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Old 08-18-2010, 06:53 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
1,278 posts, read 2,122,817 times
Reputation: 922

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If so, I'm curious as to how you've dealt with this.

In the past couple weeks, I've been experiencing a pretty stressful work load that is well beyond my current compensation rate and job description, and there is little to no end in sight. I work on site for our largest client. I believe that I'm compensated fairly for the work I do for them. During the last couple weeks, I've volunteered for some field work, not really being clear about what I'd be getting into. Well, the fact is, my company is having me do some things that, for beginners, are ethically dubious. They're having me work on another client's account while they are billing my hours to the client that I'm supposed to be dedicated to. I found it unnerving how hush-hush they wanted me to keep it when I was heading out of town. This was stressful for me, too, in that I needed to avoid telling the people I work with day in and day out what I'd be doing for the next couple weeks. They are particularly curious since they are basically paying for my salary.

Next, in an effort to avoid hiring new people for this project, my company is relying on its current staff to do the work of at least two to three other people. Currently, I'm working solo on the project, basically managing the entire project on my own. While I'm doing this, I have to put my present responsibilities on hold until the evening. So, after working 12 hour days in a sweltering hot warehouse in the deep south (heavy lifting, not a cozy office gig), I have to come back to my hotel in the evening to work on what I'm paid to work on. On top of that, I have a huge review next week that I need to prepare for and I'm getting plenty of outside pressure about compiling and sending out performance metrics before so and so date. This is beginning to cause a ton of stress in my life and I believe that I'm not being fairly compensated for the work that I'm doing for them. I wouldn't mind so much if there was some incentive in doing all of this (like a big raise or promotion), but I'm almost certain that after all of this is done, there'll be absolutely nothing offered to those who've worked on this project.

Have any of you dealt with this before? If so, how? Would this be reason enough for you to quit? Please explain.

Thanks!
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Old 08-18-2010, 07:26 PM
 
4,805 posts, read 21,710,858 times
Reputation: 5003
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcb1025 View Post
If so, I'm curious as to how you've dealt with this.

In the past couple weeks, I've been experiencing a pretty stressful work load that is well beyond my current compensation rate and job description, and there is little to no end in sight. I work on site for our largest client. I believe that I'm compensated fairly for the work I do for them. During the last couple weeks, I've volunteered for some field work, not really being clear about what I'd be getting into. Well, the fact is, my company is having me do some things that, for beginners, are ethically dubious. They're having me work on another client's account while they are billing my hours to the client that I'm supposed to be dedicated to. I found it unnerving how hush-hush they wanted me to keep it when I was heading out of town. This was stressful for me, too, in that I needed to avoid telling the people I work with day in and day out what I'd be doing for the next couple weeks. They are particularly curious since they are basically paying for my salary.

Next, in an effort to avoid hiring new people for this project, my company is relying on its current staff to do the work of at least two to three other people. Currently, I'm working solo on the project, basically managing the entire project on my own. While I'm doing this, I have to put my present responsibilities on hold until the evening. So, after working 12 hour days in a sweltering hot warehouse in the deep south (heavy lifting, not a cozy office gig), I have to come back to my hotel in the evening to work on what I'm paid to work on. On top of that, I have a huge review next week that I need to prepare for and I'm getting plenty of outside pressure about compiling and sending out performance metrics before so and so date. This is beginning to cause a ton of stress in my life and I believe that I'm not being fairly compensated for the work that I'm doing for them. I wouldn't mind so much if there was some incentive in doing all of this (like a big raise or promotion), but I'm almost certain that after all of this is done, there'll be absolutely nothing offered to those who've worked on this project.

Have any of you dealt with this before? If so, how? Would this be reason enough for you to quit? Please explain.

Thanks!
Since you are new to this situation, I think you should be more cautious about declaring the situation 'ethically dubious' (or any other serious term).

