This job = Moving target

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by klmno, Oct 26, 2010.

  1. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    My boss has been saying I'm doing a good job and he likes my approach to things. I thought everything waws going ok. If you recall, I had asked the company to not make me wait three weeks before getting a full paycheck. One of the partners, through the HR person, decided that I wiould wait three weeks then get the whole three weeks pay and that they would prefer to just keep it that way when I said I didn't mind if they took it out over the next few pay periods to make up for it. So that is what I have been basing decisions on.

    This morning boss says he's starting me on regional travel trips in two-three weeks. This way I can drive my car and only be out gas money up front but I'll get reimbursed for that after 10-14 days. Fine. Then, he wants me prepared for longer distance trips by January. That will require having a credit card and in my case, that will mean a prepaid CC because of the bankruptcy. Well, by January I figured I could have enough on a CC to secure a rental car. He says the company will pay hotel and flight up front for me. Fine.

    Then this afternoon, I get an email from HR person saying to call her because they can only pay thru today on this upcoming paycheck because she can't bill beyond today yet. Fine. So I go ahead and call and then she tells me that the partner (same one who decided how this would play out as I listed above) wanted to know how long I would need this paycheck upfront because he wants to get me on the same pay schedule or whatever as anyone else. Uhhhh...I told her I'd have to let her know in the morning.

    Now honestly, I get that this is legal and ok and understandable. What I don't get is why he is the one, according to HR person, that specifically said he preferred to just pay me every two weeks and keep it this way instead of holding it back later if he wasn't holding it back to begin with. I remember asking her then "are you sure"" and she said yes, that is what he said. Well, that is why I told boss this morning that there would be no problem having a prepaid CC by January.

    But I can't do both. I can't give them two weeks' pay back AND have a prepaid CC by Jan. Now what do I do? And how many more times can I expect them to change the their minds about something?

    I now have this fear that they are going to change their minds about paying for hotels and plane fares up front or somehow I'm going to get stuck not getting reimbursed for something.

    Of course none of the things like needing a CC, paying for trips up front and getting reimbursed after 10-14 days, or a 90 day review were mentioned until after I took the job. Obviously, if these things are required for the job, it's better for the person to know before taking the job or maybe they won't get offered the job but it's still better than taking it, finding out the requirements, then getting axed because you "couldn't fulfill job requirements".
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2010
  2. Jena

    Jena New Member

    honestly at this point your new and i'd just do my best to go with-the flow. you have made a huge life change new job, new place to live. I have found the first few weeks on a new job things can be confusing, information from hr than your direct boss, it gets hectic.

    i'd say give it a few weeks to see if it calms and it all pans out and they get their act together. they seem vested in you and i'm sure they'll get it together.

    do you like the job though?
  3. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I have found that most jobs like this normally give you the company credit card. At least where I have worked they did. You do have to keep receipts of course. Now, mileage for your car if you are driving it might be reimbursed later as a separate check. Of course, receipts for miles and gas etc are needed.

    I dont have a cc and wont get one for a job. Sorry...dont even qualify for one. Plus I wont pay those huge interest rates and set up fees. Not happening.
  4. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member


    i don't want to be a negative nelly here, but actually it was your responsibility to ask about prepaid travel expenses, not their responsibility to tell you. As soon as you heard about the travel involved with the job, you really should have asked if you would be given a corporate credit card or if there were corporate billed accounts with specific hotel and rental car chains. Even with a prepaid cc, you are going to put a pretty good chunk of money down - If you are traveling twice a month requiring air travel that could easily be 1.5k or more with airfare, rental car, gas, food and hotel. Typically, were you using a standard credit card, you would have to wait 30 days for the bill then submit your reimbursement request while paying ahead on your bill as you wait for your reimbursement. Most of the time the charges on a card that are submitted for reimbursement run a month or more behind so you would have to have the money to pay upfront anyway.

    As far as the advance payment, it is kinda a hassle to handle the payroll liabilities a company owes when changing an employee's pay cycle. It's not just a matter of cutting you an advance check. There is a lot more record keeping which actually costs the company more because they have to paid the administrative fees to have someone handle it. I can understand both of your perspectives.

    Hope you guys can come to some resolution. Perhaps you need to speak right to the horses mouth rather than going through numerous folks and getting different stories...

  5. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Did they tell you that you had to purchase a credit card or are you just assuming that you will? It has been my experience that credit cards are given to employees for qualifying expenses. Many companies have a code number that is used by each specific employee so that tracking is easier.

    I'm hoping that you are anticipating a problem that doesn't exist. It just doesn't make sense, in this economy, that any company would pass off work expenses to an employee...particularly a new employee.

    Fingers crossed. DDD
  6. jal

    jal Member


    I have done it both ways. I used to travel a lot for my last job. When I started I used a company card for flight reservations and hotel reservations. Once at the hotel I would present my cc and get reimbursed from the company for the hotel. Later, I was given a company cc in my own name that I used.

