For four years, I've worked at a crappy, physically demanding, minimum wage job with no room for advancement, no prospect for more responsibility or more money . . . so, in December I applied for another job. It's a union job, government actually, same kind of thing as what I've been doing, only part-time and overnights. Not exactly what I want to be doing forever, but as with all government jobs, it would mean pay hike after six months and then get first crack at the opportunity to post out to grander things.
The day of the interview I was required to fill out an application. It said that I must put the name and contact information of my direct supervisor or my application would not be considered, but there was a box you could check that said *don't contact my present employer*.
The interview and testing went well. I know this, because a week ago Thursday, my present supervisor told me that the HR department at this government department called her to ask her opinion of me and my work. Ooops. So much for the box I checked. Anyway, my boss was none-too-pleased . . . I know this because my job is a five day/week job. During slow periods, occasionally a person will be put *on-call* meaning they needn't come in. It goes in a rotation so that no one person loses too much pay. My partner and I were on-call in December so we wouldn't be due for another off day until May or June this year. I was put on-call the Monday following my supervisor being asked to provide a reference. My partner was not. There are still other people who've yet to have an on-call day, and yet I was told it wasn't punishment. Right.
The fellow from the the government later called me and said he was having difficulty getting a hold of my other references, could I supply the phone numbers again or perhaps new references. It took me until Tuesday to provide two more references. I left their names and numbers on his voice mail. So far, these new references haven't heard from the HR guy. Neither have I, so I'm supposing I took too long, wasn't a fit ... whatever.
So, I came home from work on Thursday and was ill. I won't go into details, suffice to say, I don't call in sick often or unnecessarily, but Friday, I felt compelled to. My company doesn't have *sick days*. We lose a substantial amount of money if we miss a day, more than just a day's pay . . . we lose our driving bonus for the whole week and another allowance that is dependent on perfect attendance. Needless to say, as the sole provider in a household of six, I don't take this sort of thing lightly. My job requires that I drive up to 140 km/day and provide services in people's homes. Some of my clients are elderly and/or in frail health. Beyond my own feeling horrible and questioning how safe it would be for me to drive, I believed it unfair to go into customers' homes and possibly infect them. I suppose my boss must've figured I was going on a job interview . . . because suddenly I've been put on call this coming Monday.
I write this just to point out to those who will ask why people stay under-employed, this is why . . . sometimes it's just easier to stay where you are because trying to climb out just knocks you down. Hoping for better has now put my crappy job in jeopardy and obviously it wasn't worth it.