In a billable-hour working environment, accounting often shifts hours around. They may not bill hours for work when they know the work wasn't performed efficiently, or represents hours spent to correct a mistake. And they may bill more hours than were actually worked, to make up for hours worked a previous month that weren't billed. And very often it is the client who requests these changes, because it helps them with their own accounting system. And oftentimes services are legitimately billed to another party (for example, a law office may work on a case representing multiple clients. But in such a case it's not really fair to say that one particular minute of research or trial prep is attributable to one client and the next minute is attributable to the other client. Both minutes are spent representing both clients, but of course you can't bill it that way. And as projects (or in this example, the trial) progress, the amount a client may owe can change due to circumstances. For example the law firm may initially be hired by one client and starts doing their work on the case billing that one client. Then the case evolves and another party gets dragged into it and retains the lawyer to also represent them. Well, the second client are benefiting from the work the lawyer has already done for the first client and legitimately should pay for that. So to balance things out, the lawyer might bill more of the next month's hours to that second client than to the first. Then maybe the first client gets dropped from the case but the second stays on, but there's always a chance the first client could be pulled back in so the law firm is always representing them on some level. So some of the hours of work for the second client that still remains, gets billed to the first client, even though it may appear that no work is being done for them. Sorry, that's a really long explanation, but I'm just trying to demonstrate how billing can be complicated and even if you've been involved with the projects/clients/accounts for a very long time, you may not be privy to all the goings-on. So you can't assume that it is unethical or illegal. So long as the sum total represents services actually performed, there's nothing wrong with it. Don't presume that just because accounting told you to move some hours to another project number that something shady is going on.

As for compensation and the extra workload: you say you volunteered for this gig. You know the phrase, be careful what you wish for? This is a situation where that applies. Don't complain about something you volunteered to do.

Second, typically the raises come AFTER you've demonstrated your ability to perform the job. This is how the business world works. So at this point you may have legitimate reason to ask for a raise reflecting your new duties, your employer will not likely share your view that you were owed a higher salary before you assumed these duties. Note that if you are owed a raise because of greater responsibility, that means you can't neglect your original responsibility--and that means not ignoring the responsibility of performance evaluations that they are asking for. To have earned a raise, you have to do all of your work, and without complaint.

Also keep in mind that this is a temporary situation. MOST workers these days are having to do the work of two or three people. Look around you and I bet your not the only one at your company. So arguing this point may not win you any agreement from management. Furthermore, your additional workload, you say, is temporary. That means at some point you will go back to your fewer duties from before. So a larger than usual bonus might be more appropriate than a raise.
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Old 08-18-2010, 07:34 PM
 
16,308 posts, read 26,621,787 times
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Yes, I was often called upon to bail out tech's with a senior title, I got promoted to the senior position, with a raise.
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Old 08-18-2010, 07:39 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
1,278 posts, read 2,122,817 times
Reputation: 922
Quote:
Originally Posted by kodaka View Post
Don't presume that just because accounting told you to move some hours to another project number that something shady is going on.
I think it's pretty obvious that something shady is going down. Why else would they insist that I keep this a secret to the client that I'm supposed to be working for? Just for ***** and giggles? I doubt it. I believe there is more going on that you're willing to consider.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kodaka View Post
As for compensation and the extra workload: you say you volunteered for this gig. You know the phrase, be careful what you wish for? This is a situation where that applies. Don't complain about something you volunteered to do.
Fair enough. I will not be volunteering for any additional projects unless my boss gives me a detailed description of what needs to be done. All I got from him this time around was the address to the warehouse. Nothing else.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kodaka View Post
Second, typically the raises come AFTER you've demonstrated your ability to perform the job. This is how the business world works. So at this point you may have legitimate reason to ask for a raise reflecting your new duties, your employer will not likely share your view that you were owed a higher salary before you assumed these duties. Note that if you are owed a raise because of greater responsibility, that means you can't neglect your original responsibility--and that means not ignoring the responsibility of performance evaluations that they are asking for. To have earned a raise, you have to do all of your work, and without complaint.

