Author Topic: Tough job situation costing me time and money. Stay or go?  (Read 2702 times)

StacheyStache

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 242
*Waves*  Long time lurker first time poster.  Need some advice about a tough job situation:

Background:  Currently two years out of grad school in a profession with a very, very bleak job market, especially for entry level grads.

After sending out nearly 100 applications I took the first offer I got for a government job in my field for a very low salary (about half of what Iíd be making in the private sector but I was grateful to just have a job at that point).  This job has continuously lied to me from day 1.  When I was hired at an hourly rate, I was told I would: 1. Be given a raise and salary with full benefits once  the licensing exam results were out and I became licensed and 2. That this job would require me to transfer from county to county each year but each assignment would be within ďdriving distanceĒ and the next assignment wouldnít happen for a year.   Stupid me did not get any of this in writing or ask what ďdriving distanceĒ means because I was a scared new grad just happy to have a job offer.

A few weeks later I passed the exam and got licensed.  It took TEN MONTHS after that for them to bump me from hourly to salary, and that was with me hounding them about it all the time (no vacation or sick time during that time and overtime was prohibited, if I got sick and had to take a day off I didnít get paid). The person who originally hired me quit and the new person denied the agency ever making the promise to bump me to salary after I was licensed.  When they finally did bump me to salary they didnít give me the raise I was promised.

6 months after I started (still haven't been made salary at this point) my direct supervisorís higher up supervisor contacts me and says another county AN HOUR AWAY EACH WAY needed help because of high turnover (what a surprise) and Iíd be assigned there and they were looking at moving me ďsoonĒ.  I reminded them that they told me the transfer wouldn't happen for a year and I was locked into a year lease and wasnít sure my car could handle an hour commute every day (not to mention extra gas money).  They told me that I ďdonít want to get a reputation as a whiner.Ē  I asked if Iíd receive mileage or moving costs and they laughed at me.  Actually laughed.  I asked them when I was leaving and they said theyíd let me know.

A month goes by, Iím still at my current location .  6 months go by, Iím still at my current location.  My direct supervisor is just as confused as I am and keeps asking me when theyíre moving me (I have not heard squat and neither has he).  Higher up supervisor keeps assuring us Iíll be moved ďsoonĒ but no one will say when.  Meanwhile, Iíve become a standout in my location with regular praise from my coworkers and supervisors.  Direct supervisor asks higher up supervisor if I can stay because they need me here and Iím doing a great job, higher up supervisor says no and Iíll be moved ďsoon.Ē  My lease ends and I ask higher up supervisor what to do about signing a new one (obviously if theyíre planning on moving me next week I donít want to get another long lease).  Higher up gives a wishy washy ďcanít make any promises blah blah trying to get new location ready blah blah.Ē  I sign a 8 month lease because thatís was the shortest lease option I could afford (couldnít afford to go month to month).

A few months ago I get an email:  ďStacheyStacheís start date at New Location is next Monday.Ē  WTF???   This comes at one of our busiest times when Iím knee deep in work.  Direct supervisor was never consulted, he found out from me running into his office in a panic.  Direct supervisor protests, higher up supervisor doesnít respond.  I scramble to get all my projects reassigned and my coworkers all tell me they wish I could stay (they threw me a really nice party and a few actually cried).   

I ask higher up supervisor how long Iím going to be at this new location because an hour commute each way is too expensive and too long for me (I also have vision issues that make driving at night very difficult and unsafe, luckily this happened when the days are longer so I'm not driving at night, but itíll get harder and harder during the winter) and I will need to move and need to know how long of a lease to sign.  No response.  I ask for compensation for mileage or moving costs one more time.  No response.   So while I wait for my lease to end at my current place, my commute has gone from 20 mins round trip to 2 hours round trip each day and Iím now shelling out tons of my own money for a move. 

The way to get out of this transferring whenever they want to wherever they want situation is to get promoted to the next level (only entry level employees are required to transfer each year).  This should have happened about 6 months ago according to my job description and everyone has told me I'm more than ready to be promoted.  However, Iíve already been given the work of not only the next level up but the level after that and Iíve been successfully completing it for a year.  My direct supervisors who know me and like me have no control over whether Iím promoted, itís all up to higher up supervisor who is never around to see what I can do and quite frankly, doesn't give a crap.  I expressed the concern to direct supervisor that I will never be promoted since Iím already doing the same work of the level higher for a cheaper price, they have no reason to promote me.  To direct supervisorís credit, he didnít bs me and actually agreed with me and told me if he were me he would start looking for other jobs and that he will give me a stellar reference.
 
