My husband turns in his resignation on Monday. A loss for all.
We cheered in tandem when he accepted a job offer with a company less interested in working their people to death. He chose very carefully and took his time. I am less patient than he. I have been lobbying for him to leave his current job for the last year. He has held off hoping that the promises given to him will be filled. They haven’t. And so he goes. And with him goes a whole lotta BI (Business Intelligence).
It takes a village to raise a child. In some ways, companies are children too. They have their infancy, growing pains and maturity. They have a personality and a culture. And they will both wither and die without capable caregivers.
Workers are the caregivers of any company. The company cannot successfully grow without workers able to do their job. And a worker must have four elements to be effective: training, support, tools and a healthy home-work balance.
OSHA protects the hourly wage earner, which historically has been shafted by terrible conditions. Now the “exempt” or “salaried” positions need help. My husband’s job is one of many examples of the ‘white collar’ victimization that the term “exempt” now entails. Supposedly, “exempt” means that you set your own schedule and as long as you get the agreed on work completed, you set your hours. The total number of hours worked each week waxes and wanes with each project, but the sum total is around the same number of hours over a year’s time. So say the “experts”. My husband’s “exempt” has been 8-6 pm plus 7-1 am most nights. Then several hours up to 18 hours a day on the weekend.
Last year my husband worked some or all of the 52 weekends along with his 10-12 hour 5 day a week job. He frequently comes home, says a quick “Hi”, then goes up to our computer room, where he eats dinner and works until the wee hours of the morning only to get up and do it all over again. In the last 40 days he has had one day off, which he ended up working for 6 hours. He pulls “call”, which entails hundreds of alerts a night. He has to wake up and respond to all of them. Some he can ignore, but many require intervention. These call periods, essentially a full 12 hour night of work, last for 7 days at a time. And he still has to work all day. By the time he is “off call” he is grey with fatigue. And unlike hourly workers, HE DOESNT GET PAID A DIME FOR CALL.
How can this be “ok” EVER for ANYONE? My husband has held on for a year with promise after promise that they are ‘trying to hire’ and ‘creating a night position’. Really? One year and nothing to show for it? In a recession?
Now his company will lose him. But, being a decent guy, he has decided to hold off giving his notice until a critical project–requiring all hands on deck for 12 hour on/12 hour off shifts– is completed. A gift to a company who has given him nothing but a paycheck, and (I feel) has taken years off of him in stress. But the gift isn’t to the company, it is to his fellow co-workers, who will now have to pick up what he does. Part of his personal ethic.
I will be glad to have a husband again. My kids will have a dad again. I will be glad to see the stress level reduce. And another “caregiver” will eventually be found to re-fill Brent’s role. In the meantime, the company will not operate nearly as efficiently. Perhaps fail 5th grade. Metaphorically a small setback over a 70 year lifespan. But a scar never-the-less.
It doesn’t matter whether a person’s money is hourly or salaried, there should be a maximum amount of hours worked. Period. Do you want my husband on the road with you after 7 days of no sleep from call? Victimization hurts us all.