Saturday, April 16, 2016

As time passes and the s*** gets floated around at work - the gm repeated the contents of my email to the new manager, who went and blabbed it to numerous people - even after the gm specifically stated that the hadn't discussed or even told the new manager about the email - it gets more and more of a volatile work place.  The good ole' boys - people working there for 20 plus years - were sitting around discussing my email to the gm this morning.  They didn't realize a set of ears was standing around the corner, hearing everything they were saying.

No, not me.  Warehouse manager sent me out on an all day run today.  

And no, I'm not procrastinating.  I am supposed to go for a road test tomorrow, but the man that I have been speaking to disappeared on me today and after several phone calls and text messages, I gave up. It was the local job - though 60 miles away - that runs 12 hours a day at least but has me off 3 days per week.  I may just take one of the postions offered that I have considered whether it is "optimal" or not and deal with the local job I want as time progresses.  I have too much going on right now, my mind is distracted by work and focusing on a completely different type of driving job is just kind of a "out there" thing.  I got the endorsements while I had time ot get them - and waiting on approval for the hazmat.  I can go work somewhere else and figure this stuff out when it all calms down. 

3 days later.  Yesterday, round 1 o'clock, they had a run for me to go Ruston.  It's about 70 minute drive.  Warehouse manager - I call him that, he has all the roles of a manager but does not have the official, sanctioned title from the company - tells me that "Matthew wants to talk to you".  Matthew is my old manager, a few better person for the position than the new one. He has been completely removed from managerial roles and is totally engrossed in outside sales work.  No idea what he wants.

Go into his office, hey Ben, it'll be about 10 minutes, just finished up your review here. My review? I thought.  They had done everyone else's but they didn't do mine - presumably because they thought I was quitting, who knows, I didn't ask.  Okay.  I thought about it for a few minutes.  They just can't give me a bad review, whether they like me or not.  I show up to work on time, every time, I get my work done, I do whatever they ask of me without questioning it, I get the job done faster than anyone else there.  My attitude is good even if sometimes I have to fake it.

Well, of course, the new manager was in on it.  We sit down, closed door and I just sit and wait.  You know, whatever they say, I'll take it in stride.  I know my worth and value to the industry I am in and my contributions to this company.  So, Matthew had to do the review because Mark just started a montha n a half ago as the new manager.  Matthew starts in on it - you know what you are doing, I gave you a 3 for this, a 4 for that, etc etc.  I was a bit surprised at the amount of complimenting and praise he was giving me. The new manager interrupted after a while and said, well, I'm going to give my version of a review, I know I haven't been here the last year but I have been watching you for the past - 2 months he said, however long he's been here.

I didn't even brace myself.  Calm, cool, collected.  Not going to let him get under my skin.  So, what he said next was near shocking, considering coming from him and considering everything else I have heard him saying.  I can't really ask any more from an employee than what you have been doing.  You know what you are doing, you get the job done, you show up to work on time, you do everything that is asked of you, I think you are doing an excellent job.  I was very impressed that day I went out and worked with you moving the railroad ties, you have a very good work ethic. This went on for a while.  I mean, really?  What else was I going to do? Thank you for the compliments.

But I knew the fracture was going to be brought up: pay.  Well, so what arae your goals with this company? Are you looking for another job or what?  "well, I have been looking for another job and since they are calling here to verify my employment you arleady know that".  So, what is your issue? Is this something with me (the new gm), others working here, what? My issue, flatly, is the pay. You think I want to walk away from 10 tenure with this company?  It would take me at least 10 years to get the kind of benefits - vacation time in particular - the I have here.

The discussion went on and on and on.  They knew I was going straight to the gm to ask for more money.  Yes, I have been talking with him, according to him they can't make a decision until they say where the numbers are later this year.  Which, I simply don't accept, not at the pay levels you are paying me.  Ben, you are making more than any of the other drivers.  Any of them in the entire region.  But, I replied the pay is substandard.  I've asked countless drivers from other companies coming in here how much they are getting paid if they wanted to respond and not a single one of them is being paid anything as low as the pay is here. So, your argument about it being the prevailing simply isn't true.

This has been on of their arguments all along and it just doesn't wash.  For experienced drivers with a good driving record you are going to make much more than what this company pays and the only reason I was okay with the pay was all of the OT making up for it.  It was the weight on the scale that equalized it for me. Not the best comrpomise, but I was making enough to be happy enough.

Well, Matthew interjects, you would have a much better chance of getting a pay raise going through Mark than going to the gm yourself.  Mark piped in - yes and anyone that I feel deserves a fighting chance you can bet I'll stick up for them and give it my best effort to try and get it through.  If you would like, I would be willing to try that for you.  Okay, I appreciate that, thank you.  Well, how much are you wanting?  I named an hourly wage and they just sat back and took that in.  I was being completely serious, it's not an unreasonable figure so that was that with me, like or not, that's what I want.  So, they both started talking, $3 more per hour?  Ahh, $2.50 brings me up there.  They started shaking their heads at first and said no, no way, you'll never get that much of a raise.  I just stared at them.  I'm not going to say, okay, 50 cents  then.

Then they started hedging.  Well, okay, well I don't know about that kind of raise but we'll see what we can do.  That's more like it.  I don't expect them to give me a $3 per hour raise, but you know the old idiom of starting higher and agree to something lower - though not that much lower.  $2 per hour is the minimum I would agree to, but I held my cards in my hand, I wasn't giving them any of that.  Mark has known the gm for a couple of decades, he's in their club, I will agree that if he really wanted to take it up for me with him, he stands a far better chance than me.  I'm basically an outsider and they even came close to saying something like that.  "Yes, well, Eugene and Eddie (and a long list ) we've know for 20 years, but you and Terrance (the other driver) only a couple of years and we don't really know you that well.

This really threw me into a conundrum because yesterday, before this came up, I was ready to make a decision. The place in Tyler never called me back for the road test. I called them a couple of times with no answer so I blew that off. I was pretty much set on PTL and was going to call for an orientation date.  Seriously.  I weighed the options, OTR isn't that great but the pay is.

Interesting day. Up early - 4:00, jolted out of deep sleep by the ridiculous phone alarm - annoying as all get out but that's the inten...