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The Fire of a Thousand Suns (as in, I hate my job with)

I’m sorry to write another post about work so soon after my last one, but I’m sitting here in front of my computer trying to work, and this rant is the only thing that wants to come out.  So I’m sharing it with you all because I feel like I need to rationalize it all out.

I dislike my job.  I applied for it because I needed money, a sentiment I’m sure you all can understand.  However, when I was interviewed, I was given the choice of choosing from a couple of different positions.  I chose tech support because I’m pretty tech savvy and because it did not have a sales goal.  That means I can get bonuses for selling products, but I’m absolutely not required to do so to maintain my job.

This was a really important detail to me; I’m a terrible salesperson.  I don’t like salespeople who push products on you.  Maybe it makes me antisocial, but I really don’t like going into a store and bantering with someone about a product.  I really prefer doing my research at home and buying certain things online.  I have had numerous negative experiences that have reinforced this preference for me: the guys at Best Buy trying to sell me a laptop with a pink cover when I clearly explained what I was looking for, Wells-Fargo trying to push me to take out a mortgage with them when I was scraping to pay my car, those foreigners in the middle of the mall who tell me in broken English that I can be pretty if I just try <insert product here>.

Because I have such a strong dislike for people who do that stuff, I never, ever want to mimic their behavior.  Sorry lady, I have no desire to chat with you about your latest products.  Chances are I’ve already researched them online.  No, cable guy, I most certainly don’t want your cable service.  If I did, do you think my first thought wouldn’t be “Hey!  Let’s see if that random cable guy is set up in Wal-Mart again!  I might want to watch tv!”  No, I’d contact a damned cable company directly.

Compound this with something else you probably don’t know about me:  I’m honestly not a big tv person.  I have a few shows I watch, but I prefer to watch them in one big lump rather than one at a time, week after week.  I think the only shows I’ve really been excited for and have had to watch RIGHT THAT MINUTE are Homeland and Game of Thrones.  Mostly Canadian Bacon and I watch shows together while we eat dinner, just to give us something to do.  Neither of us are big on television and we most certainly wouldn’t pay for cable services ourselves.  We would be far more likely to subscribe to Netflix or Hulu or Amazon Prime, or sail the high seas.

So basically, not only do I not want to sell things, I can’t really get behind our product.  I also think the company I work for can be really scumbag.  When something fucks up with the equipment, through no fault of the customer’s, they’re still responsible for paying to have it fixed.  We bump up prices.  I was required to sign a two year contract in order to get hired.  That’s right – I have to have my service with them for two years, even if I quit my job.  And I had to agree to that before they would hire me.  That’s super sleazy.

What’s also really sleazy is what they’re doing to us right now.  My team just got placed with a new team leader, and without our knowledge or consent we were transferred to a completely different department.  I am now firmly lodged in billing.  They say this is a “temporary thing” only for “6 weeks,” but when I asked if we would definitely switch back afterwards, they told me that they’re “not certain” and “plans can change.”  When I was hired, I signed a contract for tech support… not billing.

As tech support, I am trained somewhat in billing.  We occasionally get their calls when they’re backlogged.  These are, without a doubt, the most miserable calls I get.  I hate dealing with people and their money.  Because I’m so terrible with math, it takes me forever to calculate shit with their bills.  They only call in because they’re upset about their bills.  I can’t actually “fix” anything unless there was really an error with our system, and I’ve never encountered that.  Sure, I’d get angry people with tech, but at the end of the day I’d usually solve their problems and they’d be happier and I’d feel somewhat satisfied.

Oh yeah, and I have to sell shit now.  I have sales goals.  I have to make offers on premium channels and more expensive shit on every single fucking call, even if the customer is already upset with me.  If someone calls in because they lose their job and they’re afraid they can’t make their payments, I’m supposed to try to talk them out of downsizing or cancelling.  Honestly, I would just rather tell them – get your priorities straight.  When you don’t have a job, tv doesn’t matter.  Save your money for groceries.

I’m so, so angry about this whole situation.  We’ve been in training all week about it and I’m just seething.  Whenever they ask us how we feel today about the move, I am honest and tell them that I am very angry.  They ignore me.  When I ask valid questions like “will we get to move back to tech?” or “if I fail the billing tests, am I in jeopardy of losing my job?” they ignore me or shrug it off with an “oh, you’ll be fine!  you’ll love it!”  Let’s add on top of that the bullshit that billing is so backlogged that customers have to wait, on average, an hour to talk to someone… you can imagine how those calls go.  And because of the backlog, we have already been assigned mandatory overtime every day next week.  And I also have to work a week before I get a day off.

angrywork

So here’s my dilemma.  I’m so angry about this entire thing and so upset that work is a misery.  I get off work and I don’t want to cook or write or read.  I just want to sleep or punch something.  I have a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach.  I am getting fucked over.  But I know that I shouldn’t quit this job.  I get 40 or more hours a week (at shit pay though) and I get benefits and I get to stay at home while I work.  My job that I love in Nashville has an hour long commute on a good day, is not steady (I will work fairly regularly from March-Aug. but that’s it), and has no benefits.  On the plus side though, it’s a very hefty pay raise.  That will get spent largely on gas.  But still.  I really, desperately want to quit my stable job (can you call it stable when they dick you around constantly?) and go back to the job I really enjoy doing that is not nearly as financially secure.

At this point I’m leaning towards just quitting and going back to the one I enjoy.  It makes me ill to think of leaving a job with benefits (can I just say that I am so glad I was fired as a teacher?  I would have never had the guts to quit that job, and it was going to drive me to an early grave), but I am also ill at the job itself.  Can I just focus on working my contract schedule and rely on the fact that CB will have his work authorization by April at the latest, and will certainly have a good job with benefits after he gets that?

