Saturday, April 05, 2008

Let's talk....

Allow me to talk about my job for the next few minutes... Because lord knows nobody EVER gets enough talk about their jobs in on their blogs...

Yeah, I know. The blog, especially if kept secret from the workplace, is the first place that a private citizen/blogger goes to babble and complain incessantly about what it is that they do. In keeping with that tradition, I would like to offer my two cents.

So, as you all may or may not know, my salary is based on working a mere 30 hours per week. This might seem well below the standard 40 hour work week that you all may be used to, but I assure you that the 30 hour work week is not easy. (Aside from spending the bulk of those hours in places like the poop house,) The 30 hours is calculated in billable time... So in order to bill 30 hours, I probably have to put in about 45-50 hours a week on a regular basis. And ordinarily, I am fine with this... Despite the low pay which has already been enumerated on multiple occasions.

But this week is different...

I would like to take this opportunity to note the fact that I am admittedly inexplicably pissed off about my job, even more so than usual.

This week, (I have not yet calculated my hours,) I billed a remarkably low amount of time. I had one case close a mere day before I was set to bill another 5.75 hours on it, but I also had two cases drastically cut down before my eyes, and a rash of no-shows and cancellations. (This happens in my business, it's not uncommon, though it rarely happens all at once, so the stark drop in hourly billing is problematic for me.) This is a problem for two reasons.
  • One: I have to bill a certain amount before my overtime rate kicks in... When I bill under that amount I don't see the check that I am used to seeing, and thus have issues with paying my bills. The clients see it as, "Oh well, we're not getting our normal time in, but whatever." Meanwhile I am mentally berating them because they are interfering with my cash flow situation. It's not a good scene, and it makes me even more dissatisfied with my work/clientèle than I already am.
  • Two: When the office sees that you are billing WELL BELOW your weekly quota, they very rapidly get pissy because they have to pay my salary rate no matter what. They don't like this, and they have no qualms about letting you know that they don't like it.
Let's not even get into the fact that despite my poor job satisfaction at the moment, I want to keep up appearances that I actually give a rat's ass. The appearance is totally lost in the translation when for 3 days of a 5 day work week, I billed three hours OR LESS.

Now, mind you, I have called in to take coverage on other people's cases when my shit fell through, but the fact is that nothing came in, so despite the fact that I called in repeatedly to announce that I was going to be in the red on this week's tally, I look like an asshole because I still didn't manage to bill for much of anything. So despite the fact that I did everything I was supposed to do, I still look like an asshole. I'm just lucky that the boss and his wife happen to love me because as far as they are concerned, I play the game. (I'm also lucky that this was not the week that I happened to ask the good doctor for a letter of recommendation to the educational institution which I want to attend, despite the immense desire to do so... I'm nothing if not good on my timing in this regard.)

I wouldn't have a problem with sometimes billing under the mark, but as far as my future goes, I want nothing to compromise anything short of a STERLING reference to my next job, and/or my next educational institution, and the additional fact that all those hours that I got to spend at home because I wasn't billing were technically spent "on call" so it's not like I could enjoy them properly.

I know all of this seems like me being a whiny malcontent, and given that I have a job, and a stable income and a stable home, I am, but humor me, because if I can't be a whiny malcontent here, where can I go?

[It is at this point in the post where I stopped to make a 45 minute call to one of my fabulous gay boys in Chicago for a little sympathy and commiseration.]

I suppose my quandary comes down to a simple question of how do I manage to look like a good little worker bee who gives a damn, when in fact I'm not, and when the circumstances surrounding my caseload seemed to be stacked against me? It's a real pickle!

I welcome any suggestions that you kids may have on the matter! So please, feel free to speak up!

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