When did working within your contracted job specification become a bad thing? When did starting and leaving within your contracted hours mean that you are not pulling your weight? When did quality and expertise become less important than quantity?
Different corporate industries, same old, same smell! The one thing they have in common, is exploiting their staff by pushing them beyond their limits, but it is us, the employees, who let them do it! We are being manipulated into the idea, that if we are not stressed out then we’re not working hard enough?!! If we do not start early, work through lunch and leave late then we are not seen as pulling our weight.
Know your worth! Read your contract and understand your role. If you are required to take on additional duties because of staff shortages or business expansion, then negotiate, get that promotion, but do not just take on the roles of two people if you are not able to, do not put your physical or mental health at risk for the sake of a job.
Examples of how employers can exploit employees.
- Can you remember when it snowed and London came to a standstill with literally no public transport? It happened to be my day off, but my counterpart lived out of London and could not get into the office, so caring about my job, I walked 45 minutes in the snow to a bus service that was actually running and went to work to spend hours phoning customers, notifying them Oliver that had been cancelled and processing refunds. I thought I would at least get a ‘thank you’ from my colleagues, but alas no. I had to actually lobby to get my day off back!
- I worked for an independent theatre company that had two box office supervisors and a few causal assistants when I started my employment there. Within a few months, the other supervisor left. Did they replace her? No, instead I was given both workloads. They then cut back on causal staff, so although I was handling the work load of two people already, I was forced to take on more. When I started speaking up about this, they started doing petty things to push me out. For example, I was told by the theatre manager that the only place I was allowed to have my lunch break, if there was a show on (otherwise I would eat it in the auditorium) was by a lift shaft, where they had rigged up a microwave on a ledge….next to the bar bins.
- I then worked for a concierge company that I loved when I initially started. In my interview they told me ‘we do not hire people because we have to, we hire the right person when they come along’. Theatre was my passion and I worked with a group of girls who shared that passion. The company grew and started to care more about crunching numbers rather than customer care (which was what they had built themselves on). Staff were expected to deal with the additional work loads, getting pushed past their limit to the point of having to take long term sick leave and being prescribed antidepressants. I was a supervisor towards the end of my employment and I got reprimanded by my manager because I told a staff member to make sure they took their lunch break. They had already come in early and I knew they would leave late. At one point the CEO came into the office I was working in, where I was sat alone being bombarded by calls and requests. He commented “This will not do, we have investors coming in”. I thought ‘Thank God, I’ll get some help now’. Nope! Instead they brought in the editorial team to pad out the room to make it look better. The last straw was when they hired a theatre specialist who did not even know what a matinee was…..
- I am now a contractor for a wonderful company that truly cares for their staff. Working for them has made me realise what a company should be to their employees. At my current post, the building manager left. The company wanted me to take on that role within the role I do now, for no extra pay. My employer refused, they rightly wanted me compensated for any extra work I take on. The company replied “we pay her too much as it is, we can get someone to do what she does plus the building work for half the money”. In response my manager told them to go ahead and agreed that if they were able to find a suitable replacement on their own, then he would move me to another post. He knew it was a threat and rightly backed me up on the issue, but how many employees out there take on extra work and duties for no extra money, because they think they will lose their job if they say no?
Stand up for your rights as an employee! Know your worth! Remember that company loyalty goes both ways.
The dyslexic blogger (not letting dyslexic get in the way of my opinion)