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Old 12.12.2010, 18:38
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I don't know what to do.. Please advice..

Hi all,

I have been living in Lausanne with my husband, we currently have Non EU - L permit and will receive our B permit in February 2011.( Approved)

I was depressed when I first arrived to Lausanne. I was struggling desperately to find a job without success and told my husband that I wanted to go back to my country but I couldn't leave him. And after 2 months, I found one assistant position to small start-up family company ( I have BA degree -Finance- and 8 years experience ) They changed my L permit from ' Sans activite' to ' Avec activite'. I know that this is normally not possible but since it is a Swiss company, they made it possible.

I was very grateful and I did more than needed. ( They fired the cleaning guy and they made me wash the cups and clean the office, reports, supporting others basically everything ) The owner of the company is a lady who is not liked from anybody. Therefore, she is not successful, nobody wants to buy her products in the sector. She is very rich and she is paying me very little money although she had promised me to increase my salary after trial term of 3 months and now it has been 9 months ) She is always yelling at me and blaming me for nothing. Since she is very angry because of being unsuccesful, she is attacking me. Calling me 10 times during the weekends and sending tedious emails almost everyday.

I completely lost my self-confidence I hate her more than I can tell you. But I am very afraid of losing my job and staying at home. By the way, we will be paying mortgage starting from March.. I have been looking for a job almost 10 months but unfortunately nothing...

What am I going to do ???
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Old 12.12.2010, 19:04
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Re: I don't know what to do.. Please advice..

Check around and see what you would be paid in similar jobs, and what a base salary is for the sort of job you are doing... if it's under 20chf an hour, I'd definitely go packing - sign up for language classes - see if your Gemeinde offers anything - and keep networking.

My experience has been 'it's not what you know, but who you know' that will get you a job...willingness to do anything except have your self-esteem destroyed.

I worked for a crap boss for 6 months, had a baby and it took me 2 years to get the courage back to go and find a new job - I was destroyed - so I would never work for someone who was traumatic ever again...

Being 'trapped' into working because of a Mortgage is a crappy situation - but better to re-think your finances now and look at your options - cut back as much as possible, plan a few months off work, and make your exit plan ASAP...

What is your partner's situation ? Are they prepared to support you financially and emotionally through this phase - do they believe that you have better options - can they see how much the boss is destroying you ?

Get out of there, but make a plan for yourself. Maybe see the doctor and talk about taking stress-leave - make sure you are honest about how it feels to work for this woman - that would give you time to think about yourself and plan your next move...

If you are shattered in your current job that will also hamper your job searching and any applications/interviews you make - better to see if you can take the time off to really look for something and to recuperate from a difficult situation.

Else, consider counselling, might help with sticking up for yourself and stopping being a 'doormat' that everyone wipes their feet on - sounds like you are being exploited. You can be grateful for your job, but that doesn't mean others have the right to walk all over you...
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Old 12.12.2010, 19:14
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Re: I don't know what to do.. Please advice..

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Check around and see what you would be paid in similar jobs, and what a base salary is for the sort of job you are doing... if it's under 20chf an hour, I'd definitely go packing
I earn only 16 chf per hour!! And as you mentioned, I am also afraid of burning bridges, I am sure this job will hamper my job searching in the future.
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Old 12.12.2010, 19:21
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Re: I don't know what to do.. Please advice..

Sounds like a very complicated situation.

I guess it depends on your personality and what you value/find most important. Frankly I would rather stay home than put up with someone demeaning me in public AND paying me poorly for it.

My mental health is much more important than money. Once you have gone through the ringer in this job, there is a risk that you become so down and negative that you find it difficult to get another job.

Take care of YOU and start by turning off the phone on the weekends. (Get a different one for your friends!)
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Old 12.12.2010, 19:26
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Re: I don't know what to do.. Please advice..

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I earn only 16 chf per hour!! And as you mentioned, I am also afraid of burning bridges, I am sure this job will hamper my job searching in the future.
I'm sorry but that is completely unacceptable. Cleaning houses will get you 25CHF per hour (or more).

Why would you be burning bridges? If you are professional when you leave your job there should be no issues. Don't scream "you're a b*tch, i quit!"
Just do the procedure correctly according to your contract.
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Old 12.12.2010, 19:29
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Re: I don't know what to do.. Please advice..

16chf an hour is an absolute minimum wage. You are being exploited. You are being paid the bare minimum, and you don't deserve to be abused as well....

