I got a job making money for the man

11 May, 2012 (12:00) | Memories

Whenever I have a job interview and they ask me if I have ever been fired from a job, I can’t help but laugh.  I can’t lie, but I can’t really say “yes” without giving the story.  The truth is, I’ve been fired from the same job twice.

During the summer of 2001, I had a job doing tech support for iOmega products at a big call center called CallTech.  It was a great job, it had great pay, and I learned a lot about technology and customer service.  I was taking summer classes to finish up my associate’s degree before I started at Pitt for my bachelor’s degree.  I enjoyed my job so much that I wanted to keep working their over the weekends when I moved to Pitt.  Towards the end of July, I put in a request to change my work hours, and it was approved.  I also either used some time off in August to finish up my degree, get all my stuff packed up and and moved to Pitt, and get a little acquainted with life on campus.  I think I had planned to start working on the weekends again sometime in early September.

Fast forward a few weeks, I’m at Pitt, and my mom calls to tell me that there were some voicemails for me at home from Calltech.  As luck would have it, just as I getting started at Pitt, CallTech put an abrupt end to their weekend support hours.  They sent an internal email employees that they would be scheduled for weekday hours and that employees were to make necessary changes to meet those new hours.  I had no clue.  The first voicemail on the machine was a supervisor [note: I had no 1 direct supervisor] asking if I was alright since I didn’t show up for work that day.  The second voicemail was the same thing, only with a warning that a third occurrence would result in a termination.  The third voicemail was that supervisor calling me that third day saying I had been terminated.

I mean, I can’t blame my mom for not being my secretary, certainly when the root of the problem exists with the company and the internal communications.  I ended up going in on a day I didn’t have class and asked what the heck happened.  Only then did I find out they stopped weekend hours.  After they admitted it was their fault, but that I couldn’t work for them during their hours, I did tell them I wanted to come back the following summer, so they simply changed my employee status to “on hold” or something.

Fast forward a few months, I’m back home for the summer and want to go back to CallTech.  I go in, talk to an old boss, and he is happy to get me back, but they’re just rearranging schedules so he’s not sure when I’ll work.  I forget whether I said I had a weird availability, or if it was just him wanting to get me started, but the verbal agreement we had was that I’d just come in when I wanted.  I’m sure there was something more official, like Tuesday and Thursday from 10 until 6 or something, but, there was definitely a level of uncertainty as well.  It was basically, come in when you can.  so anyway, I did.  Sometimes I put in 4 hours.  Sometimes I put in 8, and sometimes, I didn’t come in at all.  I mean, I needed money, so it wasn’t like I was just blowing it off, but no one was really giving me any direction other than we’re glad to have you.  This went on for a month or more.  FINALLY, the boss said, “hey, we’re going to go ahead and put you on this team, and your hours will be blah blah blah.”  I was happy to have a schedule.  So, I show up for my first officially scheduled shift, and I think I’m there for like an hour or more, when a supervisor pulls me aside.  He asks why I’m there.  I figured he just didn’t know that I had been given a new set schedule.  He told me I was fired.  …dead air…what?  Why?  Apparently, when they “put me into the group” that had a scheduled shift, it made it a retro-active shift.  All those “custom” work hours that didn’t fall into my new schedule flagged me as a no call no show.  I was sent home.

By this time, I had a 2 week vacation planned, then a week before having to go back to Pitt.  I couldn’t live with being fired again though, so I had to go back to CallTech, explain the situation to them, have them admit their faulty ways, and change my employee status from terminated to quit.  It really makes me wonder if any of the places I’ve applied for a job have ever called CallTech and asked them if I was employed there and if they had any issues with me.  I guess Calltech never really had to change anything in “my file” if they just wanted to get rid of me anyway.  I should call them and see what they have on file for me someday…