Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Take it where you shake it!
That is what I really want to tell my boss right now, among other things.

So let me tell you about my work drama now: Last month, after a very bad second half of 2007 at work (we had high complaints, and that's not good...means bad service), our boss told us he would begin charging $5 a day everyday that we were late coming to pick up our papers (after 4 am), starting in March. I didn't like the idea, but I figured he would drop the threat like he does everything else, and the problem would work itself out. So I said nothing.

Fast-forward to our paychecks we received this past week...for the month of February. Two of my fellow carriers were charged for being late, and more than once. Neither could remember being late, and were obviously confused. I was, as well, since we were told the charges wouldn't begin until March, and these were charges for Feb. days. I was a little pissed, even though I, personally, wasn't charged anything (only b/c I had to move my alarm clock to the other side of the room so I'd start coming in on time!).

So, I wrote an email to my boss, urging him to drop this new idea of his and return the money. My main argument? It's illegal what he's doing. We are independent contractors, and sign a contract when we start. We are only bound by what is in that contract, and nothing else. Never did our boss come to us with new contracts to sign, and thus, the charges are not justified. As well, he set up no system whatsoever to determine who was late, other than to ask the guy who is there each day who was late. Therefore, when you receive the charge on your paycheck, you have no idea what day(s) you were charged for, how late you were, or if it's even a legitimate charge. It doesn't help that the guy he has in charge happens to be very fickle, and goes from day-to-day on who his cronies and enemies are. Oh, and it also doesn't help that half the time he's not there at 4 am to know if you're late or not! I said other stuff, but that was the gist of the letter. I tried not to sound mean, accusatory, or threatening, but I did say, in not so many words, that if it wasn't put to a stop, I would take the steps necessary to do so.

I sent him the email, as well as a few people I thought might be interested in my thoughts on the matter. Most were, and told me they agreed. I later found out that the rest went crying to the boss-man that I had been sharing information with them. Whatever...Anyway, he said he'd look over my "charges", and get back to me the next day.

That next day was Sunday, and I heard nothing. Nor did I hear anything yesterday. So, this morning I asked a girl who I know regularly talks to him if she'd heard anything. She told me he's super pissed and that he thinks I'm not being loyal to him. WHAT!?? LOYAL!???

So, I wrote him another email today (I don't like to talk on the phone, b/c then you have to hear their side, too, and everyone knows that's no fun! I mean, I already know I'm right, so I'll save them the trouble of trying to change my mind!). This one was about my loyalty to him. I told him that I am loyal to him in that I will do my best at my job, and that's as far as it goes. First and foremost, I am loyal to my family, and what's best for us. I am fighting this charge he has created b/c it's not only a threat to my income, but also morally just wrong. I mean, most businesses, when you have people who are late, you write them up and/or fire them. Instead, he's punishing us by taking our money. Look, when you are late, you run the risk of getting late complaints for papers not delivered on time. Complaints are super costly. That in itself is punishment enough! Basically, he doesn't want to go out and find new carriers, so instead of dealing with the repeat offenders he's got, he's just going to take it from everyone and not deal with the problem. It's a fact that we all deliver papers 7 days a week, 365 days a year. We have no sick days or anything. If you want time off, you have to find a substitute, and you not only have to pay that person, but you have to pay for any mistakes they make. Therefore, if I oversleep a bit one day, I think he could show a little compassion. I need that money, and it's pretty crappy that he's decided to take it from me. Not to mention, where does it go? My being late does not take anything away from my boss, so basically, that money goes straight into his pocket. Pretty crappy if you ask me.

Anyway, he wrote back to me after that. He wanted to know why I was speaking for all of the other contractors, since this didn't even affect me. WHAT!??? It affects me! If I oversleep, I know I'm going to lose my hard-earned money, and I still have to go in and do my job! That's bull-shit! I told him I'm fighting this now, b/c it's easier for me to do it now, while it's still fresh in everyone's minds and they are upset about it, than later when everyone's become complacent about it and aren't so willing to fight. He said he's going to get his attorney to draw up a new contract, and I wish I could get everyone to refuse to sign it. Sadly, I know that won't happen. At least, though, if we do sign it, then it will be legal. I still don't think it's right, though. He just basically gave himself a raise. Yeah, yeah, we could just come in on time, but...we're talking principles here!

One chick told me I'd better watch myself and what I say to him. I don't know what that meant, but I'd sure like to see him fire me. I need something to feel passionate about lately, and what better than fighting my ex-boss! He'd have to find a really good reason, too. I'm one of his best carriers. I haven't paid for complaints in a long time, and my service is stellar. Before this, he loved me. Now, I dunno...I have stood up to him before on issues, and I think he's realized that I'm not playing. Oh, one chick called me and told me she was mad that I beat her to the punch. I didn't even write to him until two days after we'd gotten paid, and she actually did pay late charges. I'm not sure when she was planning to talk to him about it, but it would seem a good idea to do it sooner than later.

Wow, this has gotten LONG! Anyway, that's my work drama for now. As of yet, he hasn't put an end to the late charges, but we'll see where that goes. I have a feeling this is far from over. I'll keep you up-to-date on what happens from here on out, if you so desire.

Talk to you later!
posted by Christi at 9:45 PM | Permalink |


  • At 9:25 AM, Blogger Kurt

    It's tough being smarter than everyone else, isn't it? This guy has no idea what he's doing.

    Has he realized that the $5 fine may encourage more lateness? If someone is running a few minutes late, they might as well relax and show up whenever, since they're already paying the $5 fine.

    ps: thank you for doing your part re: TIWYSI

  • At 1:27 PM, Blogger Julia

    You forgot to mention the most ridiculous part. Papers have to be in the driveways at 6 or 7 am. If you can get there at 4:10 am and still have all your papers on time, then who cares? Besides, like you said, you get charged for late papers anyway.

    Kurt, I like your comment: It's tough being smarter than everyone else, isn't it?

    It's so true.