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  1. #1
    PeggySmith13 is offline Junior Member
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    Being mistreated at work for hurting employers pride?

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? FL

    Recently I spoke out to my boss because he is taking advantage of me at work. I was hired as an admin. assistant with light graphic work (cutting out photos of chairs and putting a watermark on them). Because I am a professional photographer and graphic designer, he has taken advantage of that. At first, I said I would take some photos but quickly had me taking photos everyday. I confronted him and told him that if he wanted me to continue, then he would have to pay me because I get paid to take photos and there is wear and tear on my camera. He then told me that I would no longer be taking photos.


    Since then, he has increase the quantity and quality of my graphics work for the company. I no longer just put watermarks on photos but am required to change the color of things, add things like doors or shelves that don't exist on the current photo, create email campaigns, banners, etc... I even redid the catalog for this year instead of them paying a graphic designer to do it! This saved them thousands of dollars and all I got was $100 bonus. I also don't have the programs to do this kind of work and they will not buy them for me so I have had to ask other friends that are graphic designers to help me.


    Also, when I change the color of these things, he tells me to match up a color from something else. When I do this, he stands at my desk and stares at it forever and asks to see the color he asked me to change it to and then the one I made and then asks me to put them side by side..... They are the same color! He then tells me that they are not the same color and I need to do it over to make it closer to the right color. This has been done for several of the items that I have had to change. Last week I had enough. He had me change the color of a certain item 5 times and then told me that when we had the original photo up, we were getting lots of calls, then when I changed the color the first time(as directed by him) the phones started ringing less, and the last time I changed the color(also directed by him) the phones started ringing even less. Very aggravated by this, I checked the sales record for that chair and there hasn't been any change in the sales of the chair. So, as he came to my desk and started staring and telling me that it's just not quite the same color, I snapped. I told him that this was ridiculous and that the tiny difference in color he thinks he sees, has had no impact on the sales of this chair. He disagreed and I told him to check the record. He just kept saying that all he knows is that the phones are ringing less. So I continued to tell him that he just needs to check the records because there has been no difference at all! He was very upset that I was talking back to him and asked me to come into the conference room behind closed doors. He started to talk and say that he didn't know what to say but the second that I tried to speak up again and he tried to end the conversation. I told him that he was not the only one that got to speak on this and I needed to say something. I said a lot in there, including calling him anal and picky. The context of this was that because he is so anal, it makes it very difficult to work for him. And that all I was talking about was the sales of this chair in relation to how many times I have had to photoshop it. This is not the first time. It has happened several times that I have had to completely change the color of something and it's not to his liking. I also brought up money again because I told him that the amount of graphic work that I do does not equal what I am being paid. Im being paid like a secretary. And I said that my graphic artist friends are laughing at me because of the amount of money I am being paid. He said he didn't understand cause this is what he is paying me to do. I said, no, you are paying me to be an admin. assist. , not a graphic designer. If you were paying me to do this work, you would be paying me a lot more. He said he didn't know what to do. The girl that I replaced could never do the kind of graphic work I am doing for him. She was just an admin. assist. and he figured out a way to cut out the photos and put a watermark on them so they could save money cause they were paying a graphic designer to do it. All of her photos looked terrible cause obviously she didn't know what she was doing and I have redone every photo that she did on our website.


    He has also forced me to learn HTML to edit our website and eBay templates and would not send me to any school for any training. This is also not in my job description.


    The next day he didn't speak to me all day. In fact, no one did. I work in a small office that's owned by a husband and wife. Other than them, there are only 4 other employees. At the end of the day, he asked me to come in the conference room where he gave me a piece of paper and asked me to read it and sign it. I read it and said ok. He asked me to sign it. I told him that I am not signing this now but would bring it back on Monday. The letter was basically a disciplinary write up for my personnel file. Saying that this kind of outburst will not be tolerated and any more questions about my work will lead to further action including termination. I didn't get any warning. And I don't feel like I did anything wrong. I haven't signed it, and Im not going to. It's now 2 days after and I haven't given it to him and he hasn't asked for it. In these 2 days, I have been completely ignored and when I say things like good night, I get no response. Im not sure what is going on but I feel like Im being mistreated.
    All of my reviews have been excellent even though I waited 8 months for my 1 year review. He kept putting it off. so I got my 1 year review at 1 year and 8 months. I would ask him every couple weeks and he always said he was busy and needed to reschedule. I did get a raise which proves that I am doing a good job but despite complaining about the current financial problems, he hired a woman on full time who makes more money than me.
    Last edited by PeggySmith13; 02-16-2010 at 09:42 AM.
  2. #2
    Blue Meanie is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeggySmith13 View Post
    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? FL

