I had a customer service job in a call center, answering questions about food for a major grocery chain. I wasn't directly employed by the grocer, but through a staffing agency.
The call center operated on a ratio that was 40% Associates and 60% temporary placement. Management reasoned that they needed such a mix because of all the upward mobility in the call center, as talent would be plucked from their cubicles and hired on to other departments. I never really bought that argument. I think it had more to do with not having to offer benefits and increased pay to 60% of the call center.
As temps, we were expected to work many holidays that the full-time associates didn't. Last May, it was announced that the call center would be open on Memorial Day and all employees would have to work their regular schedule. It turns out that nearly all the Associates called in or used personal days, leaving the temps to staff the call center.
What was so infuriating about this is the fact that it was horrifically slow that day. Imagine that... all the customers are celebrating the troops and having cookouts and not calling in to ask if their canned corn is still good. One temp employee was upset that he had to work on a day that the call center didn't really need to be open, so he wrote a mass email...
I am truly sorry we work for such a non caring family of companies and
people who care so little about what this holiday is really about.
That’s right. They have made every effort to make sure, the real Kroger
employees at their call centers are off for what should be and
with most company's, is *A NATIONAL HOLIDAY*. Here at The Kroger Company.They feel the temporary workers, that they don’t have to
pay overtime, or give a different day off to make up for them working on
this day. They can be the slaves of the Kroger call centers.
Barney is probably rolling over in his grave.
We work side by side with many different people. White, Afro American,
black, brown, Indian, and American Indian.
I have probably missed someone. Not my intent to shun anyone.
We have different beliefs, but we are all the same. We are all American’s.
American’s that would like to be home with their family’s.
American’s that would like to honor those who have given their lives and
limbs to make sure we are free.
My father is a veteran. My uncles and yes a couple of aunt’s are and were
veterans. People I grew up with that are gone but not forgotten and many
were and are veterans as well. I’m sure we have veterans working here as
I’m sure they are proud they work for such a fine caring organization.
Personally, I am sick that we work for such a company.
In previous years, I have taken the time to visit the graves of those that
I no longer can personally thank.
This year I am working. A real shame when you think what this holiday is
Thanks KROGER. Thanks for only caring about the Kroger employees.
Hang your heads in shame KROGER. Shame on you for being so uncaring as to
what this holiday is all about.
He was walked out about 15 minutes later... fired. There were no managers with the ability to fire someone in the call center at that time as they were out... with family...celebrating Memorial Day. So that means a supervisor got the order over the phone to walk that guy out for speaking his mind.
Well, fast forward a couple weeks and they announce that the call center will also be open for the 4th of July...but you could put in a request to have the day off.
I put in mine and left a little note in the comment section...
My comment basically stated that it was pretty shameful that they decided to be open on such an important holiday when nobody would be calling us anyway. Only 1 person would have seen my comment and that is the person that approved the day off request. That person forwarded my note to management, and while I was on my way to work the next day, my staffing agency contact told me to not bother coming in. My contract was terminated.
Now that was a long story to get to unemployment.
In Ohio, you have to be employed a certain period of time and you have to make a minimum amount to qualify for unemployment benefits. Basically, you have to average at least $200 a week during a 10 week period within the last 6 months.
Unemployment is half of what you made in a week on average and up to $400 a week. So if you made the bare minimum $200 a week, you would get a paltry $100 a week unemployment. If you made $900 a week, then you would max out and only get $400 a week unemployment.
I qualified for $232 a week in unemployment compensation and elected to have federal taxes withheld(you know, to keep the roads paved). After taxes, my weekly unemployment was $208. Normally, my paychecks were $345 after taxes and I skimmed by without any real savings, so having $137 less every week was a real shock.
Ohio doesn't even give you all your unemployment, though. For instance, the first week that you file is NEVER paid. Not withheld for an extra week... unpaid. I have no earthly idea why they do this. Also, it takes 3-4 weeks for you to get your first unemployment payment. So as you can imagine, I was pretty strapped for cash when I got my first payment a month later.
Only the most fiscally responsible people can make an unemployment budget work and I'm bad with money. So where my much better sister could take the $832 a month & pay all the bills, I couldn't. I was and still am very inefficient with money. It just gets away from me, I guess. I don't smoke and I rarely drink. I don't do any drugs and my only real vice is food.
So after getting a first unemployment payment that is 1 week light and 3 weeks late, I started to fall behind. By September, I was a month behind on rent with the building manger threatening eviction. I applied to work in one of Amazon's fulfillment centers, putting away incoming merchandise. The work was excruciating and after a few days, I couldn't walk. I had to call in a couple days in a row while my feet recovered. I felt so embarrassed and defeated, but this wasn't work I would have ever applied for in any other circumstance.
I KNOW i'm no good at manual labor and standing on my feet all day, but I was desperate. While I was off, I got calls about 2 jobs I was much better suited for. I figured that I had a really good chance at one position and the other was more or less a lock and I could take that job if the first opportunity fell through. So I quit the Amazon job that I couldn't stand to do(literally) and prepared to accept a new, better paying position.
I didn't get either job.
Remember how you have to be employed for a certain amount of time to get unemployment? Yeah... I know longer qualify. I've worked a series of temp jobs since then, but nothing that has panned out long term.
In the mean time, I have borrowed money from my sister, friend, and grandpa. There are no more favors, no more money to borrow. If I don't get some sort of stable employment very soon, I'll lose my apartment and whatever possessions I can't fit in my car.