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On the Job Hunt Again


I am on the job hunt again. I hate it. (It was just two years ago, that this same thing happened, just in time for the holidays.) And I hate writing this post. I am not going to mince words. During my job interview with my W2 job last February, I was very clear with them. In fact, after I started we were so clear, that the two owners (a married couple) and my boss and I signed a statement saying I would be in the office from 7am until 2:30pm every day. At no time during the interview process was it discussed that my job would require me to work almost every weekend, the first of every month beginning at 12am PT and many nights. Never discussed.

The Reality of My Working Hours

Since I started in March, I have worked all but 6ish weekends, and at least 3-4 nights a week I must do something either overnight or after I leave the office. I’ve actually been okay with that. Just did it. I’m used to crazy hours as an entrepreneur and I just did it.

In August, I worked 6 days straight with minimum sleep as a HUGE project was dumped in my lap just two weeks before the due date. A project that I had been told up until it was assigned to me that someone else would be handling it (a 3rd party vendor.)

Not one time have I been offered comp time for these extra hours, no flex options and typically no thank you. I have been truly fine with it.

We Don’t Like This

A couple of months ago, they started making noises about not liking that I left at 2:30pm every day. No complaints about my work, no missed deadlines, not a word about issues with my work. It boiled down to they don’t like where I sit when I do the work. Literally. If I am not at the desk in their office…absolutely crazy.

They then pointed out that if I wasn’t in the office I need to take PTO. I said, that’s fine. I will do that. But I don’t want to hear complaints or get emails all day saying “do this now.” (I took PTO last Friday for Gymnast meet and received no less than 12 “it’s on fire, fix it now” emails.) I am the only person who can do what I do, there is no redundancy or anyone with my skill set. That gave them pause, but not enough to say what they said next.

We are Letting You Go if…

If you don’t work 8am-5pm, we need to let you go and replace you. BUT only after you do all the work through the end of the year and take care of our big seasonal web flip in February. Seriously, we are firing you after you do everything we want you to do.

This is a snippet of the email they sent after the meeting (I added the notes in italics for clarification:)

  • Early January – we will determine if we will continue with this schedule or be able to adapt to another one at that time based on scheduling shifts that may be happening for Hope. (I have never wavered that I must leave at 2:30pm, Gymnast must be in training by 4pm, leaving at 2:30pm gives me just enough time to get him and get to gym. Then I sit down and work for another 4 hours on what ever I need to work on.)
    • If we do not see a schedule change in the future then we will all work towards a February 16, 2018 final day of employment.

If a February 16th final day is where we are heading (we will know for sure in early January 2018) then the following are the commitments from each side:

  • Company Name will not start the search process until after January 1, 2018 and will continue employment for Hope through February 16, 2018.
  • Hope has already started the job search process (I started the job search a month ago when the owner came in and made it clear she didn’t like my work schedule, the writing on the wall was getting clear to me then.), however, she has committed to complete the Spring & Summer 2018 website and iOffice transition (February 2018) without interruption – even if she finds another job that she accepts – she is committing to seeing this project through to completion for the company.

Here I am back on the job hunt. I love what I do. I actually really like most of the people I work with at my W2 job. I do not like being dumped on, taking advantage of and being bullied.

I know it won’t do any good and I’m over trying to fight for this job, but I am now documenting all the “extra” time I put in beginning with today. I received all the graphics, video and text for something that must be put out tomorrow night (Sunday at 12 PT – I must get up at 3am ET) at 4:18pm yesterday. This is very typical. I must now create the format, export contact lists, send the test emails and wait for approval (texting people to review since they aren’t working,) schedule the sends and so on.

I have learned a lot from my foray back into the corporate world after 11 years away. I don’t know if it is the right fit for me, but I am working with several headhunters now, and plan to begin pounding the pavement, literally, to see if I can pull in some new 1099 clients.


  • Reply Ashley |

    Wow! I hate this for you, Hope! I would definitely start an Excel file logging all of my time just so they can see what you’ve been doing for them! I’ve found a lot of people underestimate the amount of time involved in different web-based projects. They probably think of it as a simple “send” on an email and all is done. Obviously a ton of time and effort goes into these projects that they are totally underestimating (and/or oblivious to). Hugs to you!

    • Reply Hope |

      Thanks, Ashley. It’s mostly been hurtful because they consistently say how far I’ve brought the company, how great my work is, how much they want me here…not one word of complaint about the quality and work. It’s hard to swallow.

      • Reply Ashley |

        That’s so sad to hear! I can’t even imagine. Definitely sounds like abusive treatment. 🙁

  • Reply AS |

    I don’t see why you need to be obligated to stick with them until the end of Feb. There’s no upside for you. If they find and hire someone tomorrow they would keep you until mid- to end-Dec anyway for transition. So you are talking about 2 months of job security in exchange for 3 1/2 months of work obligation.

    If you found something else for a Jan 1 start, and left, they would be screwed. I realize you want to do the honorable thing but I think you should try to negotiate that if you agree to the the Feb deliverables there needs to be a retention / success bonus to make it worth your while to stay there that long.

    Obviously a question about whether you can find something to close the gap but I’m not sure you have an upside to committing to staying through the end of Feb vs continuing at will.

  • Reply JMB |

    I know we’re not in the same state, but are you a salaried employee? If so, does you job classification support your being on salary versus hourly? I would definitely examine the labor laws in your state because this doesn’t sound right to me, but where I live, no way would an employer be able to get away with such abuses.

    • Reply Kerry |

      Yeah, not knowing anything about them I feel they have a “flexible” understanding of labor law. If you are working a minimum of 56 hours a week but are salary and are not getting comp time, you are being taking advantage of.

  • Reply Walnut |

    Definitely look into larger companies with this next round of job searching. You’re more likely to be on a larger team to share responsibilities, be more open to flexible schedules, and overall experience more consistency. Long hours and special projects will always be there, but at least you’d have the perks that a larger company offers.

  • Reply Laura |

    How did they even know you were job hunting? In general it’s not a good idea to let an employer know that, if they know you are trying to leave they will start trying to replace you and not really care how your morale is.
    That said, Unless you’ve got some kind of contract with them I don’t see how they can force you to stay or complete any projects. Aggressively job hunt and when you get another offer give the standard 2 week’s notice is my advice. I’m also wondering about the hourly vs. salary thing. If you aren’t salaried I wouldn’t be answering emails on my days off. I’m sorry this job turned out to be such a disappointment.

  • Reply Lisa Wilcox |

    Did you have to sign that?!? They want you to do all the work…even if you’re not working there?

  • Reply Katie |

    The only advantage I see to sticking it out on their timeline (other than the paycheck) is that I think you will be eligible to collect unemployment benefits. You may need those, so I’d keep it in mind.

  • Reply Emily N. |

    This is totally unreasonable and really makes me angry! I hope you can find something better soon.

  • Reply Claire |

    I’m sorry this is hard for you, but it sounds like they are just trying to run the business the way they want. Right or wrong, I do get that.

    How much severance were you offered? If you don’t mind my asking. Hopefully based on the terms you got at least one to two months severance pay. That’s what I think would be the norm.

    • Reply Hope |

      I was not offered severance. I was told the week before Thanksgiving that they are going to let me go after I complete these big development projects for them (last day to be February 16.)

      • Reply Claire |

        Wow. That’s illegal in Canada. Any employer can let you go for pretty much any reason, but severance is required….at least in salaried jobs. I’m sure you know your state any laws and such, but did you seek a lawyer to be sure? I’ve never heard of no severance!

So, what do you think ?