    In my current job, I travel occasionally. I no longer use cc's, but have used my debit for a hotel stay, but that's sometimes just too much money. Now when I book, I use the company cc and request all charges be put on that card for myself and anyone else who travels along. Makes it easier.

    Truthfully, if you have to travel for this company and you are on the payroll you should request a company card or expect that a company card will be used to secure travel. The onus should not be put on you to fork out the money for airfare, hotel and possible car rental. Yes, you should expect to pay for your own gas and either be reimbursed for the money you spent on that gas or the mileage (not both).
  7. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Well to me the whole point is that they reneged on the agreement they made prior to me taking the job. I tried to make that clear before- it isn't that it is illegal or unreasonable how they do things, etc. It's about agreeing to handle things one way if I take the job then after moving here, deciding they are now not going to stick with that.

    I'm still blowing so much steam over it that I'll probably get fired or whatever they nwant to call it but I brought it all to a head today because I finallly realized that it was pointless for me to be stressed out over something I simply cannot do and told them I couldn't do prior to taking the job- which is why I called and told them it would be difficult if even possible for me to make things work financially under they pay arrangement. That's my prerogative just like it was theirs to tell me they would do it a certain way in order to make things work.. Now that it's approaching time for me to get my first pay check, they decided they don't want to stick to that agreement.

    I call that reneging on an agreement.

    As far as travel, I was told all business travel is covered prior to taking the job. My boss knew I had no CC and that I;'d recently filed bankruptcy. I told him this because I told him if the company runs a credit check, I wanted him to know what had happened beforehand. Fine. Then after taking the job he says I have to have a CC to pay for things upfront that the sponsoring company won't pay for upfront. My boss does put all his on his CC and pays for it upfront- even trips to Euarope. I think he likes the points and frequent flyer miles. But when he told me that- prior to taking the job- was when I tiold him I was not in a financial position to do that. He said he understood and would make sure I was covered upfront except for meals. I said that would be fine.

    I had to go to a project site today with this other guy that they just moved into this dept. So far I like him and we have some things in common. He was telling me that boss is kind of wierd, is moddy and fickle and jumps to conclusions that goes off on people about it, and doesn't think or plan ahead and that he also found out details after accepting the position that he should have been told beforehand. I think boss is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Apparently, the pay stuff and wjhat they expect employee's to pay is just this company';s way. It isn't typical though. They do it that way because they are contracted out and that works fine IF their employees are working for them on a contract basis, however we are not. We are hired as full time salary employees so yes, there are some different ecpectations and norms. Then of course, you have to add in the quirkiness of this boss on top of the company's way.

    Anyway- I might get fired soon because I shot off an email to the HR person that wasn't nasty but was definitely to the point about me having made commitments based on the agreements made prior to me accepting the job and while I understand from my boss that they have now changed their minds about those agreements, I simply cannot afford to have my pay cut that much the next two paydays while still being expected to pay unexpected upfront costs that I wasn't informed about until I took the job.

    No- I really don't think all this was my responsibility. I think I exerciised due diligence when I am the one who asked about whether or not they withold pay prior to taking the job, I called and emailed to tell them I mmight not be able to pursue this prior to takijng the job, I discussed it with them and they agreed to handle it a certain way then I confirmed that- all rpior to taking the job.

    They reneged - plain and simple and I refuse to beat myself up or let my boss beat me up anymore about it.
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2010
  8. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    And the reason I am so steamed right this min is because I went to work this morning, talked to boss about it- telling him I thought I should run this by him before getting back to HR person but when I committed to him yesterday about getting a CC within 2 mos, I had not gotten this message from HR person yet and now I need to know which they want me to do first- pay them back so they are witholding my pay or get the CC but no way can I come up with 2000 extra dollars in 2 mos. He first told me it was my problem. That flew all over me but I didn't say anything. Then he said work with HR person first, he's figure something out about travel stuff. OK.

    So I emailed HR person and responded to her question from yesterday asking me how long bewfore I could get on regular pay schedule like everyone else (pay being witheld). I asked if they could either take 1/2 pay out of the mid-Nov check and the last half out of the mid-Dec check or all of the mid December check, whichever was easier for them. I thought I was being more than reasonable considering they threw this on me yesterday about 3:30pm. Then I go to the project site, come back this afternoon and there's an email from HRR person saying they want to take it out of this check next week (my first check after 3 weeks work) and the mid Nov check. I emailed back and said I cannot do that - if I could afford that I wouldn't have called to discuss this matter prior to taking the job to begin with. Plus I mentioned the other things I put in my previous posts about making commitments based on our agreement then being expected to have pay upfront expenses we were never told about after learning they'd changed their mind about sticking to the agreement.

    And I'd bet money that my boss was behind every bit of this because it ticked him off so much yet he never once thought thru the fact that if I pay company back, I can't get the stupid CC he wants me to get. Nit wit. I don'[t get the feeling that he's wanting me out of there now- although he might after catching wind of this email I just sent to HR person.

