This recession has really hurt my business. Deals have been slow in coming and when they do, they’re not quick to close. My boss has the authority to give advances on sales that are on the books. When I had to ask for one, he made me grovel. I felt worthless. He asked me questions I knew he knew the answers to. This isn’t the first time he’s been a jerk. It makes me want to quit, but the company has a great reputation in our industry. I also know my boss isn’t going anywhere. How do I get through this humiliating encounter?
-Humiliated in Hampton
Dear Humiliated in Hampton:
I sympathize with you. It is important for you to remind yourself that it is your boss, not you, who has a problem. He handled your situation inappropriately. Harness the inner strength you used to request the advance to move onward and upward.
I’ve had it with my employer. First, it was the November Nor’easter, and now this winter snow storm. As an executive assistant, management’s support staff, I’m required to work at the office. Non-support staff can work from home. My employer didn’t close the office for either storm. My kids didn’t have school, so I had to either take my paid vacation or invest in childcare so I could go to work. I decided to work which proved senseless not only because of the terrible road conditions. I lost money to babysitters and I got very little, if anything, done. I understand the employer doesn’t want to lose money, but only anger and resentment were accomplished. He handled these uncommon circumstances all wrong.
-Storming mad in Portsmouth
Dear Storming mad in Portsmouth:
I suggest that you and your co-workers request a meeting with your employer where you respectfully emphasize your desire to do the work you are paid to do, but not at the risk of getting hurt. Present alternative work scenarios for extraordinary weather circumstances that may occur in the future. These scenarios could include making up missed paid work days by working Saturday(s), adding hours to the regular work day(s), or offering to help create a telecommuting program for support staff.
I’m a seasoned security consultant for several companies, none of which compete with each other. My biggest client has asked me to consider full-time employment with benefits, but I prefer to remain an independent contractor charging an hourly rate. I have a decent health insurance plan and a 401(k) retirement plan, and I like and need flexible hours to accommodate my responsibilities as a single dad and my volunteer activities. I think this is all about control. The guy I report to is a control freak – micromanager. That said, I’m worried I could lose this client altogether if I don’t agree to work full-time. I have a very good relationship with him, but I feel very vulnerable with it being such a soft economy. Help!
-Security at risk
Dear Security at risk:
You are wise to recognize the possibility of losing the work, but since you know that you want to keep your contractor status, be sure to put to rest any issue or concern the client may raise when you give him your decision. Express your strong commitment to the organization; identify and quantify, if appropriate, all your deliverables/accomplishments; be able to substantiate your fees; and continue, increase the number, or start having regularly scheduled on-site briefings and/or conference calls to review your work. Also, be sure to explain that your single parent status and volunteer work make full-time employment not right for you, but they do not, in any way, affect the effort and quality of your work. Best of luck!
© 2010 Rozanne R. Worrell