Tuesday, August 16, 2011


I am pretty sure that I related here that when the long awaited benefits package kicked in it eviscerated my paycheck.  It was such a shock to see what little remained that I actually felt dizzy when I saw the pay stub.  I got depressed but Tom got mad and insisted that I start looking for a better paying job.

Having just spent over a year to get this job with benefits - I was not thrilled with that challenge.  For those who may not follow the travails of job hunting, there are many.  A new trend is to only hire those who are already employed.  The thinking is that those who are unemployed, especially for any length of time, are defective and not the "top performers" companies want to add to their staff.  This approach also leaves more older workers hung out to dry as many companies laid-off the older, experienced, higher paid workers - not just under performers...

The businesses less picky about the employment status of those they hire make up the 76% of the new jobs generated in 2010.  Those jobs are of the low-paying variety, offering between $9 to $15 an hour. Some people can get by quite handily on $9 or so an hour -- especially if they're willing to live outdoors or on a friend's couch according to Barbara Ehrenreich in an article on CNN.

I can live in a nice little rental house (because of my husband's income) but when it comes to expenses beyond gas, groceries and utilities - there just isn't anything left.  So my employment is not contributing to the growth of our economy and neither will the other 76% of "new job" holders.

But I digress...

I did start applying for new jobs and it fairly quick order I got a call for an interview.  The job was for "Receptionist/Staffing Trainee/Business Development for a staffing agency.  The multiple interviews went well, they wanted to hire me as a temp to see if I would be a good fit for the job on a permanent basis.  They offered no benefits and $13.00 per hour. I was seriously thinking about taking it because of the improved opportunity for wage increases and now that I had benefits, I could use the COBRA coverage going forward.

I ended up telling them at the hotel about this new possibility - in part because someone gave notice and in part to see if they might improve my position to retain me.  Ultimately they did and I am staying put.  The other position seemed too iffy, even though I am sure I would have been able to handle the work,  after being let go from the vet job I was worried that there might be one of those "fit" issues and there I'd be without any job. 

I had a real heart to heart talk with the General Manager of the hotel and while she agreed that they don't pay a "living wage."  The people who own the hotel have refused to increase wages (for over 3 years) or to cover more of the insurance costs.  She said they don't like having employees.  So, they have a lovely hotel full of really hard working and loyal employees but because they would rather not have to deal with employees - these very wealthy people just refuse to acknowledge how much they contribute to their financial success. 

I am lucky to have a job with hours that gives me free time during the day. I am happy that they wanted to retain me and made the effort to increase my salary.  I work hard and thoughtfully and will until I move on to another job - one, I hope, that pays me what I am worth.


michiganme said...

First, I agree that you should be paid a fair wage for your contribution at the hotel.

But getting a little more money may not be the trade-off you want considering you like the job, you like the hours, they like & appreciate you and it's so close to home.

And these days, bringing home the benefits is a huge contribution to the family's well-being...Good for you!

Tricia said...

The lie that the republicans use is that businesses will create jobs. Donèt tax business because then it can create jobs. So what about these wonderful jobs that your rich hotel owners are creating???

Nan said...

They don't like having employees and they own a hotel?! Unreal. It's not exactly an endeavor that lends itself to automation, is it? It might be possible to use a Roomba on the rugs, but beds don't make themselves and bathtubs aren't self-cleaning.

Lisa said...

This a a great snapshot of working America right now. Excellent post, Susan.

yogurt said...

"The businesses less picky about the employment status of those they hire make up the 76% of the new jobs generated in 2010. Those jobs are of the low-paying variety, offering between $9 to $15 an hour."

These would be the jobs Presidential contender, Texas Governor Goodhair added to the Texas economy. He'll get as much traction as he can out of his "jobs growth" but not with anyone who reads or listens to the facts.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

This is exactly what is wrong with our country right now.