If you have a university degree you could be paid easily double that amount...30chf for someone with basic experience, degree qualificatons, who is a decent worker...
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Old 12.12.2010, 19:32
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Re: I don't know what to do.. Please advice..

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Sounds like a very complicated situation.

I guess it depends on your personality and what you value/find most important. Frankly I would rather stay home than put up with someone demeaning me in public AND paying me poorly for it.

My mental health is much more important than money. Once you have gone through the ringer in this job, there is a risk that you become so down and negative that you find it difficult to get another job.

Take care of YOU and start by turning off the phone on the weekends. (Get a different one for your friends!)
Thanks miniMia, you are always giving me good advices - you did for the apartment as well - I am already taking some antidepressants to make me calm down otherwise I can't work with her. Normally, I am somebody really nice to work with. But nothing is working with her.
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Old 12.12.2010, 19:36
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Re: I don't know what to do.. Please advice..

I am a bit confused as to how you could take on a mortgage with an L permit (which bank would lend?) and earning 16 CHF an hour. I can only assume your husband is earning a high wage. If he is, give up the job. If he isnt, give up the mortgage, before its too late.
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Old 12.12.2010, 19:38
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Re: I don't know what to do.. Please advice..

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16chf an hour is an absolute minimum wage. You are being exploited. You are being paid the bare minimum, and you don't deserve to be abused as well....

If you have a university degree you could be paid easily double that amount...30chf for someone with basic experience, degree qualificatons, who is a decent worker...
I had an interview with Manpower, the guy told me that regarding my resume I should be paid between 80 - 90k.
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Old 12.12.2010, 19:44
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Re: I don't know what to do.. Please advice..

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I am a bit confused as to how you could take on a mortgage with an L permit (which bank would lend?) and earning 16 CHF an hour. I can only assume your husband is earning a high wage. If he is, give up the job. If he isnt, give up the mortgage, before its too late.
That is why we will start to pay our mortgage as of March, in Switzerland if you pay 10% of the appartment they reserve the apartment for you and you have right to make a 'forward contract' if this is ok for seller. If you guarantee them you will receive your B permit with a letter from Commun, it is ok for the bank. Yes, my husband is earning a high wage. We can live a nice life with what he is earning. But I am not somebody who can stay in home.
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Old 12.12.2010, 20:07
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Re: I don't know what to do.. Please advice..

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Thanks miniMia, you are always giving me good advices - you did for the apartment as well - I am already taking some antidepressants to make me calm down otherwise I can't work with her. Normally, I am somebody really nice to work with. But nothing is working with her.
Oh no! Had a known you had this problem with your job and had an L permit, I would surely have advised you to wait before you bought! But anyway, you are here now! No point in going back.

I think you should really consider your metal health. People under estimate that and think you are being "a baby". I had the same issue in one job when I quit. I just couldn't stand to be in that place anymore. I would get physically sick in the morning.

Finally I quit & people were not very supportive. But you know what? I can't worry what other people think. They don't live with me! I care about me & my DH. And you need the support of your partner on this too.

Good luck!


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But I am not somebody who can stay in home.
Staying at home doesn't mean sitting around on your bottom all day! You just have to organize your time. There is so much to do that there is never enough time to get everything done. It's a question of reorganizing yourself, the way you think and of course being self motivated. But also not feeling "guilty" for adding some fun things to your day. Staying at home cant' be all work nor all play. It has to be combination of two things.

I'm sure there are goals that you want to do with your life that you can start doing now. Well, or when you quit that job! They don't all have to work related. You can learn a language (do you speak french?), take classes online, build furniture, baby sit (if you like kids, I'm not a kid person myself), write poems/a blog, learn to cook/bake, read philosophy, etc, etc. You know what I mean. My point is the time you have now can be used to improve you as a person and not just focused on work work work. You'd be better off doing any of those thing and not being paid then having someone treat you like crap, exploit you and make you feel bad about yourself.

Anyway, all those things listed (or whatever your list is) are things you'll wish you would have time for when you do find the right job for you.
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Old 12.12.2010, 20:10
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Re: I don't know what to do.. Please advice..

Yesterday, her husband and she called me 8 times. Because, she was blaming me to cancel her flight then she learned all the flights are cancelled by the snow storm in the US. Then she blamed me to do not answering my phone. And I wrote her back ' Weekends are not my working days and you should stop blaming me!!' I am sure, she is going to fire me. But my husband thinks that she is not because she knows that she can not find another hardworking goof like me to work for that money.

