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Sticky Work Situation  Rate Topic 
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 Posted: Sat Mar 27th, 2021 10:10 pm
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beejmi
THE BIG KAHUNA


Joined: Sat Oct 13th, 2007
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I usually don't share much in the way of personal situations on here but could use another point of view perhaps. I'll try to be brief.

I need to go back in time a little bit. Seven years. Got into the newspaper businesses (yeah I know they're dying) Was a part-time warehouse employee. Then full-time about a year later. A couple years after that the newspaper (Philadelphia Inquirer) starts laying off people left and right. Found myself going from one warehouse to another 'to cover'. Basically was being used an a 'manager' yet paid as a 'warehouse employee'.

I tolerated it for awhile and eventually called them on it. All of the travel from here to there and being functional in multiple towns and warehouses - my workday didn't even sound like 'warehouse employee' in the end it screamed 'manager'. There was always and constantly a never-ending wage freeze.


So much so that I interviewed with another newspaper (owned by Gatehouse Media) and was hired as a manager. 3 years ago. Pretty much 'starter' Manager money (in my estimation) but was better than being paid as a warehouse employee and doing the manager's work. And nothing could be worse than the Inquirer where in the end I was traveling all over and making the same per hour as I had made when hired, which to me was ridiculous.

The past two years I did well where I was at. But of course along came last year and the obligatory 'wage freeze'. The company bought out Gannett media (which is huge) and Gannett is such a big name they adopted it.


At Christmas of last year two managers working out of Westampton (NJ) got up and walked. One retired, the other quit. I get shuffled across the river for 'five weeks'.

Five weeks has turned into 15 weeks and no talk of moving me back. I go on Gannett's website and they are not hiring for this location.


Right now it's all the OT I can get (so that's good)  but to be honest, this location is about one hour and fifteen minutes from home for me. I'm concerned this (in their mind) is my new home and when the dust settles so does the overtime and in the end I'll be an hour-plus from home at a pay-rate that is what I started at and doesn't reflect significsnt contributions.

How much do I need to move here? 15% as its an expensive area.



I'm realistic, nobody is writing anybody a 15% raise in the Covid era and for a company that claims 'wage freezes' for years at a time.

I'm concerned bc I got out of everything else 7 years ago, I have in a way boxed myself into a corner. Not any other newspapers to work for.


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 Posted: Sat Mar 27th, 2021 10:32 pm
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srossi
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Not sure what to tell you. It’s a dying business during Covid. If someone who’s unemployed right now is willing to do it for less, they’ll replace you in a heartbeat. If you have a good reputation there and a good relationship with the bosses, I’d address your concerns with them and ask for assurances that this remains temporary. It’s unusual to expect someone to commute that far for a relatively low-paying job. But if you make too many waves, expect them to replace you with someone more local. It’s worth a conversation though. That kind of commute is not sustainable for long, you’ll burn out. You should of course also be looking for something else closer to you in the meantime. Even if it pays a little less it’s worth it if your commute is 20 minutes instead of an hour 15 minutes. But I’m sure there’s not a lot out there right now. I imagine as places re-open this summer, retail jobs will become much more abundant and IIRC you have some experience there. 



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 Posted: Sat Mar 27th, 2021 11:15 pm
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beejmi
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Thanks Srossi. I was hoping you’d chime in.

Basically my concern is this is two newspapers in a row where I end up working out of more than one building (very unusual)

I think to replace me costs more than I make (its an expensive area and a complex operation at this paper)

Because I gave focused on this likelihood the last seven years I feel like I have boxed myself out of other options. If it came to that.

There’s always a rumor of a manager retiring at the paper I was at previously. That could change things.

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