And so I pray


The title is also a song by Jem, on her Down to Earth album. Here are the lyrics.

I’ve been praying a lot, but not for myself. I have things on my mind, things that I want to be better in my own life, of course… but the priorities, the real needs right now, are for my family.

Especially my sister. Shit, I don’t know how much more her job can possibly throw at her. They are ridiculous. They manage through fear and intimidation, and never any rewards. They like to demean and embarrass their managers in front of one another at meetings and conference calls, which I think is disgusting. But they do it. All the time. And act like this is the normal way people go about doing business.

It’s not normal, though. It’s backwards, and will ultimately come back to bite them in the ass. I read and write about management issues all the time for my job, and I’ve learned a lot about the right way to do things and the counterproductive way of doing things. Her company is a classic example of what NOT to do in order to succeed over the long haul.

Sure, her job is basically a sales position. And we all know how sales can suck. But a big part of her job is also the management of employees, running the day to day operations, organizing maintence requests, collecting bad debt, outreach marketing, being an ad-hoc guidance counselor for the shitheels that live in her complex… and a whole lot more. She even picks up garbage and cleans apartments when the cleaning crew doesn’t do a thorough enough job!

My sister works so hard. I can recognize the drain her job puts on her. All I need to do is stop by her office for 15 minutes and see the massive amounts of stuff on her desk, on her computer screen, hear the phone constantly ringing and all the people that constantly drop in to talk to her, and it wears me out. I don’t know how she does it, and I’m amazed at her strength and resiliency, BUT…

…enough of this.

It hurts me so much to hear the pain in her voice when she is recounting the latest shitty thing her bosses have done to her. She was recently written up because the landscapers trimmed some oleander bushes too short. She didn’t tell them to do that, or anything. They just did a crappy job. Her bosses said she should have been out walking the property and seen what they were doing. Yeah, like she has the time. She only has one leasing agent in her office, beside herself. That is two employees. TWO. For a property with 176 units. She only wishes she had time to walk the property. And even if she tried to do it, her radio would beep with some emergency from the maintence guys, or a resident would run up to her with some problem that they demand she address right-then-and-there… it’s just the way her job is, on a daily basis. Expecting her to be responsible for every move of every contractor they hire onsite is absurd. I mean, really. What is she supposed to do, sit and watch people work to make sure they do everything 100%? Cripes.

She found out she is the lowest-paid manager in her entire company. She barely scrapes by on $24K a year. She is ineligible for overtime, because she is a manager, so she is only paid for 40 hours per week. She hardly ever works only 40 hours, though… This is day 11 of a 12-day stretch with NO DAYS OFF since her leasing agent is out on vacation, for example. So not only is she working herself into the ground, she is doing it alone.

They gave her “free rent” by allowing her to live on property for three years, but guess what? It’s not free at all. They were taking $900 out of her paycheck each month to cover the rent at ‘market price.’ WOW. Now that she lives off-property, she should be entitled to receive back that $900 a month, but she doesn’t see it happening.

Sadly, she’s probably right, too. They find new loopholes and exceptions to rules all the time, and would find a reason that they wouldn’t give her that money back. It would be something like occupancy is too low, she hasn’t charged enough in extra fees on move-outs, she didn’t get people to rent every apartment she showed, right there on the spot. (Her company expects people to tour the property, sign a lease and move in the same day or within a day or two, ALL THE TIME. But in reality, people like to take the application home with them… visit a couple of places before they make a decision… or move in within a few weeks. Not good enough for my sister’s managers. They don’t want to hear any of that. They want my sister to have some kind of magical power to MAKE people sign and move in immediately. Because apparently, apartment managers in this company are expected to have this power and use it every week to keep their numbers super high.)

She’s probably not going to appreciate the fact that I just rambled on about the crap at her job, so I might need to make this post private if she asks me to. But I just can’t contain my anger, my rage at the people who do this to her. I’m beyond sick of it, for her. If someone is hurting my sister, they are totally hurting me, too. I would fight for her in a heartbeat if I had to. I’m fiercely protective of my family.

I’ve been trying to help her find a new job, when I can. I have more downtime during a workday than she does, by nature of what I do, so I take some time every day to scan ads and try to come up with ways she could land an interview someplace.

But she is getting discouraged. She’s sending out resumes constantly, and not getting ANY calls for interviews. And I don’t understand why. I edited her resume, and it’s excellent. She has a wide range of skills and experience, with a long list of software and programs that she can operate (much longer than my own list, that’s for sure). Anyone who talks with her sees how cheerful, genuine and intelligent she is. She thinks on her feet, and can solve problems within seconds. (I have seen her do it! Her leasing agent will call when my sister is out with me on her day off, with some kind of crisis, and my sister takes the call, listens to the problem, and comes up with a solution and walks her agent through the steps before she ends the call. BAM. Done. I feel like she’s unstoppable when it comes to dealing with shit. She’s tough. She’s like, “Yeah? What else ya got?”)

So, how could a company NOT want to have her on their team? I don’t get it. I know they only see her resume and applications, but they’re more than strong enough to warrant an interview. And she kills in interviews. Or, she WOULD, if someone would give her a fucking chance.

I’m so ticked off my own company didn’t call her in for an interview when they had not one, but two positions open that she qualified for. I can’t find a reason why they didn’t want her, either. I’ve tried. I’ve asked. No one will tell me a thing that helps because of ‘confidentiality issues.’ Well, that blows. I feel awful because I got all psyched that it could happen, that she could get out of that horrible job and work with me, and then she got psyched, and then…nothing. Not even a lousy phone call. I checked the employee manual with a magnifying glass, and there isn’t any reason she would be excluded from working here. They hire siblings all the time. There are about three sets of them here right now.

Ugh. I’m just really anxious, and desperate now, for something good to happen for my sister.

She deserves it; she has paid her dues a thousand times over. Most people will never have to deal with the circumstances that she faces every single day, for so little pay, and experience that absolute, broken-down drain at the end of every workday that reduces her to a shell of the bright person she is. She’s got an ulcer, I’m convinced of it. Constant heartburn and pain… sounds like it to me. She breaks out in hives from the stress ALL the time. Her hair’s turning gray. And now she is worried her marriage is suffering because of the gap between her daily work experiences and his daily work experiences.

This is not good. It can’t continue.

And so, I pray.

I pray for a resolution to this situation. I pray for someone to see the value in her resume, and I pray for someone to take a chance on her and just schedule an interview with her. There is nothing wrong with her. She is just one person in a huge sea of people searching for jobs right now, and she needs to be fished out of the mass by someone. She needs to be lucky. She needs God’s grace to work around her, and help pull her from the darkness.

Oh, please… I’ve been good, God. Please answer my prayers. Please. I love her.


4 responses »

  1. Wow. Thanks so much Lisa. It means so much to me that you care and are trying to help, more than you know. You got me all teared up!
    You are the best sister I could ever have asked for and my best friend and I love you.

  2. That work environment sounds TOXIC. It’s no wonder she has an ulcer, or what sounds like the beginnings of one. Let me know if there’s anything I can do for you guys, even if it’s just another pair of ears to bitch at.

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