Oh yeah, and can we go back to the point where I have a two year contract for my tv service now?  That I will have to pay a cancellation fee for?  I was originally planning on sticking this job out for the two years – long enough to finish a Master’s – and I’m sure I could have if I was able to stay tech.  But that’s not even an option now.

Sorry for the rant, guys.  I just needed to pour all this shit out.  I am really upset and feel betrayed, I guess.  I can’t believe I just came into work and they were like “Oh yeah!  You’re in a totally different department now!  By the way, be glad that we didn’t cut your pay, because this is a lesser job in our company and makes a dollar less an hour!  No, it has nothing to do with your performance, you’ve been great!  You’re just helping the company out by doing this!”  And now it’s all horrible.

What do you guys think I should do?  I’ve pretty much made up my mind that I’m going to just try to suffer through it until my first day back at my Nashville job (which, by the way, in a stroke of serendipity they called me this morning and offered me a promotion and a position starting in the beginning of March).  What would you do if you were me?

4 comments

  1. What would I do? Quit. When I took the answering service job I had been unemployed tor about six months. The job caused me to have anxiety attacks for the first time in my life. I would come home crying. Ryan finally put his foot down and said that it wasn’t worth the stress. And it wasn’t. We lasted on one income until Briggs hired me back which wasn’t easy but we made it work. The job you love is starting in March which isn’t that long away. Can you hold out until then? Have you worked at the current job long enough to draw unemployment benefits for awhile?

    As for the driving with the job you love, I have a DC parent that also drives an hour to work but she loves where she’s at so its ok for her. I guess its all about perspective and if you love what you’re doing it shouldn’t matter as long as your budget can handle it too. If the love job is temp, as you said CB should be working when it ends in Sept and if you could find other work between the times the love job is down, you should be able to budget and it will be ok.

    If you have to stay with the job you hate b/c of money, then do something to relieve the stress cause it isn’t worth carrying it around. As for the TV, how much time before the two years is up? If you leave the company, you could downgrade to the lowest package possible and pay it out then cancel. If you did terminate the contract early and are afraid of them taking you to court or something for the money, contact John Alderdice and see what he thinks. He’s a lawyer now and might know something that would help you.

    I hope I haven’t just been rambling and this helps! Good luck… and if you need help setting the place on fire let me know. We could work something out!

    Alexa

    • I know I already sent you a short message on fb, but I wanted to properly thank you here. I really, really appreciate you taking the time to read my blog and give me advice, Alexa! I don’t think I’d actually met you yet when you were working at that terrible callcenter, but I remember you telling stories about it. I also remember the time you’re talking about, when you and Ryan and Ashley lived on just his Briggs salary.

      I’m actually not sure if I’ve worked long enough for unemployment. I was denied it after I lost my job with the school system, and honestly have not tried for it since as I have read in various places that it can impact CB’s immigration status/ability. That is our #1 first priority, so we don’t want to do anything that could mess with it. I guess now that we have a lawyer retained I can ask her counsel. I’m not sure if I’d be eligible for it if I quit, anyway – I thought it was just for termination.

      I actually think I will ask my lawyer for her advice on the contract thing also. If she doesn’t know because it’s not her area of expertise, I’ll try to get advice from another one. I’ve come up with a couple of ideas too that I’m going to try. I’ve read that a lot of people have been very successful taking them to small claims court; they usually just settle.

      Pretty sure I’m just going to go ahead and quit, and I’ll try to stay with them until my new job starts. If I can’t make it the next month and a half, then I at least have enough savings to get us through the time, even though I’m loathe to spend it. It’s been nice having a nest again again. We’re really not in dire financial straits or anything, I just hate having to make decisions like this – going from the secure to the insecure! Arrgh!!

      Too bad there’s not a physical place to set on fire. I could definitely use someone of your… talents. Mwahahahaha!

  2. I don’t know how the hell I stumbled across your site…I’m sure it was one of the low carb recipes (I just found your waffles, btw)…but I clicked this during a moment of sheer boredom and felt like I was reading a whole lot of stuff I went through.

    Anyway, the point of this comment is to find out (long story short) what happened. I read this and immediately went up to the top to see how old this is and realized I’d have to sort through 2 years of archives in hopes of *maybe* finding an answer.

    Did you quit? Did you stay? Did you take everyone out with a fire thrower as the photo would indicate? Is the lawsuit over the service contract still pending? :)

    • Lord, I wish I took everyone out with a flamethrower…

      I quit. My seasonal job contacted me back in January of that year, and I gave my notice and went back to them. I love my seasonal job and I’m damn near full time with them now. It’s phenomenal.

      When I called to have my service disconnected, I think I actually got someone sympathetic. They disconnected it without issue at all. This was amazing to me, because several others in my training cohort wound up having to keep their contracts or pay termination fees. I got exceedingly lucky. I didn’t have to do a damn thing!

      In a fun story, a year or so after I quit, I received a letter in the mail from a law firm about a class action suit filed against the company. I immediately recognized one of the primary names on it as one of the people in my cohort! The suit alleged that the company failed to pay us for time worked. It was true. I walked out of there losing money. By my estimation, it was a few hundred dollars, and I was willing to just let it go to cut and run. I’d put it behind me. But with that class action suit dropped into my lap, I opted in, and even emailed the lawyers documentation I had (emails between myself and supervisors) documenting pay discrepancies that were promised to be addressed that never were. The suit took over a year as the company dragged its feet, but it finally paid out. I received a nice check that covered my lost pay right around Christmas time (yay!). Still, it did not cover the fucking pain of dealing with that horrific ordeal. Never, ever again will I work phone tech support!!!

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