“The People vs The Policy, My dilemma in the workplace…”

22 12 2011

Tomorrow will be my last day working for Bose. I know in past posts I’ve been very careful to not mention who I work for or where but at this point I figure what the hell, what they gonna do to me 8 hours before I leave the company for good?

Bose has been a big part of my life for a pretty long time. It was my first real job in retail and my first job working in what I would call a regular workplace. At 16 I was hired by a lovely man called Martin who then went on to become a very good friend and a mentor. He must have seen something in me at that age which showed promise unlike the cynical old bastard that sits writing this today. Anyhow, I worked there throughout my college years until the time came where I left for uni. Made some great friends in the process and generally grew as a person quite a lot during my two years there.

For those of you who don’t know what Bose is, they are a research company who happen to have a retail division, the area I worked in. More info here: Bose

From my original stint there the two members of staff who are still there are Owen and Chris. Both very good people and loyal too.

The problems really started last November when I was living in London and working for Richer Sounds. Now I was struggling with money anyway while working for Richer Sounds but getting by at least. Having worked for Bose before I decided to look up the store in Regents Street the summer before I moved to London and to my pleasant surprise I found that Martin who had hired me originally was now the assistant manager at Regents street and Alex, the then assistant manager was now the manager. So I began talks with them to perhaps rejoin Bose when I moved to London and after a few conversations and meetings it was decided that I could be offered a role at the store. So far so good. During those few months however between moving to London and leaving Richer Sounds to move to Bose, somewhere I had got it into my head that the pay I was going to be offered was 18k a year. Which was a perfectly adequate wage for a full-time retail employee in Central London. So imagine my shock when I read my contract and saw the starting salary was only 13.5k. This of course set off alarm bells and I did question it, but I was told that alongside the monthly bonus I would earn it would come up to more or less 18k.

Now what I should have done at this point was back out and either stay with Richer Sounds or find a new job. My biggest failing in this to me has been my fierce sense of loyalty, I was being offered a job by two friends without a formal sort of hiring process and I didn’t want to throw it back in their face by having a moan about the pay. Needless to say, I know better for next time now. I took the job on the 13.5k and that’s when my problems really began. To cut a long story short my living situation got to the point of basically having to scrounge for food and taking handouts for months just to be able to live. Dodging the long arm of the law as I jumped on an off busses without paying just to be able to get to work. And here I was caught between a rock and a hard place. I wanted to find a new job but there was the slight problem of more applicants than jobs available in pretty much every given market and I couldn’t leave Bose because the little I was getting paid gave me enough to just survive. This is repetition at this stage and you can read more about it in my previous post: “Endure Master Wayne….” A letter written to a much higher up “decision maker” in the company yielded no results when I questioned the fact that there was no bonus being paid out as the daily targets were being set unattainably high. There was a lot more to the letter than just that but you get the idea.

In July of this year my money situation had got so bad I have to leave London and come back to Bicester, a place which I thought I had left behind me for good. But as it is I’m stuck here. I managed to get a transfer back to the original store I had worked at where Martin first hired me. Owen and Chris were now managing the store so the transfer went smoothly enough. But I think the damage had already been done. Whatever passion I had for the company was dead due to the constant shitting on the employees by the higher-ups that be. At least to me anyway. Over the last few weeks I’ve become more and more disillusioned with the job and finally I handed in my notice 4 weeks ago before I snapped and did something stupid. The final straw was this month where I got paid a grand total of £259 for a full working month. Now I knew I was going to have some deductions from my pay because of things like a bike I had through the Bose cycle to work scheme and the fact I wasn’t working a full month. But for them to pay me just £259, someone made the conscious decision say “yep, well just pay him that much.” Why they couldn’t take it out of my next pay cheque which would NEXT month is beyond me but I think that alone speaks volumes about the way the company is run.

My dilemma lies in the fact of how much crap can you take for a company before you have to say enough is enough? It’s not like I’m a stand alone thinker here in saying that, to me Bose is a sinking ship and losing good people every month because of the issue with pay. People who have been with the company for years are all starting to move on. Almost everyone I’ve spoken to in the past have always said to me that no matter how bad the job is if the people are good, it can make the job bearable. Some thing which in Bose I really feel rings true. The team I worked with in London were top-notch and it makes me sad that I wasn’t able to carry on working with them every day, like wise the same for the team in Bicester, and that’s credit to the managers of those stores in recognising good people but as a company its ability to hold onto those people is slipping on a daily basis and very soon they will find themselves unable to hire good people at all because word will have spread that Bose is a bad company to work for.

I’m happy to say as of 6pm tomorrow I will no longer be a Bose employee and I couldn’t be happier for it. The friends I’ve made in my time with the company I will continue to hang out with as we have formed a strong bond and I will be enjoying for the first time in 10 years my first Xmas where I haven’t had to work on boxing day.

So with that, Fuck you very much Bose, your policy that is. Not your people.

Merry Xmas everyone. :-)

Kal x