She Works Hard For The Money


Pippa is acting extremely stressed out lately. This past two weeks, our entire computer system upgraded to a new server with supposedly more user-friendly products.  The upgrade, however, caused numerous problems across the office. Desktops have been acting slower than usual. Employees are not able to perform their regular work tasks. Emails and databases are taking longer to download.

In tackling all these issues, Pippa is working overtime, even coming in on Saturdays. Despite hiring a second IT person to replace Duncan, poor Pippa is being pulled in different directions.  Employees constantly come to her with all their problems.  Upper management pressuring her to fix everything fast. Though she tries to hide her emotions, I could tell that she felt aggravated and exhausted.

Regardless of her busy schedule, she still makes time for us to eat lunch together outside the office. I feel terrible though. I would spend the entire lunch period talking about my own struggles with work, my job hunting, and my relationship with Tyson. Pippa patiently sits there and listens and smiles and provides her advice.

I am trying to be better in encouraging Pippa to express her frustrations, not to mention motivate her to find another job with a larger salary. She is highly skilled in technology and computer programming. A tough career field for women to pursue, especially for a woman of color. On top of that, Pippa has extensive managerial experience.

JLS is evidently taking advantage of Pippa, especially with how they pay her. She never revealed to me how much she earned. One Friday, I was distributing pay checks to employees, when Pippa’s pay check slipped out of its envelope. I couldn’t help but examine her pay check and my jaw dropped at how little she is actually paid. After doing some research, she makes only 20 percent less than what she should actually earn. Plus, Pippa isn’t paid for her overtime. She has been with JLS for more than five years. It is totally unfair. No wonder Duncan decided to leave.

JLS does not even compensate her for her public transportation costs, or anyone else for that matter, which is unfortunate. Pippa has a long commute from her home in Dracut to Boston. She wakes up at 5 in the morning, gets ready and eats breakfast. She wakes up her son and helps him get ready for school. An hour later, she drives to the train station in Lowell to catch the commuter rail to Boston.

Sometimes I wonder how her overtime work is affecting her family, especially her six year old son, Jeremiah. He is at that developmental age when he really needs her. I’ve met him when Pippa invited me to her house for Thanksgiving. He is so adorable you could eat him with a spoon. And he is incredibly smart for his age. Gets his intelligence from his mom. At least, she gets to work from home on Thursdays so she can spend time with him. Pippa’s husband is also extremely supportive of her and her career. He especially helps out with the housework and taking care of Jeremiah.

All in all, Pippa deserves better.

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