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Do as you say, not as you do...
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I've noticed a common theme that seems to occur in business:

Employer V.S. Employee

We need you to come in on Sunday                        |   I need Saturday off
We're restructuring your compensation package.   |   I need a raise.
Corporate has suspended Paid Time Off allowance |  I need more vacation time
We need you to work through lunch                        |  I'm hypoglycemic and need regular meals.

 

Have you noticed a trend in employers?  I can't even begin to tell you how many employers hire a person with promises of grand compensation and we treat our people like "family". 

I know that I write alot bout negativity in the employer/employee relationship.  Please don't misunderstand, I really do love my job and do not currently intend to leave.  When I am making the various comments, I am not always referring to my current employer, but, often times, to former employers.

I had one contract where the IT Director continuously lead me with a carrot, promising a new office, a salaried position, and more.  The condition? I give up all my other contracts.  Over the course of a year I gave up almost all my contracts with other companies - giving favor to the shiny apple being put infront of me.

The end result?  I got a new office, and a new salaried position, and benefits.... Someplace else.  As soon as my cusion of additional contracts were gone, the director "dismissed" me claiming performance issues. (I had just gotten a $5k performance bonus).  The reality was that the director had experienced problems in his personal life that he resolved using a different technique than the way I handled the same problems.  It was political and he just didn't want to work in the same office with me.  This actually became more appearant as I was out interviewing for new positions after he cut me.  He had promised to give me raving reviews and high levels of recommendation - he was my star reference....

One recruiter violated his trust.  After speaking with him, they immediately called me and told me to remove him from my resume as a reference.  He, instead of just giving the facts of my work with them, or instead of doing as he promised, told the recuiter that my performance was lacking due to the things that had happened in my personal life - and yes, he went into specifics.  Thankfully, with this particular recruiter, I had previously discussed some of that with her so when the director made an attempt to sabatage my hiring process he only validated me. 

This director I once called my friend, had beer with him, hung out on occassion too. 

Well, I am stil working, he is still over paid, and he still doesn't know nearly as much as I do about IT or business.  Unfortunately for him there is a concept out there commonly called "karma".  He did to me something that never crossed my mind to do to him... For no reason....

But, I've seriously digressed from my thesis.  My point is that what you are promissed and what you get may not be the same thing.  In the last few months I've seen my managers come through to tell us that some form of our compensation package is being modified.  Although we've been promised beneficial modifications in the near future, all the ones we've currently seen are not positive.  However, from what I've seen, the comany is doing better than ever - not because internal savings - but because of increases in the revenue stream.

Why is it that a company can arbitrarily renegotiate compenstation, but the employee must wait until his review - which for most is a list of reasons why your not going to get a raise.  This has rarely been the case for me.  Historically, my reviews have been pretty consistant in reasons why I deserve more compensation... Still waiting on the last raise I was supposed to get in June 2007...   Now January 2008...  I am starting to think raises are an imaginary thing someone made up to try and keep us in positive focus.

So a company will go out and get a new 401K plan, they can get new insurance (Which costs us more and them less), they can remove vacation time and other paid-time-off.  The employee?  He just has to take it. 

As an employee, I count on the compensation I am receiving.  When I am promised an increase in that compensation, I count on it.  My budget is organized around it.  Other people may be in more flexible positions than myself.  I have 7 children of my own, a disabled family with their child - and it looks like a nother couple who are transitioning from living in Oregon to Texas within the month.  Lots of mouths to feed on a regular basis, plus utilities, and a mortgage that makes me turn pale.  When I say I need $xxxxx.xx, I am not kidding... My budget depends on it.  When an employer makes a decision to change a section of the compensation package that increases my out of pocket expense it is like cutting my pay.  The effects of this are immediate and painful.

I had an employer who was mistreating me on the job several years back.  I walked in and quit one day.  I had had enough.  Their response?  "You need to give us two weeks notice."  My response to that employer?  "Would you give me two weeks notice if you were firing me?"  Of course they said, "no".. I said, "well, there you go then, I have a new job and I start on Monday..."  This was Friday...

I've not done that with another employer... I much prefer to give notice whenever it is possible...  But this was a hostile environment.  I think the place closed some six months later.

So as company profits rise in a unique market with a great model, somehow, the staff is making less... Not a good way to keep staff...

But as I said.. I actually do like my job.  I like the people I work with.  And, to the best of my knowledge, my immediate managers have treated me fairly.  What happened to my raise?  Well, currently, they are "checking on it"... I guess we'll see..

But the recruiters out there are showing some big salary numbers... And I can't keep moving my compensation in a negative direction...