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The Penny Pinchers Strike Again

Posted on Friday 27th April 2007 at 00:00
Back in January I wrote about my hours at work being cut due to managerial incompetence and how very annoyed about the entire situation I was. What I failed to then write about, for fear of tempting fate, is that within a couple of weeks my hours had gradually been restored to me, the financial crisis in catering had abated and I was able to continue as normal.

Until now anyway. Last week I worked 10-3 on Monday, 10-4 on Wednesday 10-7 on Thursday and a couple of hours on Friday and Saturday. This week my hours on Monday were cut to 11-3, Wednesday was 12-2:30, Thursday was 11-3 and then 4:30-7 and God knows what hours I'll get tonight and tomorrow.

You see, in order to find a long term solution to the catering deficit (rumoured to be in the region of '50k in the red), they've brought in a new, squeaky clean and probably highly paid new manager who will fix everything. His first action - besides sitting at his desk for an hour sharpening pencils - was to immediately lay off anyone who doesn't have a contract, ie all the students in every university run bar on campus; or to put it another way, around half the workforce. This was not the smartest of moves in my opinion. Ok so it cut the wage bills dramatically, but it also crippled most of the bars affected and left them unable to function as efficiently as they should.

The only reason I still have a job of sorts is because my boss is fighting extremely hard to retain my services, and those of just one other student. Sadly the trade off of this is that my hours have had to be cut dramatically. In the future I'll be down to just three hours of work a day, twice a week, rather than 5 hours a day, twice a week and up to 9 hours on a third day in another bar, which I've now lost completely. The reason for my odd working hours yesterday is that they needed me for the day and for the evening but couldn't afford for me to work the 90 minutes in between, at a cost to them of just '9.45.

I wouldn't mind the cuts if it wasn't for two little grievances. Firstly, so far, not a single manager has been fired. I honestly cannot understand this at all. For a start, there are probably double the number of managers in the department as are actually required to do the job. Everyone seems to be friends or married to someone else with influence, which means a dozen or so of them sit on their backsides day in and day out, making stupid policy decisions and doing absolutely nothing to justify their huge salaries, while the bars that are actually trying to make some money have to make drastic cuts. This would be odd enough, but the fact that they've brought in this new bloke to fix things shows that the old ones have failed to do their job properly, which in any other profit making organisation is cause enough for immediate dismissal.

My second grievance is that in a few months time I'm really going to need the work. I'm moving out soon and finding a new more expensive place to live, for which I will need a new, higher paid job with a proper contract and guaranteed work and such like. I'll have almost a whole working week available to me, thanks to my slim uni hours and I very much wish to fill them in a productive way.

At one point the plan had been to stay in catering at uni and just boost up my hours, but sadly that no longer appears to be an option. As a result, thanks once again to other people's screw ups, I'm now forced to go out into the big wide world and find myself a new job.

Lucky me.

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