Part one for fulfilling my promise

Okay.  I told you previously I had both good and bad stuff to talk about.  I’m going to start with the not-good stuff so I can hopefully feel better after writing about the good stuff.  🙂

I think I have mentioned being in an ongoing…negotiation? standoff? with my manager and the HR department as pertains to tardies and absences.  [By-the-by, I have turned in the paperwork from my doctor to see if we can get some of that dealt with.]  On Thursday I was emailed a decision that I do not agree with.  As far as I can tell, almost everyone agrees with my logic.  But the decision has been handed down.  Without further arguing, I asked 2 things in response. The first was for someone to sit down with me and explain the logic behind their decision.  From the time this all started, I have done my best to explain the logic behind my actions.  They have not.  So I asked for someone to sit down and explain it to me face-to-face.  Additionally, the situation being discussed was actually the 2nd time it had happened and I wanted clarification as to whether they were going to erase the first situation like they had the second even as they argued they were right.  I know!  Contradiction much?  Anyways, so I asked for that and haven’t been able to get the meeting, although it looks like Tuesday or Wednesday.

I hate the fact that I am having to fight so hard to retain my job.  [I am not under imminent threat of losing my job, but with the current situation, 6 months.  Possibly less since I feel I am being labeled as a “difficult” employee.]  I do a good job at what I do.  Yes, I have problems with lates and absences (although more lates then absences), but I work hard and do a good job.  I understand that there will always be people that just don’t want to work, so they are late, absent, and don’t get their job done.  Because of the 1% of those that are actually willing to file a claim of “wrongful termination” and point to others in the same department/facility that are treated “differently” (because they do their job well!), my coworkers and I are forced to put up with draconian policies that do not take the human condition into account.  I understand the concept behind the policy, but I think it demeans all of us by putting us all on the same level as the lowest human denominator in this case.  So, per the policy, my tardiness is equivalent to someone that hasn’t been there as long, doesn’t work as hard, or just doesn’t know how to do their job correctly.  The fact that I have been here for over 2 years, that I do work hard, and that I have coped well with increasing responsibility means nothing to them because I was late to work a certain number of times.

Policies like these, although well-loved by the legal department, are one of the reasons I think so many companies have issues retaining talent.  When I was a child, people routinely retired from the company they started working for when they were 16/18/20.  My grandfather put 20 in the Army, then another 20 in at the Post Office.  My father would have stayed in the military through his 30 had he the choice.  Reading literature about jobs today, though, you will find completely different information.  The average job candidate will have a minimum of 7 positions before they retire.  Even excepting student jobs in high school and college, I am over 7.  Let’s even just count full-time jobs.  That still puts me at 7.  The average length of position for me sits right near 3 years, although the temp job I had was only 8 months before I went full-time.  And I am told that 3 years is about the length that recruiters are looking for or you need to show a job title change or something…or you are stagnating.

So I am looking at over 25 more years of working full-time as long as I stay healthy.  And the company I work for thinks they need to be more concerned with my tardiness than my competence.  They think it will be cheaper to train someone new every 1-3 years to do my job than those tardies and/or absences may cost them.  Then again, we are looking at a business culture in the US the believes spending hundreds of thousands training new workers every year is cheaper than paying your employees a decent wage with decent benefits.  Training new people costs so much more than many people think.  First, you have to pay the new person.  You are essentially paying them to learn, so their contributions are very slight at the beginning.  You have to pay the person/s doing the work the person is being hired for, and that’s probably going to be time-and-a-half if we are talking full-time employees.  You also have to pay the trainer.  Even if this person is salary, either this is all they do and the position was created just to train at which point their entire salary goes to the cost of training, or their other responsibilities are also being shifted to others to give them the necessary time.

Let’s extrapolate:  You are hiring an employee that you will pay $10/hour (40 hour work-week).  Currently, you are paying two other employees paid at the same rate to make up the work (30 hours per week together, both on overtime).  The trainer in this case is not dedicated, nor salary.  As a trainer, let’s put the wages at $15/hour.  We’ll leave out the cost of the trainer’s lost work.  The training lasts a mere 4 weeks and costs the company a grand total $5800.  Now, we are neglecting the cost of reduced customer service, quality, and the like.  I have no idea what those formulas would look like.  So in all realities, for a low-paid $10/hour position with a month of training, a minimum of $10,000 is what the employer is looking at in the way of…let’s call it wage-cost.  There are other costs I have no way of understanding without a business degree, I am sure.  That employee has to work 1000 hours to “pay” for their own training, which is right at 6 months without a single lost work day, including holidays.  Let’s say you have 100 employees on that pay rate with an average turnover rate of 13% (fairly average across industries from what I found on the web).  The thirteen new employees you train in a year are going to cost you around $130,000.  If you retained the original 100 employees instead (assuming they were all good, hard-working employees) [It’s an example, people.], and gave them each a $1000 bonus at the end of the year, you would still be up in the money game.  Not to even mention that people familiar with your products and/or processes mean increased profit in and of themselves.  If you didn’t want to do a bonus, you could give every employee a 3% raise and still make money.

What all of this comes to is this:  Once an employee has passed the 6 month anniversary (for the sake of our example) and proven themselves as good workers through review, shouldn’t they be treated with the respect they have earned?  Everyone knows that when you start a new job, you are being held to a higher standard.  No matter what anyone hiring you tells you, we all know it’s the truth.

In my situation, it is the exact opposite.  In my mind, it comes across as: Since we cannot be bothered to keep track of our employees, their competence, or how long they have been here, we are just going to treat you all the same.  We are going to treat each and every one of you like Kindergartners that don’t know how to behave.

Okay.  Wow.  That was…interesting.  I hadn’t truly intended to go through all that, but…I guess I needed to say it.  Hopefully at least one person makes it this far.  If you did…I love you, too.  😉


~ by theartistryofthebipolarbrain on October 5, 2013.

2 Responses to “Part one for fulfilling my promise”

  1. Well done!! It made alot of sense to me. It’s too bad that someone in management can’t read this. It might change their mind or at least alter their thought process.


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