Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Vacation = Stress?

So I've had to take a few days off from work.

Ok, so it's more like a month. I tore my ACL clean through and I had to have reconstructive surgery on my knee.

Now, the question is, how does my work deal with it?

That brings me to a couple of different ideas. First, how does a job deal with it when someone goes out with an injury? And second, what can you do when you're hurt?

Therein lies a problem that I'm sure most of you face when you're at work. But I'll get to that. It's the BIG PROBLEM with employers. At lease in America. But first on to answering the first two questions.

A job deals with an injury fairly normally. They tell you to take the time off. They set up disability and stuff.

No time is a good time to get hurt. But not everyone just sits around when they get home and watches television. Some people actually go outside.

Accidents happen. The people hurt already have enough pain without their employers getting angry. My job didn't get angry. They were not happy, as would be expected. When you're one of three or four employees that does a specific kind of job, that doesn't help things. That's a large percentage of a company. Like maybe 33%.

Undoubtedly, there will likely be some ill feelings, however undeserved.

Now, what can you do when you're hurt?

You should contact your employer frequently. They wonder about you. It doesn't really matter if it's an e-mail. The question then is, what do you say?

You tell them how your surgery/recovery is going. You give them a best case scenario for your return. You tell them no promises.

The reality is this: You will probably have multiple jobs over the course of your life. Your knee or elbow or hand or foot will be with you for your whole life. It's better to heal rather than make your employer happy. Although they might see it a little differently, which is completely understandable.


Here's the problem: I'll give you an scenario.

You want to take Friday off. You tell your employer well in advance. You have vacation days, so it shouldn't be a big deal. You have to get 20 reports done per week.

That means you should only have to do 16. You'll be off Friday, so you can't do the work that day. But the job still wants you to do 20. In 4 days. So now it becomes way more stressful just to finish so you can go on vacation. That shouldn't happen. That's not fair to American workers.

People wonder why Americans take the least amount of vacation. It's because employers expect a full year's work no matter how much vacation you take. It's a broken system, and one day, it might change. But it's not likely.

So here's some advice: Never take vacation. Never get hurt. Never get sick. Because if you do, you're going to pay the price one way or the other.

Just remember this. Your health is more important than any job. Although a job can certainly help with your health.

In that case be a doctor. Then you can heal yourself.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Not Looking Good

Well, the company that I work for is falling into deep default. What's funny is that I've almost been thrust into a situation that you only hear about.

When you hear about companies laying off a bunch of employees, you never think that it'll get around to you. Granted, it hasn't gotten to me yet, but I'm not holding my breath. It may be time to start looking elsewhere. With so many cuts, who knows where I can even look.

I'll read about industries and places that are doing well, even in this economy, but it's hard to just pick up everything and change or move or whatever.

I must say though, I am getting a little antsy not making very much money at my job. But hey, at least I have a job.

For now.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Dear Friends Again

I've been extremely busy with this new job.

I will post again.

Me Again

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Dear Friends,

Dear Friends,

I got a job.

I will post the specifics tomorrow.


Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Employer Idiots

Some people do not understand how to be employers.

Good employers give you plenty of time to be prepared. They do not call you and ask you to come in immediately. Especially employers that are looking for a freelancer like me.

I was asked if I could go to a fair in my area today. Uhhhh. Why didn't you ask me yesterday so that I could be prepared.

I was asked if I could go right away. Granted, this is for someone that hasn't given me a cent, nor offered me a cent. Which means I'm not all that inclined to drop everything and obey.
Now, I realize that sometimes you have to put in your due. But, it is never up to the employee to begin talks about money. It is always up to the employer to at least begin the conversation.

It can be simple, something like, "what are you expecting financially from this gig."

It can be something intense like "I'm giving you $50 for every story."

It should never be nothing. When you don't get paid, that's called volunteer work. That's great to put on a resume if you're I don't know, 16 years old.

People are not looking to volunteer if they are not over the age of 65. Baby boomers can be volunteers. New college graduates, well, not so much.

Honestly, I cannot wait to be on the other side of the hiring table. I'm going to make it a great experience for the candidate. I'm going to want them all to want to work for me. That way, I can actually hire someone who's excited.

