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Asking for a little advice.

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Asking for a little advice.

Postby jfg » Fri Sep 21, 2012 3:59 pm

As some of you know, my wife and I had a baby in the past year. Both of us work mid-entry level jobs despite my wife having a law degree (and a political science and history major) as that field is impossible to break into these days. So basically, we both needed to continue working once her leave was up. That was fine, we could make 40 hours a week work for the both of us, with some schedule switching on my part and some babysitting sharing with family. We are both drained but we're fine. However, my wife's work just has implemented 8 hours of mandatory overtime until at least February. She can't handle this, she barely has 40 hours a week to give to work let alone 48. She has asked her boss and HR about it and they have basically told her, show up or risk termination... that every week she doesn't do it will be like an unscheduled absence. No flexibility. The worst part is that she's been applying for other jobs outside of her degree for over a year and keeps getting turned down for them because of her law degree and that she's overqualified. She decided to take it off her resume and got an interview within days but lost the job because they found out she hadn't put her law degree on the resume. So basically, she's completely stuck and can't do anything about it. There's no way she can just flat out quit because we couldn't pay bills. But, I am very afraid for her mental health if she does work almost 50 hours a week over the next 4 months. I can't imagine what will happen if he takes his first step while she's doing mandatory OT. What do I do? What can she do?
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Re: Asking for a little advice.

Postby ayebatter » Fri Sep 21, 2012 7:09 pm

May be an answer in here - http://stats.bls.gov/opub/mlr/2001/01/art1full.pdf - but I couldn't find it.

I don't have a solution to your dilemma but here's a thought that may put things in perspective. While your wife doesn't work as a lawyer I'm sure she would like to, in which case I'd bet her hours would far and away exceed those that are being required for the next 4 months.

I'm sure it will work out fine as Mothers and kids are resilient. ;-D
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Re: Asking for a little advice.

Postby jfg » Fri Sep 21, 2012 7:39 pm

Very true regarding the lawyer biz, but we would have the money for full-time daycare or I might have stayed home with him. That was actually always the plan and then the law market went bust while she was getting her J.D.

As far as I can tell from reading some articles and my wife knows employment law pretty well, is that employers are fully entitled to force OT and can use non-compliance as grounds for termination. The only law is that they have to pay time and a half. From what I've read, a lot of companies have gone to this route in the past 5 years because they don't have to hire and train new people and companies know how difficult the job market is and employees are less likely to leave right now. I have also read, that employers can not make exceptions if they do force OT because they would face discriminatory lawsuits.
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Re: Asking for a little advice.

Postby Madison » Fri Sep 21, 2012 11:19 pm

I must be missing something, but if she can't handle a 48 hour week, why did she get a law degree? 80 hour weeks are the norm for some lawyers, so I'm a bit confused there. I know of many people who work regular 40 hour weeks plus another part time job of 20+ hours per week. Is there a condition or something that causes her to not be able to work 8 extra hours per week? I'm trying to understand, but I've got to be missing something...
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Re: Asking for a little advice.

Postby jfg » Sat Sep 22, 2012 1:42 am

I think the biggest thing is that she's been out of law school for 3 years has probably filled out at least 800 applications, been turned down to 799 of them without an interview, and so she works this entry level job way below her education level with a 6 month old that's basically another full time job we both try to share. Is there a condition? No, thanks. Just another slap in the face. I appreciate that you continue to take the "what the heck is your problem" approach though. That's awesome of you. I say that I fear for my wife's mental health and you give me that. Typical.
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Re: Asking for a little advice.

Postby jfg » Sat Sep 22, 2012 1:56 am

I'm not sure if you read my other post, or if you ever really read what people say in general here, but the plan was for her to work and me to stay at home.
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Re: Asking for a little advice.

Postby GiantsFan14 » Sat Sep 22, 2012 3:50 am

Honestly I don't really see another option except for her to work the extra hours and you to put in some extra time at home to kind of even out the load. Making dinner every night, extra chores around the house, etc. Give her some stress-time with the kid when she gets home from work and try to keep her from getting worried out about things she has to do at home. It likely won't be an easy four months for either of you, but at least you're both healthy and have jobs. Could be a lot worse, and I'm sure the time and a half will be pretty nice to have, even if it's not under the best circumstances.

