Friday, November 23, 2007

Work... Or Lack Thereof

Ahh, it's Friday. A very special day if you are employed. Sigh.

I'm still certain I made the right decision leaving Manulife's mailroom last week, even though I enjoyed the work and loved the people I was with. Sometimes, though, you can just tell that things will only get worse. The boss (and his bosses) were looking at every way possible to pinch pennies. It even got to the point last week where I finished the work early, so they sent me home early. Most people would be overjoyed with a situation like that. Those people are on salary, and not getting paid only for the hours they have worked. If a temp gets sent home early, they lose pay. "I'd rather stay until 4:30," I told my boss. "I'm sure you would," was his reply.

So not only had they cut two and a half ours out of each workday, but now he was cutting another half hour. As a reward for finishing my work early.

The sad thing is, my boss wasn't a jerk. In most cases he was the nicest of guys. He even had the Dr. Who theme on his cell phone! How cool is that? But when it came to matters of work ethic and money, his dark side came out. That incident wasn't the only time we clashed - we also fought over my breaks. I feel that, as an employee guaranteed two 15 minute breaks by law, I'm entitled to take those breaks when I need them. He felt that breaks should only be taken when all the work was done, or you ran the risk of throwing off the 'work flow'. There was always a constant stream of work, which meant there was never a time during the morning or afternoon when I could take a break.

Then there was the matter of my lunch breaks, but I don't want to get into that. You get the idea, and I didn't want this to degenerate into a sob-fest. Besides, he wasn't nearly so bad as the boss I had before him at Bank of America - the guy who wanted me to use a different photocopier because I could save 15 seconds walking to it. I'm slowly but surely developing a story premise around that guy. Just you wait.

So I made the right decision leaving Manulife. The pay was bad, and then my hours were cut, and it was clear to me my boss and I would get on each others' nerves over other issues, and I just don't want that. Here's hoping my next employers are better.


Morgan F. S. said...

Wow, it sounds like those bosses of yours need to go back and take some more management courses, notably in organizational behavior and corporate psychology. :) Doesn't the dude know that rest breaks actually increase productivity? And saving 15 seconds walking to a photocopier... no comment.

(I figured my business degree would come in handy sometime. LOL)

Timothy Carter said...

Yeah, he actually had a meeting with us where he said, "If you use the photocopier 100 times a day, and you save 15 seconds each trip, that's 1500 seconds!" After he left, we worked that out to being slightly less than half an hour. It's good to be able to laugh about it now.

As for the other guy not realizing rest breaks increase productivity - he just didn't see it that way. Plus, after being spoken down to like a naughty child who wants a cookie, my resulting anger drained me of the productivity he hoped to gain by not giving me the break. This, unfortunately, is what happens when you eliminate the human component and focus solely on numbers (you now, X number of employees + Y hours = Z amount of work done). This trend must be reversed if human dignity and happiness at the workplace are to be salvaged.