Well, either that or I can send them to Central America to do some work at a church or dormitory.

At least then they can put it on their college application.

But people need money right now. Offering to not pay isn't going to give you a good employee. It'll give you one that resents you.

(How about that game! Thanks Google images!)

Monday, September 29, 2008

Don't Pay For A Job

Now you should never put all your eggs in one basket.

That's why even though I have a probable job on Wednesday, I have also applied to the IRS.
Yes, the IRS. Got a job? Just call the IRS. Got a job...

Love that commercial.

On Saturday afternoon I received a call from H&R Block. Here's how the conversation went. Also, I'd like to mention that they again called me on a Saturday. During lunchtime. Regardless...
Oh, and the lady had one of those "accents" where she was trying to be ghetto but still professional. But it comes off as ghetto.

Them: Hi, this is H&R Block and we received an application and were wondering if you were still interested.

Me: Yes, I think I still am interested.

Them: Do you have any tax-preparation experience?

Me: No, I do not. (When I was saying this, I was thinking, "I have experience paying taxes...")

Them: We have a class starting this Monday for tax-preparation specialists. Would you be interested in signing up for this three-day class for a one-time fee or $99?

Me: No, I don't think so.

Them: Well sir, you need the classes if you want a job.

Me: I don't think that I should have to pay to get a job.

Them: Ok, bye sir.

Me: Later sucka.

Ok, well maybe I didn't say "Later sucka," but I felt like it. So here's my advice for today. Never get convinced that you should ever have to pay for a job.

The whole idea behind a job is that they pay you.

Not the other way around.

Friday, September 26, 2008


I have an interview for next Wednesday.

It's with a newspaper in a town about 20-30 minutes away.
I know that originally I have said that I did not want to do journalism, even though I graduated with that degree. However, I have come to realize that in this economy, you have to get a job and then ride out this bad stretch.

I would estimate that this bad stretch will continue for at least one or two more years.
And clearly, the $1.50 that I've earned this month writing this blog is not going to be paying any bills. On the upside, I have had almost 500 hits. Google told me.

So, even though I did not want to get into journalism, I am going to give it another chance. Don't get me wrong, I like journalism, but sometimes it can be quite frustrating, such as when a source doesn't call back or when I'm having trouble with a story. That, fortunately, does not happen very often.

And, writing for a newspaper will give me the opportunity to continue writing, which is something I like to do. I'm planning on writing a variety of things. I've held off writing for myself (other than this blog, but hey, it's for you after all) since I've been searching for a job.

It's funny because after two months of searching I'm closest to having a job through doing none of the hard work that I've proclaimed. Well, sort of. Networking has worked the best. It's hard for me to say it.

I look at myself and I know quite a few people. It makes me wonder what people do when they do not know a whole lot of people. Oh, wait. I know what they do. They line up at the unemployment office and take my money.

I once watched a video in one of my classes from the '70s or '80s (well, maybe the '90s) that showed people who scammed the US government into getting welfare. I can't even imagine how many people do that now.

Especially in this economy.

If you try hard enough, eventually you'll catch a break. The odds will slowly be in your favor. It might take two months like it did for me or it might take six months like I heard about for one person. It might take two years.

That would suck big time.

So that's my final advice. (For today?)
Networking will pay dividends. Let people know you are searching for a job.
Don't be afraid to turn down job offers. It might be the greatest thing you ever do.

Oh, and a little anecdote:

I interviewed for this sales position. The guy told me if I wanted the job to call him. I called him a few days later. He didn't answer. I left a message and he called me back a couple days later. I told him I didn't want to take the job.

He acted all cool, saying "oh, well that works out for both of us. I wasn't sure you really wanted to do it." Now, when I was interviewing, he was super pumped to hire me. Like he wanted me to start the next day. But, not wanting to be too pushy he told me to call in the next couple days.

He also told me he wasn't good at sales and all that baloney. Too bad I'm not an idiot. Classic sales technique. (Seriously watch the video connected to "Classic") Always look like the bigger person.

So don't take jobs that you don't want to, just because you need a job.

Millions of people do that.

And now look where we are.