talktooloose: (marvel_boy)
Why is it so hard for me to stand up for myself?

At work, we have a terrible client (very important, global company). We did a 10 page report for him last Spring and it was a nightmare, with a designer (not me) ending up working until all hours while the client made endless picky demands.

We have another report for the client that must be delivered by next Sunday night. I was asked if I could work on the weekend on this and I said yes, feeling it was sort of my term. The good news was that the report would be layed out by Friday and it would only be minor changes over the weekend.

But then it started to emerge that they were willing to offer my time 24 hours a day to the client. I started to push back hard, especially when I learned that our company was being paid a premium by the client for the weekend work, but not offering any of that money to me.

A week later, the nonsense is still going on and I am being asked "yes or no" whether I can commit to this weekend. "I can't guarantee it won't be all 48 hours", my supervisor just wrote me. I wrote back:

"I am prepared to work a set number of hours this weekend with some flexibility in that time. If I am expected to be on call for unscheduled 3am corrections, I would want to be reimbursed for all hours I am on call. If we scheduled, say 1700 to 2300 and then it went an hour later, I would, of course, be flexible about that.

"You seem to be upset by the fact that I wish to negotiate these hours at all. I do not mean to be difficult, but I think it is reasonable for me to negotiate the terms of my work when they fall this far outside the norm."

Now I'm drenched in sweat and miserable because I stood up for myself, like I'll be fired and replaced with someone less difficult. My God! What slaves, what automatons we have become.

June 2012

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