Eugh that was a long week. Monday felt like Thursday, and every day since then has felt like a Thursday! But it’s Sunday, the week is almost over, and I am finally sitting down to write a post!
How are you all? Feels like all I’ve had recently has been reviews, so it’s great to actually be here with a bit of a more chatty post. Work seemed to take over. I know everyone is probably in the same boat at the minute, but getting in around 6:30pm, cooking dinner, washing up, and meal prepping for the next day just leaves me wanting my bed by 8pm. Except there’s so much needing done that I end up coming to the internet to moan instead of actually doing anything!
No but in all seriousness, I genuinely am enjoying my work. I love the team I’m working with, the pay isn’t bad (once they sort out my tax code it won’t be as bad as it currently is – I’m losing about £80 a week in tax!), and I picked up on my training really quickly. However, there are some drawbacks to the company.
I don’t want to name them, nor the Agency I’m employed through, because we all know how that can go. However, there have been several things since I started that just have been grinding my gears so to speak. My first day, the agency sent me to the wrong building. This wouldn’t have overly mattered, except I didn’t have a clue how to get to the other building. I arrived to no login stuff, everyone on my team was off on leave, my manager thought I was starting the following week, and to be honest I was exhausted because I’d been up half the night worrying about my first day, then there was an early start followed by a long drive in the morning traffic. That day, filling in forms, my manager said “and you’ve no leave booked” to which I replied “well I need leave in March…” (at this stage I saw her face fall and began to feel a little nervous) “…. and I’ve booked Christmas at home so…” to which the reply came that she hadn’t heard that from the agency. There’s only one person from each team allowed off at any stage, and someone in my team already had it booked off. I felt my chest contract and began to feel a little nervous. She couldn’t possibly be saying I wasn’t going to get the holiday I had prebooked?
The week went through, things did improve, and I found myself really enjoying the work. My mentor took a day (Thursday) to show me what to do, and then allowed me to have a go the next day while she sat and supervised. However, the following Monday came and my manager decided I could just do all the work without supervision. Again, that panic came up. The only other member of my team who was there was furious, and helped me as much as she could while working on her own things herself. That same day, I was told by my manager that I couldn’t have the time off that I had booked as they hadn’t been made aware of it before I started working for them. Not going to lie, I cried in pure frustration (and some exhaustion) in front of her, and all she could do was tell me that maybe I needed to have an early night and look into getting my money back for my journey. That day, I also had my timesheet for the previous week rejected several times. I had been going in at 8:45 and starting straight away, not taking my 15 minutes tea-break because of the amount of work I was trying to get through, and I wasn’t taking my full Lunch hour because who needs an hour for lunch? So firstly, the timesheet was rejected because I dared to be honest and say I was working from 8:45am until 5pm. The response came back from my manager “please amend – your contracted hours are 9-5”. So I thought nothing of it. Those extra 15 minutes I had been working? I would just claim them from my lunch time! So instead of 8:45-5:00 with a 45 minute lunch, I put down 9-5 with a 30 minute lunch break. And literally 2 minutes later it was rejected again – “your contracted hours are 9-5 with a 1 hour lunch break”. Now, at this stage I know I was the one in the wrong slightly. So I decided to approach the topic while having a meeting with my manager. Through my calculations, I had worked an extra 2 and a half hours that first week. Now I knew I couldn’t just take them off randomly. So I asked about finishing half an hour early over the next few days. Surely that was only fair – it’s not like I hadn’t done the work for them, it was just done at a different stage. Her reply? “You are contracted 9-5 Monday to Friday, with a one hour lunch break. You can’t work the extra 30 minutes over lunch and leave half an hour early, you aren’t on a flexi contract”. Needless to say, I was a little pissed off. I got where she was coming from, but here I was having done 2 and a half hours work that I wasn’t going to get paid for? That’s a full tank of petrol worth of pay!
