My boss kicked me out of the office 20 minutes early last Friday. He seemed kind of upset that I was just sort of sitting around. “What are you doing?” he asked. “Waiting until five,” I said. He scowled at me and stomped off. Three minutes later he was back. “What, you don’t want to go home?”I assured him that yes, I did indeed want to go home, but I get paid hourly. He stomped off. Three minutes later he was back. “Do you want a broom to lean on or something?”
At that point I gave up and went home.
There was simply nothing to do. All my work was done. There ain’t no more. It’s all finished. The printing presses are off. The design work is done. The floor is swept and the paint on the walls is less than a year old. But I couldn’t afford to go home, either, even though I had a TON of stuff to do at home…
Today was payday. Of course, I found that I was exactly 20 minutes short of my 40 hours. For some reason this makes me irrationally angry. It only adds up to about five bucks… Five little dollars. But I really wanted those five little dollars.
In my mind, I work the first 39 hours of the week to pay bills (we’re in debt way farther than I’m comfortable with). The last hour is my “beer money.” That’s the money I get to play with. So it upsets me mightily to lose that last 20 minutes of work…
Oddly enough, the bosses have, in the past, punished me for not getting 40 hours a week on my time card. (“Since you don’t actually work 40 hours a week, and between 1997 and 1998 you only averaged 33 hours a week, we feel that we should only pay you for 33 hours a week while you’re on vacation…”) So now they won’t LET me get 40 hours. I feel conflicted.
For the last 12 or 13 years they’ve blocked my four efforts to join the union (“sorry, we must have lost your application or something”), so I have no retirement fund or 401k. They “forgot” to give me two weeks of vacation between 2004 and 2006. They decided to only pay me 75% of my vacation pay (though they’ve rescinded that decision since). They simply don’t give raises, period.
But what really bugs me is losing that lousy five dollars…
All around, this is a good place to work, but it’s frustrating at times!