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Topic: New Job Calling me After Work Hours

Forum: Employment, Insurance, and Other Financial Issues —

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Posted on: Jun 23, 2020 08:34PM

KARW41 wrote:

I got diagnosed with DCIS in March, got a lumpectomy, and next week get a bilateral mastectomy since they found more DCIS than originally thought. I also have PTSD as a combat vet.

Everyone is teleworking at my new job due to the pandemic (which I mainly took to have health insurance since I had been in a temporary but higher paying job without insurance), and I am not fully trained yet.

A relatively newer coworker is trying to train me remotely at this new job, and I am not able to understand what she wants done.

My supervisor and another senior employee told me that the person training me does not fully understand the slides that we are supposed to do twice a week, since she is relatively new as well.

I have got two graduate degrees and I have been unable to understand how they compile these slides.

I am used to a relatively simple process and this is anything but that.

I don't know if cancer / DCIS has spread to my brain, or I am just having trouble understanding what they want, or what, or if it is stress.

I do great at grad school, which I also attend full time, along with working full time.

Am I crazy not to understand this: they want some slides pulled from one briefing, some from another briefing, some turned blue, some turned white, and all of them are saved to an employee's shared drive who no longer works in the office.

The slide titles and file names don't match up, and the slide titles on the "new" slides that get pasted in, don't match the slide titles on the original slides, that remain in the briefing, but remain white in color, with the new ones being turned blue.

This process happens, with differing instructions, on up to 96 slides per briefing, twice a week.

Now, she and another lady, neither one are my supervisor, but they are senior employees, are calling me after hours (public sector job).

My supervisor did not formally task me to do the slides yet, (said "work with" the other lady to learn it) but these ladies are acting like I am the one responsible.

I sent my questions on how it works to the supevisor and to them, along with these slides, as I understand they should be done (but with a lot of questions) and that's when they have now started calling me after work at home to get me to work more on the slides.

The coworker also has been calling me during the last two week after hours.

I ignore the calls because I don't have the energy or concentration to deal with it.

Then, she is angry I don't call her back and talk with her until the next morning.

The more senior employee called me today and said to call her back.

I sent an email to the supervisor asking if she would like me to start working later in the day, to work on the slides, but she ignored my question.

I think the "culture" is that they all work until 10 p.m. but they put on their time cards that they worked 8 hours.

They told me my work day is 8 hours (standard schedule) and I record this on my time card.

Some places in the public sector actually count the overtime and pay it, but not this place, and I got told at the start, you are new, so you work an 8 hour day.

That is NOT what they actually want done.

Not only do I have grad school (final weeks of term) but also am trying to get everything straight for surgery next week.

I get the post-9/11 GI bill for grad school tuition, so if I don't do my work, I end up owing the VA $6500.

I literally do not have the mental or physical strength at the moment, losing sleep, stressed out, to take calls from 7 pm to 11 pm.

HR also made me probationary, (it is erroneous, and can be proven to be), even though I have 10 years in, and I could be let go and fired.

I decided not to answer the phone after work hours, as a personal boundary, but I know the consequences could mean I get fired.

I just don't have the energy to do it.

I'm already applying for new jobs, even to ones that would mean taking a pay cut, so I can NOT have a job in a culture like this.

I've worked overtime in many jobs before but I do think it may have harmed my health.

I will basically be pretty "happy" if I get an insurance-covered bilateral mastectomy out of this, but does anyone have any tips for hanging on until I can get another job in a culture that is not calling me later at night??

Between the PTSD, DCIS, and surgery, there is no way I am able to work all night, and get no sleep due to also doing school work.

I told the supervisor about my cancer surgery, (and two pre-op appointments) and am just taking off 4 "sick" days (all that I have), which ends up being more like a week due to purposefully scheduling it for overlap with the 4th of July holiday).

After that, I must telework. Thank you for any insights. I don't know what else to do, other than try to find a job as fast as I can that does not have people calling me into the night.

Does one ask about this type of thing with late night phone calls in a job interview? Because they definitely did not tell me this in the interview for this job. Thank you.

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Jun 24, 2020 02:29AM Veeder14 wrote:


Sorry to hear about your new job and the hassles in addition to finishing school and dealing with cancer. if it were me I would contact the HR Dept, asking for written clarification of the position, duties, and specifically works hours, if hired in an hourly or salary position. There are Federal laws about this. Then maybe HR will speak with the Supv. And you to get it clarified. If you are hired for 8 hr days then the employer needs to pay overtime past 8 hrs depending on the hr laws or make sure you only work 8 hrs. I don’t think they can force you to work 12-14 hr days. It seems that working From home is crossing the boundaries and expecting employees be available all the time.

