if you aren't a union shop, better do what they tell ya bub
So I've worked with this company going on 6 years now. A few months ago they changed their support hours of operation by 2 hours earlier and 2 hours later. They have hired new support staff that agreed to work in either of two shifts.
The guys in our department are a "second tier" level of support. Our primary function is completing a component of projects and our secondary job is assisting with technical support issues that involve our domain. We've stayed primarily at our original work schedule although some guys chose to take the "early" shift since it means they can leave a bit earlier. However, as expected, no one really wants to stay late so that 2 hour evening window does not have "physical support". By that I mean we've been offering support remotely (i.e. the in-building support staff can contact us via cell, Lync, etc.) since, by and large, it is rare that a support issue arise that late in the evening that would require our assistance.
Well the manager suddenly got a bug up her ass and is insisting that someone stay late every evening. I'm flat out refusing to. I've been doing remote-style support for months now and it has been no problem. Hell, the team leader of customer support agrees that we aren't really needed past a certain hour. So, not sure what this bitch's problem is.
Just curious how others would handle this situation. Quite honestly, at this point, I am absolutely confident they need me more than I need them. The division we're in is SO disorganized, dysfunctional, and underwater with the amount of work that needs to get completed there is no way in hell they would let one of their most productive and talented people go (obviously I'm not being modest here but I feel it's the honest-to-God truth).
edit: Oh, and I'd like to add that we all had a meeting about 2 months ago on the issue of support from us. At the time they agreed that any new employees will be told about evening support. Well, two new guys have been hired since. One was told that he could do support remotely in the evening. The other wasn't told anything. So, I feel they pretty much didn't follow through with the agreement we felt we had.
Last edited by ShakyJake; 08-17-2013 at 06:36 PM.
if you aren't a union shop, better do what they tell ya bub
Shouldn't it be a rotation? Or at least a mix during the week?
Sure, I understand everyone is replaceable and I have no delusions that they would collapse after my departure. But it would certainly aggravate an already turbulent and chaotic environment.
What's frustrating is that the need (the support) isn't there. It's coming off as someone just trying to assert their "authoritah". Even though it's not really something I should be planting flags and drawing lines over -- it's most certainly reaching that "last straw" idiom.
You need to find another job. Then say you're leaving to take more money unless they cut the bullshit hours and match the money. Otherwise put up or shut up.
Depending on the details you also might have the option of getting unemployment if you are kicked out for not accepting the change in hours. I'd definitely look into that before depending on it though.
Ask your manager for the "compelling business need" for changing hours. There might very well be a problem you are not aware of. If she can't answer with anything beyond "I'm scared that something will be missed and I'll get my ass handed to me by some asshole VP." then you are screwed.
female bosses constantly feel like they have to prove to every man that they can be tough too and so they make retarded decisions. if you tell her you refuse to do those hours she will take it personally and likely fire your ass the first chance she gets. just work the friggin extra hours and bring a laptop or tablet to surf the net. meanwhile look for greener pastures. threatening is never a good idea. its always good to leave a place on good terms because who knows if you ever find yourself in a tight spot and they may take you back til the trouble clouds blow away.
The way our division is set up is kinda weird. In a respect, the person making this demand isn't our direct manager. A few months ago we had a restructuring where our specific department was dissolved and project teams were formed. Each team has a project manager and under each PM are individuals that perform a particular function. So, my manager is actually the PM (who doesn't even live in the same state), but his manager is the bitch making the demand. In all actuality she shouldn't even be involved in these discussions because she doesn't have any real visibility on the subject. Understand that her primarily role is coordinating new projects, assignments, and what not so why she has any input into the matters of customer support is aggravating. I mean, it's partly understandable because our job is partly support oriented, but ALL the other people on these teams aren't involved in customer support at all. BUT, the catch is this -- SHE used to be the manager (and a terrible one at that) of the now dissolved department, so I get the feeling it's her way of exerting some control over her former underlings.
I'm not going to threaten to quit but I am simply going to say "no thank you" to staying late. I already put in enough after hours work with all the damn emails needing answering, coding, and database tomfoolery thanks to the developer guys not giving us the proper tools....but I digress.
AND, speaking of female bosses -- a few years ago our company was bought by one of those umbrella corporations -- you know, the ones that buy a bunch of small companies then don't know what the fuck to do with them and just roll in and cause havoc. Well, it became QUITE obvious that if you're a female then you're on the fast track to some high management position. Don't get me wrong, there are some great female leads in our division, but several have no damn business being in the position they are.
Last edited by ShakyJake; 08-18-2013 at 12:42 AM.
I would suggest a rotation system to spread the late work hours among the team. Do you use any type of support ticket system that would show the need or lack of for the late hour support? Another potential option that may get some interest with the team is a rotation system where someone works the full day (it sounds like it would be around 12 hours a day) once a week but then a 4 hour 1/2 day on the following work day.
