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Upward or out? I've got to know

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by CM Punk, Nov 16, 2008.

  1. CM Punk

    CM Punk Guest

    I find myself staying in the office more and more each week. My colleagues are getting the "premier" assignments, that is if you consider covering 17-year-olds playing games premier. But I'm not bothered by it. I'm working on bigger assignments, better stories, actual news items that deal with trustees, board members, major construction, millions of dollars, grown-up shit.

    It's not just that. I'm running the office while the boss is away. I'm making management decisions on when to cut off writers on deadline. I can be trusted to get the job done, and we all know it. I'm also getting a lot of flack for stuff, just like a manager. I'm getting the ass whipping from the top brassp when things go FUBAR, whether things go FUBAR on my watch or not.

    I'm wondering, even in turbulent times for my industry - and many others, not to diminish their plight - if I should ask for a title. Assistant editor. It's nothing more than a resume highlight, but it would be nice to be acknowledged for nearly five years of service. It would be nice if my seniority was established (even though staying here the longest is like being the smartest retarded person in the room). It's practically my job right now anyway.

    Either my tenure is valued or it's not. Either I've invested five years into upward movement or I've wasted five years with no internal payoff and must start from scratch with a career change. I've got to know.
  2. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    Never hurts to ask. But if they offer to give you a "raise" and put you on salary, tell 'em to keep you on hourly. Lot of "promotions" come with that catch, and you end up with less money than you would've had if you weren't salaried. Don't get fooled by it (unless they really do give you a massive raise.)

    When there's not much incentive to keep doing a good job in this business, a resume boost can go a long way. Good luck.
  3. Cadet

    Cadet Guest

    They may see this strictly as you asking for more money. While money is good, if all you're looking for is the title, say so up front. They may hesitate to give you the title if they think it's about money. And the title will go farther in the long run.

    I echo Buckdub with his take on hourly vs. salary. You don't want them to make you salary.
  4. Barsuk

    Barsuk Active Member

    I'm going to be the voice of dissent on the hourly vs. salary debate, and here's why: One of the new trends in "cutbacks" is to move hourly employees to 37.5-hour work weeks (we've seen several McClatchy shops do this in recent months), which basically amounts to a 6 percent pay cut. If you can get a salary that pays you the same as you're making now as an hourly employee (don't forget to include any overtime you're getting, if you work at one of those rare places that still pay overtime), you might soon view it as a 6 percent raise, which is virtually unheard of for a newspaper employee these days.

    Something to think about.
  5. JakeandElwood

    JakeandElwood Well-Known Member

    But what stops them from cutting your salary 6% down the road?
  6. Batman

    Batman Well-Known Member

    Doesn't the shorter work week also screw with your benefits? At 37.5 hours, are you considered part-time and not eligible for them?
  7. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    Only if the employer changes your status to part-time. The Fair Labor Standards Act does not make a definition for FTE/PTE; it's up to each employer to determine.

    The way McClatchy and others (some Singleton rags) have been doing it, 37.5 hours/week is still full-time. Benefits aren't affected. You just don't get a 30-minute break time added onto your daily schedule; it's included instead.
  8. Barsuk

    Barsuk Active Member

    Nothing, I guess, but it seems less likely for some reason.
  9. Cadet

    Cadet Guest

    I understand what you're getting at, but here's a key difference: When you're an hourly employee and your hours are up, you walk out the door. You have no choice, and management has no choice if they don't want to pay you overtime. It's the law.

    If you're a salary employee and you try to walk out the door after 40 hours, you get yelled at. If you try to walk out the door at 50 hours, your loyalty is questioned. If you try to walk out the door after 60 hours, you're told you'll never get ahead. All while taking home the exact same amount of money. They can abuse your time as much as they want.
  10. mike311gd

    mike311gd Active Member

    She's right. It hurts when I sit down.
  11. FileNotFound

    FileNotFound Well-Known Member

    As I was once told during management training at one of the nation's largest newspaper companies by an HR executive: "If you have an employee on salary, you OWN them."
  12. Barsuk

    Barsuk Active Member

    You guys think the hourly employees at those aforementioned shops are walking out the door after 37.5 hours? I doubt it. Not if they want to come back next week.
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