Author Topic: Need Some Advice: Bothered and Bewildered  (Read 9689 times)

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MrTango

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Re: Need Some Advice: Bothered and Bewildered
« Reply #45 on: August 29, 2013, 11:46:42 AM »
In my view, a work provided cell phone with a personal plan is not a perk - it's a burden. If your work and home numbers are the same, your employer has the power to contact you anytime they want, day or night, vacation, unless you turn off your ability to get personal calls.

To me, that's not worth the amount I'd save on my cell plan (mind you, I spend about $5 a month at most on my cell phone - but I think even $100 a month wouldn't be worth the aggravation).

I agree.  Even if my employer did provide me with a cell phone and tell me that I am allowed to take personal calls on it, I would keep my own phone.  Unless my employer is paying me to be on call, I would turn off the work cell phone outside of work hours (and I'd leave it at my desk at night if I worked out of an office).

artk2002

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Re: Need Some Advice: Bothered and Bewildered
« Reply #46 on: August 29, 2013, 12:28:19 PM »
In my view, a work provided cell phone with a personal plan is not a perk - it's a burden. If your work and home numbers are the same, your employer has the power to contact you anytime they want, day or night, vacation, unless you turn off your ability to get personal calls.

To me, that's not worth the amount I'd save on my cell plan (mind you, I spend about $5 a month at most on my cell phone - but I think even $100 a month wouldn't be worth the aggravation).

I agree.  Even if my employer did provide me with a cell phone and tell me that I am allowed to take personal calls on it, I would keep my own phone.  Unless my employer is paying me to be on call, I would turn off the work cell phone outside of work hours (and I'd leave it at my desk at night if I worked out of an office).

I have a work-provided cell phone, but there's no way in eHeck that I'd use it for personal calls. My CEO doesn't want his corporate information on my personal cell phone and I don't want my personal information on his corporate cell phone. It's a pain to carry two at times, but that's far better than the aggravation of mixing work and personal. Besides, it makes me look really important!  >:D
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Re: Need Some Advice: Bothered and Bewildered
« Reply #47 on: August 29, 2013, 04:40:45 PM »
OP everyone else has given you excellent advice that I heartily POD.

The only thing I wanted to add was I found it interesting that your boss dragged your honest opinion out of you, and then was "hurt" by it. Not to pile on more armchair psychoanalyzing, but I think she knew what she was doing wasn't right but couldn't admit it to herself and wanted to play the victim. She wouldn't care what you thought of her sucking up to donors if she didn't have a problem with it herself. I think she was looking for reassurance and got upset when you didn't give it to her. If she was secure in herself and her position as boss, she would not be bothered by what you thought of her decisions or feel the need to defend her choices by turning on you. You hit and nerve and she was both immature enough to take it personally as well as unprofessional enough to let it show.
You tried to stay professional and do your best work while remaining true to your personal values regarding your own conduct. You tried to avoid talking about the questionable work you felt she was having you do at a very inopportune time. You tried to be tactful yet honest when pressured. You may have let your sensitivity get the better of you, but you handled it as best you could. Your boss did not.
I hope you take other poster's advice to heart and are able to create a safer, more positive work environment for yourself.

*Here is some mortar and reinforcement beams to help strengthen your boundaries, and some polish for your spine.* ;D
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SlitherHiss

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Re: Need Some Advice: Bothered and Bewildered
« Reply #48 on: August 29, 2013, 04:46:06 PM »
I went back and re-read your "perks" list trying to make some sense of your boss's anger over your exchange.

1.  Company cell phone (that Boss insisted you take for posting during events.  However you haven't been allowed to post because your boss doesn't have time to "approve" your posts during events.)

2.  5-10 minute start time leeway during bad weather.  (What, you can't fly over traffic/icy roads/snowplows?)

3.  Leave early or come in late for Dr. Appointments.  (Most Dr. offices are only open during standard work hours)

4.  Extra time off when Boss insists you take it.  (If she makes you take time off, on her schedule, how is that a perk for you?)

