Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Time to quit your job.

In one of my previous posts I described in great detail the reasons I quit just one of my jobs. This is not a very good idea because many potential employers have underlings who are Internet savvy and will most likely find your own diatribe.

I would not want to work for an employer who had any fear of being exposed for the kinds of behavior found in my diatribes anyway, as my accounts of employer behavior is factual.

One day soon I plan on becoming an employer. I hope I have learned from my experience as an employee and avoid the common practices of some of my previous employers.

Here are some danger signals that will lead to shortened job experiences on your resume. Try to avoid them if you can:

1. You are hired by a contractor who tells you he is your manager, but then he tells you to report to someone else who is a manager of his own department. You are given an assignment by the first manager, but the second manager assigns you other tasks that interfere with your original task.

2. You work at a location where your manager is in charge of budgeting your work hours and payroll, but his manager, who happens to also be the franchise owner, hires friends and relatives on your payroll budget, at twice to three times your hourly wage, forcing your manager to cut your work hours.

3. You are hired by a family owned business that is also micro-managed by all of the family members equally. You are assigned a task individually by each family member who in-turn, discover you are performing work assigned by another family member. You become the center of a dramatic family squabble and then you are blamed for not completing all the tasks assigned in a timely manner.

4. You are hired part-time at a retail store and are regularly scheduled to close the store late at night and open the store the following morning while other certain coworkers mysteriously and regularly avoid this type of scheduling conflict.

5. A certain employee gets his or her hours switched more frequently with the rest of the employees.

6. Your job is to dispense natural gas but at close of business you are told to enter false information about the quantity of gas remaining in the storage tank, so the sales for the day are balanced. You discover that the tank is short by about twelve gallons, probably for than a year before you started working at that location. In a few weeks you will be assigned the responsibility of opening and closing the store by yourself.

7. Every time a customer uses a piece of equipment they must break a plastic seal. You are to charge the customer for the use of that item if the seal is broken. Unfortunately, your manager didn’t order new seals for several weeks. The equipment use charge is around seven dollars and occurs no less than five times per day.

8. As a safety precaution you must refill the wiper fluid tanks on all of the trucks you rent. Unfortunately your manager has not had wiper fluid available for refills for about a month.

9. Your manager is in a domestic relationship with one of your coworkers, who just happens to be terrible at counting the cash drawer and often comes up short at the end of the day.

10. Your work requirements often cause employees to work double-shifts because you cannot leave the property without being relieved by another employee. There are not enough employees to cover for an absentee, or other employees simply don’t answer their phones to be called in to replace a sick or otherwise absent employee.

This barely scratches the surface. I’m sure you had other red flags at your work. Scheduling conflicts are a fact of life and you must accept them as a general rule, but the most important red flag of all is the potential for you to be a scapegoat for a criminal employee or boss. If you are given a piece of equipment at work, be sure to write down serial numbers and carefully document where, and under what conditions, the piece of equipment is stored when you are not using it.

If you work some place where cash drawers regularly come up short, or there is regularly active accounting fraud or waste, discontinue working there immediately.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Reasons I quit my Security Job.

The Client:

Hospital staff don't communicate enough vital information to security about the presence of potentially violent patients or patients that have orders of protection against potentially violent persons.

Hospital staff tend to leave doors unlocked, disregarding the need to ensure that exterior doors must be securely closed at night.

The emergency department frequently does not call security, but instead calls the police for disruptive patients and visitors. The delay could be dangerous.

Many, many people here are very rude and with small town xenophobia.

No one at the hospital has the foresight to provide copies of Orders of Protection to Security regarding patients, but they always provide information about such things when employees are involved. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) prevents security from being informed about potential threats from patient visitors. There appears to be no information at about such a situation.

Certain staff members are clearly unqualified for their positions, and despite their mistakes and unprofessional behavior, appear to suffer no consequences. There is a clearly defined social stratum and the culture in this organization encourages class segregation and psychological abuse based on the values of title and income. There are only a handful of people who demonstrated a minimal team spirit.

Hospital employees take wheelchairs from the emergency entrance and stash them in their departments. Often, wheelchairs are brought back without the supports for the legs. Sometimes, wheelchairs are found locked over the weekend in the Rehabilitation Center which is open only during the week.

The radio equipment is issued and owned by the hospital and typically takes months to replace worn-out batteries.

