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Suggestions: Current job being eliminated, being thrusted into new one

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Doctor Jones, Apr 20, 2010.

  1. Doctor Jones

    Doctor Jones Member

    OK, here's the skinny.

    I work for a 5,500-circulation weekly as a designer, sports photographer, typing briefs, obits, and just stuff like that. I'm the longest tenured person on staff, being there since June 2004 -- and even more impressive I'm only 26 years old!

    But anyway, Thursday I receive a phone call telling me that my job at my current paper is being eliminated and that they're transferring me to our daily sister paper to design their paper and my now former employers. All is fine and dandy, but they treat this as a "promotion," but the fact is I'll be losing more than $200 a month in fuel costs, and will switch from salary to hourly, which isn't too big of a deal I guess.

    But basically what I want to know is there anything I could do legally to somehow prevent this from occurring or, better yet, get potentially laid off? When I asked about that they said I either take the job or I resign.

    And I'm not a lazy individual. I loved my job where I was at. Our sister paper is filled with not-so-pleasant people that I've dealt with in the past and present and it's not good. I'm just worried about going into a bad situation and just don't have a good feeling about it, so I'm looking for any advice that can or could be given, as well as any comforting words as I have been pretty upset about this turn of events here lately.

    Thanks for reading and any help anyone would be willing to provide.
  2. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member

    Unless (and probably even if) you have a guild contract, either take the job or resign. In either case I'd start sending out resumes.

    Going from salary to hourly will probably end up being good for you in the long run. When you're on salary at a 5,500-circulation paper, they make you work, and work, and work and work and work. If you're on hourly, although they'll probably expect you to eat a few hours every week, at some point you start drawing OT.
  3. TheSportsPredictor

    TheSportsPredictor Well-Known Member

    Yes. Join a union.

    Otherwise, BOHICA.
  4. I have to agree with Starman here, you'll probably end up making more money, but unfortunately, you may be spending that on gas to drive to your new job :( I know you're not crazy about joining your sister paper, but at least you're not getting laid-off. They obviously see you as a talented, productive worker and as a valuable employee, otherwise they wouldn't transfer you into this new position.
    I'd give the new situation some time and see if it's worth it. If it isn't, start firing off those resumes. Best of luck to you, I hope it works out.
  5. WriteThinking

    WriteThinking Well-Known Member

    Is there any chance you could move, just to improve that aspect of the new situation by saving you time and energy and taking away whatever stress may be associated with your commute, at least?

    It's bad that your position as it was is being eliminated. Despite your seeing the move in a negative light, however, the company doesn't have to transfer you. It appears that it may be trying to find a place for you -- and specifically for you, too. You should probably consider that, whatever decisions you make.
  6. Fredrick

    Fredrick Well-Known Member

    They should have at least given you time to get a place in the other city. You will be racking up the miles on your vehicle and losing gas money. Call their bluff. Quit. It ain't worth it.
  7. Monday Morning Sportswriter

    Monday Morning Sportswriter Well-Known Member

    Or you could look at this as your break into a daily, which half of weekly newspaper employees will never get.

    You'll have new people to impress and presumably more opportunities for promotion. Get in there, do good work for six months, impress the heck out of anyone who matters, then lay it out for your new boss. "Look, I love the job, I love the opportunity, but it's cost me $1,000 in gas just to get here. As much as I want to stay here, I can't afford to."
  8. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    First, from what you have described, you should have been hourly all along. Unless you are management or a highly paid professional, like a doctor or lawyer, you're not supposed to be on a weekly salary.

    Unlike what Fredrick says, I wouldn't quit, because unemployment would probably not look too kindly at that. Unless the new job is much farther away (in my state, it's an hour drive or 50 miles). Then, unemployment may OK it as your job being eliminated. Give them a call and ask.

    But either way, it's easier to get another job when you already have one. Take it, and start sending out resumes left and right. Hopefully in a few months, you'll find something else.

    And also see if they are willing to give you a raise, if anything, to cover the gas costs. If they are painting it as a promotion for you, then you should point out to them that promotions usually entail a little more cash. Doesn't hurt to ask.
  9. mustangj17

    mustangj17 Active Member


    Here's what you do. Go to the higher-up, whoever it is and explain to them that you will be losing fuel costs. Tell them you would like to get your fuel costs covered each week. Tell them you cannot survive on a budget where you lose $200 more each month.

    If they don't budge then get creative. Ask your boss if he can be a reference for you. When he asks why, tell him you are applying at McDonald's to supplement the money you will be losing. Then show him the application.

    If they are being jackasses that tell you to resign, or move (something you didn't sign up for) start being a jackass back. Tell them you refuse to resign or move. Tell them to make the move. And then hopefully enjoy your unemployment insurance.
  10. Doctor Jones

    Doctor Jones Member

    Thing is, I own a home in the current city I already live, and really have no plants to relocate. Another problem is I've had many a issues with the people at this paper and the way they do things, and what I was allegedly brought over there to do will be nothing but a hassle. I have no intentions to quit, yet. I'm going to try and stick it out for as long as I can.

    Also, this is a Heartland Publications gig, so you can expect the getting screwed on no raise or getting mileage. Back in 2006 I was laid off from the weekly I was at, was on unemployment and landed at a much bigger daily than the one I'm at, only to quit about eight months later cause said weekly offered me a job back for $4,000 extra on the year, so I regretfully accepted and have been there since I just got shuffled to this new daily.

    I've learned one thing from it all: never quit a job you're happy with.
  11. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    Congrats on being able to buy a house with off an on employment and a job at a weekly anyways.

    By the way, I have found that, sadly, much of what constitutes work is a damn hassle.
  12. forever_town

    forever_town Well-Known Member

    Let me re-emphasize what's been said already about resigning versus getting fired.


    If you voluntarily quit, you'll be ineligible to draw any unemployment insurance. You MIGHT be able to make the case that your employer is putting you into a position where you don't have a choice because of the gas thing, but that honestly is going to be hard to convince someone in a state's unemployment office.

    However, if you're fired or laid off and it's not for cause, you're eligible to earn unemployment. I would strongly disagree with anyone who's suggesting you become Mr. Difficult. If you do that, some less scrupulous companies will try to make the case that they terminated you with cause, which again makes you ineligible for unemployment if they can convince the unemployment office that you're guilty of what my state calls gross misconduct or aggravated misconduct.

    I would go to your bosses and explain the transportation situation and ask if you can get reimbursed for gas. I would also send out resumes right now.
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