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Author Topic: Work Woes: Advice?
Member # 5897

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A friend told me that I need to be more assertive: what do you guys think? Here's the story:

I am a college student who, in order to survive, needs to work during the summer to raise some $ and/or work experience. So I get myself a job at Munich University, doing editorial work (checking things for mistakes, formating the material in InDesign et al). I am told that it will be a part time job, but am promised about 10 hours a week.

I already have a job like that one, where I was offered to work more hours if I wanted, but am paid significantly more there. The difference, however, is still not overwhelming, and I wanted to get some experience in new things.

Fast forward a month, and about 15 hours of actual paid work. Munich U tells me that I'm not going to actually get 10 hours a week from that source. Instead, they reassign me to another guy, who again tells me I'll be working 10-15 hours a week, this time doing data entry and website manipulation.

I type at about 90 wpm, am highly proficient with computers, know basic html, css, and a few others, so I breeze through the work given. At one point, I typed to the point of physical pain, and I still have twinges from that exertion.

Meanwhile, I've gotten another job for about 30 hours a week at Germany's best (perhaps 2cond best, but certainly top 10 if not top 5) University assisting in medical research. Quite psyched, I accept that job, although I don't get paid for that one.

Around this point, the new "manager" of me at Munich is rather apathetic. I miss an interesting meeting, for instance, because he did not bother to respond to an email of mine, where I told him I was coming in, and there was nothing to do that day. That cost me about 2 hours travel, a day, and an interesting meeting.

Now for the last three weeks at Munich I've gotten a total of 1.75 hours, not 30. I am busy cuz of the other job, and surviving financially, so I'm not terribly upset.

I am, however, somewhat upset. My guess is that I worked a lot faster than they expected. For sure, since this is a part time job I shouldn't expect a perfectly continous schedule, but this seems very extreme.

I am only scheduled to work with them for another 40 days, however, so it's not the end of the world.

What should I do?

Posts: 3060 | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 2199

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Ask for more hours. If they say no, leave. [Smile]
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Member # 2002

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Depends. Do you want to keep doing the work? Is it something you're enjoying? If it's not a matter of money, and you still want to do the job, I'd just ask for a more realistic outlook for the number of hours required so that you can plan your time better.
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Member # 6007

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I have about 6 hours of work for my 8 hour day. So in the afternoons, I pull up a spreadsheet (cause those look like work) and look up geneological tables for European monarchs.

Find a hobby you can do that looks like work and stretch it out like the rest of us.

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Member # 5897

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jeniwren: I do not like this job, so that's not an issue.

AvidReader: When I started, and was working from home, I was so concerned about not wasting time that I deducted time if I got a phone call or went to the bathroom. While I've gotten less neurotic about it, I still can't bring myself to actually not work. It just feels wrong :/. And who was the great Uncle of Henry the IV [Wink] ?

Well I do want to stop work there, but I don't feel like it would be right. I did give them my word that I would work for them; is their blatant disregard of my timing grounds to leave immmediately? Should I give a longer period of time? Furthermore, I'm in the middle of a project, albeit one that has not had any work done in 3 weeks.

And thanks to all for the advice so far.

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Member # 9124

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I would talk to them. Especially if you have nothing to lose but walking out the door, talk to them about what you need or would like to be able to continue working there. If they are not honoring their end of the bargain with hours and respect, you don't have to honor yours. Just because you are a college student does not mean that you do not deserve respect or consideration. MOST IMPORTANTLY, if you are not happy, don't stay, esp if it's not a paid job. I'm sure you could find similar experience in another office. Also, I would start gaining experience in the field you are interested in/getting your degree in. Helps the resume.
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