Many years ago while I was at work, it was our lunch break and a few of us was sitting outside in the warm sun, at the wooden table and chairs eating our various food, when Sara said, “This month I’ll get my £100 pounds when we get paid,” puzzled I asked, “What do you mean?” She explained, “When you work for the company, when you reach your 10th year you are rewarded with a cheque for £100,” I was stunned! For at that moment I’d worked for the company for 14 years and I’d not received any cheque on my 10th year!! I didn’t really know who to ask. My Manager hadn’t mentioned anything to me about it and I work at this particular site twice a month, maybe she thought my Manager at the main site where I’m mainly based would inform me.... but she hadn’t either.
I did think about it, and before I knew it 6 more years by, then this year out the blue I got a letter, I could see from the outside of the envelope the letter was from the Company, I opened it and this is what it said, “Congratulations, you have worked for the Company for 5 years, thank you for all your hard work and dedication.....” it was signed Eric Stone. I was gobsmacked!!! I re-read it in disbelief and later 1 by 1 when my family members arrived home I showed them the letter, from the oldest to the youngest they too was stunned, “FIVE YEARS!?” I’d worked for the Company over 20 years and they insult me by sending me this letter! No wonder I didn’t get my money at the 10th year!!
The following day I took the letter to work and showed some of them there, a few laughed, for they could see my face (I wasn’t laughing) and that he, Eric Stone, didn’t he know who he’d sent the letter to? It wasn’t just to any member but to Jan Jones!!! Of course they asked me what I was going to do .... for up until that point, I hadn’t thought about it. I said to them that I would write him a letter and give him a history of the 20 years that I’d been at the company and that I wanted my £200 pounds for I didn’t get my £100 after I’d worked for them for 10 years and now another 10 years had gone by and still I’d not receive a cheque, just this crummy letter!
I am a letter writer and have written many in my life time, they all go, Sign for on Arrival, so they can’t say they didn’t receive it. I also always take a photo copy, but just before I was to start my epistle, I had a mini brainwave, I’d do it by email instead and I’d print off a copy for myself. Did I mention that Eric Stone is the Chief Executive of the Company? So there is no one higher than him and after all the letter was from him!
I started my letter by thanking Eric for the letter, then I went on to tell him I’d worked for the Company for over 20 years. He himself had only worked for the company for a short time .... just over a year, I gave him, a history of the time I’d worked and the various people I had worked with who had long ago left for pastures green. I mentioned some of the highs and the lows and the funny too. I told him at the end of my email that I would like my cheque for £200, after all that was the point of my letter.
I wasn’t sure how long I would have to wait, but I had a reply the next day when I looked at my emails. I was excited. This is what his reply to me was, “Thank you Jan for your lovely letter, thank you for the history of your time with the Company, unfortunately you are not entitled to any money.” I am not easily fobbed off, so I replied back, “Why am I not entitled to the £200?” Eric replied back, but he didn’t sound as pleasant like he did in the first letter, he said, “You are not entitled to the money, for you have not worked for the Company long enough, this matter is now closed, please do not write back.”
A few days later, young Nathan asked me how I got on and I showed him the printed emails, he read my letters and Eric’s replies and said to me, “Reply back, and let him know that you got a letter from him to say, I had worked for the Company but that the letter sent in his name said I had worked for the Company for only 5 years when in fact I have worked for the Company for 20 years, ask him if he was a wear of that”, for Nathan pointed out to me that, “He may have only signed the letter that was written by his secretary and may not have read the letter, but simply had signed it,” I was a bit nervous now, for he had asked me not to write him back, but I thought, what the heck, I might as well finish what I’ve started!
I emailed Eric again, and said, ”I know you asked me not to write back, but on reflection, you may not have read the letter that you originally sent to me congratulating me on my 5 years with the Company, for the letter may have been given you to sign by your secretary, as it may be a printing error on his or her part, for I have proved to you that I have indeed worked for the Company for over 20 years,” I finished the letter by thanking him for his time.... and I told him I would not be writing back, that this would be my last email to him. His reply was short and to the point, “You have not worked for the Company long enough.”
Two weeks went by and I mentioned my emails to Sandy, she was new to the Company, a lovely girl, she had been with us for about 3 months she was livid when I told her, she said, “I met him the first month I started working and during the course of the meeting I’d asked him how much he’d earned he told me his basic wage was £100,000 a year,” I said to Sandy, “He probably has £200 in his wallet, £200 is nothing to him, but it’s a lot to me, it could go towards getting me out of debt.” Sandy said, “Let me write to him, I will get you your money!!!!” I said to her, “You are new to the Company and it wouldn’t be good for you,” I also thanked her for her support and concern.
A few weeks went by and I was back at the site where I’d first heard about the £100 cheque and I always kept the printed emails with me safe in an envelope, I talked about it to the people who were there and it was then that it was explained to me what Eric meant when he said, “You have not worked long enough for the Company” for a person has to work in 1 place for 10 years, and as Full Time!!! I had worked for the Company over 20 years but at 2 different sites and as Full Time and Part Time. So I finally understood, but I thought it was unfair for the majority had not worked there that long, and it was not that there was going to be hundreds of people getting this money every year, for it only applied if you worked there for 10 years, Full time! Most didn’t!
Six weeks went by and a good friend of mine at work brought the post to me, there was one with my name on.... I opened it and inside was a certificate, with my full name and the words, “Congratulations, this is to recognized your 20 years with the Company, thank you for all your hard work, it is much appreciated, now shut the F**K up!!! Eric Stone, Chief Executive.” It was signed, Jonah had done this for me at work, to make me smile and it did make me smile. I keep it with the other emails from Eric.
Eventually my Manager was told! She asked me not to write him again. I told her I wouldn’t. I don’t know how he can sleep at night!
He could have made an exception, and told me to be quite about it.... but he didn’t.
I used to be very proud of where I work and for who I worked for, but now, all that has changed, the stuffing has been knocked out of me, they have my body but not my heart.