    Recently I spoke out to my boss because he is taking advantage of me at work. I was hired as an admin. assistant with light graphic work (cutting out photos of chairs and putting a watermark on them). Because I am a professional photographer and graphic designer, he has taken advantage of that. At first, I said I would take some photos but quickly had me taking photos everyday. I confronted him and told him that if he wanted me to continue, then he would have to pay me because I get paid to take photos and there is wear and tear on my camera. He then told me that I would no longer be taking photos.
    Since then, he has increase the quantity and quality of my graphics work for the company. I no longer just put watermarks on photos but am required to change the color of things, add things like doors or shelves that don't exist on the current photo, create email campaigns, banners, etc... I even redid the catalog for this year instead of them paying a graphic designer to do it! This saved them thousands of dollars and all I got was $100 bonus. I also don't have the programs to do this kind of work and they will not buy them for me so I have had to ask other friends that are graphic designers to help me.
    Also, when I change the color of these things, he tells me to match up a color from something else. When I do this, he stands at my desk and stares at it forever and asks to see the color he asked me to change it to and then the one I made and then asks me to put them side by side..... They are the same color! He then tells me that they are not the same color and I need to do it over to make it closer to the right color. This has been done for several of the items that I have had to change. Last week I had enough. He had me change the color of a certain item 5 times and then told me that when we had the original photo up, we were getting lots of calls, then when I changed the color the first time(as directed by him) the phones started ringing less, and the last time I changed the color(also directed by him) the phones started ringing even less. Very aggravated by this, I checked the sales record for that chair and there hasn't been any change in the sales of the chair. So, as he came to my desk and started staring and telling me that it's just not quite the same color, I snapped. I told him that this was ridiculous and that the tiny difference in color he thinks he sees, has had no impact on the sales of this chair. He disagreed and I told him to check the record. He just kept saying that all he knows is that the phones are ringing less. So I continued to tell him that he just needs to check the records because there has been no difference at all! He was very upset that I was talking back to him and asked me to come into the conference room behind closed doors. He started to talk and say that he didn't know what to say but the second that I tried to speak up again and he tried to end the conversation. I told him that he was not the only one that got to speak on this and I needed to say something. I said a lot in there, including calling him anal and picky. The context of this was that because he is so anal, it makes it very difficult to work for him. And that all I was talking about was the sales of this chair in relation to how many times I have had to photoshop it. This is not the first time. It has happened several times that I have had to completely change the color of something and it's not to his liking. I also brought up money again because I told him that the amount of graphic work that I do does not equal what I am being paid. Im being paid like a secretary. And I said that my graphic artist friends are laughing at me because of the amount of money I am being paid. He said he didn't understand cause this is what he is paying me to do. I said, no, you are paying me to be an admin. assist. , not a graphic designer. If you were paying me to do this work, you would be paying me a lot more. He said he didn't know what to do. The girl that I replaced could never do the kind of graphic work I am doing for him. She was just an admin. assist. and he figured out a way to cut out the photos and put a watermark on them so they could save money cause they were paying a graphic designer to do it. All of her photos looked terrible cause obviously she didn't know what she was doing and I have redone every photo that she did on our website.
    He has also forced me to learn HTML to edit our website and eBay templates and would not send me to any school for any training. This is also not in my job description.
    The next day he didn't speak to me all day. In fact, no one did. I work in a small office that's owned by a husband and wife. Other than them, there are only 4 other employees. At the end of the day, he asked me to come in the conference room where he gave me a piece of paper and asked me to read it and sign it. I read it and said ok. He asked me to sign it. I told him that I am not signing this now but would bring it back on Monday. The letter was basically a disciplinary write up for my personnel file. Saying that this kind of outburst will not be tolerated and any more questions about my work will lead to further action including termination. I didn't get any warning. And I don't feel like I did anything wrong. I haven't signed it, and Im not going to. It's now 2 days after and I haven't given it to him and he hasn't asked for it. In these 2 days, I have been completely ignored and when I say things like good night, I get no response. Im not sure what is going on but I feel like Im being mistreated.
    All of my reviews have been excellent even though I waited 8 months for my 1 year review. He kept putting it off. so I got my 1 year review at 1 year and 8 months. I would ask him every couple weeks and he always said he was busy and needed to reschedule. I did get a raise which proves that I am doing a good job but despite complaining about the current financial problems, he hired a woman on full time who makes more money than me.What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)?
    Edit to remove the irrelevant commentary and please double space between paragraphs.

    Thank You.
  3. #3
    Zigner is offline Senior Member
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    I skimmed. To summarize my skim: OP is upset because s/he was asked to do things that s/he felt was not in the job description and feels that s/he should have been earning more money. Then, OP disagreed with the boss about something and the boss terminated the OP.


    Answer: Absent a bona fide employment contract, you can be terminated for any reason not specifically prohibited by law.
  4. #4
    PeggySmith13 is offline Junior Member
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    not a successful skim.....

    Not sure you got all of the points when you skimmed this.
    I haven't been fired. Not yet anyways. Im being paid a low salary to do something that I am not supposed to be doing. Im being taken advantage of and was written up for nothing.
  5. #5
    Blue Meanie is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeggySmith13 View Post
    Not sure you got all of the points when you skimmed this.
    I haven't been fired. Not yet anyways. Im being paid a low salary to do something that I am not supposed to be doing. Im being taken advantage of and was written up for nothing.
    Quit. Get another job. You have no legal recourse other than to quit the job.
  6. #6
    Zigner is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeggySmith13 View Post
    Not sure you got all of the points when you skimmed this.
    I haven't been fired. Not yet anyways. Im being paid a low salary to do something that I am not supposed to be doing. Im being taken advantage of and was written up for nothing.
    Oh, then you're lucky. I would have fired you.
  7. #7
    Andy0192 is offline Member
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    If you're worth more than you're getting paid, you have every right to go find a new job with a more understanding boss who will appreciate your talents & compensate you accordingly.

