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Hard Choice To Make: Severance or Part-Time Job
Q: My job will be cut from full-time to part-time in early April. I could either stay and work part time or take the 18-week severance I was offered. When the severance is over, I could apply for unemployment. I have been in the same position for 10 years and have close working relationships with my manager and my co-workers. My boss thinks I should stay, work part time and hope for the possibility of being moved to full time again. We are in the process of a merger, so there is no guarantee. It seems the economy is on the upswing, but I know I wouldn't find a job making as much as I make now. The trouble is that I can't live on a part-time salary. What should I do?
A: Leaving a 10-year job you love is a frightening proposition. The market is opening a little but not enough for people to feel secure. It still is taking six months to a year for people to find new employment; the higher number of unemployed means greater competition. Here is what you would have if you chose to stay: You love your company, your job, your boss and your co-workers. You also know you would not make as much money at a new job somewhere else. Your boss wants you to stay and plans to promote you to full time as soon as possible.
Your other choice is to accept 18 weeks of severance, which would take you up to August. You could collect unemployment after that and conduct a job search. When you got a job, you would have to learn new job duties and work with new bosses and co-workers, whom you might not like. You also would be at the bottom level of seniority and benefits (though you didn't say whether your existing benefits would be reduced if you were to stay). Are you starting to see the level of stress you would experience? Also, a lower salary at a new full-time job might be somewhat comparable to your part-time salary in your current job.
Only you can decide, but it seems that the risks involved in leaving far outweigh the benefits of getting severance.
Manager in on Employee Stealing From Restaurant Chain
Q: I worked part time at a fast-food chain in Texas. I have a bubbly, fun personality. I like working, and I am honest. One of my co-workers picked fights with me, as we have different morals and ethics. I caught her stealing money and told her to put it back, but she would not. I reported it to the boss, who did nothing about it. I later found out that the boss was stealing, too. I tried to tell them that it was not a "good idea" and that they should stop, but I failed to convince them. I was afraid to report them to the owner, but I quit. What else could I do?
A: I am sure that all the honest workers out there thank you. Dishonest employees make the workplace more difficult for everyone. Employee theft hurts everyone. Business owners become less trusting and not as kind and generous as they would be to employees. The public pays because stealing drives up prices. It was brave of you to confront them and try to correct it immediately. You also placed yourself in jeopardy, because no one knows how people will respond to accusations. If you ever again witness such behavior, consider reporting it directly to the owner rather than confronting the ones committing the crime. People have killed for far less than fast-food restaurant profits.
E-mail Lindsey Novak at LindseyNovak@yahoo.com with all your workplace questions. She answers all e-mails. To find out more about Lindsey Novak and to read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
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