Right now I'm feeling rather ambivalent about my work. I'm wondering what socionics implications this may have, especially in regards to the section about inequality between on-call part-timers and full-time benefitted employees.
Iím a librarian. Right now Iím working three different part-time on-call jobs plus Iím getting paid a small amount of money to teaching basic computer courses to seniors through local community ed. Itís not finding a job thatís so much a problem as finding a full-time job with benefits in my field. The Librarian field is very competitive. Although the pay isnít great, people do find the work very fulfilling and stay in the field a long time.
One of the places I have been employed at for 8.5 years now. I work about 20 hours a week there- the maximum number of hours I can get as an on-call employee. I really want to be full-time, not only for the money and benefits like paid insurance but also because full-time employees get to do some of the more interesting projects that part-time people donít get to do. Such as developing innovative programs and services for libraries, managing the libraryís collection of materials, in general just having more of a say in the direction the library will be going. Also, I just want a place I can call Ďhomeí and feel a sense of belonging and continuity.
As an on-call librarian, itís analogous to a substitute teacher. I float around between different libraries in the public library system. So Iím not permanently at any one library. I go from place to place depending on where Iím needed. My work schedule isnít regular or predictable at all. Between all of my jobs, I work around 30-35 hours a week, but Iím putting in 6 and sometimes 7 day weeks because oftentimes the shifts are less than the typical 8 hours seen in full-time positions. Plus the libraries are sometimes close to an hourís drive from where I live. Donít get me wrong, I love the variety of working at different libraries, I love the flexibility of my work schedule- I can pick and choose the shifts I want so vacations are always easy to schedule. But itís not paid vacation. However, Iíve done this long enough now that I just want a place I can settle in and call home. I get tired of having to keep up with so many different libraries and how they do things and where they keep stuff. I go into the library prepared but then Iím asked questions I know nothing about because I donít regularly work at that location and then I end up feeling embarrassed. I feel like itís hard to have good solid work references because I donít always work in the same location. I have a wide network in terms of number of people I know and work with but I want quality, not quantity. And quality comes with time by working with the same people on a more continual basis.
On-call employees are a bit Ďremovedí from the full-time employees and even the regular Ďpart-timeí employees. There is a Staff Directory on our Intranet that says it lists ALL of the employees but really it doesnít because only the employees with regular work hours are included. I proposed to HR that this be changed to include EVERYBODY, including the on-call people. Even though I know Iím less likely to be contacted because Iím on-call, itís an insult when you are just as much of an employee as everyone else and youíre not included in the list. HR wonít change it because they say they want to keep track of everyone with a defined number of FTE and the total amount of FTE and on-call people donít have a defined amount. Something stupid like that.
Also the HR department puts out a newsletter each week that lists the new hires, people who got promoted or reassigned, and people who are retiring or resigning. Once again, on-call employees are not listed in this newsletter. Even though we may not work as many hours itís still an insult to be omitted from this. HR will do nothing to change this.
Finally, itís just the little things that make it harder to do our jobs well. We arenít always informed like regular employees are when thereís things we should know. We aren't always invited to 'staff development days.' Although they are often boring, I still want to feel like I'm asked to go like the others and feel like I'm 'in the loop.' We donít have any office or cubicle space, many of the libraries donít have lockers designated for on-call staff. One library didnít have any designated place for substitutes to put their stuff. All of the lockers were padlocked so I couldnít just grab a free one. One of the library systems I work for wonít give on-call staff a key card so every time we need to enter the library we have to buzz someone to be let in. Again, minor thing but it does make things more inconvenient.
Finally, on-call staff are not considered internal employees for hiring purposes. This means we are not eligible for many of the full-time benefitted positions that are posted if they are Ďinternalí only. When the positions are open to everyone to apply, people like me are not looked at anyway. Last time such a position was posted, I failed to even get an interview even though I know I do very good work and have worked a long time. Instead, they hire some stranger from the Ďoutside.í Someone who just completed library school. It just seems so unfair and that my dignity has been stripped away. Some days I just go home from work crying. Itís like the on-call librarians are the Ďadjunct facultyí of the library world. Except itís even worse.
I should probably just quit but Iím not comfortable quitting unless I have another job lined up. I have no idea what to even do other than library work that would pay halfway decent. The only jobs I ever get are on-call or temporary contract type jobs. Nothing full-time benefitted thatís long-term. Plus I feel like a failure if I donít do what I set out to do, and thatís get a full-time position in my field and be reasonably successful in my career.