Good luck.
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Re: Asking for a little advice.

Postby Madison » Sat Sep 22, 2012 3:56 am

jfg wrote:I appreciate that you continue to take the "what the heck is your problem" approach though. That's awesome of you. I say that I fear for my wife's mental health and you give me that. Typical.


Sorry if you know the obvious, I was simply looking for a different explanation. Because sure, "48 hour work week, big deal" did pop into my head (and obviously yours too O:-) ), but I figured I'd ask if there was something more to this story because there's GOT to be more to it. I don't know of anyone who would have a mental breakdown at working 48 hours per week for 4 months. In fact, I know people who would kill for the job (and with 8 of those hours at time and a half to boot!). So yes, there has to be something you're not telling us.

"Typical" - This will be my 5th post in the last year (see for yourself, right there under my profile), so no, not typical at all. I was intrigued by what you left out, so intrigued that I decided to ask what it was.

But since you went all attack mode right off the bat, let's have some fun, shall we? I'd hate to let you down, so let me live up to your wonderful expectations while you look down your nose at me (Gee, maybe that's both of you two's problem right there, you're too good for everyone and everything, no one taught you that life is hard).

jfg wrote:We are both drained but we're fine.


Yeah, 40 hour work weeks plus a kid. Man you guys have tough lives, no one else on this Earth has to do that (or more! ;-7 )!

jfg wrote:She can't handle this, she barely has 40 hours a week to give to work let alone 48.


Her priorities are totally out of whack. "Giving" time to work? No, it's more like work first and then see what's left over. Things like a roof over one's head and food trumps anything else, because without that, you're dead, so work comes first. Work isn't something one simply doesn't have time for.

jfg wrote:keeps getting turned down for them because of her law degree and that she's overqualified.

out of law school for 3 years has probably filled out at least 800 applications, been turned down to 799 of them without an interview


Please tell me you're not buying the "overqualified" excuse? Sure, companies give that as the reason on occasion, I've given it myself, but that's not the real reason. Figure out what the real reason is and fix it. ;-D

Question that should turn the wheels in your head (if you can handle that it's scum like me asking of course): If she can't handle 48 hour work weeks at a mid-entry level, what makes you think she actually wants or can handle a "real" job?

Frankly sounds to me like she grew up rich and was never taught that life is hard. I'm sure you'll tell me I'm wrong, but it fits, all the way to the looking down your collective noses at "mid-entry level" jobs you currently have that millions of people would kill for.

jfg wrote:I am very afraid for her mental health if she does work almost 50 hours a week over the next 4 months.


Heavens no! 48 hours a week for 4 months! Someone call the cops! Oh wait, you've already checked the labor laws... Shocker!... :-b

jfg wrote: the plan was for her to work and me to stay at home.


How many people's lives go "according to plan"? Maybe 1%?

/fun

Can we cut the stupid crap and talk now?

I was being honest when asking if there was something you weren't telling us about her. I didn't jump into laughing at you guys, poking fun, insulting, or anything like that. I simply asked if there was more. I am sorry if you took it the wrong way, but that wasn't my intent. Hey, as I said, I'm a guy with a wife and a kid. We've been in the same spot, kind of. We were flat "entry level", no "mid" to it though. Poor. Working as many hours as we could possibly get our hands on (and there are millions of people doing that as we speak, with most complaining that they can't get enough hours). Sure, it was hard, and it stunk. Sometimes we were totally fried. No denying that things early on are tough, especially with a newborn. However, we did what we had to do. Still do as a matter of fact. I can't remember the last week I only worked 48 hours and my wife can't remember the last time she worked that little either. I admit that I'm having trouble understanding why a grown adult cannot handle a 48 hour work week. I am sorry, but it sure sounds like there has to be more to this. You didn't say anything about your mental faculties other than you're "drained", so what's the difference between you and her? Meaning why can you handle it, but she can't? You know her infinitely better than I do. Might be a good place to start in order to figure all of this out, because there has to be more if you are honestly concerned about her well being and not overreacting or something. It isn't normal or natural for someone to lose their mind due to a 48 hour work week. <----- Read that last sentence again, because it cannot get any more true than that. So you need to figure out what the problem actually is, and address it. Make no mistake, there is no easy fix and if you dance around it, ignore it, hope it goes away, or can't figure out what it is, then it won't get any better. I honestly hate to say it, but it sure sounds like it's going to get worse before it gets better in this case. I hope that isn't true, I wish you guys the best, but "hopes" and "wishes" don't mean anything in the real world. It's up to you guys to do the work. I've been sincere in this paragraph and if you still think I'm beneath you, scum, a jerk, or whatever, so be it. I have no need or desire to try to change your mind. I also harbor no grudges and still wish you guys the best. ;-D
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Sick of those who are hypocrites.
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Yes doctor, there will be blood.....
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Re: Asking for a little advice.

