Monday, June 8, 2009

Cheap employers suck

Have you ever worked at a job where the more hours you work, the less you get paid?

Get this story. I started working at a huge estate several weeks ago. Very fancy pants place on over a hundred acres. I'm thinking this gig is too good to be true. At first I was stoked to work with this talented albeit moody French chef whose culinary creations are outstanding every meal. I'm learning so much about haute cuisine -- without even having to enroll in culinary school. Cool.

However, I got my first paycheck recently. It was way less than it should have been. I call the payroll department lady and tell her there's a mistake. I was hired as an independent contractor, so no taxes were supposed to be taken out, yet there were taxes taken out. She says, "Oh we decided you weren't really an independent contractor." Oh, really.

Even worse, the more hours I work, the less my hourly wage is. They take my weekly salary and divide it by the number of hours worked that week. Last week I worked sixty hours. So my hourly rate was less than it would have been had I worked thirty or forty hours. Say what?

Oh and there's the overtime problem. Instead of paying me time-and-a-half, they pay me half my regular hourly rate for any hours I work over forty. I tell her, "But you just explained to me that I don't even have an hourly rate! It depends on how many hours I work."

"That's right," she says. She is talking in doublespeak!

So I say to the payroll lady, "You're telling me that the more hours I work, the less money I'll make?"

Yes, she admits that this feat of mathmatical genius is true.

Fuck. That. Shit. I quit!

And to think I turned down a cooking gig on a Newport racing yacht last week because I was already working this estate job. Kill me now.

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