Iíve been looking for another job for months now with no luck, the market is still just as bleak as ever and I'm still just short of 2 years exp.  My low salary makes it hard to save, but by being incredibly frugal I manage a 42% savings rate and have accumulated a stache of a yearís expenses.  My biggest expense after rent is actually gas for this damn commute.  Iím tired of being lied to though, the way Iíve been treated has led to a struggle with depression for the first time in my life, the 2 hour commute is taking a huge toll on me and I canít afford another move, which could happen ďwhenever the agency feels itís necessaryĒ according to my higher up supervisor.   Iíve been thinking about quitting with nothing lined up but I have no idea when or if I could get another job (my profession considers 2-3 years an acceptable level of experience and Iím not at that range yet).

What would the mustacians do?  Quit or suck it up until I have another job in hand?
« Last Edit: May 22, 2016, 07:24:54 AM by StacheyStache »

Janie

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 77
Re: Tough job situation costing me time and money. Stay or go?
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2016, 06:54:34 AM »
Sorry for your situation, but I would stay. It's easier to secure another position while working and your market sounds tough.

MsPeacock

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1530
  • Location: High COL
Re: Tough job situation costing me time and money. Stay or go?
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2016, 07:26:43 AM »
I would not quit, given that you describe a tough job market. Keep your resume polished up and look for projects at work that you can add to your list of accomplishments. Keep networking and putting out applications and looking for new work. Your supervisor told you he'd give you a good reference and to look for another job, so I think that is a clear indication that things are not going to get better.

pbkmaine

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8292
  • Age: 62
  • Location: The Villages, Florida
Tough job situation costing me time and money. Stay or go?
« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2016, 07:55:02 AM »
We could be more helpful if you tell us what your job is, or at least what your educational background is.

Noodle

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1158
Re: Tough job situation costing me time and money. Stay or go?
« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2016, 09:29:16 AM »
I'm sorry that the job didn't work out. It's a really tough situation to be in, especially when the job market is so tight. I agree with the other posters who have recommended that you do what it takes to keep the current job going until you can find something else (unless you really need to move to get into a better job market...some career fields just don't hire out-of-town candidates.)

That said, I think you have more choices than you think you do. You say that you can't afford a month-to-month lease, or a move, but you also say that you have a year's worth of expenses saved up (congratulations, by the way!) I totally get that you don't want to touch that money in case the situation gets even worse, but at a certain point, you need to reserve enough time and energy for job hunting, or a side hustle, or just to have enough brain cells free to work on creative solutions. For instance, one year when I was a grad student I rented a room in someone's house. I wouldn't even call it a roommate situation...I just had a bedroom and kitchen and bathroom privileges. Worked fine for a year. Any possibility of a more flexible housing situation along those lines... Etc. The people here are great at brainstorming if you need help getting started. You may also need to think about your work situation as a bigger picture--are you in the right place geographically? Are there different jobs that you could do with your skillset? Is the job market in your field likely to change or is it a permanent state of affairs?

The other thing that will help you free up mental energy to get creative and carry out ideas is if you can let go of some of the anger you feel at how you've been treated. It's certainly justified and you have every right to it, but especially since there's nothing you can do with it, it's taking up a lot of brain space that you need to get yourself to the next stage of your life.

Best of luck!

Rezdent

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 813
  • Location: Central Texas
Re: Tough job situation costing me time and money. Stay or go?
« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2016, 09:31:58 AM »
I'm sorry that the job didn't work out. It's a really tough situation to be in, especially when the job market is so tight. I agree with the other posters who have recommended that you do what it takes to keep the current job going until you can find something else (unless you really need to move to get into a better job market...some career fields just don't hire out-of-town candidates.)

That said, I think you have more choices than you think you do. You say that you can't afford a month-to-month lease, or a move, but you also say that you have a year's worth of expenses saved up (congratulations, by the way!) I totally get that you don't want to touch that money in case the situation gets even worse, but at a certain point, you need to reserve enough time and energy for job hunting, or a side hustle, or just to have enough brain cells free to work on creative solutions. For instance, one year when I was a grad student I rented a room in someone's house. I wouldn't even call it a roommate situation...I just had a bedroom and kitchen and bathroom privileges. Worked fine for a year. Any possibility of a more flexible housing situation along those lines... Etc. The people here are great at brainstorming if you need help getting started. You may also need to think about your work situation as a bigger picture--are you in the right place geographically? Are there different jobs that you could do with your skillset? Is the job market in your field likely to change or is it a permanent state of affairs?