My first question, OP, is whether you are an hourly or salary employee?  If you are hourly, #2-4 are NOT perks since you are only paid for the hours you are punched in.  If you are salary, these are really not perks as salaried personnel are supposed to have a bit of leeway in the hours they work.  Your boss is a Loon if she thinks these are "perks" in any way. 

Methinks that Boss may not be on the "up and up" when it comes to fiscal responsibility.  If someone is willing to cheat even a little bit (by using time, computers, printers and employees for personal favors) they are willing to cheat a lot IMO.

My advice:
Document everything that was said.  Get your own cell phone and give the company's back without fanfare.
Do not talk with Boss about anything personal.  Do whatever it is you are asked as long as it isn't illegal.  Brush up your resume.  Try and get out of there as fast as possible.

This. Very this.

LifeOnPluto

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Re: Need Some Advice: Bothered and Bewildered
« Reply #49 on: August 29, 2013, 11:51:37 PM »
Your boss sounds emotionally immature, and a touch unbalanced.

I too, think she was trying to bait you, but asking you over and over what you thought of the map project.

I'd be inclined to say "Boss, you wanted my opinion, and I gave it to you. I'm not sure exactly what else you want me to say." 

And I'd definitely be looking for a new job.

LeveeWoman

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Re: Need Some Advice: Bothered and Bewildered
« Reply #50 on: August 29, 2013, 11:56:08 PM »
Is she trying to set you up as the thief?

BarensMom

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Re: Need Some Advice: Bothered and Bewildered
« Reply #51 on: August 30, 2013, 01:45:43 PM »
Is she trying to set you up as the thief?

I agree with this.  OP, CYA as much as you can, then get out of there fast!

Amara

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Re: Need Some Advice: Bothered and Bewildered
« Reply #52 on: August 30, 2013, 02:53:40 PM »
Quote
]M]y boss mixed up the cash from one part of the event with cash from another part and then got flustered and irritated when we were trying to sort it out and tried to take control over it again by micromanaging me when I was trying to count out and sort one set of receipts from another (it didn't help that on the cash she'd taken she hadn't written down what she'd taken it for). 

[We] start to count up the event receipts and get things straightened out when one of our major donor/volunteers, Betty, calls. 

My boss explains what is needed and asks me to stop what I'm doing and start putting the map together. 

My boss kept pressing me until I was holding back tears because I was so uncomfortable with the situation ... Despite this, I was willing to do what my boss wanted. 

She said her feelings were hurt and that she's never been talked to that way; that I was questioning her and she was very upset with me.  Then she started listing all little allowances she gave to me (the company cellphone that she insisted we had to have so that I could post pictures to social media sites - something she hasn't let me do because neither of us have enough time at events for her to approve my posts - the five - ten minute grace period she allows for me getting into work at the start of the day when the weather is bad or something unexpected happens - something she has always insisted is perfectly okay; please take my time - the occasions I've had to leave work early or come in late for doctors appointments - see above - and the extra days off she has insisted that I take because we work so hard -which I have protested every time because we've got stuff to do and not enough time to do it in - and so on and so forth. 

Now my boss is sort of blackmailing me with all the little gimmes she's foisted off on me over the last year and a half (largely against my will, although I admit I enjoy them).  I feel like she's been giving me these things so that she can use them against me ...

She's making veiled threats about taking away my work cellphone (after encouraging me to use it as my personal cell and dump my other cell even though I very much wanted to keep my work and private calls separate). 


I have been closely following the other posters' replies about the possibility that something illegal or at least nefarious is going on here, and I went back and copied what I think are the parts of your original post that lean toward this theory. OP, would you agree that something seems  ... off?

veronaz

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Re: Need Some Advice: Bothered and Bewildered
« Reply #53 on: August 30, 2013, 05:22:29 PM »
Little Girl Blue, I hope you get a chance soon to come back and let us know how things are going.  And I’d still like to know if the cash and receipts were ever balanced.  Was a deposit made or was everything put into a safe, or did Boss take over after she directed you to work on Betty’s request?