I left it a day or two and phoned my agency about it, who immediately said they hadn’t mentioned it because they didn’t think it would be a problem. They were going to phone work and discuss for me. I then mentioned the fact that I seem to be spending almost 12 hours a day out of the flat, and the pay issue. I didn’t raise the fact that I felt I was owed those couple of hours, but I did mention that my manager had asked me to lie on the timesheet about the hours I had worked. I’ll be honest and say I’ve had quite a few problems with my manager, and the agency too. I then decided to ask if it would be possible to consider me for other positions available with the agency. At this point, I was told that I had cost the company a lot of money on background checks, it wouldn’t reflect well on the agency, and it would look bad on my CV, if I was to leave after only a few weeks. It took everything in me to stay calm on the phone with the agency. I pointed out that I was merely asking to be considered for positions closer to home. I didn’t say I have a problem with my manager – let’s face it most people do – and I admitted that while the travel isn’t the worst, it is more than I had expected. I didn’t want to hand my notice in the next morning, but I wanted to at least be considered for other positions if any came up. The agency member got extremely cheeky at that point, and kept saying over and over about how bad I would make her look if I left. I pointed out again I didn’t want to leave immediately, but also that I had a holiday booked that the company didn’t seem likely to allow me, and that if that was to be the case then I would have no option other than to leave. I hung up the phone with her, came home, and called my family because I was fuming. The result? The agency came back to me and told me they had lost my paperwork and so couldn’t prove that I had booked the time off, and so it was entirely up to the company whether they let me off or not. Since then they’ve managed to lose my P45 twice, so really and truly I am mad at the agency.
So since then, I’ve been keeping my head down. I’ve come to a decision about the work, and the only way I was going to change my mind was if they granted me my leave. Did I mention that I had offered to take the leave as unpaid leave when they first said no? Or that my colleague who had prebooked the time off had volunteered to cancel her leave and come in so I could have the time off was told no it wouldn’t make a difference to their decision? So yeah, I’m leaving that job. But I’m now on the mad hunt to get something else lined up as soon as possible. Bills need paid, things need done, and I’m actually sad to leave the work because I genuinely like it. However the way I have been treated, and the way other agency staff have been treated, is beyond a joke. One girl I’ve been chatting to asked to take an afternoon off to go to a doctor’s appointment. She’s with the same agency as me, and yet was required to fill out a medical form while I wasn’t. Now I should probably say that there’s no reason for us to have a medical background check. But then, she hasn’t been well recently either. She had booked a doctor’s appointment for next week partly due to the medical, and partly to do with being unwell. She offered to work through her lunch break and asked to leave an hour earlier from work, as this was the only appointment slot she could get in November. We have the same manager. The manager said no, she couldn’t leave work an hour earlier, regardless of whether it was taken as leave or instead of her lunch break. Doctors appointments were to be arranged outside of work hours. Kind of hard to do if your GP is open 9-5 and you work 9-5! My colleague then mentioned it was to do with the medical check the agency were doing on her. She heard nothing back from our manager, however at lunch had multiple missed calls from the agency. They wanted to know what her appointment was for, why she needed to go to it, whether this was going to become a regular thing, and so much more. She has now decided it’ll just be easier to phone in sick on the day and deal with the consequences when she’s back in work, but I was furious for her. What right have they to ask about her medical appointments?
We’re both now actively job hunting, and I’m beginning to feel more Christmassy now I’m not trying to double-guess whether I’ll be granted leave or not. I’m going to Loch Lomond tonight to see the Christmas market, the Christmas lights being switched on, and a firework display. I’ve finally started Christmas shopping, and I am almost finished sorting my Christmas Card Swap! So anyone waiting for addresses should keep an eye out on your emails today and tomorrow.
I’m sorry for such a long and ranty post, I just needed to vent it all completely. From tomorrow I’ll try to make things a little more fun! We’re on the final countdown to Blogmas! There are 7 more posts to write for November, and then we’re into 32 consecutive posting days, so please keep an eye out for them all! I’ve been writing away like crazy to get as much done as possible. Anyone else doing blogmas this year?
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