Also keep in mind that this is a temporary situation. MOST workers these days are having to do the work of two or three people. Look around you and I bet your not the only one at your company. So arguing this point may not win you any agreement from management. Furthermore, your additional workload, you say, is temporary. That means at some point you will go back to your fewer duties from before. So a larger than usual bonus might be more appropriate than a raise.
Knowing how this company operates, everything has to be equal. There will be no additional bonus for this additional work.
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Old 08-18-2010, 07:51 PM
 
4,805 posts, read 21,710,858 times
Reputation: 5003
[quote=mcb1025;15531957]I believe there is more going on that you're willing to consider.QUOTE]

And maybe there is something more going on than YOU'RE willing to consider. You have admitted yourself, you are in over your head and don't fully know what you are doing there. So its pretty obvious that there is more going on than you know about.

One thing's for sure: accusing your employer of unethical behavior that you yourself are involved is NOT going to get you a raise.

If everything has to be equal, then there won't be either a raise or a bonus for you, so what was the point of this post?
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Old 08-18-2010, 07:59 PM
 
19,059 posts, read 23,546,504 times
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The story sounds pretty strange, unless I'm reading it wrong. I don't understand what you're doing in that warehouse all day and then having to work at night. Yes, it is typical to work at a higher level for a time before promotion, say 6 months or so, but 12hrs/day plus doing your regular job at night? That's a bit much. I would speak with your supervisor, or whoever, and let him/her know that you're overwhelmed and need help.
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Old 08-18-2010, 08:07 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
1,278 posts, read 2,122,817 times
Reputation: 922
Quote:
Originally Posted by kodaka View Post

And maybe there is something more going on than YOU'RE willing to consider. You have admitted yourself, you are in over your head and don't fully know what you are doing there. So its pretty obvious that there is more going on than you know about.

One thing's for sure: accusing your employer of unethical behavior that you yourself are involved is NOT going to get you a raise.

If everything has to be equal, then there won't be either a raise or a bonus for you, so what was the point of this post?
What is going on is exactly what I described. I'm working on a project that has completely taken me away from my job to serve our other client. It's really too complicated to explain to an outsider. Though I work for my employer, I'm actually more involved with our client (working on-site at their headquarters) and my position is pretty important to their operations. What's going on is that my employer is too cheap to hire some temporary labor and instead, is rotating people from other clients to do this project. On top of that, they are insisting that we do not tell the client that we work for (who pays our salary according to the contract we have with them) what we are doing. That, my friend, is ethically dubious. Why keep it quiet? Why not tell our client the truth and tell them that I'm working for another client (a competitor in the industry) while you continue to pay my salary? Hmm? Why not? No, no, instead it's SHHHH!!! Don't tell them where you're going or what you're doing. Yeah, that sounds REAL ethical.

The point of my post? Do you have a reading comprehension problem or are you trying to get under my skin for your own pleasure? I'm asking if people have ever been involved with a similar scheme and how they responded to it. Do they think there is something unethical about what's going on? I think I clearly stated that in my OP. Yes, I volunteered for a project that I knew nothing about. Shame on me. But the more I am learning about it, the more I'm realizing that this doesn't seem right.
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Old 08-18-2010, 08:19 PM
 
4,805 posts, read 21,710,858 times
Reputation: 5003
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcb1025 View Post
What is going on is exactly what I described. I'm working on a project that has completely taken me away from my job to serve our other client. It's really too complicated to explain to an outsider. Though I work for my employer, I'm actually more involved with our client (working on-site at their headquarters) and my position is pretty important to their operations. What's going on is that my employer is too cheap to hire some temporary labor and instead, is rotating people from other clients to do this project. On top of that, they are insisting that we do not tell the client that we work for (who pays our salary according to the contract we have with them) what we are doing. That, my friend, is ethically dubious. Why keep it quiet? Why not tell our client the truth and tell them that I'm working for another client (a competitor in the industry) while you continue to pay my salary? Hmm? Why not? No, no, instead it's SHHHH!!! Don't tell them where you're going or what you're doing. Yeah, that sounds REAL ethical.