I hate, hate, hate to accuse or even insinuate that someone is stealing unless there is proof or overwhelming evidence, but I do know that something really rotten is going on here.  If it’s what I think it is, I’m not so sure Boss is setting you up, but if/when the fur hits the fan I would not put it past her to say “Well, I didn’t know what was going on, I was busy and it was so hectic at the event, and when we got back to the office I wanted her (OP) to balance the receipts but she wanted to (work on Betty’s request) [lie]”.  I don’t think Boss will have a second thought about throwing you to the wolves.

You focused on your hurt feelings and confusion, and I understand that, but I’m angry on your behalf.  >:(  If this is what I think it is, it’s really low and you need to protect yourself.

« Last Edit: August 30, 2013, 08:24:16 PM by veronaz »

CrazyDaffodilLady

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Re: Need Some Advice: Bothered and Bewildered
« Reply #54 on: August 30, 2013, 05:43:14 PM »
I'm wondering what the IRS would think of the donor receiving "favors" from the company.  When I donate to a charity, the message is "tax exempt to the extent allowed by law", which means that if I receive something substantial from the company in exchange for my donation, the donation is not tax deductible.  Your donor may be pulling a fast one.
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aiki

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Re: Need Some Advice: Bothered and Bewildered
« Reply #55 on: August 30, 2013, 08:16:19 PM »
I'm going against the grain here, sorry.  Your boss gave you a task.  You apparently showed enough disapproval of this that she was prompted to ask you what your problem was.  Instead of brushing it off pleasantly, you criticized the boss's friend and business contact as well as questioned the boss' judgment in agreeing to the friend's request.  I am not surprised that she did not react positively (though of course the extent of the reaction being appropriate or not is definitely questionable).  If you acting that way has consequences, I don't see that as blackmailing though.  I see that as a boss who previously was willing to be flexible on some matters no longer wanted to be quite so flexible for an employee who is behaved (in her eyes) in a bad way.

I disagree with this. I think that Little Girl Blue has every right to have an ethical issue with her boss misappropriating her time for a single donor's personal project as she would if the boss were misappropriating the organisation's money directly.   
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Little Girl Blue

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Re: Need Some Advice: Bothered and Bewildered
« Reply #56 on: August 30, 2013, 08:33:57 PM »
Hi, OP here.


Thank you everyone for your advice.

To answer some questions that have come up:

First, I should clarify that though my boss encouraged me to do so I never actually cancelled my personal phone.  I very rarely use my work phone for personal calls, although as I do not have texting as part of my personal phone plan, I do use my work phone when I need to send texts.  My work phone has unlimited text and data, so I am not incurring an additional cost to my organization and have not, until this incident occurred, considered it to be a "perk"

My first question, OP, is whether you are an hourly or salary employee?

To be honest, I'm not exactly sure.

Technically, I'm an hourly employee, but my boss has repeatedly insisted that I do not need to fill out time sheets, and that when I print up paychecks that I'm to enter mine for 40 hours a week regardless of actual time worked.  This means that during event season there are weeks when I work well in excess of 40 hours a week, but that during our slow season I might work fewer hours a week and still get the same paycheck.  Since the incident on Monday, my boss has been having me fill out my time sheet, which I believe is her attempt to punish me.  I'm not bothered by this because for the sake of accuracy I feel much more comfortable documenting my hours than not.  In short my boss treats me like a salaried employee even though I'm really hourly.

For those of you who have asked, no the cash receipts never added up.  I did manage to account for all the raffle income by comparing my own notes of what I took with the ticket stubs and what ended up in the 50/50 pot was accurate.  It was made more difficult because the tickets were sold at a discount if the buyer purchased a certain amount, but I recalled taking a certain number like that and a certain number as individual tickets, and that added up to all of the tickets in the drawing box.  However, we also sold other tickets, which were basically coupons for the teams in the game, and the cash leftover after the raffle money was excluded didn't match the ticket stubs that were left.  There were sheets of tickets assigned to each team at the event (a sports tournament) and each team was allowed a set number in order to keep the play fair, and I coould count the number of tickets sold by seeing how many of the total printed were left.  We're off about $200 - $250 dollars (not a large percentage of the total revenue, but still holy crap $250!!) based on the total cash in the bank after excluding the raffle money and the ticket bank. 

