General Question

Randy's avatar

A question involving work, morals and being laid off.

Asked by Randy (11199points) April 30th, 2009

Here’s the story. I work at a metal fabrication plant. I work in CNC which is the first process. I run a laser that cuts sheets of metal into parts for anything from vehicles to shelves and everything in between. We have been slow lately because of the economy and lack of business so we have been doing “busy work”. When I arrived to work on Tuesday, I was told that I would be cleaning floors along with another person from my department. This fellow, has worked for the company for a little less than a year compared to my three and a half. He asked if he could go home and my boss called our supervisor to see if that was okay. My supervisor said let anyone go that would like to. When I found that out, I mentioned that I would rather go home so my supervisor got another call. When my request was asked, I was told that I could leave but I would be put on indefinite lay-off. I ended up getting upset enough that I left and although I don’t regret my decision, I can’t help but feel like I shouldn’t have been put into that situation. It kinda feels like, for lack of a better word, black mail. What do you think? Should I have sucked it up and just did what I was told? What would you have done in that position?

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28 Answers

wundayatta's avatar

If I didn’t need the job, I’d have walked off. Otherwise, I’d have stayed.

Is there some pride thing going on here? Security is more important to me than pride, in general. There are things I will not put up with, but usually, it’s not that big a deal. Suck it up. Sweep the floors. So what?

El_Cadejo's avatar

I would have walked as long as i knew id be able to support myself long enough to find another job.

dont feel bad randy i got “laid off” today too.

cak's avatar

(in response to your topic: can I bitch for a second – of course!)

Well, can you support yourself, without this job? If not…it might have been a bit much of a reaction; however, I have a question. When your co-worker asked to leave, was he given the same answer…it would lead to an indefinite lay-off? If not, I would place a call tomorrow, asking for some justification as to why you were told that and he wasn’t…a calm call.

I understand that it was upsetting, but in these economic times and layoffs, it might not have been a great move. How “in demand” is your job? Most factories are cutting back. You even stated how slow things have been.

If I was in that position, I would have swept the floors.

tigran's avatar

Thats what I would do… I don’t have kids or a wife

In general though, it doesn’t matter what others get, so don’t think that your coworker had anything to do with it

Randy's avatar

My hours had just been cut so unemployment should hold me through until I find another place of employment, which I already have a lead on. As a matter of fact, I may bring home more because of the hours cut. The other fellow did not receive the same ultimatum. I called and asked him as I was walking out the door. It could be a pride thing, but maybe not what you think. It’s not that I mind cleaning floors or anything. I swept half of the plant before I made my decision. I just felt like it wasn’t quite fair, ya know? I guess that’s just how it goes sometimes.

chyna's avatar

@cak Good points. It would make me mad to have worked at a company that long and been asked to sweep floors. But, on the other hand, if they were doing what they could to keep me there to earn my paycheck, then maybe there was a little over reaction. I wasn’t there, so just take my answer as being on the side of Randy.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

Where I work, over a hundred have been laid off since last fall and those who stay have taken over chores other staff used to do. Mgrs. are emptying wastebaskets at night and cleaning the bathrooms, salesmen are blowing up balloons, jockeying cars and running to the gas station instead of lot attendants. Accounts and HR staff rotate do take the place of cashiers and receptionists. Everyone’s pride is a bit stung but security and not letting down those who rely on us takes priority.

cak's avatar

@Randy – Ultimately, it’s how you feel about your decision – that’s all that matters! I really am not judging you. It’s hard, everywhere. I feel like some employers are seriously taking advantage of some employees.

I wish you much luck and hope the new job comes through! You never know, when one door closes, another one opens.

bitch away…it sounds like a bad day, we all have them!

MrKnowItAll's avatar

You put yourself into this position, no one else. It sounds like your boss made a good decision. He found out who wanted to leave.

MrKnowItAll would have volunteered to mop the floor or any other job.

Maybe next time, keep your mouth shut.

Randy's avatar

@MrKnowItAll Actually, he asked if he could leave. I did the same thing after I found out that it was an option. I was told I could but my off time came with don’t come back sticker.

MrKnowItAll's avatar

You got what you wanted. So what’s the problem?

El_Cadejo's avatar

he wanted the day off, not months….

cak's avatar

Can someone explain TSITBC to me? Guess I’m a bit slow, tonight.

MrKnowItAll's avatar

It’s the same as DFITGMA

Randy's avatar

@uberbatmanEXACTLY

I’m not sure what either of those mean, either…

cak's avatar

@Randy neither do I…I thought it was just me!

