Monday, March 28, 2011

Dispatches from Poverty

You know what the real advantage of having money is? Choices. When you have money, you have choices. You can choose where to live, where to work, what to wear, what doctor to go to, what to eat- really, the list is endless.

If you're poor, not so much. You live where you can afford, and of course it sucks. Sinks that don't work, toilets that don't flush, windows that don't close all the way when it's well below freezing- just another day in paradise. You eat what you can afford and of course it's not fresh fruit and low fat, delicious meals, but at least you're eating. You pretend your clothes fit well enough, that what's on your head is a style, and you don't even like going to movies.

As for work, well, count yourself lucky to get screamed at, count yourself lucky to have sick days taken away and dental coverage dropped and unpaid, mandatory overtime? At least you have a job.

I walked into work today at 8:26. That would be 34 minutes early, and only because the next bus would have me at work 10 minutes late. I heard the screaming before I opened the door. My boss agreed to an 8:30 Monday morning deadline to sign a release. The release was sent to the aol account we still maintain (don't ask me) Friday at 6:00pm. I leave at 5. My boss does not know how to use a computer. I'm not supposed to be in until 9am. And he agrees to an 8:30 Monday morning deadline.

That's my fault, btw.

After enduring an abusive tirade- at 8:30 on a Monday morning after 3.5 hours of sleep- I was informed that I have to be in at 8:30 every morning. I will not be paid for the extra half an hour of work. I do get paid hourly, and if I show up a half hour late, it is deducted from my check.

That's right, I now get to work 2.5 hours of unpaid overtime. Every week.

"Oh, you should sue" is something I expect to see in the comments. I will laugh at your naïveté in advance: HAHAHAHHAAHAHA!

Sure, I could sue. It is illegal to make people work unpaid overtime. And what will I do for money while I'm suing? I can tell you this right now, if I sue my boss, I'm never getting hired as a legal secretary again. I'd be lucky to work at McDonalds after that.

I'll stay. I'll take it. I'll count myself lucky not to be unemployed in this economy. Because that's what you do when you're poor. You pretend that misfortune is luck and abuse is acceptable. Really, is it any wonder religious belief is more prevalent among the poor?


  1. Your post is distinctly low on deserved vitriol, so if I may: What a fucking piece of shit, that asshole.

    That’s just bullshit. Hope he comes to reason at some point soon … or better yet, gets fired/disbarred/etc.

    (Relatedly, not knowing much about legal procedures, I must ask: Is it possible to sue in someone else’s name? If so, would that still affect your employment possibilities, given you’re not the one doing the suing? I’m fairly sure it wouldn’t work like that, but I like to entertain all possibilities.)

  2. Marx was right on this point: Class determines consciousness.

    Unfortunately, class awareness is not common in our (the US) society.

  3. I have so much empathy for you. So.Fucking.Much. Today is just one of those shitball days. Your boss sounds like a piece of fucking work.

    I love the common refrain "So your job sucks! Just get a different one!"

    It gives me the LOLz like this

  4. Can't you log the extra time on your timesheets or something? Do you even have those or do they pay you based on a X-hour week? If the latter, is there anyone nicer and/or higher-up in the company you could ask about it? Just mention, politely, that you've been asked to do unpaid overtime, and ask what their policy is for that.

    I assume you've already considered all this stuff, but the only other thing I can offer is... somewhat less constructive. Though much more satisfying... [note: if you have a weak stomach, read no further]


    Your employer is more worthless than the nutritionless, non-flammable excrement of the digestive tract of a particularly horrible bacterial parasite that lives in the bladder and eats the unexpelled crap of a disgusting tapeworm-like creature that lives in the reproductive organs of the slowly-dissolving corpse of a maggot that was killed by the stomach acid of a slimey, scavanging omnivore dying from some equivilent of syphillis on a bleak and barren planet about to be crushed by the ancient tentacles of an elder god and consumed by the grimdark for all eternity. So fuck him.

  5. why does Quasar get all the GOOD lines?

    is there an employment board you can go to at all? [i have NO CLUE, and this is NOT me saying "SUE!" which is, as you pointed out, an insane action for you to take]

    wait - was this the good boss or the bad boss? [i know you have 2, and one you like and he treats you decently, the other you don't like and he's abusive] is there any chance at all of asking the good boss about it? or would that automatically mean you were "whining" or some shit?

    if you DO have to keep it up, start taking 30-minute longer lunches. when they complain, say "well, it's illegal to have me work unpaid overtime, so i'm doing this so you don't get in trouble.".
    or maybe that's ALSO a fantasy :(

    fuck. i wish i'd been able to finish my last 4 classes so i could be working for some huge paper and write an expose on this so that your boss would be shamed but unable to fire you...


Comments are for you guys, not for me. Say what you will. Don't feel compelled to stay on topic, I enjoy it when comments enter Tangentville or veer off into Non Sequitur Town. Just keep it polite, okay?

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