Looking at a Sinking Ship

Noah’s Ark took on water
A poorly run enterprise
Panic spread to flightless beasts
But rats were long gone

My retirement started a cascade of disaster at work. We were already one person short. When I left that made 2. A coworker was promoted into my position and still there were 2 vacancies. They hired a person – who quit in 8 weeks to take a better job. They hired another who lasted 5 months before leaving. So still down 2 people. Then they hired a third one. So still down one. Then another person quit followed by a Cage Wash (CW) tech who moved back to his hometown to be near his mother and partner who was having a hip replacement. The other CW tech failed to take the required certification and quit before being fired. So the tally was 4 people short. Then the person that took my position left and another RVT also left. Making the number 6. That is six out of a staff of fifteen. Rumor has it another person is poised to leave because they have been put in CW and feel it is beneath them. Still another is ready to retire and has had it with the lack of managerial support. That would make the staff 7 people (one who is strictly administrative and working from home) to do the work of 15. That will mean that they will be working every other weekend. If anyone takes a vacation or is out sick the work load will be unmanageable. It is looking pretty bleak. As I’ve been apprised of these developments I have tried to maintain an appropriate demeanor of sympathy and concern. I have also been chanting under my breath “not my monkey, not my circus”. The kicker was when the Big Boss contacted me to “Fill in doing compliance, technical training, and to train the new person once they were hired. Oh and teach my class on line.” There is no way I would do it. They do not have enough money to entice me come back. I just don’t have any interest to torture myself. Whether you consider me a mouse or a rat (pretty sure the boss thinks of me as Rattus sp.), I’m smart enough to run away from a sinking ship!

The poem is a dodoitsu. This is a Japanese form that has no rhyme or meter but consists of a single stanza of 4 lines with the syllable count of 7-7-7-5. The subject is either love or work with a comical twist. In this case it is gallows humor…

47 thoughts on “Looking at a Sinking Ship

    1. Hehe! Well the short answer is less than once daily on average. The long answer is depends on if I have to go into work and if I run into any former coworkers. Some days it can be up to 4 or 5 times (in my head and under my breath) other times I see no one and merrily do my work and slip away unnoticed and unmolested by the desperate.

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    1. Thanks Dodi! They are really hurting for good workers. I do still care and I do little things like cleaning the area where I was working a little more thoroughly than I normally would – just to give them a little break. But to go back – not on your life!

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    1. It took about a year for it to hit the fan but it was about 3 years in the making. I bailed when I saw the writing on the wall so to speak. I’ve been gone a little over 1.5 years and they are now in a real crunch. Of course the leadership has been MIA and has delegated everything to the team leaders who are trying to do their jobs, his job, and fill in to do the work of the missing employees. They are floundering under the burden…And no one has applied for the open positions. Seems they can make more money at Wal-Mart and McDonalds!

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  1. I wondered if they were trying to dangle carrots in front of your eyes. You have given them enough and more of your time, life and very hard work. Once you give in, there will be no end to the “Can you come over and help out?” problems. And how would you know, that if your accepted the offer, how many peoples’ job you would be performing all by yourself. I am proud of you for refusing the offer. Money is not every thing. Peace of mind that you have now, is worth millions of dollars.
    Kudos to you.

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    1. Hehe! No carrots just a letter asking very politely. Of course I very politely said no. They were expecting me to put in 8 hour days for up to 6 months but I can only work 900 hours in a fiscal year… so nope. I have other projects that let me keep my hand in and don’t suck up my nap time!! You are so right – peace of mind is priceless!

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    1. Thanks Kate. Because the work is in a secured environment there is a baseline for employment – there have been several who could not be hired due to failure to pass the background check and/or the drug testing! Add that to the job prerequisites of having a BS in a science related field and the candidate pool is pretty slim. Of course the pay stinks and most of the acceptable applicants turn down the job offer.

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      1. lol then there is only one solution … but obviously they haven’t worked that out yet πŸ™‚

        Pay a reasonable wage … with all those filters there has to be a suitable reward πŸ™‚

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                    1. The big boss is MIA as he’s been hunkered down at home – hasn’t set foot in the workplace since late June… The ship is sinking but he seems not to notice. Of course I’m guessing he is already looking for another position as he had never stayed in one place very long.

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  2. The shortage of qualified workers makes me question the restrictive immigration policies of our government. It sounds like, in your field anyway, this country would benefit from an influx of an educated workforce. I’ve never understood why students who came to this country for an education would not be allowed to remain, especially in the medical field where there is clearly a shortage of staff. Perhaps it’s only because wages aren’t keeping up with demand.

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    1. Wages in academia are not competitive with industry so that is a big issue. As for immigrant students, many do stay in research as there is a case made for their expertise. Still the pay is not what it needs to be to retain the US citizens. Most of the Americans that graduate move into the much more lucrative jobs instead of staying at a university. As for the needed immigration reform, there is lots of room for improvement.

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  3. No, don’t go back, Val, – not that you need me to chime in on this. Some organizations can truly stretch themselves when there is something to be gained. And they will prey on our compassion and pity.
    By all means, bestow your bread – but only on the hungry,

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  4. This happens in so many places – they don’t give people an incentive to stay with them. I worked 3rd shift at a hotel and watched staff come and go because they treated them horrible. No set schedule but you had to be available for whenever they needed you. That meant people who worked days couldn’t even make a doctor appointment without filling out a day off request. It was ridiculous.

    Let them enjoy the consequences of their actions. Plenty of people are looking for work, so if there’s that much of a revolving door, you know they have issues.

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    1. True. The current issues are related to pay and lack of leadership. I don’t see things turning around anytime soon. Sadly we have a very low unemployment in our area so the job applicant pool is mostly the unemployable (due to addictions and convictions for violent crimes) or those who do not want to work.

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    1. Yes Elizabeth. I do care but it is not going to be my problem unless I decide to take that on. And currently I’m deciding that I don’t want the headache.

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