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Wednesday, July 1st, 2015


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My Boss is Taking Advantage of the Recession

All the experts agree: unemployment isn’t going down any time soon.

In fact, many experts, including National Economic Council Director Larry Summers, believe that it may stay high for years to come.

Anyone who has a job knows that they are lucky—to a point. According to CNN.com, only 45 percent of people are satisfied with their job. This is the “lowest level since record-keeping began 22 years ago.”

Why are so many workers unhappy?
Lack of security, lack of interest in the work, high cost of health insurance, and lack of salary increases coupled with more work are some of the reasons people are so miserable at their jobs.

Another reason? Bad bosses. Unfortunately, there are plenty of companies and bosses who have begun taking advantage of their workers. For too many employees, the workplace has become a place of fear and anxiety. Workers know that they can be easily replaced and many bosses hold this over them, using the high unemployment as a threat. Employees are afraid to complain or stand up for themselves, and many bosses are happy to keep them quiet.

Companies that let people go at the beginning of the recession often have no intention of hiring new people. Even as the workload increases, they simply pile it on the workers who are still there.

“Every day I feel taken advantage of. My boss knows that I can’t quit, that there aren’t any jobs out there. So he treats me badly, he piles more and more work on and there is no hope of a raise,” said one woman who wishes to remain anonymous.

Rachel works for a big nationwide corporation. Currently, she is being paid for one job while actually doing another. She is making almost $20,000 less than she should be. The company dangles the promise of the better job in front of her; meanwhile, she is doing the work of both jobs. And, when you figure out the amount she’s making for all of the work she is doing, she’s getting paid close to minimum wage.

Rachel told me, “Yet again, big business wins out. They are able to abuse their workers who fear losing their jobs. In my situation, it’s a big corporation, and they are all about family values and doing for the community, but they treat their workers like crap. Again, it’s big business profiting off other people’s hardships.”

I spoke to many people about their current treatment; however, almost no one wanted me to use his or her real name. They were too afraid. Here are some of the more common complaints that I heard:

• Piles more and more work on me
• Doesn’t offer any benefits, no health insurance, no retirement
• Outdated equipment that causes pain to work on day after day
• Reneges on promises
• Takes all of the glory while I do all of the work
• Always complains, never has anything good to say to me

 

What Can You Do?
I asked Career Coach, Laura Tirello, what employees could do to make things better. She told me that, “The first thing you need to do is take a breath and think about the situation. Our human nature tends to be reactionary, but in the workplace reacting to a situation without thought is never good.

Instead of a reaction you need to develop a strategy. If it is a situation that involves several of your co-workers discuss how the situation could be handled by working together to create a new system where the work gets done in a timely manner and everyone’s time is respected. Present it to the management as a group; emphasize your commitment to the company and how this plan would benefit everyone.

Try to avoid complaining about the situation, this may shut the management off completely. Creating alternatives in which there is a mutual benefit will create a more open atmosphere where a healthy discussion can occur.

If you are in a position where you have to go it alone, make an appointment with your boss. Start the meeting off by empathizing with him about the struggles that exist in the current economic climate and how this affects everyone. Have a plan you can present to him that shows you are still a team player, but allows you to some freedom in getting your task completed. This could be by organizing your responsibilities differently or options that could help the company meet its objectives more effectively. The key here is to empower yourself by creating a new way of getting things done that benefits the company and your personal time equally.”

Is your boss a jerk? We want to hear about it. All submissions will remain anonymous.

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3 Responses to My Boss is Taking Advantage of the Recession

  1. Dee says:

    I do nightlife promotions. There are three representatives and one manager, who would drive us around bar to bar (they were paid mileage). Now, they got rid of the manager and we are required to drive ourselves around and mileage is not reimbursed. To top it off, we are required to drop off/pick up product 3-4 days a week, only between 11am and 1pm, which we are paid min. wage for in 15 min. increments. So my part-time job now requires full-time availability.

  2. PISSED OFF says:

    Oh, god, nightlife promotions scum are a total nightmare to work for. I was hired to write content for a promotion company’s web site for nowhere near what I’m worth for 40 hours a week, much less the 100 that are actually being demanded… and of course the job duties don’t stop where they told me they stopped. As soon as I had sunk a couple of weeks (which I could have spent looking for something more lucrative, like waiting tables) into the content, I started getting other shit piled and piled on top of me: secretarial duties, letter-writing, spreadsheets, serving as ‘eye candy’ (I’m female) when the crass and illiterate ‘CEO’ goes out to schmooze bar owners, and finally being given the odious duty of taking door fees at a shitty club every Saturday night for no extra pay! I work seven days a week, the CEO calls me at any hour he feels like to pile on more work, and offers manipulative ‘thank yous’ (and erotic compliments) in place of money. I don’t even have any guarantee that he’s going to pay me the peanuts he does owe me next week, but I’m in such dire straits I have to smile and take it till I find out for sure whether I’m really being taken for a ride. These greedy, parasitical bastards think they’re so clever. When and if this depression ever ends, people like him are going to wake up and find how many people’s shit lists they’re at the top of…

  3. Michelle says:

    I work at a small for an Attorney who has two small firms. I work for the local office in my town. When I started, I needed a more flexible job due to my daughter just being diagnosed with Autism and accepted less pay with no benefits but was promised raises. He knew I wanted to be available for my daughter until we were able to have her theraputic staff in place. It happened sooner than I expected but I was happy here too. After the first year it all changed. I received nasty post it notes on files I had been working on wanting changes. What he doesn’t realize, they were changes back to what I had originally. He loses things and writes notes blaming it on me. I haven’t had a raise in 2 yrs but my work load seems to be increasing. I basically run this office as he is only here 2 days a week! The girl in the other office has only had 4 raises in 14 yrs! After this last time we were turned down for a raise she put her notice in. His reason…. Not enough money even though we do our own payroll and knows exactly what’s in the account. He’s withdrawn $18,000 in the last 2 wks for his Lexus. I figured that was our raise right there. Well he just hired a girl in the other office who has very little experience and is paying her $10.00 per hour. Guess what I get paid? Yep! $8.50!!!! I have 5 children! I am so frusterated!

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