Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Labor 3 Hours for $75 or 8 Hours for $80?

Yesterday, the HR gal told me that they were cutting my hours down to one day per week. That stinks, but there's more to the story.

I work at an auction house. I was hired as an auction block clerk. I simply came in one day per week for the auction event, which lasted 2-3 hours, and I made a quick $75 flat rate. Well, I applied for several regular full-time positions without success, so the HR gal found work for me helping various departments with clerical work throughout the week. The arrangement was that I would work for $10/hr whether working the block or doing anything else. So, I sacrificed $25/hr for only 3 hours for $10/hr for 28 hours per week. But no sooner than I struck this bargain, the hours started to dwindle and each department started sending me home early or quit using me altogether.

So, when I was told that I would only be working on the auction event day, I asked the HR gal whether I could return to the earlier rate of $75. She jumped at the chance since it would relieve her of the task of finding more work for me. "You bet we can do that," she said in a you-asked-for-it-now kind of tone, "but then you won't get additional hours in any departments since your rate of pay will be too high." I reminded her that she had just told me that there were no hours available anyway. Then she realized that I would not work the counter after the sale for her best friend's department and she panicked and started pleading for me to continue on with the old arrangement. I politely declined.