Worker says money's too tight to give to office project

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by Roze Worrell, Workplace Woes

WVEC.com

Posted on December 9, 2009 at 2:59 PM

Updated Wednesday, Dec 9 at 3:56 PM

Dear Roze:  

I understand and have no problem with the concept of giving to those who are less fortunate, but some of us don’t like the way our boss has decided that everyone in our office has to give money for a project he’s come up with for Thanksgiving. With the economic slump we’re in and other personal matters I have going on, I don’t have the disposable income I used to have, but this isn’t something I care to share with my boss or anyone else I work with. He’s strong-arming us to give a sizeable amount of money for quite a few families’ Thanksgiving meals. Not to sound selfish, but we need our money for our families. 

-No disposable income in Norfolk

Dear No disposable income in Norfolk:

I am a big advocate of giving back to one’s community, but I strongly believe that the giving of one’s time is as helpful as a financial donation, if not more, depending on the circumstance. It appears that your boss’s enthusiasm for his project has made him lose sight of the hardship it may have on some of you. You and one of your co-workers should meet with him and respectfully request that he consider other ways of contributing. Provide him with information on specific programs in the area that need volunteers for Thanksgiving and throughout the holiday season. There are local organizations that would welcome and appreciate your time. A couple include the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia, Cheryl McNeill, Volunteer Manager, telephone number 757-314-4559, and theUnion Mission Ministries, Linda Jones, Volunteer Coordinator, telephone number 757-627-8686.

Dear Roze:  

I have survived my first layoff and I can’t say that I feel good. I’m actually feeling quite miserable. Even though I have over 15 years with my employer, I don’t think I’m safe with the way the economy is. I also hate the way it was done. My colleagues had to box up their stuff and leave the building the same day they were told and our General Director was suspiciously absent. It’s a good thing I like what I do and believe in my organization’s mission because it’s hard for me to respect him now. And just as off-putting was the way he led our regular scheduled all-hands meeting after the layoff. He said nothing about it and was overly upbeat as if it hadn’t even happened. I couldn’t believe it. I was disgusted and very disappointed but kept my mouth shut for fear of jeopardizing my job. I’ve thought about reaching out to my former colleagues but feel so awkward and uncomfortable. This all happened over a month ago. Is it too late to do anything?

-Distraught over layoffs

Dear Distraught over layoffs:

Acts with good intentions are never too late. I suggest that you call or send a note, preferably handwritten, to your colleagues. I have no doubt that they will be most appreciative.
I can only speculate as to the rationale behind your director’s behavior. Oftentimes, management is given a script for layoffs in order to prevent any kind of negative repercussions. Ideally, they should be handled in a way that keeps the laid off individuals’ dignity intact and reassures the survivors that they were not arbitrary decisions, enabling them to feel secure about their positions and remain respectful of and committed to the organization and its management.

Dear Roze:  

I understand that you were an FBI agent. Can you tell me if a person can get a job with the FBI even if they have a felony conviction?

-Interested in the FBI

Dear Interested in the FBI:

A person is not eligible for employment with the FBI if he/she has a felony conviction. You can confirm this information and learn about the other employment disqualifiers on the FBI's Website.

© 2009 Rozanne R. Worrell

 

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