Randy – personally, I think with the one guy getting the day and you get laid-off, that’s what confuses me. Anyway, with the possibility of a new job and/or unemployment, I hope things work out, very soon.

miasmom's avatar

To Share Is To Be Charitable?

I have no clue either!

MrKnowItAll's avatar

It sounds like your boss was being charitable, willing to pay CNC operators rate for floor mopping. I’m guessing that the attitude you display has been experienced before in your 3–1/2 years there. Maybe they just got tired of your whining, or maybe you really are an innocent victim. But if the tone of your question represents the tone of your conversations with your boss, I would have fired you three years ago.

Randy's avatar

@MrKnowItAll Believe it or not, I loved my job. It was decent pay for decent work. I’d say I’ve felt like things were a bit unfair before, but I only mentioned it to coworker. I had good and bad days, just like anyone. as for my tone, I was nothing but confused at first and declined the lay off but after a while to stew I became agitated with the situation. I still like my boss, I just feel that it wasn’t quite right to put an employee in that position. You make a good point though. I see what your saying.

MrKnowItAll's avatar

Don’t sweat it. Sometimes, getting fired is a Badge of Honor. Unemployed, not so much.

Remember: Life is like a S**t Sandwich.
The more Bread you got, the less S**t you gotta eat.

augustlan's avatar

It definitely seems unfair that your request was responded to with an ultimatum, while your less senior co-worker’s did not. I completely understand why you were upset about it! If it were me, I’d follow cak’s advice about calling tomorrow to discuss it calmly. Good luck to you (and @uberbatman) in your quest for employment!

RedPowerLady's avatar

I suppose that your boss could have been justified in his unfairness. The new employee wants to just go home and not clean. He is new and doesn’t know better. You’ve been with the company for 3.5 years. And instead of taking the generosity of getting paid and not getting laid off you’d rather go home. In a time of economic and company crisis where your boss is trying to be nice, this probably just urked him.

Not that his unfairness was “right”. In fact if he felt that way he should have been clear in telling you so.

If I were in your position I would have been horribly urked. I might have even needed a break to get myself together. But, personally, I need work. So I would have sucked it up and just felt horrible all day.

Having said that I see nothing wrong with walking out if you aren’t hurting your family or yourself by doing so. I think it was justifiable.

Darwin's avatar

I worked at the same place for 18 years in a position classified at first as “Management” and then after reorganization as “Professional.” In any case, my job duties stayed the same, and they always included a particular line: “And other duties as assigned.” That means if the floor needed sweeping and my boss asked me to do it I would have to say “Right away!” and get to it.

Other tasks I did under “as assigned” included counting out money and preparing deposits, dealing with irate customers, unclogging toilets, painting ceilings and many other similar tasks, none of which had anything to do with my primary job function (to curate the natural history collections and create exhibits and programs based on them).

As one of our security guards used to say: “It all pays the same.” and it did indeed. Personally, especially if I needed the job, I would have gone ahead and swept the floors.

I think one possibility you need to consider is that because you had greater seniority the boss expected you to understand what he was doing (keeping you working even though there was none of your usual work to do). OTOH the other guy hadn’t been with the company long and so wouldn’t be expected to understand.

Ack! I see RedPowerLady just said almost the same thing! Well, if it is worth typing once, it is worth typing twice.

rooeytoo's avatar

I come at things from an employer’s point of view. If I am trying hard to not let people go because of the economy and my employees fail to appreciate this and complain about the work not being to their liking, I would be pretty annoyed. I don’t know if I would be annoyed enough to fire you but I would sure think you were being ungrateful.

aprilsimnel's avatar

Perhaps you cost more than the new guy. Who knows?

galileogirl's avatar

@Randy Don’t you wonder why people all over the country are accepting pay cuts/reduced hours? Very few people are worried about fairness in comparison to other employees. If you were already on reduced hours, why didn’t you take your free time to look for another job. By quitting (and possibly be ineligible for unemployment benefits) you have just given up money. If your “line” on anther job doesn’t produce anything you might regret your decision. I don’t know where you live but here in CA more employers are denying claims and more than half the appeals are getting turned down.

Randy's avatar

Well, I didn’t actually quit and I wasn’t fired. I was put on indefinite layoff meaning I’m basically an employee but I do not go to work until I get called back. I also have to pay for my benefits out of pocket now. I filled out all my unemployment papers the day after all this took place at my place of employment. They faxed it in for me. I will be getting it.

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