Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Easy come, easy go

I was going to follow up on that last post with some silly speculation about what might have happened to the disappearing workers at my temp job. Such as finding dazed former employees roaming the parking lot with stapled-up flaps on the backs of their heads. Or experimental but dangerous productivity enhancing chemicals being pumped through the air vents. Or some kind of Truman-like fake work environment as cover for some sinister activities.

But all that's not quite so funny anymore, because now I know what happens to their former contract employees.

They get a call on their cell phones on a Sunday evening while they were doing laundry so as to have enough clean dress pants to wear for the week, and it's from the job shop rep saying not to go in to work the next day. No explanation, just a request to turn in the laptop computer.

I'll have to say that I was somewhat stunned, because I had recently gotten to a point where I had figured out how to do the tasks that were assigned to me, and could finally begin producing at the speed they seemed to be expecting. But I also had a feeling that this made some sense, because on Friday I had sent an email to whoever I thought might be the right person to tell that I would not be coming in to work "for all Saturdays in the forseeable future" as a recent mass email had demanded that we either do or provide excuses for.

When I accepted this job assignment I was not told that there would be mandatory overtime, and since I had been there it was very unclear to me what the expectations were for hours of work. But it was made clear by the job shop that I was not to work overtime without "prior approval" which meant to me something more direct than vague whining about "we're way behind and everyone needs to pitch in."

Of course I'm guessing here, because for all I know the reason they let me go was something to do with the way I fix my hair, but if it was the overtime issue then that's a shame because the confusion could have been easily cleared up by someone from the company having a direct conversation with me about what the expectation was.

But that would have been the first and only direct conversation I'd have with anyone there about any subject including how to do the documents, what to wear on Fridays, who to call if there's a snowstorm or when the department meetings were. They just didn't acknowledge the new contractors there as actual people. We were more like a line of boxed up computer monitors along the wall that you look at and think "I wonder when they're going to install those."

And that bothered me. I need my personhood to be acknowledged. Just a little quirk of mine. I do totally get it that we are in a recession and there is an unlimited supply of unemployed people out there plenty willing to step in and take any work they can get, but to me that is still not an excuse to treat people with any less respect, or none at all.

So this is how this goes. Now I need to figure out what I'm going to do next, again.


Nancy USA said...

Hi Melinda,

You wrote another great post. You really have a way of capturing the feelings you are dealing with.
I'm sorry about the subject matter!

Good luck with your NEXT adventure. We'll be there with you whatever it is.

Betty Nevitt was here today by the way.

Anonymous said...

If you get a questionnaire from the corporate office about your work experience there, ignore it- just like HR and that corporate office have ignored you every step of the way. Odd way for a business to be run. Aunt Chris

kid_curry said...

Sorry to hear about the job, Mindy. At least they didn't make you into Soylent Green. Whew!

Rebecca Binno Savage said...

More time for blogging and scanning family photos...

Aunt Kathy said...

There is a creative job waiting for you somewhere, Mindy. Continue searching!

Laura said...

Sounds like it was Kafka-esque. I'm sorry Mindy, but really in a way not. I kept picturing this place as somewhat menacing based on your descriptions, and now I'm only glad you're safely away.