Thursday, March 19, 2009


October, 2007
I accept a new job at a design firm. The new job comes with a huge pay cut and loss of benefits, but I happily make the trade for the promise of fewer hours (45/week, to be exact).

November, 2007 - November, 2008
My duties extend well beyond the project manager position for which I was hired, and I work my ass off to the tune of 55-65 hours each week (which I'm promised is only temporary). I ask for an assistant, but otherwise do not complain.

December, 2008
I am forced to work during my family's Christmas dinner.

January, 2009 - Last Week
I continue working my ass off, but now complain freely.

Work as usual.

Boss announces that my salary (and my days) are being cut. I panic a little in my mouth, but am thankful to still have a job. I am assured that I will not be expected to force my usual hours into my four remaining days.* Obviously that would not be fair given the reduction in salary.

We confirm that Fridays are my new unpaid vacation days and that I will work 9 hours Monday - Thursday. I cancel the additional childcare arranged for Friday (no school for the kiddo). I no longer need the care, but can definitely use the cash.

Thursday Morning:
A new project comes in. I receive an email from the boss calling all hands on deck for Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. "But I no longer work on Fridays," I remind him.

Thursday Afternoon:
Client asks who the project manager will be on the new project. Boss mutes the phone and looks at me expectantly. "My kid doesn't have school tomorrow," I whisper. "I canceled the childcare I had arranged, because I wasn't going to be working. And I really can't afford the childcare now anyway." Boss tells the client that he will be the project manager.

Thursday Evening:
Boss wonders if I'm planning to work over the weekend. I am confused. It sounds to me like I'm being asked to work additional hours at my new reduced salary. I say as much. He implies that I am not a team player. I want to refer him to "November 2007 - November 2008" above and tell him to kiss my ass, but I refrain.

Thursday Night:
Guilt sets in. Of course I want to help the business see it's way through this tough time, but there is a limit. And honestly, I really don't think there's going to be much that I could help with on this particular project. But oh, the guilt.

*Cramming extra hours in to seven days, on the other hand, is totally acceptable.

1 comment:

Mrs4444 said...

I hate that he put you in that position. That's tough. You're right; don't feel guilty.

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