The point of my post? Do you have a reading comprehension problem or are you trying to get under my skin for your own pleasure? I'm asking if people have ever been involved with a similar scheme and how they responded to it. Do they think there is something unethical about what's going on? I think I clearly stated that in my OP. Yes, I volunteered for a project that I knew nothing about. Shame on me. But the more I am learning about it, the more I'm realizing that this doesn't seem right.
Your JOB is to do what your employer tells you to do. It's your employer's business how they charge the customer, or what they tell them.

Maybe your employer told you to stop talking about your staffing assignments because they feel that you have crossed the line and shared too much in-house information. It isn't the client's business how your company handles its staffing needs.

You clearly have a reading comprehension problem since I have gone to great lengths to explain why this is NOT an ethical problem or a legal one. And I think its pretty obvious that I have substantially more experience than you do in the realm of billable hours and client relations.

Instead of obsessing and overanalyzing everything everyone else in the company is doing, why don't you spend your time preparing for your upcoming review so you can get that raise (or whatever it is you want, I'm not really sure any more what that is)?
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Old 08-18-2010, 08:39 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
1,278 posts, read 2,122,817 times
Reputation: 922
Quote:
Originally Posted by kodaka View Post
Your JOB is to do what your employer tells you to do. It's your employer's business how they charge the customer, or what they tell them.

Maybe your employer told you to stop talking about your staffing assignments because they feel that you have crossed the line and shared too much in-house information. It isn't the client's business how your company handles its staffing needs.

You clearly have a reading comprehension problem since I have gone to great lengths to explain why this is NOT an ethical problem or a legal one. And I think its pretty obvious that I have substantially more experience than you do in the realm of billable hours and client relations.

Instead of obsessing and overanalyzing everything everyone else in the company is doing, why don't you spend your time preparing for your upcoming review so you can get that raise (or whatever it is you want, I'm not really sure any more what that is)?
The problem with these forums is that self-proclaimed experts in life, such as yourself, jump to hasty conclusions because your egotistical mind thinks that you've seen and heard it all. The problem is that you actually don't know what you're talking about in this particular case. You don't understand the complexity of my employer's organization enough to make a valid argument. You don't understand the contractual obligations that must be met for our client. You don't understand that my employer doesn't pay my salary; the client does. All my employer does is forwards my paycheck to me via their bank account. You don't understand a lot about this situation, which is understandable. As I explained earlier, it is very complex how our organization operates.


You're right, it's their business to do what they want to do. It doesn't mean it's ethical and it doesn't mean that you should support unethical business practices. Maybe you should take a break from this thread and let some non-corporate shill types respond.
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Old 08-18-2010, 08:54 PM
 
4,805 posts, read 21,710,858 times
Reputation: 5003
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcb1025 View Post
The problem with these forums is that self-proclaimed experts in life, such as yourself, jump to hasty conclusions because your egotistical mind thinks that you've seen and heard it all. The problem is that you actually don't know what you're talking about in this particular case. You don't understand the complexity of my employer's organization enough to make a valid argument. You don't understand the contractual obligations that must be met for our client. You don't understand that my employer doesn't pay my salary; the client does. All my employer does is forwards my paycheck to me via their bank account. You don't understand a lot about this situation, which is understandable. As I explained earlier, it is very complex how our organization operates.


You're right, it's their business to do what they want to do. It doesn't mean it's ethical and it doesn't mean that you should support unethical business practices. Maybe you should take a break from this thread and let some non-corporate shill types respond.
NOBODY, even the "non-corporate shill types," know all of the intricacies of your particular organization. You are on anonymous internet message board and you have generalized your description of the situation deliberately so as to mask identifying facts. So why don't you just tell everyone what kind of answer it was that you were expecting to get, and we'll parrot it back to you?

And your corporate structure isn't nearly as complex as you'd like to think it is. Your client pays your company, and they pay you. That makes the company, not the client, your employer. It doesn't matter if the company doesn't take anything off the top, or doesn't mix the client's payments in with other funds. Your employer is the one that pays you and that makes them your boss, Period.
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