February 11, 2011 at 12:41 pm #165216Andrew Garulay, RLAParticipant
There are toxic employees as well. There are times when employers have to manage payroll in order to survive. When that means a drop in pay or other loss to employees it is a downer that can result in negative attitudes. When it happens to all of the employees it tends to result in negative discussion between employees which can snowball into a negative office culture that absorbs even the new comers.
I agree with Nic. While it is possible that the owner(s) is exploitive, it is also possible that he is trying to make the company (and its job positions) survive. He could have closed shop. He could have laid off most of the help. He could have cut hours. How would that be for employees? How would that be for company survival? No company = no job for anyone and all those employees and owners added to the competition in the job market.February 11, 2011 at 3:50 pm #165215David J. ChiricoParticipant
Why is it a bad thing that they hired someone else? The fallacy is that with less people and more hours, productivity increases. Productivity doesn’t increase, its just less people doing more work. Productivity is when your product moves and grows in proportion to your employees. The hiring of another person should be a sign that the company is growing, which is what you want is it not? You may eventually work less hours for the money you earn with the new person on board. If that doesn’t happen then I would raise the BS flag.
If you want to leave, just remember trapeze artists don’t let go of one bar until there is another one to go to. There is that tension and fear between the two, but thats to be expected.
Also, you have to know when its time to let go. Karl Wallenda walked a highwire across 2 hotels in Puerto Rico, a strong wind blew and he fell to his death. When they reached the body, he was holding tightly to his balancing pole. All of his training, experience, strength, his life was in that pole. But, if he let it go and hung onto the wire, he would have survived. You have to know when its time to hold on and when its better to let go.
Lastly, life is not about happiness, its about meaning. If your not getting meaning from your job, find an addtional thing to do. Volunteer at a homeless shelter, be a big brother, get involved in your community. You’ll gain a new perspective and feel way better about your position in the herd.
Best of luck!February 11, 2011 at 3:59 pm #165214
I’m confused, are you trying to be empathetic or are you using this forum to boast about how good you’ve got it there in Hawaii?
Generally I agree with most of what you’ve posted and I appreciate your positive attitude. I also believe that to be happy you have to stick your neck out sometimes. But, I think you’re being a little insensitive to the people who have risked it all to build a better life for themselves during this recession just to end up broke, cold and hungry in let’s say… Jersey.
It’s great that you’re living the life you want to live there in paradise. I’ll admit that I’m a little envious right now hearing about someone running around in flip-flops and shorts after I’ve been freezing my butt off for the last three months. But, I know when spring arrives it will more than compensate for the misery of winter.
Just remember my friend every dog has his day and that life comes in cycles.
Fuhgidaboudit!February 11, 2011 at 6:03 pm #165213BZ GirlParticipant
Why is it a bad thing that they hired someone else? The hiring of another person should be a sign that the company is growing, which is what you want is it not?
That was the whole point of my outrage. The company is NOT growing, the demand for our services has NOT increased, they just hired this guy out of the wild blue yonder. They told us ‘times are so tough and money is so short we have no choice but to cut your pay.’ Does that sound like a prosperous growing business climate ripe for hiring?? No one did any cash flow projections to see if we had enough work lined up to support his payroll…i’ve seen this charade before. They just hire people on a whim, without actually examining what our firms strengths and weaknesses are, without analyzing what needs we need to fulfill by hiring someone else. I’m sure this guy was just a smooth talker with a fancy portfolio and they just got a big fat crush on him and decided to hire him.
And no, having this dude on board will not mean less work for me. He doesn’t do what the majority of our workload is comprised of. We have several ‘worker bees’ like myself that are project managers for landscape architecture projects. We ‘do’ the actual billable work…producing construction documents, site visits, client meetings, etc. This guy is not doing that. He was hired with his background in planning in the ‘hopes’ of being able to land more planning work for our firm. So for right now, since we don’t have much, if any, planning work in the office, he’s just chatting on gmail all day, browsing through GIS maps, helping our Marketing director with RFQ’s. And of course, he is getting paid a hefty bit more than me. (I saw the payroll printout on the office copier.)