If you aren't getting paid what you think other jobs you qualify for pay, my approach would be to first mention comparable and explain why you think you deserve similar pay, especially since you already have domain knowledge and are an additional asset in that regard. If you get a response its not in the budget, I'd say you will likely start looking into other job opportunities. If you really are a key person and are recognized for that, they probably can make something work. Also if you enjoy the work but you have upcoming school bills to pay explain the situation and that you need to make the best financial choice for yourself. If they still don't budge, you follow through and find something better.
If you have developed new skills during your job, it can be hard to get recognized for them and compensated for them. Sometimes it does take a new job where you are then interviewed and rigorously evaluated for your current skill set.
Basically you work them. If it really grinds your gears or it interferes with other responsibilities that you have you look for another job. Threatening to quit, even if it works as a tactic to retain a more desirable schedule, will only result in enough bad blood to turn the work environment hostile to you.
Questionable management is a fact of life. You make your trade offs. Sometimes it's worth working for a little bit less pay for an authority/management team who you know aren't imbicilic cowardly hellspawns.
Do a rotation or find another job. You might be able to get them to try and defend a business need or she might rail road you guys into the shift anyway. Those are your only choices unfortunately.
Business isn't always guided by rationality and companies arent always managed by rational actors. Everyone is replaceable, no matter how good they are and how much work they do. Learned this one from experience a long time ago when I thought I was King Shit (and I really was).
Last edited by Araysar; 08-18-2013 at 07:30 AM.
Having owned a business if someone threatened to quit I normally got rid of them that day, or at least put into motion a plan to get rid of them very soon. It's not a great negotiating tactic to me.
You have two options, complain and stay or just quit.
Yeah, I'm not going to threaten to quit. I have more of the attitude at this point of "What are you going to do? Fire me?". Which I know they won't, but then again I really don't want to start any wheels in motion on the topic. So, thanks to the responses here I recognize I need to cool it with the attitude.
A lot of it is just the pure frustration with our business. I have never worked with an organization so disorganized. We're a medical software company whose database software is in quite a few hospitals out there. The projects we work on are various things such as adding support for a single medical device all the way to full-blown, multi-facility, multi-device installations. The data from these point-of-care devices download into our database software. My job entails massaging that data out of our database and into the hospital's lab system. Essentially it's translating the data into a form their system recognizes via VB scripts. I enjoy the job and it's given me the opportunity to write various tools to aid us in making what we do easier. I feel I'm extremely good at recognizing inefficiencies and creating solutions. Like someone said above, I've acquired new skills thanks to this job but I'm not really recognized for it. I mean, they KNOW I've done this stuff and some are impressed, but when it comes to review time these aren't really factored in.
ANYHOO, we have over 1000 active projects right now of various tasks revolving around the above. You know how they're keep tracking of this stuff? With a shared Excel spreadsheet. Yes, 1000+ entries on an Excel spreadsheet where about 20 people are trying to access it simultaneously. Progress is recorded by adding little "comment" fields to various cells. It's laughable and what's frustrating is how they're completely oblivious to the fact that they're being retarded.
Start bring the place down from the inside one slightly loosened screw at a time.
I wouldnt waste money on Sharepoint to manage you tards either. You'd just make a bigger mess out of that.
It's like giving a brand new top of the line MacBook Pros to a classroom of inner city "urban" youth thinking that they will transform into honor students when in all likelihood half of them will trade it for a gun next day.
There are basically two things that can happen here. First off, you tell them you can't/won't work said hours, then they can either say "okay, well we won't schedule you then" or they can schedule you then and say "whelp, you are scheduled, show up or it counts as a no-show and you will be fired." Outside of that you won't have much recourse.
As some have mentioned you might be eligible for unemployment from a discharge like that depending on your state.
Also on that note, if you threaten to quit, you can kiss unemployment benefits good bye when they do fire you.
It would be pretty humorous if she fired you for refusing to work late. You're already doing that work for free by being available after hours, so she's just pmsing at not paying you for it because you don't punch a time clock? If she does fire you, I'd probably have a talk with her boss on the way out the door and make sure they understand what a cunt she is.
OTOH, if they are paying you for overtime when you give after hours support, that's a different issue. Maybe consider offering to take comp time instead of pay since you don't seem to need the money.
Comp time is a complete scam. I have never known -anyone- that had a positive experience with that shit. Even if you don't need the money take the money. Asking your boss for comp time is like asking "Is it ok if I work for free? It's legal as long as you call it comp time". You'll be screwed out of the comp time so fucking fast... getting something for your work is better than getting nothing.
If you get screwed out of comp time, its your own fault for being a bleeding vagina, TBH.
Find new job. My current job just switched my hours to a split weekend, off thursday and sunday. Start my new job in 2 weeks. Fuck that noise.
I won. Didn't have to say a thing due to others throwing a fit.
Should change your name to SlyJake, because that was sneaky. Let people either more secure than you or dumber than you (or maybe both) take the risks, reap the rewards.
SHAKYJAKE FOR GENERAL FORUM SEPTEMBER MOD
Put some mutant hard to kill strain of crabs on her chair at night. google it up
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