Promises, promises

Pilot fish has been working as an IT consultant at this aerospace company when the manager starts pursuing him to become an employee.

"While I wasn't looking for a new job, he offered some attractive incentives -- better vacation, specific training, reimbursement for a graduate degree, more money," says fish. "Most important was the opportunity to design and implement a new system from the ground up -- totally new technology and hardware -- along with the staff to get that done.

"They seemed to love me as a consultant, and didn't make crazy demands on my time -- a non-standard work schedule was just fine with them. The manager I reported to as a consultant made all kinds of promises.

"Imagine my surprise when the formal offer came from a totally different manager at another location.

"When I mentioned the original promises, she said, 'He had no right to offer that,' but we discussed it and she generally accepted the promises.

"But once I become an employee, things started to change. I was scheduled to work a 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. day, but for some reason the original manager would come by around 4 p.m. with work that had to be done that day.

"Then came the need for real overtime. Then I was laid off due to 'lack of work.' So much for the exciting new project.

"Fast forward a few years: The division had been sold, and I was back there working as a consultant again.

"While I was gone I had the chance to finish a master's degree and enjoy some foreign travel while speaking at user group conferences, and even had a technical book published. I made a point to visit my former manager to 'see how she was doing.' Of course I filled her in on what I had been doing while she was stuck in this division that had been sold."

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