crazy since a little over a week ago tehy had N helping to look at new candidates for a job opening. This is not in N's payscale (which I voiced a few concerns over) but since N has a lot of hiring experience they wanted input. At this point the boss said again that the longterm view was that N would take over leadership responsibilities with S when the current owners retire in 1-2 years time.

It's just hit N out of the blue. I'm trying to sya supportive things but I've been told that N got in crying and N's partner says N has gone to bed and has not spoken for a few hours.

I agree on not knowing whether this is a time to pull them up and get them moving or offer sympathy.

I suppose my other concern is that this is a firing already but the boss didn't have the guts to say it to N's face this morning. They have constantly praised and talked about a long term plan for N, but then as soon as it's time to fill out forms for medical insurance, discuss pay increases etc they always seem suddenly busy. Reading between the lines I wonder if the company is in trouble and I don't hold out much hope for N being employed come Friday.

[This message edited by TheCaterpillar at 3:02 PM, March 6th (Wednesday)]

Notthevictem posted 3/6/2019 15:06 PM

Ah yeah. It gives n a week to look for a better job doesn't it?

tushnurse posted 3/6/2019 16:15 PM

Does he really want to stay with an employer that lies and stalls?
If I was promised insurance at x date and they failed to do what was promised I'd be raising hell or calling whatever governing body you have that protects employee rights. It sounds very sketchy to me.

TheCaterpillar posted 3/6/2019 17:21 PM

Does he really want to stay with an employer that lies and stalls?

Unfortunately it's not always a choice. In a poor economy people will stay with a job that pays them enough to survive. THe health insurance was a big draw and one of the main appeals after being self-employed in a commission only job. What's sad is that at any suggestion about complaining about insurance or about pushing for a pay review in line with quantitative targets met N will jump to defence, being so grateful to be somewhere that gave a career. N has always been an optomist who believed trying your best will be recognized in the long run, even if it means being treated like crap for a while first.

It just doesn't add up in my mind. I trust no promises from an employer unless they come in contract form (not that I'd say that outright). I'm told I'll be eligible for a payrise in 3 months. Great. That will be nice IF it happens. I'm all about IFs. Sadly, I always assume an employer is looking to make money or screw you over. THey're not your friend.

Then again, maybe this attitude is why I don't have close friends.

Marie2792 posted 3/6/2019 20:51 PM

This is a horrible story. I trust that you know N really well or it wouldn’t hurt you so much. That said, I’m going to go on a limb here and based on experiences I have seen firsthand in the workplace, the cost of medical insurance and the small raise N was given probably is too much for them to handle. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn N has effectively the hire N’s replacement. I have seen that happen. First quarter is very slow and that’s where companies make their cuts. Could be a case of last in, first out. But doubt it because they’re hiring a new person. Small companies usually cannot make big profits with overhead. But N was so grateful for the job and the chance to earn money to survive, and thus never pushed the employer to come through in their commitments. Maybe they thought N was a passive sucker and they’d get away with it. I would say to N take the chance to look for another job. Who wants to work for sneaky people like these? You’re a good friend Caterpillar.

[This message edited by Marie2792 at 8:52 PM, March 6th (Wednesday)]

TheCaterpillar posted 3/7/2019 11:54 AM

I know I shouldn't be taking it o heart but I've watched so many people go under and I can see this breaking N. Just one thing too many.

It confused me that someone would send an employee home on Wednesday morning and give them until Friday to come up with a plan. N is convinced that they've effectively already been fired.

I could be wrong but my view is this; you have nothing to lose by putting together notes for some kind of speech/written report to proove you're worthy of the job. If they said No you're no worse off. That said, keep looking for a job in the meantime. Make an appointment on Friday to sit down with a mutual friend who is well versed in jobs seekers allowance/unemployment assistance. There may be some support available while searching for ajob. I've also offered to look over resume/cv/cover letters on the weekend and suggest any tweaks.

I also suggested (and not sure if I was right in doing so) that N call in a refill on presciption and pick it up today before they cancel the insurance plan. It doesn't make a huge change in cost but if you're still on the books and entitled I think that's fair?

I really don't know what else to do. N lives with a person (who knows I know about the situation) and i text asking How is N doing? N didn't want to get up or take meds (N takes a low dose NSRI, I was around a lot after the initial diagnosis of depression a few years back). So emailed over my notes I made last night (to help with the meeting on Friday) and promoised a kindness-motivated ass-kicking if they didn't get up and get moving. I got a note back at lunchtime saying thanks and that N has showered, walked the dog and promised to look over the info. I hope I helped and I'm not being overbearing.

Maybe I shouldn't get so involved but it's really affected me (Yes, i do realise how self-involved that sounded). I feel like everywhere I look someone is suffering and the world feels so cruel.

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