Postby jfg » Sat Sep 22, 2012 12:01 pm

Madison wrote: I am sorry, but it sure sounds like there has to be more to this. You didn't say anything about your mental faculties other than you're "drained", so what's the difference between you and her? Meaning why can you handle it, but she can't? You know her infinitely better than I do. Might be a good place to start in order to figure all of this out, because there has to be more if you are honestly concerned about her well being and not overreacting or something. It isn't normal or natural for someone to lose their mind due to a 48 hour work week. <----- Read that last sentence again, because it cannot get any more true than that. So you need to figure out what the problem actually is, and address it. Make no mistake, there is no easy fix and if you dance around it, ignore it, hope it goes away, or can't figure out what it is, then it won't get any better. I honestly hate to say it, but it sure sounds like it's going to get worse before it gets better in this case. D


Madison, this is good advice. It just isn't helpful at all to hear what you said before. Maybe you meant well, but it was just infuriating to lay my personal life down in a public forum,something I very rarely do, and get ridiculed like that.

I'm trying to find some women who have been in the same spot. It's not the same if I was working 50 hours. She's breast feeding so even her breaks at work aren't a reprieve from the day. She literally has no downtime from 6am when she wakes up until 10 pm when I get home from work. We don't work the same schedule so I can't be there to lighten the load when she gets home other than on my days off. But, I do agree that I need to figure out if there's something I need to do for her. She hates her job even before the 8 hour change and I don't understand why. I haven't gone to her workplace but it doesn't sound terrible other than some bad management. She keeps telling me she's going to quit but I just don't acknowledge it anymore when she says it because we both know she's stuck there until something else comes along. I really do think its fair to use the overqualified card. She took it off her resume for five applications and received two interviews...two more than the past year of applications. These aren't law jobs, they're a lot of non-profit stuff, desk jobs, secretary, etc. We don't know why she didn't get one of the jobs, but with the other interview, they loved her, brought her back in to meet management, but they must have found her law profile online at some point in between because they told her they needed somebody who was going to be with them for life.
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Re: Asking for a little advice.

Postby ayebatter » Sat Sep 22, 2012 12:45 pm

jfg wrote:

I'm trying to find some women who have been in the same spot.


My wife had twins when she was 37 and only worked 40 hrs.

jfg wrote:


It's not the same if I was working 50 hours.


I was working 60 hrs a week.

jfg wrote:

She's breast feeding


So was my wife

jfg wrote:

She literally has no downtime from 6am when she wakes up until 10 pm when I get home from work.


Ditto

jfg wrote:

We don't work the same schedule so I can't be there to lighten the load when she gets home other than on my days off. But, I do agree that I need to figure out if there's something I need to do for her.


I did all of the cooking/cleaning/laundry/burping/changing diapers/getting up with crying babies at night other than feeding times/ I did everything and worked 60 hrs a week. If you're already doing that then there IS NOTHING ELSE YOU CAN DO.

jfg wrote:

She hates her job even before the 8 hour change and I don't understand why. I haven't gone to her workplace but it doesn't sound terrible other than some bad management. She keeps telling me she's going to quit but I just don't acknowledge it anymore when she says it because we both know she's stuck there until something else comes along.


All women hate their jobs
All women think their managers suck
All women say they're going to quit
All women know they're stuck
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