Recipe For Disaster
Chuck 8 under 25 year olds in a classroom like environment/workplace
Blend with a few lies-including pay (£5.93 vs £1.66 per hour)
Boil on high heat-parade blatant favouritism of certain workers and insult others for 8 weeks
Serve under the title Work Experience after all…
“Work Experience” translated is “Free Labour”
Minimum wage=£5.93 so… 6hours x 5 days=30 hours x minimum wage=£177.90 (sorry for the maths.)
It’s just this sum is very different from the amount the work experience ’employers’ wanted to give me.
(£1.66×30= 49.80+ expenses=£80.00 or so.)
When did minimum wage become the goal? How do you decide the value of a human being? Is it their age, the amount of experience they have, does a disability come into it? It becomes more clear as the Conservatives tear down everything that has been built to protect the most vulnerable, that they are buying into their own fantasy. There are enough jobs , people who say they have a disability are just lazy, allowing employers to opt out of minimum wage will ensure people with mental health problems won’t be treated as a ‘source of cheap labour.’
Over the past two weeks I’ve been gaining work experience at a telesales company which sold life insurance. Armed with a mobile phone we were instructed to phone all of the numbers in a booklet. Once we received an answer we were encouraged to force.. sorry persuade the person on the other end to buy life insurance. We did this for five hours plus a 50 minute lunch break and 10 minute rest. We received no training but the managers insisted this was work experience. It became apparent as I talked with my co-workers that none of us were pleased with this deal. One of the supervisors-a family member- even said to us,
“How can we pay you if you don’t make any money for us?”
Anyway as we began to bond over our hatred of the job, the managers set out to divide us, therefore creating a stale atmosphere and awful environment. By the end of the week their dastardly scheme had worked, the revolution* had collapsed but I was intrigued at their method. Here’s how they did it;
1) Reminded comrades of a prize that divides them
The prize was full time employment with minimum wage plus commission. Such a prize seemed attractive but considering the unprofessional behaviour of the managers it seemed unlikely they would take anyone on. Why would you employ anyone, when you could have a steady stream of employees willing to earn a pittance?
2) Remind the new ’employed’ of their unemployed life
Yes, this actually happened. One of the managers was extremely disrespectful but being reminded of what you come from can often work at helping you fall back in line.
3) Encourage competition
They put a white board on the wall to track the amount of ‘leads’ you got. The prize was…recognition
So is the money behind the smile?
4) Supervise to the extreme and introduce a ‘spy’
There was actually a girl spying on our conversations and when this didn’t work the managers took to eating lunch in the same room as us. All to monitor our every move.
5) Split friendship groups
You know at school where the teacher would move you to a different desk if you were talking…this actually happened.
What have I learnt from this work experience? Always plan ahead, if you don’t you will look like an ass.
Further Reading: Should the government dump its advisors on interns?
*Fine not revolution but the gossiping was the only way to get through the day.