Tuesday, Apr. 20, 2004 || Who really holds the cards?

Nicole feels The current mood of nacwolin at

Well, I didn't make it to training. Car trouble. When by 9:30 PM I still couldn't leave, I cancelled the reservation. But more on that later.

The full time work thing, not to mention the HR field, is rather new to me. I have been at my current position as a staffing coordinator for two months now. I enjoy it, for the most part. I have found myself yearning for, well, I am not quite sure what, so perhaps if I explain a bit, someone out there may have some words of wisdom!

After a few weeks on the job, it became obvious that there were some things the owner neglected to tell me. First of all, I was offered the position at $11 an hour. I later found out I am paid salary based on that hourly rate (translation: no overtime). Not necessarily a bad thing, because if I have a sick kid, I can go home. But by the same token, there are many days that we work through lunch, and every 2-3 weeks I have "pager duty", which often means putting in some weekend time.

I may not have a lot of experience, but I am thinking that working over 40 hours a week and being on call every other week for evenings and weekends is worth a bit more than $11 an hour.

Moving on, I did not go through the standard training plan; much has been hands-on. That is fine with me, but as the scheduled out-of-town training came close, I began to feel the crunch of not being able to complete the videos and webcasts.

When I was first told about training, I was really excited and flattered that they wanted to send me. I made all the arrangements. When the prerequisite sheet was sent to me, I felt a bit overwhelmed. As I mentioned earlier, they haven't given me much opportunity to complete things while at work. I don't necessarily have a problem with doing things at home, but I do have a family and when one is gone 9 or more hours a day, it is difficult to slap on more time in the evenings. And frankly, I am often just plain pooped!

I also began to realize that this is not something I am going to do forever. When I decided to go back into the work force, it wasn't for a career. I have plans to return to school one day, hopefully next winter. I am starting to feel that perhaps working 40+ hours a week with a young family is not optimal for me. As I began to think of how much they would be investing in me for this training, I started to feel like it was a jail sentence. You see, if they were going to spend this kind of money, how could I not stay at least a year? I didn't like feeling that I did not have the option to resign at any time if I felt this was too much for me and my family.

I have committed myself to staying at least through Sass's maternity leave (I haven't shared this with them at this point). That means at least through mid summer. And I may stay longer. But I really don't think so. I have also contemplated offering to focus on recruiting on a part time basis once she returns (not sure they will go for that, though).

Still, I ignored the niggling feeling about all of this as the training approached. I was told by someone I confided in, "That's just business; don't show your cards. If they want to send you, go. You don't have to feel obligated to stay." But, those words didn't change how I felt, all the way up through yesterday afternoon as I packed.

I wanted to be a team player, but I felt disingenuous and trapped!

Then the car mishap. At 9:30 PM, realizing I wouldn't make it there that night, I cancelled the reservation. I felt almost relieved.

I called the owner and he said, "Let me see what I can work out and we will talk in the morning."

When I got in, he asked me to come in his office and he went on to express that he felt I didn't ever want to go. I told him, "My suitcase is packed still. I had every intention to go." And I did, despite my hesitation. He went on to say that he was thinking I could have left in the morning and just arrived late. He never told me that last night, and I told him that. I could tell that overall he was not happy. He asked if at that point I would still go (training had begun about 1.5 hours before and it is a 2 hour drive, so in reality, I would have missed the whole first day). I told him that I would have to say no, that sometimes there is a point that you have to realize you are forcing something that isn't meant to be.

I spoke with Sass about all of this later. I told her that I did intend to go and apologized that it didn't work out. She expressed how it may appear to him, that I may not be serious about staying. I told her that I believed it would take me 3-6 months to really know if this was the field for me. I expessed that I had realized that going to training at this point, just 2 months in, made the $$ investment seemed high if I decided after 6 months that this was not a good fit for me. She encouraged me to talk to BossMan and assure him that I appreciated his offer to invest in my training. I did that, and I also expressed my concern about the $$ investment.

He said the $$ was immaterial, and perhaps it is. For him. But ethically, I had a hard time with it, knowing in my heart that I am not in this for the long haul (I didn't say that, though).

And that is where the rub comes in. My confidant thinks I "showed my cards". But last night, through tears, I realized that I do not want to stay full time past Sass' maternity leave. I realized that I want to offer to focus on recruiting part time (20-30 hours a week) or resign once she returns. I want and need to have more time for my family and for church involvement.

I felt disingenous not telling them something. Maybe I am just naive and not of the "business" world, but I want to be honest in my dealings with all men! I feel better knowing that I haven't potentially "wasted" their money. Had I gone to training, I know I would have felt obligated to stay at least a year. Thinking of that felt like a jail sentence! When I decided to go back to work, I wanted a position where I went in, worked, and came home. This is much more than that, and if I planned a career in HR, I am sure that would be fine.

I am fairly confident they won't fire me for two reasons. 1) Unemployment benefits (I would be eligible) and 2) they need me right now since Sass could go into labor anyday. I realize I may have hurt my bargaining power for more $$ at my review next month, but I was told I would be eligible for profit sharing after 90 days, period. No other prerequisite. And if he balks at that, I will then say that is fine, but I will only work my 40 hours and I will remove myself from the on-call basis. Is that wrong?

I am currently recruiting for an executive admin who gets to work the 40, will get paid overtime, doesn't have to work weekends, is eligible for benefits through corporate (we are not because of our franchise status) and the temp pay is $1 more an hour than I make right now! Why would I continue at this rate? What incentive do I really have for putting in this kind of time and effort when I could make more and go home with less stress as one of our temps?

The bottom line is, this is not my ultimate purpose in life. There are some things I just can't sell myself or my family short on, you know?

So, am I just a naive dork who has no business sense?

Perhaps. But I think I will finally get a good night's sleep tonight for the first time in a long time.

~ ~ ~

test - Saturday, Oct. 01, 2016
Just a reminder - Friday, Aug. 10, 2007
Rockin' Girl Blogger - Wednesday, Jul. 18, 2007
A good end - Friday, Jun. 01, 2007
Moving on? Yes and no. - Monday, May. 07, 2007

All entries (c) Nacwolin 2001-2006. These are my words. Use your own, m'kay?