The parking situation:

The hospital does not provide security staff with the necessary resources to enforce parking restrictions, such as employee stickers and records of license plates and vehicle descriptions, yet they demand the rules be enforced. Hospital employees park in patient parking areas and other employees complain to Security about it. Regardless of the submitted incident reports, there are no negative consequences to anyone other than Security being accused of not doing their job. Daytime employees ignore the signs that say "Parking for 3PM to 11PM employees only." Employees find excuses not to park where they should and have no respect for their fellow employees or patients. The safety officer treads on social-political eggshells because this is a small community from which the absolutely necessary professionals can easily leave (and do) if they are so much as looked at the wrong way.

The Expenses:

The pay is minimum wage which leaves me a net take-home rate of about $6.20 per hour. There is never going to be a pay raise. I don't recall being told this myself, but other officers said they were told this up-front. 

For my wage, gas prices are getting too high for my 90 minute total daily commute. Car maintenance costs are too high for my 90 minute total commute. There are no insurance benefits that permit preventive health care.

The safety equipment such as handcuffs, pepper spray, baton, etc., required for real security is not provided by the company. Each officer is responsible for purchasing their own safety equipment, and paying for the training required to properly use the equipment.

Each officer is issued 2 uniforms, 1 short sleeve shirt for warm weather and long sleeve shirt for cold weather, 2 pants and one badge. Anything else is out-of-pocket without reimbursement.

The Permanent Employee Registration Card from the state of Illinois is paid for entirely by the officer. Expenses included the screening process fees which totaled more than $100.00

Security employees must use their own cars for patrol work, with no mileage reimbursement from the company.

The Work Schedule:

My schedule was changed from working nights to working days. I work Wednesday night and Thursday night, then I have Friday off, then work Saturday and Sunday mornings from 7 am to 3 pm. This means I must get off work at 7 am on Friday morning, then stay up all day and sleep Friday night to get up Saturday morning. So I must stay awake from around 8 pm Thursday all the way through 8 pm Friday to adjust my sleep schedule. I almost lost control of my car on the way home from work because I was so tired.

The work schedule comes out every week. Usually on Friday, but often the schedule for the following week comes as late as Sunday. The schedule changes so frequently that an individual can work Tuesday and Wednesday from 11 PM to 7AM and Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 7AM to 3PM. Then the following week work Wednesday through Sunday from 11PM to 7AM. There is no way to make regular plans outside of work. You lose touch with all the friends you had outside of work.

When I work the night shift. I must sleep during the day, even on my days off to avoid falling asleep at the wheel during my 90 minutes of total commute time between home and work. On my nights off, there is nothing to do but sit alone in my room as there is nothing but Denny's open all night as far as I know, besides that, I don't make enough money to spend freely on my nights off anyway.

Finally, The other security officers won't answer their phones if someone calls in sick, leaving the officer on duty to work a second eight-hour shift without even relief from the company's own family from which the business was founded.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Illinois State Common Sense

I just successfully renewed my Permanent Employee Registration Card (PERC) with the state of Illinois. I have no disciplinary issues that get in the way.

The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation requires that anyone with a Permanent Employee Registration Card (PERC) be honest and truthful about their professional practices. One should answer truthfully that one is not delinquent on child support payments or defaulted on state education loans. Does this mean that one's license gets renewed if one truthfully says they are delinquent on child support or defaulted on state education loans. One might think so.

It makes common sense that if someone with a PERC was dishonest and stated on their application that they did not default on a state school loan or were not delinquent on their child support payments, they would be disciplined for dishonesty in some other way besides refusing to renew their PERC so they could go back to work earning the money necessary to continue paying off their school loan or catching up on delinquent child support payments, right?

Apparently not. Not only does the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation refuse renewal on PERCs for being dishonest, but the department refuses applicants the cards necessary to actually earn the money to make right that which was wrong, and on top of that, the refusal of PERCs cuts revenue to the state of Illinois by $45 per applicant. This compounds the economic loss in terms of tax revenues generated down the line.

While I was at the website I browsed around at some of the articles and found an interesting report on recent disciplinary actions against card carrying members.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Is it not ironic

At a hospital I'm a security officer charged with ensuring the safety and security of patients, employees, visitors and their property; but I earn only minimum wage, have no health insurance coverage and can barely afford to pay for treating only the symptoms of my ailments out-of-pocket.

Isn't it ironic that someone in my position is charged with the safety of health-care professionals?