I have worked in Texas for almost 34 years for a large corporation based in Illinois. I have had many district supervisors. None of them actually helped us do our jobs better, they just go through their checklists of policies and standards and quotas and tell us as a group. During the last year, the present supervisor came to our district. Within the last year of my almost 34 years, I have had a write up (was not provided a copy) for my “numbers” being too low. Our numbers are based on multiple criteria (expections have always changed….as soon as employees are at expectations, company raises them) and no one is at 100%. About 4 months ago, I was told I was on a performance plan and had to get my numbers up to 100%. I am not alone when I say that the company ensures no one can make 100% in any of the categories. My job is to make calls and fix equipment. Our call locations are not within our control. In other words, a router who does not live anywhere in Texas manages the calls and doles out the calls to us one call at a time. It does not matter if one of our co-workers is already in the area, the routers may send us 100-150 miles away from where we already drove 100 to 150 miles for another call. The majority of the time, most of us must drive anywhere up to 1 to 3 hours to get to one call and if the customer decides to not be there when we arrive (after we have called and told them when we would be there), it is considered an incomplete call and it goes against our overall numbers. Since no one else is at 100%, I asked my supervisor how I can get my numbers up. He has not helped me or any of us do that. The previous supervisors did not help us either. All my calls to his boss and our HR rep. go unanswered. Last week, spvsr. told me I had 30 days to improve to 100% and if not, the final decision goes to corporate to determine if I’m to be terminated. From my viewpoint: 1) It looks like the company will deny any unemployment claim I make because they will say they covered their backside by telling everyone the standards, etc.; 2) the spvsr. gave me written warning and met with me re: perf. plan (w/in last year only); 3) it appears to me this new supervisor is here to get rid of the long-term employees before we are eligible to draw from our 401k. I believe they would say I was terminated due to misconduct (being: poor performance). Due to my daily work not being within my control, but by someone who doesn’t know how to read a map, causing me (and my co-workers) not be able to meet their on-paper standards, would I have a leg to stand on for unemployment? At this time, to my knowledge non of my co-workers are on performance plans and I know they are not at 100%.
Thank you. You explained, at least to me, in no uncertain terms, how an employer devises a plan to reduce their operating costs by making long term employees appear negligent about doing their jobs.
I would think the real reason is that you’ve worked for them for 34 years and that they could hire someone younger and hungry for a job right now .. for a whole lot less than you are earning.
As I keep writing over and over .. the approach is to counter document the discipline with the flaws in the logic the employer will be using to attempt to show that your failure to meet expectations is negligence.
And keep a journal of your efforts to communicate with a non-responsive employer. I suggest using a text editor that allows you to date stamp an entry. And email. Why talk, when you can document the real facts and circumstances.
And, if you want to play hardball and try to make the employer rethink their current tactic, what about an age discrimination claim?
It’s what they hope you don’t do before they get around for discharging for misconduct .. if they are deliberately setting you up.
It becomes a line drawn in the sand and just initiating a right while still an employee does give some employers .. pause about what they are intending.
By the way, there is power in numbers .. so if other co-workers over the age of forty are experiencing the same .. keep this in mind.
My tolerance level for this type of mind game has always been low .. and is one of the reasons why I decided this site would go the way of the employee.
All they want is for you to act contrite long enough to get you to the discharge day without doing anything that might cause the business a liability.
It’s contrived and despicable.
By the way, you should wait to be discharged, as a quit in anticipation of discharge is almost always without good cause.
As employees .. we have to show we tried everything to preserve our employment.
And, as far as I’m concerned, if you need unemployment benefits .. you have to fight back on the same field the employer is playing on.