Why can't we be friends (errr fellow permanent employees)???
January 22, 2014 8:50 PM   Subscribe

I'm in a position where I'm currently a "temp to hire" -- I have been looking for a new job because of the uncertainty in my company and have interviewed with a different company who is moving me to the next step of their hiring process and gave me a hire date. I don't want to leave the company I'm currently with but feel I may have to if I'm not offered a permanent position. How do I bring this up to my boss?

I really enjoy my job -- not necessarily the work itself because sometimes it can be quite daunting and other times even boring, but I love the people I work with and I love that I am valued in my company and they are pretty lenient with me because of this.

But that said, the director of the division of our company (which is a conglomerate that owns many different kinds of divisions) has no idea what she is doing and is driving the business into the ground. We consistently have to work mandatory overtime, and sometimes, a ridiculous amount of it (16 hours to be exact) because she doesn't space out the work we're taking on and the timelines we have to meet for this work. They have begun putting barcodes on computers/tables/chairs, etc, which makes me think the company is inventorying what our building has. They've also began "giving" us employees in a different office in a different state that have had no training answering our clients phone calls. This hinders us more than helps since we have to clean up the mistakes they constantly make and I've began wondering if this other team may be taking over our division entirely but little is being said (this is of course as personal assumption).

I've been told several times over the past 2 months that I am "next in line" by all of my immediate supervisors to be hired on permanently. I have ADHD and other problems that need to be dealt with medically -- so I'm in need of the medical benefits. Since I'm a temp, I'm also paid less than the other permanent reps and one of these reps left last week for a better job which makes me think in my mind there should be a position open right now.

I need to bring this up to my boss -- both my concerns as well as my possible leaving, but I want my possible leaving to be leverage to get me hired on permanently. Are my suspicions correct, though? Will I ever be hired on permanently? I don't want to leave... I just want and deserve the benefits now that I've been with the company 6 months. I know many other reps are leaving which seems to me to be good as far as the possibility of permanence. How do I bring this up to my boss in a professional, non-whiny way? I've spoke to my immediate supervisor already and she said that I am favorited in my department and I'm not going to be canned for voicing concerns but she's also uncertain if any permanent positions are currently being offered.

I also wonder how to bring up hourly wages -- I know my supervisor is making 14/hour, our bilingual reps make 13/hr, I would like to make at least 12 given that I have 5 years in call center/customer support related experience. The other company is offering me 13/hour and immediate permanency.

Thanks for the advice in advance!
posted by camylanded to Work & Money (17 answers total)
It's not clear why you want to be hired permanently at a company that's being driven into the ground.
posted by jon1270 at 8:54 PM on January 22, 2014 [13 favorites]

Being "Next in line" to be hired at a place that's poorly run, with a 56-hour week on a regular basis for relatively low pay? None of that sounds wonderful to me, and your question that's ostensibly about how to stay seems to mostly detail what's wrong with your current job, almost none of which would really be fixed by getting hired full-time there.

If you really want this, you get the offer from the other company, take it to your boss, and say "hey boss, sorry, but I can't turn down this offer because it's full-time and you guys won't hire me" and see if they want to match/exceed it. But quite frankly, based on what you've written, I actually think if you get it you should just take it and be done with this mismanaged place for good.
posted by Tomorrowful at 8:55 PM on January 22, 2014 [4 favorites]

So your current company is paying you like shit, says they love you but doesn't value you enough to give you a permanent position with a better salary or benefits, makes you work constant overtime because they are poorly managed, probably going to lay off your whole department soon if not go entirely bankrupt...but you'd love to stay because there are nice people there?

There are nice people in lots of companies. You can do way better than this one.
posted by the agents of KAOS at 9:10 PM on January 22, 2014

You have a hire date. Do you have an official offer? Don't bother to leverage with what you don't have or aren't willing to take.

My opinion: If you were truly valued, you'd be a permanent hire instead of a promise. Like, there would be a plan to get you there, and it'd have been activated as soon as there was an opening. There isn't, because something is wrong with the company. I believe this because I was in a similar position a couple of years ago, and I'd still be temping there if I hadn't jumped ship. And they hadn't folded my department into another one six months later.
posted by sm1tten at 9:35 PM on January 22, 2014

Actions speak so much louder than words, don't they ?

Vote with your feet... take the other job.

In a small way you'll also be doing others in the department a favor. If good workers keep working for temp status and no benefits, why would the company ever pay them full-time wages and benefits ?
posted by Kakkerlak at 9:39 PM on January 22, 2014 [2 favorites]

The other company is offering me 13/hour and immediate permanency.

The way that I have gotten either 1) another company to give an offer and accelerate the timeline or 2) increase the salary prior to being hired is to say something along the lines of "Company A (boss whatever), I like working here or would like to take your offer because (insert complimentary adjectives). However, I will have to move onward to the other company unless I receive an offer by date X. I already have an offer" Don't have the conversation unless you have been given an offer, with a letter.

You can also say "Although I would love to work here at company A (or with boss whatever) because of reasons 1,2,3, I may not be able to do so. The other company has offered me XX compensation." Then stay silent. The other company often fills in the silence with an offer.

