Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Would it be okay if I were assertive? Or I could just impersonate a doormat if you'd prefer

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Good: Legs not so swollen up, can walk without limping. Still don't know what the heck I did to earn that.
Bad: I don't know if I should even ask a doctor about it.

Remember a few months back, when I was talking to new recruiters every day? Every time it was the same routine:
  1. They'd describe the job and ask what rate I'd expect.
  2. I'd say the rate would depend on whether or not I'd have to pay for health insurance.
The responses fell into three basic categories:
  • Most recruiters said "No insurance and oh my that's a high rate Merry."
  • Some said "Welllll, we have a sort of reimbursement plan and oh my that's a high rate Merry."
  • A rare few said "Oh yes, we offer health insurance and that rate is a bit high, but we can deal."

This job I'm at now, the conversation fell into the last category "but of course there's a waiting period." The waiting period is now up. And... they don't offer health insurance.

So I send them an email saying, essentially, "WTF?"

They sent back an email saying "let's chat." I was not interested in anything they had to say unless it was in writing, so I suggested email instead.

Now I get an email from them saying "Oh gosh! Turns out that when you first spoke to the recruiter we did offer health insurance, but by the time you got an offer from the company, we'd changed our policy. Still, since we're such nice people, we'll up your salary by an additional $300 a month so you can buy your own insurance."

Huh. Now I've got to sit down and figure out whether or not that's a good move. I'm not even sure I could get health insurance -- surely being overweight is a bad mark in the eyes of an insurance company?

Site du jour: Jennette Fulda wrote a post on insurance for the self-employed. I found it clear, comprehensive, and depressing. I think the best thing to do would be to marry a rich old man who had no close relatives. Preferably one who is Canadian.


Spilling Ink said...

Oh, you were so right! Titanic!

julia said...

did you get that change of policy in writing before you joined the company? Any documentary evidence? If they are offering extra money they may be scared enough to yield if pushed?

Bad News - we're sailing on the Titanic

Good News - I am a stowaway and guess what? I'm hiding in a lifeboat!

The Merry said...

Um, Mouse? Could you move over? I.S. And I would like to join you on the lifeboat...

No, nothing in writing. My-brother-the-lawyer said I should hire an Oregonian lawyer to write them a letter stating they'd broken a verbal contract. The thing that gets me is that I could've gone with another agency to get this job, gotten the same rate, and gotten health insurance too. I didn't think an agency would play games like this with people. It's not as if it won't burn them in the eyes of the company I'm working for if I walk.

C said...

You need to sue someone--it's the American way. It sounds fishy that they're so willing to give you extra pay and not health insurance as promised. I think it's definitely worth pursuing.

Seriously, when did the world get so full of evil douchebags?

messymimi said...

Lean on them and see what you can squeeze out. Insurance is not a small matter.

Spilling Ink said...

Is there anyone in the company you're working for who you can talk to about it? Sometimes it pays having someone who pays the bills exert some pressure.

The Merry said...

My next step is going to the main temp agency. Currently I'm a subcontractor working for the main company through the Jerk Agency. If I could get switched over to the main agency, that would solve the problem. They /do/ pay health insurance. (No, really. Speaking from experience here.)
If they aren't helpful, my last option is trying to get the manager of my department to lean on them. Worth a try.
After that, well...

RebeccaJ said...

If nothing else, they need to pay you more than 300 hundred. My boyfriend and I pay around $900 for both of us, with a $1500 deductable for surgery, etc. And I'm pretty damn healthy.

English Rider said...

I agree that you can claim a verbal contract. I wonder if the labor board would help negotiate, as they would if you hadn't received salary as promised? (My insurance is $600, just because it goes up every year and I'm 52).

Crabby McSlacker said...

Ooh, how disappointing!

Just to be contrary though, I'd probably not go the "threaten litigation" route yet unless I was really unhappy with the job anyway. Maybe if you had some numbers on the difference between insurance quotes you get and the amount they're offering, they might have some more working room? If they turn out to be total buttheads about it, then yeah maybe start dropping hints about lawyers, but hopefully they'll treat you fairly. It's getting SO hard to find jobs out there with decent health coverage. (But that wouldn't prevent checking out other job opportunities in the meantime).

Good luck working it out!

The Merry said...

Thanks, Crabby! I agree, I don't want to get suits involved, and hopefully they don't either. What I find frustrating in dealing with these people is that they're not really negotiating with me, they're essentially saying 'take it or leave it.' To get self-insurance, it looks like I'd have to have more like 600 or 700 extra a month. Sigh.

Andrea @ The Skinny Chronicles said...

What crooks. They should go to jail (or at least provide you with decent health insurance. I am so sorry. Send me their address and I will send them hate mail.

The Merry said...

Oooh, there's a thought.
Except that they probably already get hate mail if this is the way they deal with people.