I know someone else said previously that good businesses ‘come across a great wonderful potential employee and just find a way to fit him in.’ I can only hypothesize that this romantic notion is the reason why they hired him. At this point i’m so aggravated I don’t care what their reasons were, I don’t care if he was freaking FL Olmsted, the way they went about it was shady and completely callous. If this whole thing had been handled differently we could’ve avoided this huge ugly layer of resentment that has now built up in our office.February 11, 2011 at 6:58 pm #165212
I agree with Russell that this is a toxic environment. I, too, have worked for a narcissistic, abusive boss. Personally, I would get out. It won’t get better, and you will continue to feel worse and worse.
Realize that you may have to relocate to find work and that it’s hard to find a job. If you can, cut back your hours. Just tell the boss the deadline can’t be reached. Or that you have a second job now, so you have to leave at 5 everyday. Then you will have the time to look for something else.
Knowing you are actively looking elsewhere is empowering and will help with your attitude greatly.
If you like the projects, want to stay and want to try for a salary increase, I suggest going to your local library and ask for the password for Hoovers.com. It will give you full company profiles, including annual profits. With a little number crunching, you can figure out how the financially fit the firm is. It can be a good bargaining chip, if you tell them you are aware of the profits that you helped make.
You might also look long and hard at the overall situation. Are you so angry with them and have they broken your trust and spirit so much that even a raise won’t make you feel better about working there?February 11, 2011 at 7:16 pm #165211
It really sounds to me like it’s time to move on since you are so outraged by the situation. Quit right now. Letting this eat you up inside is not worth the paycheck.
If you have other options pursue them if you don’t put on your big girl pants, suck it up and make the best of the situation. You have no control over how your boss runs his business. So why get all emotionally involved in it?
Whining and getting all bent out of shape about your idiot boss while some of your colleagues are busting their tales doing menial jobs outside of the profession just to keep a roof over their head is ridiculous. Get over yourself; these are extremely hard times we are in. Have you been living in a vacuum the last few years?February 11, 2011 at 8:00 pm #165210
I can see it now BZGirl gets fired and has to live in her car, because she backs her callous boss into a corner with this financial data. Why negotiate with a disgruntled employee when you have a pile of resumes from LAs who would love to be the next victim?
“Broken trust and spirit”, these guys don’t care. It’s “dog eat dog” out there. Half of these principals would sell their own mother just to stay afloat.
No disrespect Cynthia, but I’m a little bit hardened by the current economic conditions. It’s all about making a profit and staying in business. How employees feel about things is not a high priority with firm owners right now.
With that being said, I think your post was sweet. It’s good to know there are still people out there with a kind heart – Thanks!February 11, 2011 at 9:33 pm #165209
Yes, Craig, point taken. We are all hardened by the economic situation!
My point was that she should do her research. Maybe the company is not, in fact, doing all that poorly, but using the economy as an excuse to cut wages and put more take-home pay in the principals’ pockets. They may not only be afloat, but have wind in their sails. I was also trying to say if she has some of the numbers, is skilled at negotiating and not angry when she talks to them), BZGirl might get a raise because she presents a valid argument. All they can say (other than ‘You’re fired!”) is “no,” You can also pretty well bet she is getting paid less than any man in the office who has equal status. Research data still tells us women get 77% of what men are paid when performing the same job. If the company is doing well and won’t give her compensation, she has to decide to deal with it or quit. She either gets more money or more information about how they view employees. She also has to decide if other sorts of compensation are acceptable, a cut in hours, for example.