OP, I really would not go with your current company unless it exceeds the other offer and even then I would be hesitant. The way that you describe current activities? People that I know who have either observed or undergone the same conditions usually lose their jobs....because they are likely testing the other company for cost and accuracy. They may still drop your company if the costs at the other company are lower.

Think through what you want and why before you negotiate.
posted by Wolfster at 10:03 PM on January 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

Keep moving. You can waste a lot of time waiting around for something to happen that might never eventuate.
posted by heyjude at 10:39 PM on January 22, 2014

When they don't give you medical benefits in exchange for your working hours+16 hour overtime, it means they couldn't care less if you got in a car accident and want to walk again. It means they couldn't care less if you were diagnosed with an auto-immune disease and needed medicine to keep your vision. It means they couldn't care less if you had a heart attack.

Don't confuse sadistic apathy with nice.
posted by oceanjesse at 10:43 PM on January 22, 2014 [7 favorites]

If your division is spending tons of money on unplanned overtime, that's going to blow a big hole in the division's budget. Not only is there the likelihood of your boss not having the ability to promote you to full-time, there's also a possibility that headcount reductions are on the way in order to make up the shortfall. Not to mention, your suspicions about that other division taking over your team could be right.

You've got a better offer to go work at another firm that presumably is not courting disaster. We call this "dodging a bullet." Get out while the getting's good.
posted by Guernsey Halleck at 11:25 PM on January 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

The new company has offered you an immediate permanent position with pay that's a dollar an hour above your goal.

The place where you're working now sounds like a flea circus.

Take the offer and don't look back.
posted by Pudhoho at 11:41 PM on January 22, 2014 [2 favorites]

Seconding the previous commenters that the other positions sounds, by your description, to be better than your current one. I'd suggest strongly leaning toward taking it. I also agree that you could approach your boss for a counter-offer, but the risk even if your current company hires you is that you pass up a good opportunity in favor of staying on at a poorly managed company that knows you've been looking elsewhere. Whatever they offer you could be gone if, say, they do have to lay people off and start with the least seniority, in which case they might well start counting from your official hire date.

If you like the people currently at work, you could connect with them on LinkedIn or Facebook or whatever and try to maintain social ties outside of work.

Full disclosure: I passed up an opportunity in favor of staying with a company I liked, which then passed me over for promotion to management in favor of someone who had just joined the company. I was fortunate that I was able to reach out to the company I turned down and negotiate getting on board after all, but while I resolved to leave my original company at the first opportunity. I couldn't have counted on it.
posted by Gelatin at 2:55 AM on January 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

There's a very real possibility that your current job is just dangling the promise of a permanent offer over your head, and has no concrete plans to actually hire you. It's happened to me and it's happened to temp friends of mine. Don't fall for it. Take the other job.

And don't feel guilty for it, either. It's the company's responsibility to retain good employees, it's not your duty to stick around.
posted by Metroid Baby at 4:28 AM on January 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

posted by Slinga at 5:56 AM on January 23, 2014

Your old company sounds like it might be a sick system, because otherwise I'm having trouble figuring out where the motivation is to stay. Fortunately, you have an escape route! Take it!
posted by foxfirefey at 8:23 AM on January 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

Oh, "next in line," that brings back memories...of being strung along for months and months and months. Hey, look, your supervisor probably does really mean it when they say you're "next," but it's never going to be a priority for anyone as long as you're there getting the work done -- your supervisor has to be willing to throw their weight around a little and push it through.

When the company needs to make some budget magic happen quickly, the temps are liable to be get let go with no notice at all and it will be out of your supervisor's hands. That was my experience while temping, and that was for financially very stable companies!

Honestly, I'd bail on this place and take the other offer right away.

By the way, you ARE getting time and a half for that overtime, right? Right?!
posted by desuetude at 8:26 AM on January 23, 2014

Take the permanent opportunity with the other company. Your current supervisors may be completely genuine in wanting to hire you on permanently, but that decision is almost certainly going to be made at a higher-up level, and with the problems you describe it doesn't really seem like moving people temp-to-perm will be one of their top priorities. Your co-workers and supervisors will absolutely understand why you need to make the decision that benefits you. If you frame it to them as "I've found a permanent opportunity with benefits" they'll most likely be happy for you and congratulate you. When I did this at my last temp job there were no hard feelings and my supervisor completely understood that I couldn't stay at a temp position if I had a much more dependable job prospect available.

Please don't stay at a temp position because of vague promises that at some point maybe there will be a permanent position. You've got a much better opportunity waiting for you, it sounds like, if you take the new position - go for it!
posted by augustimagination at 11:39 AM on January 23, 2014

Oh my God, you're me from a few months ago.

Get out now.

They're stringing you along.

They know they're doing it, they're doing it because they can get away with it, and they don't care.

This company is making bad decisions. Not hiring you full time immediately will be just one of many. They are on the road to nowhere anyway.

You could very possibly get hired full time, then get dumped on even more, then the company could fall apart and you'd be out of a job.

Get out now.

Be nice enough to them that they give you a good reference, but get out.
posted by quincunx at 3:42 PM on January 24, 2014

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