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MikkiStreak

Is your job like this?

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As probably everyone knows already, I have come to really hate my job. I like what I do, but I hate the company and hate the industry. So I'm curious if other people have the same type of situations in their jobs and I've just gotten so tired of it that I've developed a bad attitude that I can't seem to shake, or whether our company/industry just really sucks and takes advantage of people.

 

And, if there's anyone out there who knows HR/employee law, I'd be very curious to hear their input also...

 

So, here are the primary issues I've had with my job:

1) I haven't had a review or a raise (merit based or cost of living based) in the 2.5 years I've worked here. I am literally making the exact same dollar amount now as I did when I was hired.

 

2) I am salaried, and I get called to handle work issues after I've left the office at the end of the day, and also while I'm on vacation/sick time. When our office closes (weather days) and everyone is home, I still get called to handle work issues. None of which I am compensated for at all.

 

3) When I take a break or take lunch, I still get called if I leave the office. If I don't leave the office, co-workers will page me overhead to deal with issues. If I don't answer the page, they will come looking for me to take care of work issues whether I'm in the kitchen, break room, sleeping on my sofa, etc...

 

 

 

Now, for a general vent again. I swear my boss wants me to look like the office peon. A vender in Minnesota signed a new National Account and was referred to me to handle the implementation for their new systems in Texas. Great! So I've been working with the customer for about 2-3 months now--- giving them quotes on different aspects of their project, advising him on communications platforms, etc... I come back in today and the customer emailed saying he's flying into town tomorrow and wants to meet me since I've been his primary point of contact and will remain the manager for his projects.

 

So my boss (the owner) has decided to send one of her sales reps instead. I'm just kind of like, "WTF?" There's nothing to sell to this guy! He's already a customer and this sales rep will *never* have any interaction with him because I handle all the National projects.

 

But, the petty side of me is going to let him flop on his face. He approached me with a huge sales presentation he's going to give this guy, and I just sat there nodding like, 'wow, you've really got it going on!' He has no clue what this project entails or what he's purchased for hardware or timelines, etc... And I'm just going to get a nice little chuckle out of this tomorrow....

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So, here are the primary issues I've had with my job:

1) I haven't had a review or a raise (merit based or cost of living based) in the 2.5 years I've worked here. I am literally making the exact same dollar amount now as I did when I was hired. To me, this is just plain old bad business on the part of your employer. The fact that they don't want to reward you (or shall I say, compensate you fairly) for the demands they put on you & the consistent performace you provide tells me this is not a great company to work for! What happens when you ASK for a review or a raise? I'm pretty sure you've done that, right?

 

2) I am salaried, and I get called to handle work issues after I've left the office at the end of the day, and also while I'm on vacation/sick time. When our office closes (weather days) and everyone is home, I still get called to handle work issues. None of which I am compensated for at all.In my opinion, you are probably considered exempt...here's a chart that describes the different tests you can apply to determine whether you are exempt from FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act) requirements. Being exempts from FLSA is not a justification for you not getting sick days or being left alone for lunch in my opinion. Sometimes things get this out of hand because in the beginning you want to do a good job & show you are a go getter - next thing you know they consider all of the extras you've been doing to be normal. I think the best thing you can do is begin establishing some boundaries for yourself.

 

Compensation

Primary Duty

Misc./Other

Executive

Salary basis of at least $455/week.

Primary duty is management of the enterprise or of a customarily recognized department or subdivision; and customarily and regularly directs the work of two or more employees; and has the authority to hire or fire other employees or whose suggestions and recommendations as to hiring, firing, advancement, promotion or other change of status of other employees are given particular weight.

Owner employees who own at least a 20% interest in the enterprise are exempt if they are actively engaged in its management. In such cases, the salary level and salary basis requirements do not apply.

Administrative

Salary or fee basis of at least $455/week.

Primary duty is the performance of office or non-manual work directly related to the management or general business operations of the employer or the employer’s customers; and whose primary duty includes the exercise of discretion and independent judgment with respect to matters of significance.

Executive assistants or administrative assistants to business owners or senior managers of large businesses who have been delegated authority regarding matters of significance qualify for this exemption.

Professional

Salary or fee basis of at least $455/week (except for doctors, lawyers, teachers).

Primary duty is the performance of work requiring advance knowledge defined as work that is predominantly intellectual in character and that includes work requiring the consistent exercise of discretion and judgment; in a field of science or learning customarily acquired by a prolonged course of specialized intellectual instruction; or primary duty is the performance of work requiring invention, imagination, originality, or talent in a recognized field of artistic or creative endeavor.

"Customarily" means the exemption is also available to such professionals who have substantially the same knowledge level and perform same work as the degreed professional but attained the knowledge through a combination of work experience and intellectual instruction.

Computer Software Professionals

Salary basis of at least $455/week or hourly if paid at least $27.63/hour.

