I am what’s known as an ETE — Extended Tenure Extra employee. Nearly 2.75 years ago, The Company decided to convert me from a contractor to an ETE. To put it into terms more easily understood, I went from being a bastard step-child to a step child as far as The Company was concerned. This was The Company’s way of rewarding certain contractors considered to be quality material and give them a foot inside The Company. So, we got paid more, we received some medical/dental insurance, and we received a few paid days off (no vacation though). Being but mere step-children, we don’t received the massive amounts of paid time off the regular employees (the children).
Still, at the end of a 3-year term as an ETE, the idea was to convert these ETE employees to regular status. Well, that was the plan.
As I mentioned in January, I’ve been hoping that indeed I would be converted this year since August marks my 3-year term as an ETE. Initially, things sounded good as The Company indeed were converting ETE employees to regular status, but for others, they were giving them 6-month extensions of their ETE term. One such guy to receive an extension is Crack Corn. His extension was to end last week. Instead, The Company found a way to extend him another month without extending him. During this time, a final decision would be made.
Well today, he got the news. As of May 15th, he’s without a job. That fit with new rumors I’d been hearing, which is that The Company has decided to start booting ETE employees. Immediately upon their being let go, The Company has a contract company contact the ex-ETE with an offer to come back to work. Of course, the catch is that (1) you’ll take a 50% pay cut (the contract company has to get paid, y’all) and (2) you get zero benefits. Oh, and you’ll have to do the same amount of work as before.
Part of this, I believe, is a reaction on the part of The Company as they continue to settle lawsuits from employees where it has been ruled that The Company cheated said employees out of tens of thousands of dollars in unpaid overtime. Multiply that by hundreds of employees and well you’ve pissed off the executives, who’s bonuses are in part tied to cutting costs. Paying employees is not cutting costs.
Plus, The Company has failed to get all of its customers (excluding government contracts) to buy into this “global” crap, whereby The Company sends all the work to India and Brazil for a fraction of the cost and a fraction of the service (to be fair, Indians are keen to work but the language barrier is just awful, whereas the Brazilians are mostly dumb as stumps, but, “Hey! We are mostly hot so what does it matter?” (I’m told the Brazilian guys are hot from my female co-workers, so I’ll take them at their word.) The fact that customers leave due to crappy service is something to worry about tomorrow. “Today, I got my cost-saving bonus and that’s all that matters,” says the executive, which in turn makes The Man look good. The ship is sinking, but it will look good doing so.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t begrudge CEO’s those multi-million dollar salaries, along with all their perks. As long as I’m being paid what I think I’m worth, I can tolerate the mounds of steaming elephant dung all around me (though I may have to rant from time to time). However, when The Company shafts roughly 40 of us (the number of ETE who were hoping to be converted by August) while the executives get fat bonuses and the CEO gets millions, I start getting angry.