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At the risk of sounding like a broken record....

October 26th, 2017 at 05:56 pm

...I DON'T like my job.

The work itself is easy. The people are very nice. Well, what could be wrong, you ask? The irregular hours and unpredictable late nights. Today I performed 2.25 hours of work but sat and twiddled my thumbs from 10:30 am to 7:30 pm, when I left.

The work flow will always be like this, I am told. It's either pretty dead or so busy they spend half the night. And they keep telling me it's going to get very, very busy very soon.

I hate it. You can't try to have a personal life during the work week, at all, because how late you'll be at the office is completely beyond your control. I never know if I'll be leaving the office at 5 pm or 8 pm.

My big game plan to ask for permanent employee status so I could get on on the health plan was probably wishful thinking. I learned through another conversation today with a coworker that most of the people there are "permanent freelancers," I think was the term he used. Meaning, all but possibly 2 people in addition to the owners are perm employees. The rest work as contract workers, like me, except they are paid directly by the employer whereas I'm paid through the recruiting agency that found me.

So is this, then, an illegal business practice? While I know that at least a few of the employees work remotely, others must be at the office becus, according to the same colleague I spoke with about the other stuff, they want a really quick turnaround and feel they can get it faster if you're there then if you're marking up a PDF or PowerPoint deck online and then emailing it. I don't see the difference, but that's what he said.

He also said the proofreader before me brought a book to read there. I will do that tomorrow. I can only check messages on my phone so many times, and scan online news sites.

So if most of them are contract workers, then I guess they don't have health coverage either. Maybe they just hop on their spouse's plan. I don't know.

I'm feeling totally disgusted by the whole thing. I was trying to figure out a way to make this job work, but it seems more than likely it won't, becus if they can't even offer me health insurance, I'll have to go elsewhere. Unless they paid so well it would make it worthwhile enough to just pay the high cost of health insurance thru the healthcare exchange. I'm guessing that would cost me at least $9,000 a year. I'll know in a week when open enrollment starts.

I can't even quit this job if I wanted to, because then I wouldn't qualify for unemployment benefits. I mean, I wouldn't quit anyway, I guess, becus some money coming in is better than no money. (Except that I'd qualify for health exchange benefits if I was making no money, and with this job, I wouldn't get subsidies.)

The whole thing just sucks.

21 Responses to “At the risk of sounding like a broken record....”

  1. Amber Says:

    I'm sorry that you're going through this. Have you reached out to the agency in that you receive your paycheck? Sometimes those organizations offer heath insurance

  2. PatientSaver Says:

    The agency does offer insurance but it's a very poor quality plan

  3. AnotherReader Says:

    You do sound like a broken record, with an entitlement attitude. You have a job. You need the income. You would be very unhappy if you lost it tomorrow. In your shoes, I would suck it up and change my attitude. My guess is your attitude played a part in losing your last job. The contempt for that job you displayed here likely spilled over into your attitude at work.

    What I would do is look for another job with better benefits. As you have previously discovered, those jobs are hard to find. In the meantime, keep plugging away at this job and show up with a smile on your face and a positive attitude.

  4. PatientSaver Says:

    You've made a lot of assumptions, AnotherReader, that are way off base. I don't have an entitlement attitude. I am the most cheerful, willing, cooperative and "can-do" employee there. Twice now I've brought bagels, donuts and apple cider for others to enjoy and even the president of the firm thanked me.

    I did not show "contempt" for my prior job. I was laid off becus the bank was going public and they needed to cut jobs to become lean and mean so shareholders would get a good price. I was one of 90 to be cut. Never met the person responsible for laying me off. She worked in another state.

  5. CB in the City Says:

    AR, I think this community should be a safe place to vent without being attacked! We are anonymous here and should be able to tell our own truth without whitewashing and putting on a Pollyanna attitude. There is no basis for believing that PS brings a bad attitude to work.

  6. snafu Says:

    With November nearly upon us, you might mentally go through each room and specific cupboard or drawer and list items you no longer use or need to sell on your local Facebook or preferred local 'Sell' site. I recall you've often done well as the holiday season approaches. While photos must be done on your time, can you write and upload ads at work site? How can you make use of 'wait' time.

    Do you care to listen to audio book from your local library? Have you looked at exploratory, on-line questionaries that examine where your skill sets might be suitable for some other career? I too have a lot of 'wait time' and enjoy listening to Hacks on my phone. I've listed and used those that relate to our lifestyle and try out new ideas. You demonstrate significant photographic skills, are there any opportunities for a side hustle?

    I saw some very positive figures about increasing house sale numbers and wonder if you've tracked 'sells' in your community. Do you still anticipate choosing a condo as a retiree?

  7. My English Castle Says:

    Yes, let's be polite to each other. Audio books and podcasts are a great idea. It must be very frustrating.

  8. kashi Says:

    I'm sorry your job is awful. I can totally relate to being bored. I hope a great job pops up for you soon!

  9. LuckyRobin Says:

    Another Reader--That was uncalled for.