The other thing that will help you free up mental energy to get creative and carry out ideas is if you can let go of some of the anger you feel at how you've been treated. It's certainly justified and you have every right to it, but especially since there's nothing you can do with it, it's taking up a lot of brain space that you need to get yourself to the next stage of your life.

Best of luck!
This is great advice.

Nickels Dimes Quarters

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 152
  • Location: Near the Middle
    • Nickels, Dimes & Quarters ~ It All Adds Up
Re: Tough job situation costing me time and money. Stay or go?
« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2016, 09:52:42 AM »
I feel for you. This absolutely sucks. My job right out of grad school was a state agency that had a terrible director. Lies upon lies. Lies of omission. Dirty politics and absolutely not an ethical bone in his body. I knew on day two this was not going to be a good fit. It took me more that three years to break free and join a different agency where transparency is welcomed and when we screw up we admit it, then work to make things right. We don't always get it right, but when you have thousands of people involved, crap happens. It isn't perfect, but I can make it to early retirement in this agency. I no longer lose sleep.

That said, the only reason I stayed was because I didn't have a stash of cash. I had started my plan to save a ton and buy income-producing assets, but I was still accumulating. I didn't have the option to quit and then start looking. Already having a paycheck did give me the "luxury" of applying and interviewing for only jobs I wanted and I didn't feel as desperate as I would have if I had no income during the search. I kept my search a secret at work, which was difficult, but the people I interviewed with all seemed to understand.

But you appear to have options:

Now that you are licensed in your field, can you start doing side projects? I'd test the waters and see if you can pick up some contract work using your expertise. When you have that experience working for a government agency, people elsewhere might pay you to advise them on how to navigate their own local government. Maybe you could pick up some expert witness fees by working with law firms on civil cases.

Leases can be broken and as previous posters noted, your living arrangement can be changed to less expensive accommodations.

Keep your linked in updated especially with areas of expertise needed in private industry. Be willing to work with recruiters and get out to as many conferences or national training events as you can. Get your agency to pay for these or even pay yourself. Build up your network continuously.

Connect with others in your field by volunteering on projects typical of your colleagues. In the construction world, lots of industry people volunteer on Habitat for Humanity building houses in the community.

I wish you all the best. Make sure you spend some time each day unwinding and taking care of yourself. Exercise will keep your stress down and try to maintain a positive attitude. Just knowing you are being proactive in looking for a change will help.

NDQ

Sturton

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 23
Re: Tough job situation costing me time and money. Stay or go?
« Reply #7 on: May 22, 2016, 11:24:40 AM »
Having issues with sight is unfortunate, but I'm sorry to say that an hour's driving is not an extreme demand.  That's well within the "driving distance" you were promised.  An hour's commute is actually shorter than the daily commute of a good many people.  I know it's boring and it's not optimum, but I don't see it as one of the unfairnesses of the job.  They told you you might well have to do it, and really an hour is a reasonable distance. 

Not knowing where you'll be is also not unusual, and although the very short notice is unfortunate, you did know that you were likely to be moved, and that getting a long-term lease was very possibly going to lock you into something you didn't want to be locked into.  So I think some of these things are the result of unrealistic expectations on your part.  I'd say 2/3 of the situation is bad planning, mismanagement, and failure on the part of the job, and 1/3 is unrealistic expectations on your part as to what you're entitled to.  Sorry to say.  Do stay in that job until you can land a better one, for all the reasons people have noted.

former player

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4275
  • Location: Avalon
Re: Tough job situation costing me time and money. Stay or go?
« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2016, 11:43:44 AM »
Do your issues with sight amount to a disability for the purposes of the ADA?  If so, you could ask for reasonable accommodations, which in your case might be asking that you are not assigned at short notice to a location which would require you to drive in the dark.  In a large organisation with many employees and a number of locations, that should be possible for your employer.

If there is a trade union that has negotiating rights with your employer for your job and grade, I would suggest that you join.  They will be able to advise on the best way to deal with management both on potential moves and on potential promotions.


Capt Stubble

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 24
  • Age: 57
  • Location: US
Re: Tough job situation costing me time and money. Stay or go?
« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2016, 11:57:15 AM »
It sounds like a big part of the problem is a toxic supervisor 2 levels removed from you who has direct control over your circumstances with no interest in your job or life satisfaction. How much money do you make? How much do you need to make? What state are you working for? Can you transfer to a different job in the same state? Can you move to a similar job in another state? Can you move to a federal job in the same field? Can you leave your field and do something unrelated? Can you start a business? Can you burn incense and play Yanni music at your desk and forget about all the bullshit and find happiness in your current position? Good luck. I don't envy you.