Now, I'm not entirely sure that the amount my boss set aside from the ticket bank when counting up money at the event matches what as drawn from the bank as part of our event preparation.  She went back and forth about how much to take out, and set aside the higher amount from the cash receipts on the day of the event.  Part of my job is to enter receipts, print checks and reconcile our monthly financials and bank statements, but since August isn't over we haven't received our monthly bank statements yet and I can't locate the withdrawal slip.  Once I get the statements and enter the withdrawal into our financial software I'll know for sure.  The difference discussed was about $200 so that would make sense.

That said, whatever her other faults might be, I don't think my boss would ever directly steal from the organization.  She is forgetful, high strung, and as I am beginning to realize, more than a little manipulative, but not a thief.  She frequently misplaces things, or forgets information I've just provided her, and given that it was pretty hectic when we were taking money, it's entirely possible that she handed out more tickets than she took money for.  Because of that, although I've had my eyes opened regarding some aspects of my boss' character, I would believe that she made an honest mistake before I believed she had taken cash from our organization.


*edited for clarity.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2013, 08:54:11 PM by Little Girl Blue »

blarg314

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Re: Need Some Advice: Bothered and Bewildered
« Reply #57 on: August 30, 2013, 09:21:49 PM »

Oh dear.

Your boss may not be deliberately dishonest, but when it comes to finances, being incompetent can produce the same results.   And she's putting you in a very precarious place when it comes to the finances - it's your job to take care of the financial numbers, but you don't have good input numbers due to her incompetence and lack of organization. If someone comes to audit, and the numbers don't back up, I *would* bet money that she will throw you under the bus, and let you be fired and take the hit to your professional reputation.

Same with the hours - you are formally an hourly employee, but she won't let you fill out the time sheet correctly, and deliberately makes you fudge the numbers. If this isn't sanctioned by the higher ups who are paying your salaries, this could get you into a lot of trouble.

Do you have professional certifications associated with the job (ie, are you a certified accountant, or something like that?) If so, you could be putting your professional reputation in jeopardy.

FWIW, I had the timesheet doesn't match the hours situation once, but I was working for a high level federal government agency, was formally a salaried employee with benefits, and and the time sheet was intended more to keep track of which grants various parts of your salary was charged to. And we *always* worked more that 40 hours a week (normal in the field).

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Re: Need Some Advice: Bothered and Bewildered
« Reply #58 on: August 30, 2013, 09:57:51 PM »
Honestly OP even though your boss does not want you to fill out a timesheet, I'm pretty sure you have to do so.  Most non-profits go through an audit process on a regular basis.  Not having any record of the hours you work will not only bite your company on the behind but you as well.  Being unbalanced by $200 is not ok in any industry.    Those in the finance industry can explain it better than I can.

From the outside looking in, this non-profit is mismanaged and disorganized.  And while you and your boss may be honest, the disorganization that is present will make it very easy for someone who is dishonest to take advantage of organization and possibly cause a lot of trouble.
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Library Dragon

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Re: Need Some Advice: Bothered and Bewildered
« Reply #59 on: August 30, 2013, 11:25:21 PM »
Honestly OP even though your boss does not want you to fill out a timesheet, I'm pretty sure you have to do so.  Most non-profits go through an audit process on a regular basis.  Not having any record of the hours you work will not only bite your company on the behind but you as well.  Being unbalanced by $200 is not ok in any industry.    Those in the finance industry can explain it better than I can.

From the outside looking in, this non-profit is mismanaged and disorganized.  And while you and your boss may be honest, the disorganization that is present will make it very easy for someone who is dishonest to take advantage of organization and possibly cause a lot of trouble.

POD

OP Your organization is heading for a major problem.  The US Dept of Labor frowns heavily on this type of employment behavior.  I'm paranoid about it because libraries have been fined $$$ over this type of practice.

An auditor will also have a melt down over the lack of safe guards against fraud. 

You of course are deserving of being treated with dignity.  For some reason I've found those in non-profit land don't seem to understand this. 

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