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Weighing Interesting unique job vs a stingy company
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Seadog Offline

Posts: 485
Joined: Dec 2012
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Post: #1
Weighing Interesting unique job vs a stingy company
I started a new job within the lat 6 months in the resource surveying industry after a 2 year break following a layoff in the oil and gas industry. The job itself is pretty decent, at least on paper. It's also a smaller private company with <100 ppl which is my first time working for an outfit like that. It's purely field based so I can live anywhere, low stress, outdoors, all guys, lots of travel to different sites, and decent blocks of time off between projects. Money is average to below average for the job, but I'm considerably overqualified as an engineer, even a technician with a 2 yr diploma they would be slightly over qualified. I still have money saved/invested from almost a decade doing petroleum engineering, so money is towards the bottom of my list of priorities.

That said, there were a lot of red flags when I joined in the employment agreement. Namely they don't pay holidays, ot, or basically anything on top of a quoted daily rate. It's all simply included in your rate. Legally mandated 4% vacation pay is paid at the end of each year of service instead of on each check, they made a point of saying they don't pay for any safety gear or tools, and they included a more or less unenforceable world-wide non compete clause restricting your right to work in the industry afterwards. Regardless I figured I'd give it a try as perhaps some valuable other benefits might surface such as training or industry contacts.

Being 6 months in however I haven't seen it. The large blocks of time I was told would happen have been interrupted roughly 1/3rd the way in, a lot of give an inch, take a mile behaviour. There is literally zero training which I found surprising given we're in the wilderness and often dealing with helicopters. It was a week+ of training in the oil industry just to spend 30 minutes being ferried to a platform in a chopper, but here you just tag along with someone who has 6 months more experience than you. They offered me a 9 yo work computer, a bunch of which they got when they bought another company, but being so old/underpowered 90% of guys just use their own computer for work stuff.

I've also noticed they tend to hire a lot of foreigners, at all levels. Which in my experience means they're looking to prey on people who are used to things in the old country, being overseen by people happy to do so. There seem to be two classes of employees, a handful of 7-10 yrs, then a constant rotating stream of 0-2 yrs. Sort of like McDonald's. Most are only here because they need the money, and a handful like myself who like the travel/time off aspect. The guys who are here for the money are maybe 4-6/10 professionally, the guys for the time off/travel usually 8-9/10 who could easily be making 3x as much if they were willing to relocate to AB or something.

So I'm torn with how to proceed. Being able to live anywhere, along with frequent travel is a decent perk that not many jobs offer, so potentially with a few changed this could be a great part time job, and a lot of the red flags are more on principle than anything else. I could say I'm not being paid holidays, but I'm not here for the money either so does it matter? They offer no training, but it's stuff I've done before so am I really worse off? Conversely, a company that is looking to screw their employees as far as they can to the point of probable illegal behavior, and invest nothing in them absolutely will not have your back, so do you even want to associate with that in any way shape or form

Is it worth it trying to change things? Would it even matter? That's one reason why I thought a smaller company would be more attractive in that there'd be a tighter knit group, but instead they seem to use their smallness as a way to skirt labour laws without notice.
10-06-2017 11:01 AM
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Svoboda Offline

Posts: 561
Joined: Aug 2015
Reputation: 2
Post: #2
RE: Weighing Interesting unique job vs a stingy company
If you're not there for the money, and not improving your skills increasing network etc, I don't see a reason why you're working there. Essentially you say you're working there because it allows you to live anywhere and it gives nice time off (which turns out to not happen much in reality, making you start again after 1/3 of your time off). Which is a bit of a contradiction because not working there would really allow you to live anywhere and give you 100% time off.
Get the hell out of there.

Non compete is only if you quit, correct? If they fire you, non compete becomes invalid?
Unless getting fired there messes up future employment opportunities (IE gives you a bad reputation in the industry), start doing things according to the books and what you're obliged to do. If you have to, report them to the goverment agency that oversees them (only if there is no way this blackbooks you elsewhere). They'll get rid of you soon enough.

A lot of these non competes tend to be totally ridiculous. For some time I did some work for a friend of mine (as a side job to my actual job) for maybe 4 hours a week. His standard contract had a non compete and I should ask permision for getting any other employment Big Grin
Obviously I told him to delete that entire chapter if he wanted me to sign it.
10-06-2017 02:08 PM
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