    If you're worried about keeping the job you have, you should clam up, buckle down, and do what the boss is telling you to do. Even if it wasn't in your job description when you got hired.
  8. #8
    anteater is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zigner View Post
    Oh, then you're lucky. I would have fired you.
    Is it the "...calling him anal and picky" that would have done it for you, Zig?
  9. #9
    PeggySmith13 is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by anteater View Post
    Is it the "...calling him anal and picky" that would have done it for you, Zig?
    That's what it is. Im am a good employee. Better than most I would say. I don't understand the work ethics of people today. Im getting paid like a secretary but being forced to do way more yet one girl takes 20 cigarette breaks, one is on the phone with her mom the whole day, and the other is constantly on the phone make doctors appointments for her kids or paying her credit card bills or arranging her babysitters.
  10. #10
    Zigner is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by anteater View Post
    Is it the "...calling him anal and picky" that would have done it for you, Zig?
    Funny - I didn't catch that in my "skim".
    The phrase "This is also not in my job description." just gets under my skin. In this day and age, employees must be flexible enough to go the extra mile in order to keep their job...
    If the employee has an actual, contractual "job description", that is one thing. But, being hired to do one thing and then having more responsibilities added is something that employees should crave.
  11. #11
    Blue Meanie is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeggySmith13 View Post
    That's what it is. Im am a good employee. Better than most I would say. I don't understand the work ethics of people today. Im getting paid like a secretary but being forced to do way more yet one girl takes 20 cigarette breaks, one is on the phone with her mom the whole day, and the other is constantly on the phone make doctors appointments for her kids or paying her credit card bills or arranging her babysitters.
    Again...Your LEGAL OPTION is to quit this job.
  12. #12
    Zigner is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeggySmith13 View Post
    That's what it is. Im am a good employee. Better than most I would say. I don't understand the work ethics of people today. Im getting paid like a secretary but being forced to do way more yet one girl takes 20 cigarette breaks, one is on the phone with her mom the whole day, and the other is constantly on the phone make doctors appointments for her kids or paying her credit card bills or arranging her babysitters.
    You definitely don't fit in there. I mean, why should YOU be expected to shoulder the entire work-load of the whole company? Quit! That'll show them just how indispensable and invaluable you are and will leave them sobbing and gnashing their teeth when they realized that they let go of the ONE person who could hold the company together.
  13. #13
    >Charlotte< is offline Senior Member
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    You were insubordinate and seriously out of line. You're lucky you haven't already been fired, and I wouldn't be surprised if they are planning to do so. If you're as big an asset to the company as you think you are they might be willing to put up with that crap, but don't push your luck.

    In the absence of an enforceable contract that states otherwise, your job is not to do A, B, and C. Your job is to do what your employer tells you to do when he tells you to do it. If you are not willing to accept tasks that you feel are "beneath" you, your only recourse is to quit. If you feel you should be making more money for the duties you're performing, your only recourse is to find a better paying job. An alternative to either option would be to negotiate a salary increase and/or a more specific description of your duties, but neither will be legally binding.

    If you think you are being treated unfairly, you might be right. But "unfair" and "illegal" are not synonymous.
  14. #14
    commentator is offline Senior Member
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    It does not matter what you are being asked to do, whether others are doing what they are supposed to be doing, or whether you were hired on as this or something else. If you and your employer cannot work things out, he has every right to fire you. Since he has given you a written warning, whether you sign it or not, you have knowledge that your job may be in jeopardy, and if you wish to keep the job, you will have to change your behavior and avoid confrontations with him in the future.

    Job descriptions are in no way sacred especially in non-organized non union businesses. He can increase your responsibilities, or change your job description if he wants to. Your recourse is to quit.

    That he has given you a warning means that if you tell him off again and he terminates you, you will be less likely to be approved for unemployment benefits. Because you have knowingly done something that would get you fired, and it did. By your own choice.

    Unemployment is the only recourse you will have if he does fire you. You cannot take him to the "labor board" or sue him or protest this in any way. It sounds as though he is pushing his luck on finding a good person to work for him plenty cheap. It is also your recourse to leave and take another good job elsewhere, so I'd definitely be looking hard. This person is always going to be the kind of employer he is, he isn't going to change. Perhaps you and he can negotiate some kind of mutual respect, since he obviously appreciates your work. But remember, he's the boss, it's an "at will" state, and he can and will fire you if you fight him.
    Last edited by commentator; 02-16-2010 at 02:40 PM.
  15. #15
    Hot Topic is offline Senior Member
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    Learning new skills is always a bonus.

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