Anyway, I know that if you are still in the market everybody calls you for an interview but if you are not it is always hard to find a job. What will happen if I can not find another job in 16 months ?
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Old 12.12.2010, 20:16
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Re: I don't know what to do.. Please advice..

If you are working for so little and the wage doesn't matter, go find a reputable company and make a proposal that you will work for them for 3 months for free to show them what you're made of.. if they want to keep you after the 3 months, they can make you an offer or you can apply to other companies with their recommendation and forget about this abusive mad woman.

A quick action like this will put the whole sorry business behind you, will be the first step to regain your confidence and get your career back on track.

Whatever you choose to do, good luck!
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Old 12.12.2010, 20:23
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Re: I don't know what to do.. Please advice..

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Yesterday, her husband and she called me 8 times. Because, she was blaming me to cancel her flight then she learned all the flights are cancelled by the snow storm in the US. Then she blamed me to do not answering my phone. And I wrote her back ' Weekends are not my working days and you should stop blaming me!!' I am sure, she is going to fire me. But my husband thinks that she is not because she knows that she can not find another hardworking goof like me to work for that money.

Anyway, I know that if you are still in the market everybody calls you for an interview but if you are not it is always hard to find a job. What will happen if I can not find another job in 16 months ?
Now you're asking for psychics!...Who knows. The point is that you will have to give up something and only you can make that choice. You never know all the answers in advance, so don't try. If it starts out messy, more than likely it will end up messy. Get your courage together, stop being so emotional about "material matters" and let something go.
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Old 12.12.2010, 20:32
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Re: I don't know what to do.. Please advice..

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Get your courage together, stop being so emotional about "material matters" and let something go.
If I get my courage together, believe me everything will be different. This is my first time leaving from my home country. And working with 'Swiss' people for the first time. Here is the thing, I don't know what to do, I can tell you what I was going to do if I am home.. First of all I was never ever even going to go to interview for a family company.

Last edited by Longbyt; 12.12.2010 at 20:51. Reason: corrected quote. PLEASE leave the square brackets and their contents in place when you shorten quotes.
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Old 12.12.2010, 20:48
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Re: I don't know what to do.. Please advice..

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If I get my courage together, believe me everything will be different. This is my first time leaving from my home country. And working with 'Swiss' people for the first time. Here is the thing, I don't know what to do, I can tell you what I was going to do if I am home.. First of all I was never ever even going to go to interview for a family company.

I understand Sema, but you are an adult. You must take responsibility for your decisions. You want someone else to make them for you? It's not like you are single, you have a husband. What does he say? Sometimes we just have to "take the leap of faith" and go for it. Fear paralyzes you. What are you so afraid of?

Last edited by Longbyt; 12.12.2010 at 20:56. Reason: I think this is what you meant it to say!
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Old 12.12.2010, 21:02
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Re: I don't know what to do.. Please advice..

Off-topic.
Guys and Gals - please leave square brackets and their contents in place when you shorten quotes. If it goes wrong, please report the post. A Post which quotes an incorrectly-formatted quote just doesn't make sense as the wrong person is then given as the author.
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Old 12.12.2010, 21:06
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Re: I don't know what to do.. Please advice..

When I was studying at the university, I was working at the same time. I am afraid of being unemployed and losing my freedom, it doesn't mean that my husband earns enough and I will stay at home. If I have child it is ok I can,but I'm only 26 years old and I was always on my own feet.
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Old 12.12.2010, 21:13
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Re: I don't know what to do.. Please advice..

It sounds like the employer really needs you - which might be a bargaining chip.

My strategy would be:

(i) Work out the financial consequences if you were to leave this job - and try to figure out how you could live without the extra money for a period of time. As others have said, are the economies you can make elsewhere? That puts you immediately into a stronger position.

(ii) Tell you employer plainly, simply and unemotionally that you find her treatment of you as an employee to be unacceptable (and cite examples) - and that if the situation does not improve immediately you will have no choice but to leave.

(iii) If (ii) does not work then resign according to the terms of your contract. If you can find a new job in the meantime then all the better.

Cheers,
Nick
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Old 13.12.2010, 10:24
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Re: I don't know what to do.. Please advice..

Hi all,

I am in the office now. I will let you know what will happen.

Take good care and have a nice week.
Sema
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