… the HR Minion. Because even minions have opinions. And giggles.

Lessons re-learned: Second job drama

If you are following me on Twitter (How could you not? I’m terribly engaging.) then you know I recently took on a second job and have frequently been complaining about it. I wasn’t very excited to take on a second job, but I could use the money. And it is yielding an unexpected benefit: It is reinforcing all the important lessons I have learned over time about how to approach your job/career.

So, here for your entertainment, are some important lessons I have had reinforced by my second job.

1. Stand up for yourself. If you don’t, no one else will either. If you don’t feel your employer is treating you fairly, listening to you, or even taking advantage of you, then you need to speak up for yourself. Two high school girls I work with have been given 25-30 hour per week schedules. They are worried it’s too much to handle while in school and might quit soon because of it. My advice: Tell the general manager that you will be forced to quit if your hours aren’t reduced. They would rather have you at fewer hours than not at all. And if I’m wrong, well, you aren’t losing anything if you were going to quit anyway.

2. Busy is not a good excuse for poor management. Everyone is busy, stressed, buried under deadlines. That is no excuse to pass the buck or shirk your duties. You are the manager and while it is important to have a support staff who can take some responsibility off your shoulders, there are some things that you, and only you, should handle. Grow a spine and stop hiding behind your employees.

3. Don’t assume everything will be correct. Yes, your employer is responsible for paying you correctly, managing your benefits, time off, whatever. So you don’t have to, right? WRONG! The easiest way to get in trouble is to not take ownership over this. Check your pay stubs, ask questions, track your hours. I’m not saying your employer is out to screw you, but mistakes happen. Trust is important but blind trust is just stupid.

4. Throwing your employees to the wolves is tantamount to shooting yourself in the foot. You have new employees, fresh out of training and ready to start working. But how ready can they be? Whose training covers everything? If you are sending your employees out on their own with no experienced employees serving as back-up I hope you are ready to lose customers. Nothing inspires less confidence in a customer than employees who can’t answer their questions or know how to do something. Not being available when they call with questions doesn’t help either. I don’t care if it is Saturday.

5. Practice what you preach. If you say you care about your employees or that your customers come first, act like it. Nothing causes people to feel more cheated or undervalued than when you don’t put your money where your mouth is. If you break your end of the psychological contract why should they adhere to theirs? If you need to take a small hit to live up to your word then do it. Nobody wants to work for a fake.

I’m not sure how long I’m going to last in this second job. I’m trying my best but I’m too old, too experienced, and too confident to put up with crap for long. I have no tolerance for this kind of drama, especially in a second job that I took because it was supposed to be easy. My sister has a t-shirt, inspired by a friend, that reads “No tolerance for stupidity, no sense of self-preservation”. I’m totally feeling it right now. Wish me luck.

2 Responses | Add your Own

  • 1 Rachel - I Hate HR :

    How interesting it must be to go back to an entry level job (which is my assumption) after having so much business experience!

    I give you much credit for doing it. No matter how much money I need I don’t think I could do it.

  • 2 HR Minion :

    Rachel – Yup it’s entry level, and yup, it sure is interesting! 🙂 We’ll see how this goes. Taking on the job sounded really good in theory. I just wish putting it into practice wasn’t kicking my butt.