I want to vent a bit. I have a good job. My employer has done right by us, in my opinion, during this whole pandemic. They couldn’t lay us off, because that would most likely void their contracts with the clients who want maintenance services to be available when they need them. When something breaks, someone has to fix it, whether that building is open or not. So, while I may not be working, I’m always oncall for those clients. Even during the pandemic.
As I finalized my timecard for last week, I realized that I have reached a point where Covid-19 has taken up 2/3 of my available paid time off. All of that has gone to round out my timecard to the 40-hour mark. The pandemic started cutting into my workload on March 17th. I have managed to get some hours in each of the subsequent weeks, but I’ve only had one 40-hour week since then and that was only because of the Memorial Day holiday.
I used four days of vacation before the 20-hour guarantee was implemented by my employer, but still had to use 2.5 days of PTO to round that out to my 40-hour weekly paycheck. And even with the increase of that guarantee to 25-hours, I’m still using 15-hours a week of PTO to keep the lights on around here. My intention is not to whine or complain, but I’m just a bit frustrated.
That frustration comes, not from the fact that I’m not getting a 40-hour guarantee, but because I’m getting enough work to basically negate the “free” money implicit in that guarantee. I am working enough that they don’t have to give me any of that guaranteed money and I still need to use my PTO hours. The clients are benefiting. The company is benefiting. I’m getting screwed.
Sure, I’ve got lots of time off. But that time isn’t really mine. I mean, I’m using vacation time, but I’m most definitely not on vacation. Because all day long I’m basically waiting for the next call to come in and send me off with the van. And with the current state of things, those calls are mostly ‘urgent’ and ‘emergency’ issues that need to be responded to the same day. Even on the days that I don’t get calls, which is most of them, I’m still not out from under the shadow of work. Gotta be ready to go. Essentially, the worst of both worlds.
I’m glad to have the income. I’m glad to have a job. I’m very fortunate. But I also have other feels… like I’m screwing myself out of free money that another person would just sit home and soak in the benefit… like when I do get a call, emergency or not, I should go do that work as I’m getting paid to make money for the company… like there will be no short days, sick days, or vacations for the next six months…
I think things are getting busier and that we’re getting closer to business as usual. In the next week or two I imagine that a 40-hour week will once again be the norm. From that vantage I’ll be able to look back at the vacation I could have had with all that used PTO and free money and wonder, what was I thinking and why did I do things the way I did.
There you have it. Just venting my thoughts and feelings. Again, I think I’m coming out of this mess in great shape and wish that was the case for everyone. Still. I’m frustrated. Later.