Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Sodomy, Not for Fun or Profit

So I get my paycheck last Friday, and when I look at it, I'm short an hour of overtime pay. Since I'm leaving early, I don't have time to pursue the issue that day. Today rolls around and my foreman gets the payroll lady to copy the relevant time cards. Sweet... I can't read much of anything on them except where the shop superintendent has HAND WRITTEN my times in several places and rounded the time to the nearest 1/4 hour. Mother fuck!

Now I must digress here a bit and explain that for the better part of a year our time clock at work has run fast. Also, we have a horn that signals start, stop, lunch, etc that runs off it's own clock During the winter, it was the horn that was fucked first, going off about three minutes fast. We bitched, we moaned, we got excuses. No one new how to reset the damn thing; the damn thing was set as accurately as possible, the damn thing changes itself all on its own. The answer ended up being: Not to reset the horn to the right time, but to move the time clock to the wrong time. Wonderfuckingful. For me, I usually get to work about 5 - 10 minutes early, so maybe I'm only 2 minutes early under this scenario.

Well a few months later, daylight savings comes along, and for the first day the horn and time clock are off by an hour, and 3 minutes, and will obviously need to be reset (which couldn't be done months ago.) So it gets reset. Great. But it gets reset wrong again. By the usual three minutes? No, this time it's FIVE minutes. More bitching, more excuses. This time the best excuse is actually the super's explanation that he's doing us a favor, because if you're like him who has to drive by two Boeing plants leaving five minutes earlier makes all the difference in the world. So we're not on Pacific Time anymore, we're on W____ time. We're not even on the same time as our company's office. NOW, I'm getting to work 2 - 3 minutes late.

For a while, while we bitched, he bitched. Then he started dinging all of us who came straggling in for the few hundredths of an hour we'd miss. I was able to laugh off as pettiness, the paychecks for 39.92 hours. Then a couple of weeks ago he hit another guy with the, "If he can't be here for all the overtime, no overtime at all," routine. A week later it was my turn to go "on restriction." I was still able to laugh it off as his pettiness. I guess it's all fun and games till someone gets fucked, right?

OK, OK, you ask why I don't just go along and adjust my schedule accordingly. Fair enough; simple enough. But God dammit, the fucker's wrong to do what he's doing. Sure a company can decide what the starting time is and change it at will, but there are right ways and wrong ways to do things. Yes I suppose you can say I'm being as childish as the boss is. Yes I suppose you can say I'm cutting my nose off to spite my face. But, but, but... the fucker's wrong. But the fucker's also still the boss.

So I'm in a dilemma. His fucking with my card is definitely illegal. His fucking with the time clock, while not illegal, seems definitely unethical. I have seen in the past the company warn guys for being late, both verbally and in writing, and even firing them if they don't straighten up. But I've never heard of anyone being docked like this; not even after a warning. Seems pretty clear to me that I can nail his ass either through the Union, or through the state via Labor and Industry. The problem is, he'll still be the fucking boss, and I have no doubt whatsoever that if he loses the battle, he'll definitely be out to make it a war and win.

What to do, what to do. He likes to brag about no one ever filing a grievance against him. Do I become the first, putting ten years of seniority with three weeks of vacation at risk? Or do I swallow it all and allow him to continue to play games and manipulate us all? reason with him somehow? I haven't seen or heard of that happening yet. I feel like I'm fucked no matter which way I turn.

Anyone out there been in a shitty situation at work like this? What'd you do about it? Was it worth it to you, whatever your actions?


Tengrain said...

Quite a delima, my friend. You have the law on your side, so whatchya gonna do?

Personally, I think you talk to him and work it out, but let him know you are watching him. Get him to fly straight so that no one else gets screwed by his petty games.

But that's just me.



Anon. said...

It seems to me that if he was going to do the right thing by you, he would have done it by now, so you have a legitimate grievance.

On the other hand, if you do file a grievance, your union has to be stronger than he is - are they?

kimmyk said...

I would try talking to him first to see how that goes but if it gets ugly...well...then we're back to square one and maybe he'll watch what he's doing then next time? Yeah don'tcha have a union??? Go to them.

yorlor said...

it's been a couple weeks, but i say start with the union. that's what it's for, right? strength in numbers? accountability?

if the guy's a dick, you've got a couple ways to let him lie. but his f'ing with your time card is UNACCEPTABLE. that shit's gotta be set straight. if the union isn't helpful, i'd put out some legal feelers. take my advice in stride, i'm a fighter.

Chris in Seattle said...

four weeks and I think all is now well on this issue. The first week he fucked with my time. I talked to my foreman and shop steward (Who's useless) and a few other guys. The second week he fucked with another guy as well as me. It was his doing the second guy that seemed to rally the troops; a couple of guys punched in late on purpose just to see what he'd do. I still don't know if the shop steward did anything, but I know the foreman talked to him. I never did go to the union or the state; I really wanted things to resolved in-house. We've always gotten by with very few rules and I wanted to keep things that way.

One of the guys who punched in late is a guy that I know the superintendent is afraid of. I don't think the guy would punch him out necessarily, but he has no qualms about getting in someone's face when he's pissed. Well, no one got docked extra time like he had been doing. I don't know if it was because someone talked sense into him or if he just pussied out, but for the time being, at least this chapter of bull shit seems to be over.