Why Don’t Nobody Shoot Straight No More?

Yeah, I know that this isn’t a new phenomenon. I have worked for a lot of people over the years and a lot of them have been manipulative and try to use psychological tactics on me. This is one of those stories.

First off, I should mention that I have never asked an employer how much I would be getting paid to work there. My thoughts were that I would do the job for a few months and if I don’t think they are paying me what I am worth to them, I leave. I don’t barter. I don’t threaten. I don’t want to work somewhere that operates in that manner. Pay me what I’m worth to you.

That said, I have been working as a temp on a road maintenance crew. I have been there for two and a half years. This last year and a bit I have worked straight through, but there were a few times I was worried about getting laid off. It’s hard enough getting by on full wages, I couldn’t imagine doing it at 70% or whatever unemployment gives you.

Being a temp, I am in the union but don’t have the benefits of a full-time, permanent employee. Like full dental, drug plan etc… I also don’t get vacation time and can’t buy shares in the company.

This was all fine and good until recently when a bunch of companies came to town and plan on working here for a few years.

They pay very well.

We could actually put some money away towards our dream of going off-grid.

People keep telling me I should go work for these companies because they are looking for people and I live right here. My answer has always been that I like the job I have and that I was sure I’d be offered the full-time position soon.

Then I was told the other day that I wouldn’t be getting it. This was from a coworker who had talked to someone, so I figured I should ask the big boss, face to face.

I was told that unless one of the full-time employees quits, I would not be getting on full-time with benefits. I thanked him for letting me know and left the office.

I was a little miffed, but at least I knew where I stood and could now look into other options. I got back to our crew and the next morning I mentioned it to the coworker that had told me I wouldn’t be getting the full-time job. I just told him that if I got a better offer, I would be leaving. Maybe I could even train for a trade that would benefit me as a future homesteader.

I guess he mentioned it to another employee and next thing you know we are having a staff meeting and I have to explain that I will leave if a better offer comes in, as we have kids and ourselves that need glasses, dental work, prescriptions, etc… My inhalers alone are over $100/month and I only get about $200 in my health spending account. I had to explain that it was pretty sad that my teeth are needing some repair work, but after everything is said and done, there is never enough left for my teeth.

They all understood and realize that I’m not thinking of leaving because of them, but because I need to think about my family’s future.

An hour later my foreman came out and told me that he had spoken to the president and I was asked not to do anything rash until they could see what might be able to be done about getting me on full-time.

This pissed me off, almost worse than when they told me, sixteen hours earlier, I wouldn’t get it.

If there was a chance that I could have it, why tell me there wasn’t? Why is it only after I mention entertaining other offers that there might be something that can be done?

If this was the old days and I was single, I probably would have left for that reason only. Now I have others that rely on me, so I called my wife. I just love her so much. She was very supportive and told me that whatever I chose would be fine.

That was two days ago and I’m still pretty upset about all this. It just makes me mad that people don’t lay their cards on the table. If I’m not worth the extra five or ten thousand dollars per year, then tell me that, or just let me go.

My real problem is deciding whether I even want to stay. I like the people I work with now, but who knows what will happen when we have to double our manpower for the winter? You never know what kind of crew you’ll be working with. I also get tired of working with machinery that has been thundered pretty hard.

I think the best part of the job is that I only work forty hours a week and about thirty-six in the winter unless it’s snowing. Then we get overtime. This means I get plenty of time to be with my family and can actually have balance.

It’s also the devil I know.

It’s the first time I have been in a union and I can’t say I’m a fan, but I do see the appeal for established employees. The union has sort of messed me around, but at least I may also be established soon and can take advantage of whatever benefits have been negotiated prior.

On the other hand, I can sort of see why the company might dick employees around when they have to play by the union’s rules. I’ve seen a lot of people abuse every last bit of their available perks. I understand that it was negotiated, but come on; lets at least be fair. If you’re not really sick or hurt, don’t use all of your sick days. You get plenty of holidays already.

Anyhow, I have never done anything to make the company think I was being less than honest or out to get more than I was paid for. If I have to leave early, I always fill out the paperwork and deduct it from my pay. I have never taken anything unless it was getting thrown out and was okayed by the boss. I am not a partier, so I don’t refuse work because I’m to messed up to drive and I haven’t wrecked the equipment too bad or done any public damage.

I guess I just want to be treated as I treat others. You know, innocent until proven guilty, the benefit of the doubt, and whatever other cliches fit the bill.

Anyhow, this is my first ulog, so be gentle on me. I’m sure it’s not exactly what a ulog is supposed to be but I will learn as I go. It’s also going to be entered in @penderis contest, so if you haven’t, go check his posts and find the one named Abject Sleuth. The info is in there.

All photos from pixabay.com. Thanks, Pixabay, and all of the photographers that give their free images.

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