You know, I really am thankful to God that I have a job. After a major telecom company was revealed to have false accounting, then started downsizing folks left and right, I eventually found myself unemployed from that company and remained so for six months. So having a job is better than not having one. That said, the company I currently work for may be the worst one I’ve ever worked for.
I’m a contractor who works for a major, global corporation. “The Company”, as I’ll call them from now on, has two major functions, and one is providing information services (IS) outsourcing for other companies. For those who don’t know, this means that “The Company” approaches “Company X” and says, “we’ll do your computer work for cheaper than you can do it.” Obviously, companies want to cut costs to make the bottom line improve, so talks begin.
If “Company X” agrees, they send their computer work to us and we do it along with other companies’ computer work. This computer work can run the gambit from mainframes, midrange, distributed servers, networks, and more. The majority of it is still being done in the United States, but one never knows if “The Company” will outsource itself to India.
I’ve been with “The Company” for two years now. During this time, I have witnessed some of the most incredible things. For starters, “The Company” lies to their customers and makes it seem like we will provide dedicated service to them.
In truth, “The Company” uses its employees and contractors to provide service across multiple accounts. However, we are instructed to NEVER let the customer know this. The customer must believe “The Company” has people solely dedicated to the customer’s account. If the customer learned that people working on their account were also responsible for many other accounts as well, then they’d know they were being ripped off and would take their business elsewhere.
Most of the time, “The Company” gets lucky, but from time to time, they get busted when there are problems on multiple accounts and only one person to deal with them all. So “The Company” has lost business because of this.
This didn’t stop “The Company” though. They began to push for operators to cover more accounts. This was done by not replacing workers who quit or retired and giving their work to the remaining individuals.
To further counter the loss of business, “The Company” came up with a brilliant scheme – slash the amount of money paid to contractors while increasing the amount of work given to them. “The Company” covers itself by cutting the money paid to the contracting companies, thus they can say, “We didn’t cut your pay. If your pay got cut, you have to discuss that with your contracting company. We are innocent.”
Yeah, nice try. Contracting companies aren’t in the business of providing you with skilled workers to lose money. So if “The Company” is going to force a 5% cut on the payments to contract companies, obviously that is going to be passed to the worker in order for the contract company to keep a certain profit margin.
Over a four-year span, “The Company” issued some six to eight of these initiatives. If a contractor quit, so much the better. Now “The Company” can request a new contractor be brought in, only for less pay.
Unfortunately, this wasn’t enough cost savings for the executives and their bonus checks. To add insult to injury, “The Company’s” employees had been wrongfully denied overtime pay for years. Thus, “The Company” was forced to give those folks two years of back O/T pay and a raise to boot. It was another stunning blow for the executives and their bonuses.
“The Company” began to work on scoring new business and did so. However, to get this business, “The Company” took it at a loss, at least in the short term. Since no business is there to lose money, “The Company” needed a way to counter this. So an old scheme was taken and given a face lift.
Level 1 and Level 2 support teams were suddenly created. All accounts were thrown into a single pot and the employees were divided into Level 1 or Level 2. Most contractors found themselves made into Level 1 workers. That means they now are in an entry-level position (regardless of experience or time with “The Company”) with no authority to do squat. As such, “The Company” can now go to the contracting companies and say, “These people are in entry level positions, thus we are cutting back how much we pay appropriately.”
Several long-time employees of “The Company” also found themselves in these jobs. The goal here appears to be to insult these employees so much that they’ll quit, thus forfeiting their pensions. Their work can then be spread to the survivors.
Most of “The Company’s” employees are being assigned to Level 2 slots. That means they do nothing until the Level 1’s say, “There’s a problem!” However, many of these employees are suddenly finding themselves working night shift, 6pm to 6am. As before, the goal here appears to be to piss off these people, many who’ve not worked nights in years, if at all. If they quit, “The Company” can either spread the work to the survivors, or hire some new poor sap for a fraction of what they were paying their employee.
So I’ve learned some things in my two years working as a contractor for “The Company.”
- First, while my boss and co-workers may love my hard work, all I can expect as a reward is a pay cut.
- Second, my workstation can literally be moved from place to place, even from building to building at the whim of an executive.
- Third, my job can change overnight on the whim of management.
- Fourth, I can expect my workload to increase while taking actual pay cuts.
- Fifth, I can expect to work on sub-standard equipment.
- Sixth, I can expect to report to as many as six managers at once, though this could increase.
- Seventh, I can expect a cloud of doom to hang over me work center which will grow larger and larger as time goes on.
- And finally, I can expect to have book marked every job site on the web!
Well, it is 03:39 and I’m supposed to be asleep, but here I am writing instead. I just can’t wait to see what surprises are in store for me today.