And trust me on this, I’m really not sweet. Nor am I naive. But I do like to figure out ways to get what I want. And if they are working with a bottom line, they can’t argue with their own numbers.February 11, 2011 at 10:17 pm #165208Andrew Garulay, RLAParticipant
So, now that you have seen the payroll numbers for the “dude”, does everyone in the office know what he is making now? Do you know what all your co-workers make or did the new dude’s number just jump off of the page as you walked by the copier? Continuing to look at that was an extremely unethical thing to do. Telling others is terrible.
I do think you should quit right away for everyone’s sake.Give someone else the chance to be “exploited”. You may have good reason to be soured, but you seem to have made making an us against them atmosphere in your work place a priority. That won’t overthrow the boss and get a new owner, so it is pointless. All you can do is get others to follow your lead and put them on thin ice, too. It might hurt the boss by hurting the company, but ultimately it hurts all of your co-workers more than him. Get out!
When you quit, email some of the people who are really struggling and tell them where you left from so that they can get a shot at filling your place.February 11, 2011 at 11:02 pm #165207David J. ChiricoParticipant
The new employee was hired in February, correct? Hardly enough time to give the final analysis that demand for your services has not increased. I would give it at least 6 months.
I remember a while back there was a forum post here from a disgruntled employee who lost a friend in a cutback, but was extremely put out that soon after they revised the building he worked in to include a new cafe or something. How dare they improve their image on the backs of the suffering workers? I wonder how that office is doing now.
A good company needs to put its best foot forward. Where they allocate funds is not for you to decide (at least I don’t think it is, correct me if I’m wrong).
I am curious tho, you say it should have been handled differently, how would you have handled it?February 11, 2011 at 11:03 pm #165206
I hope you didn’t take my statement about your post being sweet as condescending. I just appreciated your use of words like empowerment, trust and spirit as well as your concern about BZGirl’s anger. People I’m exposed to just don’t talk like that. My intent was to kindly disagree with you and give credit where I thought credit was due. Besides what’s wrong with being sweet? I’m trying to be a little sweeter every day.
I just think that if everything she said is true about these guys, it makes no sense to try and negotiate with them. If I was her I would totally emotionally check out of this office and see it for what it really is – a place to practice my craft and collect a check until I found another job. I’d be walking around there flashing empty smiles at these guys while working as hard as I did the day I started. As I whistle while I worked in the back of my mind I’d be thinking about my last day at that office. This will keep you from cracking and going postal.
The fact that the payroll print out was lying around on the copier says it all. This bush league outfit is not worth getting upset over. BZGirl do yourself a favor and turn into a Stepford Wife or a Zombie until you can get the heck out of there.
As a professional I would not negotiate with these scumbags. Fool me once shame on you…February 11, 2011 at 11:47 pm #165205
Thanks for the clarification. Honestly, I wasn’t certain what you meant initially by calling me sweet. So I thank you and will take it as the compliment you intended it to be.
I agree with you completely in paragraphs 2 & 3.February 11, 2011 at 11:54 pm #165204
Cool 🙂February 12, 2011 at 12:02 am #165203mark fosterParticipant
The thing that bothers me about this:
I have hired people without explanation.. I have fired people without explanation. I have taken profits from my company and I don’t feel a bit bad about it. There are lots of things an employer does not need to explain.
But when you start slashing employees’ pay and asking for free overtime–you have just turned them into unofficial and involuntary partners. You better tell it straight, explain your %ss off, and share the pain. Otherwise you are just a manipulative opportunistic scumbag. Fair is fair. Right is right. No situational ethics can get around that.February 12, 2011 at 12:15 am #165202BZ GirlParticipant
Pardon me for accidentally seeing his paystub when i went to pick up my copy off the copier. That’s life in a small office. And no i did not tell everyone in the office what his salary is. I’m not on an ‘us against them’ tirade. I’m not trying to overthrow anyone, or stir the pot to gain allies on one side or the other. I haven’t been going to my coworkers and spreading seeds of discontent everywhere. Thus far i’ve only had one conversation with one principal about this particular situation, and I have ONLY voiced my true thoughts here on the forum, in the interest of hearing other people’s perspective of the situation.
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