    PS--I understand your frustration so well. It is something that people without major medical issues in their life will never understand. I'm sorry the job is such a bummer and doesn't have consistent hours or consistent work for you to do. At least if you can read there, that will help some. Hopefully another job will come along while you are working here.

  10. Cassie Says:

    I don't think you sound like a broken record. As a long lurker here, I can say your blog is one of my favorites. Sometimes situations are unsatisfying; what's wrong with expressing that?

  11. rob62521 Says:

    I'm sorry your job is such a pain. I get it. And sometimes venting is the only thing you can do until you can find something else. I get it. As much as I loved teaching, by my 15th year, bureaucracy as well as shrews as administrators about did me in. However, at this point, I was pretty much stuck...lose my pension, start over, or stick with it until retirement. There were moments of joy, don't get me wrong, but my health took a toll. At one building I was on three blood pressure medicines, three allergy medicines, and both the allergist and family doctor weren't sure where else to go. The building was full of bad air although the district wouldn't admit it, and the boss was horrible - I did nothing right. I already had a master's degree so I felt stuck and frustrated. If I hadn't had good friends and a wonderful spouse to support me, I wouldn't have been able to make it. So, as far as I'm concerned, you can vent as you wish if it keeps you sane. Hang in there. I said a prayer for peace.

    As far as keeping yourself occupied, besides reading and looking at your phone, do you do anything like knitting or crocheting? It's different than reading and keeps your hands busy. I love to read; I'm on my 83rd book so far this year, but I have to have a break from reading and the computer and doing something with my hands keeps both my mind and hands busy.

  12. PatientSaver Says:

    Thanks for all the support, everyone. I say things here I'd never say out loud to anyone...it is indeed a good place to vent and get some good ideas as well. Rob, good idea, I used to love cross stitch but now my vision has changed and it probably wouldn't work well as I'd have to take my glasses off to see. (makes perfect sense, right?)

    I like the books on tape idea, too; there's a fancy pants one with that comedian woman, I forget her name, I heard that was very good. Maybe my library has it.

    Cassie, THANK YOU.

    Snafu, I'm leaning toward just staying put here and may just end up staying put thru inertia.

  13. snafu Says:

    Would you allow your SA friends to try to push you past mere inertia? Would you be willing to use 'wait time' to list category by category projects? rob62521 suggestions offer wonderful, practical lines of activities. Thrift stores often have lots of inventory, do you still have cones of wool for fingerless gloves, turtle neck tubes or knit tams/ head gear all to keep you more comfortable in a cold office?







  14. PatientSaver Says:

    I am not a knitter or crocheter, but I agree that you can only do so much reading during the day. I've found my mini space heater so I'm good to go.

  15. LuckyRobin Says:

    It's pretty easy to learn to crochet. Much easier than learning to knit. There are some great videos on youtube. I couldn't crochet a year ago, but I picked it up pretty fast. I love to do it while I'm listening to podcasts and stories.

  16. Dido Says:

    If you are a 1099 independent contractor that is unusual. When one works for an agency, one is typically a W-2 employee of the agency. When you look at your paychecks, are they withholding taxes or do you have to pay quarterly estimated taxes? If you are an independent contractor, there wouldn't be any tax withholding, but if you are a W2 employee, you will see Federal, state, Medicare, and Social Security tax withholding.

  17. PatientSaver Says:

    Dido, I'm a W-2 employee; taxes are deducted from my paycheck.

  18. LivingAlmostLarge Says:

    Good luck try looking for a new job.

  19. Dido Says:

    That's what I suspected. It's how I was always paid when I did temp contract jobs.

    And yes, if the other workers are 1099 independent contractors BUT have to be on site, that IS shady. The IRS has a 20-point test for telling the difference between an employee (W-2) and an independent contractor (1099), but the key is control. If the employer is controlling where and when you work, and if the employer is providing the tools/equipment you work on, those are all indications that the person is an employee and should be paid by W2, but a lot of small business will pay 1099 so that the worker rather then the employer is responsible for all of the FICA taxes. Many small businesses get away with it for a long time since the workers want the jobs. But it just takes one disgruntled worker to file a form SS-8, the IRS misclassification form, to start an audit, which can then land the employer in tax trouble. Of course, most people aren't aware of this and even if aware, would not want to do it until they were laid off, since they want to keep their jobs.

  20. PatientSaver Says:

    Dido, just to clarify, I don't know exactly how the other "perm freelancers" are paid. I know they weren't all hired thru agencies and are paid directly by the employer, but don't know if they're paid by 1099 or W2.

    I much prefer being paid with W2 since taxes are deducted by the employer, simplifying that particular calculation at tax time, and it also goes toward my Social Security earnings, whereas 1099 work is not. Same for unemployment credits.

    But wasn't the controversy also about whether those employees should get benefits too?

    I probably wouldn't delve into it since I do want to keep the job (until I'm ready to leave).

  21. Dido Says:

    I basically know about the tax side of the controversy, not beyond that. 🙂

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