Norma worked for a company as a telecommuter. Her job involved developing training materials. For a few years, she enjoyed the arrangement.
Then one day Norma’s company began sending notices of new requirements. Each course had to include a minimum of five objectives. The objectives had to be worded a certain way. They had to be placed in three different places on the course format.
Soon afterward the company began asking for new types of course evaluation. Then there were new reports to prepare after each training course feedback forms came in. And more….and more.
Norma was paid a flat fee, not an hourly rate. “If this keeps up,” she said, “‘I will be earning minimum wage! I might as well be working at Starbuck’s.”
Norma confided one day in her colleague, Frank.”Oh, I just don’t do those things,” Frank said.
“What?!” Norma exclaimed. “You’ll get fired.”
“Maybe,” Frank shrugged. “But I’ve been here awhile. Nobody’s ever said anything. Surely they’d say something before they’d take action. Anyway,” Frank continued, “I’ve been ignoring things for two years now. I still get my raises and my contract gets renewed.”
Should Norma follow Frank’s example? It’s hard to say. If she asked, Frank would add that his personal situation allows him to take big risks with his career. He knows he may face consequences.
Frank also has made a decision. He doesn’t want to stay with this company if the workkload increases. So he’s got several irons in the fire. He’s starting a side business. He has applications with several of his current firm’s competitors, since he doesn’t have a non-compete clause in his contract. He feels confident that he can weather a storm.
Frank believes hjs solution may be better than quitting outright. If he gets confronted, he can choose whether to comply or risk being fired.The odds are in Frank’s favor, as coworkers will either fall behind, stop doing the work or start leaving.
Norma isn’t so sure. She thinks she should try to reason with the company. She wants to show them how many hours have been added to her job with the addition of all the new requirements.
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