Opening and closing doors

As I stated a couple posts ago, I decided to stick with my job and my crappy schedule at least for the rest of the year, because I needed the money.

This week my 60 days through the temp agency is up, meaning the company has the option of hiring me on their payroll.  This morning, after working 3rd shift all night, I got called to HR where I was given a formal job application and paperwork to go take a drug test and physical.  The HR manager told me she wanted to try to get me on their payroll by next week, so to try to get everything turned in by Monday.

My appointment was for 8:15 this morning, so I had just enough time to run home, change clothes, and scarf down a container of yogurt before going to the doctor’s office.  Even though I was first on the sign up sheet, I still had to wait a half hour to pee in a cup, which I discovered to my chagrin, leaked.  The tech said no problem, she could still use the sample.  After the test I had to go to another place a mile down the road for a basic functions test (the actual physical was to be next week).  There I had to do exercises like bending at the knees, twisting, rotating my hands and fingers, moving heavy objects, testing my grip in both hands, etc.  Despite hands and fingers that have been aching a lot the past few months (arthritis?) I thought I did okay on the grip tests.  The only one I couldn’t do was to lift 65lbs from a shelf to a higher shelf while holding it away from my body.  The PT took some weight off, and I was able to complete the task, though.  He gave me my paperwork and sent me on my way.  I went home, had an early lunch (it was around 10:30 by then) and went to bed.

I woke up around 4:00 whereas Yes Dear told me there was a message from the temp agency.  I called them back and was informed that my assignment was over with the company and there would be no need to report to work tonight.


I asked the temp agency for details and was told that the company didn’t think my work performance was satisfactory.  I replied that sounded awful odd, considering that very morning they sent me to take a physical and told me to fill out a job application.  I was then told that they didn’t need to give the temp agency a reason why they weren’t keeping me.  I then told her about the problem I had with the one lift test and she replied that might have been the reason they decided to not keep me.  Yet technically we’re not supposed to lift more than 50lbs at work without the aid of a hoist (my job was machining pipes), and I doubt that many I worked with could lift what I had to without assistance or trying something different.  I used to work in the printing industry, and it was common that I had to get and put away cartons of paper on shelves, which commonly weighed more than 65lbs.  Yet I was able to do it, usually by positioning myself under the load and using my shoulders and legs to push them over my head where they needed to go.  I did ask if there was a problem with the drug screen and she said no, she would’ve gotten a fax if there was.

Something isn’t adding up here.

I’ve worked at this place for two full months and showed up every day for my shift, and not having been late or gone home early once.  I have gotten no complaints whatsoever from my supervisors or been told my production hasn’t been up to standards.  Other than two weeks in, where they did tell me to pick up production while I was still training, yet if they felt I wasn’t up to par they could’ve gotten rid of me at any point in time up until now and replaced me with another temp.  They let go of several temps early on, and I thought that I was one of the few that was working out.

And after having experienced some tough firings from a few years ago, I can honestly say that even though they came as a surprise, I could see then (even though I refused to recognize it then) and now where there were issues that led my employers to let me go.  I have removed every blinder that I could possibly have now and I still don’t see anything that would’ve led them to dismiss me so abruptly and without warning.  And no, this isn’t a workforce reduction, there’s plenty of openings and a need for warm bodies.

So what changed in the four or so hours between being told they wanted to hire me on and the temp agency telling me they didn’t want me anymore?

A few possibilities:

-    They really weren’t happy about my performance but decided to use me for what they could until my 60 days with the temp agency was up.  A real dick move if true, especially for leading me on that I was working out just fine.

-    The one part about lifting 65 pounds away from my body disqualified me.  Really stupid, since it’s hard for a lot of people to do that and so far I had no problem doing any of the work they required of me.

-    I scared them off by complaining about working Sundays and seven-day weeks on end.  Possible, but I did show up whenever I was scheduled, and I kept my bitching to a minimum and mostly around coworkers.  Doesn’t mean that I might not have been ratted out as a potential problem, though.

-    A mistake was made with the paperwork and I became a victim of mistaken identity.  Plausible.

-    The temp agency is screwing with me because I would be leaving them, and they want to keep me on their payroll so they can continue to farm me out and make money off me.  Also plausible, I’ve heard of instances like this.

So tomorrow I’m going to call the company HR manager directly under the pretense that I need to turn in the key to my toolbox (which they probably don’t care about and I shouldn’t either, but it’s a good excuse), and see if they’ll shed any light on why or if they abruptly changed their minds about me.  If there was a mistake or something diabolical going on with the temp agency and they really want to keep me, I’ll find out.  If they really had a problem with me, my performance, or my physical, they may or may not tell me anything, and are under no obligation to do so anyway, but even then I would have my answer that it’s time for me to move on.

Because when one door closes, another opens.  And perhaps I’m not meant to work seven days a week.

But something does smell funky here, and I want to try to figure out what.  Because money is money, and I can really use it right now, as well as the benefits after being hired on.

Stay tuned.  I’ll likely post an update if and when I find out more.

6 thoughts on “Opening and closing doors

  1. It doesn’t make any sense. I don’t think they can dump you because you cannot hoist 65 lbs up when the load is away from your body and at an unhealthy position to begin with. You’re right – something is just off about the whole thing, because why bother to send you to the physical if they didn’t want you? Maybe that was a requirement they had to go through with, even if they wanted to terminate you? I have no idea Dave. Asking is what I would do. I know that here they are not required to give you a reason why they terminate your employment (which I do not agree with). I sure hope that things get fixed, and you get to keep that job if that’s what will work for you now. Good luck!

  2. That stinks. I had a similar situation a couple months ago. Working through a contractor for a project. I had not even put in 90 hours and had written 4 of the 9 requirements documents all of which were ahead of schedule and were written in a similar manner one of the company’s business analyst had written when they called the contractor and indicated I wasn’t producing.

    Made no sense and I was very upset. Nothing like that had ever happened before. I suspect the other contract company who I was reporting under wanted a scapegoat to say they weren’t going to be done on time so they placed the blame in my contractor.

    Hope yours is just a mix up and you hear something good from the HR department.

  3. I can understand why you’d want an answer, because it seems very odd. Why tell you they want you and just… not?

    If the company hires you full time they do give a stipend to the temp agency, I believe. With my husband, it was 5,000. Sort of a finder’s fee.

    Hope it’s a mix up… or not. Whatever works out best for you and your family!

  4. Like everyone else, I hope it’s just an error on the part of the temp agency.

    On the other hand, I hope an even better job comes your way. One that won’t require you to spend 7 days a week at work.

    My fingers are crossed and I’m praying hard!

    P.S. your quiche recipe is up on the blog.

    • Unfortunately, at this point there doesn’t seem to be an error. I called the HR manager at the company this morning and got stonewalled with the “we don’t need to give a reason” BS. Though a part of me doesn’t want to quiet down without really knowing what I did wrong (or where I got screwed) I’ve decided that if they really wanted me bad enough they would’ve kept me, so no loss either way. Time to move on, preferably to someplace that won’t work me seven days a week.

      • Could be an answer to prayer.
        I remember getting fired a few years ago in a most unfair way.
        Current management there acknowledges it.
        But I’d have stayed, and not progressed the way I have.
        Same with another position I was laid off from and not recalled to during the crash.
        I’d not be where I am and as happy, if I’d stayed.
        But it sure was scary at the time, each time.

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