    There are other things not told the employee until they are hired, too, not that these mattered to me because mine will be clear but still, an employee should be told prior to solidifying a job offer/acceptance and moving for the job, in my humble opinion: drug test, test for communicable diseases, background check- all done AFTER taking the job and starting work then the person is fired if any of it comes back positive. Most company's would tell you those expectations/requirements PRIOR to a job acceptance. But this is more stuff that I have to wonder if the people at the main company know that boss is NOT telling potential employees any of this until after they are hired and start working.
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2010
  9. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member


    is the HR person local or is there a home office somewhere else? If he/she is local, I would make an appointment during your lunch hour to sit down and speak with them. Sometimes it's hard to get a feel for someone when dealing with email. Have you met this person when you did your initial paperwork? Usually if there is an HR person you would sit down with them and the would have you do the paperwork, inform you about benefits, pay schedules, etc. While I'm not sure I would share the bankruptcy thing with anyone I worked with, I would definitely let them know you have been unemployed for two years and don't have the money to pay upfront for anything! It's the reason are asking for a pay advance for goodness sake. Doesn't take a brain surgeon to deduce that since you are asking for an advance you also don't have the funds to prepay travel!

    Ask her what the formal company policy is on travel expenses. If your boss travels out of the country as well, I can't imagine the company not having corporate accounts with hotels, rental car agencies, and airlines - not to mention issuing corporate credit cards. Wondering if your boss is not telling you the whole truth.

  10. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    HR person is out of state- I think it's resolved now unless boss goes on another tangent. I agree it doesn't take a genius to figure this out but from everything I'm hearing from everyone else who works for this company, boss is not one to think things thru before juimping to conclusions and going off half-cocked.

    HR person didn't respond to my blunt email right away so I'm assuming she was waiting to ntalk to the partner there and probably my boss, too. They decided they could wait until mid Dec for me to have anything deducted from my check- money to repay them to get on track with everyone else- they will be taking out regular taxes and so forth of course. In the meantime, I found out that I do not have to have a CC at all. Another lady who works there said that she used to use hers and pay everything up front but then her husband got layed off and she had to max it out paying bills (I understand that) so she couldn't use it anymore. She has found the proper way to get everything, including the rental car, paid up front and reserved so it';s waiting for her. The only things not paid beforehand by the company are gas and food. That's no problem and I find that reasonable. Boss didn't know what he was talking about. By this point, I'm not surprised. I do want to get a pre-paid CC but I didn't want it for boss's purposes. This lady said they would have had to tell me before taking the job if it was a job requirement. I told her that was one of the points I had been trying to make. I think under these circumstances, it would not be valid reason to fire someone for not being able to meet job requirements if they didn't even know it was a job requirement until after starting work. But it's a non-issue now. I think at least.

    My last email to HR person included the statement that I sure hope everything is resolved to everyione's satisfaction now. I think where it went awry was when someone told boss after the partner said not to tell anyone. Someone apparently thought it would be ok to tell boss. It was boss who went bisirk about it. He said "well I didn't get that". Like a big baby! LOL! When they gave me a laptop that just happened to be brand new, he told the IT guy "Do I get my old laptop replaced with a brand new one then?" And he was serious!

    I'm getting along very well with everyone else- and even boss, too- he's just weird. A felt a thorn in my side though when a young person who has 2 years of technical training said she thought she knew more than people in my profession who have a college degree and a professional license. I bit my tongue, didn't react, held in those thoughts going thru my ladies would have been proud of me! LOL!

    So now I will plan trip # 1 and see if I can find a place to stay where I can take my dogs since it's only two weeks from now and close enough to drive to. I guess I have to take two laptops since I can't use theirs to come on this site.
  11. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    As far as the bankruptcy, while no one is proud of it and most consider it worse than being behind on bills, big corporations and government actually prefer bankruptcy to being behind on bills and having that outstanding debt. I learned that when things fell thru with that job last year. That is one of the main reasons I took my last $1300 and filed for it then started selling things. Still, I'm definitely not telling everyone I meet and so far I think the only person who knows is my boss.

    My connections to more contacts in the department where I really want to work- as a full time permanent employee- are starting to gorw little by little. Every time boss is out of town, which is often, the client's rep gets me one step closer. I think he and have have similar goals. :)

    Another thing that's helping- al;l of us there have some sort of military connection in our background, have pets, families, live ITRW so to speak with real life problems,....except for boss. He has none of this. He's worried about others sticking out but he doesn't see that he's the one that looks a little odd to the rest of the people. He's ok, just a little Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)'ish. And all that talk about the contract possibly not being extended- I realize there are no guarantees but apparently it's been extended the past five years. And this clients' rep who I keep referring to has a lot to do with it and he sits right behind me and likes me. Now, if I can just keep boss from going off on anymore tangents regarding me and my job!
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2010