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Ask Dr. Ed Wilfong Your Own Question
Dr. Ed Wilfong
Dr. Ed Wilfong, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1528
Experience:  Twenty-five years treating all ages; Specialities: psychopharmacology & diagnosis, MMPI-2, testing.
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PLEASE REFER THIS QUESTION TO A PSYCHOLOIST.... My daughter started ma new job 4 months ago. She was offered $18.00 / hr with the stipulation that she pass a required test within 3 mo.....which she did . In the meantime someone left and that employee's work was divided between my daughter and another employee of equal level. Some of my daughter's new responsibilities have included marketing strategies for which she was praised by the company's president. My daughter had begun to notice a change in her "counterpart" (girl at equal level) who is very competitive. This week her counterpart suggested to the president that she and my daughter be changed to salary instead of hourly....without consulting my daughter. My daughter voiced her dismay to her immediate supervisorm about the change because there is much overtime involved ....and she was stunned that her counterpart did not ask her before going to the president.
My daughter is a down to earth 30 yr. old who is excited about this job and wants only to make the co. better. Her counterpart is 24 and plays politics. She has asked me for advice ....I could not get this message thru before she went to work today went to a lawyer instead of a mental health expert so I did the best I could.
She doesn't want to take any legal action......she just wanted my advice on how best to interact with her supervisor and others today. She expressed to me tonight that her supervisor was not cordial today and this is what she had hoped to avoid.
Your advice as to how she can be comfortable on Mon. would be greatly appreciated. She still feels this was very unfair and won't back down but wants to continue to be a productive and cooperative does she do this. Thank you
Dr. Ed Wilfong :

She will just need to be tactful and patient. The other girl made a HR MISTAKE. Going salary means unlimited overtime (pretty much) which she is astute enough to know. Unfortunately, if they want to reclassify the position as exempt, they can do so without her consent. I would have her express how satisfied she is with her job and she, personally, does not think reclassification is in anyone's best interest. She can also indicate that although she is wanting to work hard, she thinks the reclassification is unneeded to work effectively and efficiently. She needs to be tactful and somewhat accepting. She can suggest that a reclassification study be done, but this sounds like private industry, she is at their whim. On the optimistic side, someday the "counterpart" will do something stupid. Daughter needs to sit back to some extent and pass out rope and let the other girl hang herself and she can stand on all merits. My wife is an HR exec. so I get a lot of free advice on these matters.......She likely has no legal action available, but have her track her overtime. At some point the issue may arise, or she can innocently ask what to do with all this accrued time, and let them see the mess they created. Absent a written contract, she just needs to hang in there and be a team player and hope this works out. She would not be out of line asking for her official job description, noting roles have changed and she just "wants to know" what is expected. If they are this loose and free with going from non-exempt they will make legal errors. She just needs to let things cool a bit. If anyone else is hired into equivalent position, that is prime time to ask for clarification. Wish her well and encourage patience. I was not a patient young professional and ended up hurting myself in some jobs.

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Customer: replied 6 years ago.

My daughter was hired for a job 3 mo. ago on an hr. basis.......last week she was changed to salary because of a suggestion made by her counterpart....even though there is much overtime. Details about my previous question regarding this was very helpful: ie with integrity and patience (as her counterpart is very competitive and wants to be noticed and in charge) She is 24 with 2 yrs experience and my daughter is 30 and new to the Co. ....but has wowed the president with and others UNTIL: she questioned being changed from hr. to salary.

The result ..the president came to her office and expressed his disconsent she expressed her concerns AND she is pretty much being ostrasized by everyone in the office. EX. she walked into the conference room today and everyone was having lunch together and she was not invited. She is humiliated and has asked my advice as to how to react.

She told her immediate supervisor she was not happy about the change and when asked by the supervisor if she needed to go to the president about this daughter said "no" and that she would work it out. Also she was accused of keeping a key (since then) which the president had all along.......and today the computers went down and one of her colleagues stated mmout loud ...."It must have been Chels' (my daughter) fault. She has never been given a chance to explain her side,

She is humiliated that she has been labeled as greedy for speaking up against going from hr. to salary because of the after hour workload.........she is very uncomfortable around the colleagues who up until last week have been very supportive as she adjusted to this new position.

My can she cope, how should she respond to the ostraization, should she try to clear this between she and her supervisor and the president ?

My question is what can she do to BEST cope mentally and emotionally

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Could a mental health expert look at the question I sent on 9/21/ll at 8:39 am and send advice? Thank you , judy
Judy- I replied before. Do you want me to follow up or get a second opinion?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I understood and appreciate your answert. I sent the next question (trying to get through to you) because of how she was treated by the others when she returned to work. That info and question was sent 9/21 at about 8:30 am. Basically she nis being ostrasized by her colleagues ( ex. all had lunch ....excluding her ), being accused of losing a key....that the president had in his possession. She just needs to know how to best get tthru these moments and how to regain respect. She is humiliated ....but does not feel she did wrong by questioining what her counterpart caused. She would not treat others as she is being treated and is not accustomed to this interaction. What should she do until this, hopefully , blows over ? Thank you
Hi Judy. I am sorry so long. We don't keep regular hours or days. I try to check in every day, sometimes just not possible.
THis sounds like a small, private company.
I think she will have to exercise considerable patience and tongue biting, should she wish to stay there. It sounds like her 24 yr/old colleage is being "rallied around" and probably bad-mouthing daughter. If she wants to fix this, let her actions, not words, speak. Do her job under the new rules and perhaps even comment that it is working out better than she thought.
To be clear, she did no wrong, and morally, legally, I am totally with her. Workplaces are social groups and and can be nasty and unfair. I think she right about the exempt issue. But if she ostracized, being right won't matter.
If she can, she needs to focus on work and work only and not be concerned about others being left out of lunch and other outings.
Just work and hope another crisis distracts from this soon
If it doesn't blow over, perhaps going to president is OK to discuss what mis-understanding occured. After all, she has accepted this, not refused the change.
I think she is being sabatoged a bit --- it happens everywhere.
Point of fact - The State and National Labor Relations Boards have rules about what is hourly and what is exempt. She may want to become familiar with these rules before to speaking to president, so she can just say she was just wondering about the rules in her questioning.

Hopefully, she just needs to drop issue and be team player and show her value.

I have had many jobs when I came home and said, Thank God I get paid for this. She may have to put her social concerns about coworkers aside a while and realize she is there for money, not friendship.

I can only hope this blows over soon for her sake. Sadly, regardless this will be a lesson in how ugly workplaces can become. Again, no need for humiliation, the other people are being jerks and are likely legally wrong. She cannot control whether or not they will "let her back into the cliche".

If you need anything more specific, let me know.

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