Employed as a computer systems analyst, computer programmer, software engineer or similarly skilled worker in the computer field. Primary duty must consist of the application of systems analysis techniques and procedures, including consulting with users to determine hardware, software, or system functional specifications; the design, development, documentation, analysis, creation, testing, or modification of computer systems or programs including prototypes, based on and related to user or system design specifications; the design, development, documentation, analysis, creation, testing, or modification of computer programs related to machine operating systems; or a combination of the above.

Outside Sales Personnel

No salary level or salary basis requirement.

Selling tangible or intangible items; or

obtaining orders or contracts for services or use of facilities; and

regularly and customarily works away from the employer’s place of business.

Highly Compensated Employees

Total annual compensation of $100,000 or more (which must include at least $455 per week paid on a salary or fee basis).

Performs office or non-manual work and customarily and regularly performs at least one of the duties of an exempt executive, administrative, or professional employee identified in the standard tests for exemption.

Total annual compensation does not include credit for board, lodging or other facilities; payments for medical or life insurance; or contributions to retirement plans or fringe benefits.

 

 

3) When I take a break or take lunch, I still get called if I leave the office. If I don't leave the office, co-workers will page me overhead to deal with issues. If I don't answer the page, they will come looking for me to take care of work issues whether I'm in the kitchen, break room, sleeping on my sofa, etc...see my comments above. this stinks! everybody deserves some time to themselves!

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Christa,

1- Totally agree. To me, the most successful business theory has been that a company takes care of it's employees, the employees take care of the customers, and the customers take care of the business. The only time I've come close to having a "review" was when I asked to go back into a field personnel position and the owner called me into her office and basically said I'm "too valuable" to her in my current position and that basically, field personnel are fluff jobs while I'm "more" than that and she has "plans" for me. When I've asked about raises, the answer is always that no one has been able to receive one because we're still getting back on track after 9-11. (But, mind you, we have as much revenue coming in right now as we did in the late 90's when telecom boomed and the only difference is that now we are seriously inefficient and waste labor.)

 

2- Yep, I'm exempt. And you nailed it on the head---- for years, I've given 100% to my job and allowed myself to be put in this situation because I was working my way up. Well, I've been "up" and it sucked. Which is why I stepped back down and took this job. But now I also have a lot of other obligations--- daughter, FI, elderly parents, and *me*!!! I've started setting limits on when I'm available to them and am also training my assistant to take over more of the paperwork side of things and am training someone else in our office to take over when I'm away. It has helped a lot, but still there's a ways to go...

 

3- People in our office are dense. They approach me with some work issue and I'll stp them and say, "I'll take care of it after lunch"--- then they respond with "well, ok, but here's the situation".... and they continue as if I've said nothing. Still haven't figured out how to get through to them on this one. But if I can get the other 2 things better, I figure this won't drive me as crazy as it has lately...

 

 

Before working in this industry, I had 2 jobs for 8 years---- nanny during the day and working at an educational testing facility at night. So I really have no clue whether our field is an exception to how things really should be, or whether I just work for a shitty company in a crappy industry...

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I'm thinking you work for a shitty company! I don't know about the industry, but this company is in no way taking care of you - and you are an asset for them, obviously.

 

Would it be worth putting together a snapshot of your contributions/worth to the company in terms of profit and customer retention/growth? Really quantify what you bring to the table on paper & meet with your boss. I think if you present your case in a logical, clear way & say - "I really feel that this is what I'm worth and I would like a raise" - they would be stupid not to act on your request. I mean, you haven't even received a cost of living increase since 2001?? That's crazy!

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I came to the realization that I needed to do this about 2 months ago. Our sales rep pissed off the customer I spend about 95% of my time taking care of, so in order to keep our firm from being fired, I had to put together a presentation of what I do as well as the benefits of retaining a company with a "me" to focus on them. We flew our owner's husband to California to do the presentation, but once I was finished, the sales rep (had to do hers as well) dropped her jaw and said, "My God, you need a raise!" That's what put the 'bug' in me again to start re-visiting this subject.

 

I figure I'll start with the presentation (which was basically a 4-page itemization of my job description), then also emphasize that honestly, there isn't one person here who could do my job because none of them even understand what I do (and they admit it too). Granted, that probably won't mean much to them, but maybe it will get across the idea that they would lose a multi-million dollar account, as well as some national accounts with name-brand recognition, if they lost me.

 

Now that I'm back in town and have put an end to the nighttime phone calls, I have some time to start working on this and hopefully can finish it off this weekend. Then, it'll just be a matter of catching my boss on a 'good day'.

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Wow Maria, how did I miss this thread?! Way to go Christa, you really hit the nail on the head. Maria, I think you've got an excellent plan - Let us know how it goes (and sorry I missed this earlier!)

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