Friday, April 10, 2009

I've reaced a decision

This is post 800, if I’m not mistaken very much. Normally, I’d be writing a joyous little piece about how long I’ve had this blog and how great it is to have written 800 posts so far. But not right now.

Between the time I put out the last post yesterday and the time I sat down this morning - after four hour of sleep, I might add - to write this post, I’ve reached a strange mindset. I’ve entered it once before, also because of work, but because of the last job I had before this one.

I might not have a job any longer before next week is over, because of the decision I’ve reached. But even in this crisis, it will be worth it, if it means I’m not going to run any lower on energy.

Fact is, currently I’m running on reserve. I’ve been running on reserve for most of this year since January. If I were a car, the alarm lights of the cockpit would be flashing. But I’m not a car and not everyone can easily see how low I’m running. I’ve been motivating myself to get up, to go to work, to do overtime by thinking about the fact that I was going to have two weeks for recuperation at Eastern. I have only managed to go on by concentrating on this thought.

Yesterday, after my boss’ call, I’ve almost had a nervous breakdown. Maybe it even was one, I don’t know, I’ve never had one before. I was crying and I was screaming and cursing for about an hour after the call. Then I wrote the last post, but I couldn’t let it go. I feel kaput. I don’t really know where I will get the energy from to get up on Tuesday, to go to work, to go on doing overtime.

So I decided to step on the brake. If the company cannot take care of me, of my health, of the rights I have as an employee, then I will do it. I’ll have a talk with my boss on Tuesday (and he’s probably going to hate me afterwards). There are quite some topics to talk about.

Why does one of us in the import department (3 1/4 people) have to keep up with the export (about 10 people), so she can step in ‘in case of an emergency,’ but there’s nobody from the export who can step in ‘in case of an emergency’ in our department?

Why don’t they get somebody as a replacement for my male colleague who will have to leave at the end of October? It’ll take at least six month to get a new colleague settled and ready to tackle at least the usual daily work on his or her own.

Why does my boss get four weeks of vacation and I can’t even stay at home for two?

I’m not in charge at work, I can’t take care of anything there. I’m not in the position to change anything. Therefore, I do not have the duty to take care of things, either. It is not my problem how they do get things done with one person being sick for who knows how long.

I can’t just call on Tuesday and say ‘I’m not coming,’ but I don’t have to do more than my contract (with a temporal employment agency, not with the company I work for) says. When I took the job, there was no talk of a regular early shift. Had there been something about that, I would have thought twice, maybe even three times, before taking it (during the job interview with the agency, I said ‘between eight a.m. and six p.m., maybe longer in the evening, but not earlier; early shift means being at work at seven a.m.). I have a 35-hours-a-week contract. There’s no way in hell they can make me work longer. If I can’t take off the overtime I’ve done (and, obviously, I can’t), then I’m not going to do any.

I’m not going to take any more considerations about the company. I will take off the 15th of May - I need to get my car through the TÜV at that time (you’re not allowed to drive a car that’s not been through the TÜV regularly in Germany). I will not be there for the seminar about import the Saturday after this. And I don’t care whether that means my colleague will be alone that Friday. All considerations are off - and I’m going to tell my boss this.

If they don’t get it going, if there’s no new colleague during the next month, if they don’t consider at least another part-time employed (we’re being paid for four full-time employees in my department), then I’ll be leaving. I’ve sacrificed my health for one company, I’m not naïve or stupid enough to do it again. No job is worth this, crisis or not. And certainly no job with a pay like mine.

And if my boss doesn’t like what I have to say, he’s free to fire me. I can be kicked out of the company within hours, as I’m not employed there. My employer, the people who pay my wages, is the temporal employment agency I’m working for. They might fire me right afterwards, but they can’t do it from one minute to the next. As far as I remember, a have a three-months-deadline for dismissal. That’s one of the few good things about working in Germany.

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