Saturday, May 16, 2009

Zee Floggings Will Continue

Until Zee Project Ends.

First the bad news. On Friday, I actually had the audacity to ask the project head (The Whip), a week into the project, if we could find out what we were being paid. I mean, she asked if we had any questions! The absolute nerve of me! Well -- that set her off. I wouldn't know anything about that -- blah blah blah. Well, of course she's aware of it because she's already lost two people who refused to work under the current conditions, and she had the head of H.R. come in and quell the insurrection on Monday. The head of H.R. suddenly put in an appearance once again. We'd all had a chance to view our pay stubs online for the first two days of the project and knew we'd been had. The H.R. head admitted to having 'misspoke' on Monday when she clarified that we would be paid the site minimum. We will NOT be paid the site minimum on this project. I guess they'd been keeping that dirty little secret until our pay was deposited!

But here's the good news! The insanity will end soon. We're 50% done after only a week of floggings! So I'm hoping to be off this hell-bound train by next Friday just in time for Memorial Day weekend. For a lot of people in the room, that is a hardship because the length of the project was obviously also overestimated -- just like the pay. So people who desperately need the money in this economy will be done. But as one woman said --this project is a lose-lose situation. So thank GOD it's almost over.

Several people said they will not be returning on Monday. I'd probably do the same, but in the current economy, who knows if you'll need that opportunity again next year! Part of me pines for an all-out Norma Rae style revolt, but then again, that would only lengthen the misery for those left behind!

Towards the end of the day on Friday, The Whip ran through the room again dusting us with her negativity and wisdom. Speed up. Make some money. I'll lock you out of your computer if you go too fast and your quality falls. You should all feel lucky to HAVE a job. I guess she felt the need to grind some more salt into the wounds. I had my earplugs in (literally), but I couldn't escape her shrill little pearls. We also heard her plight as to how much money she's lost from her 401K this last year and her husband's recent layoff. Cue violins. She evidently doesn't realize the room is full of professionals with degrees laid off from jobs who are now working for pennies? As one woman later noted at break, The Whip is being paid at least double what we are and there's probably not one person in that room who doesn't have their own economic sob story at the moment. But she's special. Because she HAS the whip! The woman in the break room also confided that her own home is being auctioned June 12. I had a hard time not tearing up.

We're all supposed to return in June or July for a week on another piece of this same project. With The Whip in charge. Hmmmmmm. Once again, they said we will be paid the site's minimum and not a piece rate. Uhhhhh -- can we have that in writing please! Only in this economy can corporations get away with stuff like this! Well, maybe they've always gotten away with it in Arizona. This state is notorious for not being worker-friendly.


(if a bunch of people don't quit)


Bennie said...

Hang in there Beck. A week can pass quickly. And if not start coughing and use Swine Flu as the excuse to take the last few days off.

Life's a Beach! said...

I've seriously thought about using that swine flu excuse! It's a little more believable than the hit by a bus scenario! I can make it a week! We've heard she always puts a mole on every project to report back to her, so maybe we can spend the week trying to uncover the mole!

Sue said...

I have never heard of such goings-on. Call me naive, I'm astounded that people get away with this behavior and companies get away with not telling people what they are going to pay. My mouth is hanging open but better close it before a bug flies in. Hang in there, hope it doesn't get worse.

Life's a Beach! said...

I've never heard of anything like it either. Craig's take last week was if an H.R. person stated our supposed salary in front of the group, that would BE the salary. It's obviously an unprofessional bunch of managers. And they can get away with it because unemployment is so bad in our area, people are desperate for work. I'm not desperate, but I would like the option to work on projects next year (it's a seasonal thing). On the other project, the project heads were extremely professional.

Now I need to verify what they will pay on the project in July. Not to mention is it worth my mental health to put myself in a room with The Whip again?

Isla Deb said...

At least there is a light at the end of the tunnel! Just imagine if you thought you had to stay there indefinitely! Yikes! We just hired a new professor from Phoenix...who was recently laid off from an industry job there. He told me that Phoenix has been one of the hardest hit areas in the country for the recession. Hang in there!