What would YOU Do?

What would you do when reality sneaks up and slaps you in the face? What would you do if you realized that in reality you are earning less then minimum wage?

What would you do? and how would you get there?

I need help.

I have clawed my way off welfare. Yes, I was a welfare mom for 3 years after my daughter was diagnosed with special needs. She needed me and I was glad to be there. During that time I also volunteered alot in the community. I was the chair of my daughter’s School Advisory Council. I volunteered in the school. I volunteered at the food bank. I gave while being there for my daughter and was grateful I had that chance.

Then 2 years ago I began the process of going back to work. I got a job. I still have that job today. However the job has changed and changed dramatically.

When I was hired in Sept 2008, I was hired by a third party call center( there are lots of these out there) to work for a Fortune 500 American Internet Service Provider ( the company I work on behalf of does tv and phone too). I am the voice of the company for those who are having trouble with their internet service.When hired I asked for and got a decent day shift so I could spend time with my daughter Rachel.

I worked hard, still do. My quality scores are always in the top 10% of the company and I have never received a bad customer satisfaction survey. Infact I have been employee of the month and have qualified for excellence awards.

June 2009 rolls around and the third party call center wants to shut down the call center where I worked, and have everyone who works on behalf of the client go work from home. To keep your job you had to:

  • buy or lease a computer that met there specs
  • have high speed internet that you pay for each month
  • buy a headset that met the needs of the client as well.
  • take whatever shift came your way. Right now I work 3 evenings a week and every weekend (meaning less time with daughter).

My work related expenses total $275 a month( these are expenses that are NOT paid for by the company) when you take that off my wage of $9.55 an hour I earn $7.72 hr or $120 more then what I did on welfare in Toronto. I now earn,by working from home, less then minimum wage. What would you do? and how would you get there?

6 thoughts to “What would YOU Do?”

  1. Hollie, I’m sorry to hear about your situation.
    Applause to you for your hard work & dedication.
    Have you considered looking for new work? I work for Scotiabank. With the experience you have, I would recommend visiting the website and submitting an application. We have a Contact Centre in Scarborough. benefits & vacation time from day one, lots of perks. Pay is reasonable too.

  2. Congrats on getting off welfare- I think the system is set up to keep people on it sometimes as they seem to take more of your wage when you work than what you get when you don’t work!

    Some thoughts: did you subtract the cost of getting to and from work? What about a reduced clothing cost? Just something to think about…

    If you still feel it’s not the right job for you try looking for a new one. If you want to work from home what about something like medical transcriptionist? Then you can set your own hours. I know the economy isn’t great right now but there are some options out there.

    Good luck!

  3. Hey Hollie, you’re jammed up and feeling pretty pissed that after being a great employee you’re being sidelined. I get your frustration. Now you have to decide if you’re willing to put up and shut up or you’re mad enough to do something different. It may be time for a change. Have you looked into other options for using the “tools” you’ve acquired for the first job. Places like Pizza Pizza have “at home” order takers. You need to figure out how you can put what you know and have to work for you (not just your employer).

    You also say you have less time to spend with your daughter because you have to work weekend and evenings. Does this mean that she’s in school now? I have a wonky work schedule, but I carve out time when I don’t work so I can be with my kids. Some people don’t like it, and sometimes it costs me money, but that time is precious and I make it a priority.

    You’re a brave, strong woman. You’re capable. You now have to figure out what you want and how you’re going to get it. I have no doubt you will. Best wishes.

  4. thanks to each of you for your thoughts-
    I think after this week I am job hunting while my daughter is in school..

    As well I am carving out time with Rachel by letting her stay home from school one day a month and using that as special time for us…sometimes we just do crafts, or go for a walk but since she is a tween and that is such a hard age I feel it is important that we have time for each other.

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