I would also indicate that you do not completely understand the co workers instructions And request more clarifications or another more experienced co worker to assist you. Good luck and let us know what happens. Best of luck with your surgery

Dx 1/2/2018, ILC, Left, <1cm, Stage IB, Grade 1, 0/7 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 1/26/2018 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 3/8/2018 Hormonal Therapy 2/28/2019 Hormonal Therapy
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Jun 24, 2020 07:58AM flashlight wrote:

It sounds like everyone is behind in their work and/or doesn't know what they are doing. My daughter was in a similar position and was trying to help a new colleague by calling her. This person wouldn't call her back so the problem went to her boss. Is it possible you need to speak directly to your supervisor or have a zoom meeting to go over your job description? You are under a lot of stress and I understand why you can't work overtime. If you need to keep this job a few more weeks for the health insurance find a way to make it work. The only way to do this is by talking to your boss and finding out where you stand and what compromise you are willing to make. You have a commendable sense of purpose. Best wishes.

Dx 11/15/2018, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Dx DCIS, Left, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Radiation Therapy Surgery Lumpectomy: Left
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Jun 24, 2020 10:56AM - edited Jun 24, 2020 10:59AM by KARW41

Thank you very much. Yes, they are behind and the method of working does not seem efficient.

I worked in a temp job earlier this year, in which life and health and safety was at issue, and in that job, people managed to function effectively enough that the work got done during the public sector designated work day, without later evening phone calls. If an incident or threat happened, we would obviously be called, but most of the time, as a day-to-day practice, no one was calling me at home. That was for more pay, same hours in a day, but it had no health insurance.

With this job, the surgery is in one week and I'm not worried about the health insurance now, since with this job, it remains in place 30 days after one is let go.

I did email the supervisor, and she has not responded to my request, despite putting it to her verbally on the phone and in two emails now, asking if she would like me to adjust my schedule.

HR told us initially that new employees have an 8-hour day.

This office / sub-agency is not adhering to the rules.

I can tell from the way it is being handled (military culture) that I am not going to be able to keep doing this job.

They expect one to be available 24 hours a day if someone wants something done and I just cannot handle it, especially with the DCIS (extensive, calling it cancer, but it is not invasive) and the bilateral mastectomy next week.

I am just ignoring the calls since I literally don't have energy to deal with them.

I've never been fired, but I can see that is what is going to happen if I don't find another job. I doubt I can find one soon enough.

I'm keeping all the texts and VM's to my personal cell in case I need to show them to a lawyer later, because my schedule is definitely supposed to be 8 hours.

I have two advanced degrees but I'm not above any type of clerical or maintenance work, lower paying, if I can get time to recover from all of this without people calling me at all hours at night at home.

I really appreciate the advice to seek clarification. I can also try HR today, since the supervisor is just not responding substantively to the question.

I can tell, they want me to work all the hours, but off the books, not "officially," which is not the right answer either, for the public sector.

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Jun 24, 2020 04:15PM flashlight wrote:

KARW41, You know the old saying "hurry up and wait!" I think you have done what you could at this time. Can you use any of your degrees to help you land a new job? They hired you for a reason and hopefully they will work with you. If not getting fired isn't the worst thing that can happen to you. Usually it helps you find a new perspective. Health care is hiring like crazy. Can you do coding or billing or even scheduling can be done at home. There is something out there for you. Good luck with your surgery. Take care.

Dx 11/15/2018, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Dx DCIS, Left, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Radiation Therapy Surgery Lumpectomy: Left
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Jun 24, 2020 04:20PM KARW41 wrote:

Thank you so much. Yes, I found out a former coworker at my temp job says there is a job opening, permanent where I used to be a temp. I'm going to try that. It could take 6 months though, have to see. I also called a lawyer, based on gathering strength from the remarks above, just to ask insights on it. He said I should request an accommodation to get a schedule that does not entail people calling me later at night. He said if it was not in my job description, then they should not be calling about routine matters after work hours. He said it is okay to return the call first thing in the morning if it is a routine administrative matter. You all have really helped me out. Thank you.

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