Reply to post: Forgotten Employee

HR botches redundancy so chap scores year-long paid holiday


Forgotten Employee

I was working in Minneapolis for a MLS (real estate listings) vendor in the mid-90s while my wife went to graduate school there. Upon her graduation, she got a job in Chicago. Our largest client was in Chicago and we had a 6-person office there to service them, so I asked around and got assigned there for what was supposed to be 90 days to oversee the beta test of our very first client-server application. I was planning on using that time to look for a new job and resigning once the test was done.

But here's the fun part. While I was given an office in Chicago, I still nominally reported to my existing boss for HR purposes, and actually reported to the lead software developer (also in Minnesota) for the duration of the test. While the test was underway, the head of the Chicago office left. The new Chicago lead was told I was reporting to Minneapolis and, since I wasn't on his budget, I became effectively invisible to him. Then my nominal supervisor quit and since there was a temporary hiring freeze, they didn't immediately replace her and HR apparently forgot to assign me to anyone else. So once I wrapped things up on the beta test, I had an office in Chicago and a paycheck, but no job duties and no one to report to.

Meanwhile, I had decided to go to graduate school that autumn which was 6 months away. There wasn't much point in looking for a new job for that short of a time period, so I decided to keep my mouth shut and see how long it would take them to sack me.

They never did. For 6 months, the only actual work I did was helping out the local support desk guy a couple of times a week with questions he couldn't answer. Other than that it was drive in, surf the internet for a few hours, have a long lunch, surf some more and go home. I did a lot of posting on usenet and listservs so I at least sounded busy. To be honest, it got a bit tedious. But I was afraid that if I volunteered to help out the local staff, someone would start asking why I had so much free time.

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