23 Jan
Can You Help Me Punk My Boss?

Dear Mouthy Housewives,

I work at a hotel (in the U.S.) which has brought employees in from a poor European country for the season. The girls are working as housekeepers, earning minimum wage, which is $2 less than what any of the other housekeepers START at. They had to pay for their own flights here, work visas, and they pay all their U.S. taxes. They work 6 days a week, so they are getting overtime, but I still feel like they are totally being taken advantage of. It makes me angry.

My employer doesn’t seem to be doing anything illegal, just something that I think is ICKY. When these girls go back to their homes, they will have enough money saved that they can live off it for 6 months (going to University) without working, so that’s good for them. I just hate so much that my employer is taking advantage of them. Do you have any advice on what I can do for them, aside from adopting them through an adopt-a-teenager program where I send them $20 a month when they get home and in return they send me postcards? I know this is a weird question. It just makes me feel bad.

Signed,

My Boss is a Jerk

____________________________________________

My Boss is a Jerk,

I don’t think this is a weird question at all. I mean, please. We live in a world where Newt Gingrich is making a legitimate run at the Presidency on the platform of open-marriage. It takes a little more to rattle the Housewives.

It’s honorable that you’re feeling badly for these disadvantaged workers, but as you suggested, it’s not exactly illegal for your boss to be an asshole to your co-workers. What’s more, if you were to do something to get the bossman in trouble, the girls would suffer as well. I think that’s what they call a Catch-22, but I’ve never been good with postmodern literature.

But, if you do it right, maybe you can boost them into the media spotlight which will basically both humiliate your boss AND get the girls some paparazzi-type celebrity status. Here’s what I suggest:

1. New York had this really obnoxious guy with a mustache who worked for the local news, and he always annoyed the crap out of the bad guys until they finally caved to get him off their back. Most of the time they were probably innocent, but that’s besides the point. Get in touch with your local media and ask for the homeliest reporter with the biggest microphone to help you out.

2. Ashton Kutcher. He still does that Punk’d show for MTV, right? (He doesn’t? Well, just tell him pretty young girls are involved and I’m sure he’ll be there in a heartbeat.) Sure, the national media attention may cause the entire hotel to fail financially, costing you your job in the process, but it’ll be a great story!

3. Aren’t hotels usually haunted? Because I feel like, if you get the girls involved, you could all chip in for some fake blood and gray face paint and really pull an epic prank on Mr. Bossman. Kind of like the ghosts of Christmas past, except they’re the ghosts of…like, hotels or something. (Okay, so maybe this one isn’t super smooth, but I’m not a damn script writer so cut me some slack already.)

Or, if you want to take the issue more seriously (bo-ring!), you could do something more responsible. Perhaps you could contact local lawyers or worker’s unions to see if there’s any legal action that can be taken. Beyond that and slashing your boss’ tires, maybe you want to just have a good heart-to-heart with the girls and then submit your resignation. That’s what Jerry McGuire would do.

Good luck,

Kristine, TMH

9 Responses to “Can You Help Me Punk My Boss?”

01.23.12#1

Comment by Sally.

Not to be a killjoy but, is your boss supplying living arrangements for these girls? That might explain the difference in pay scale.

Avprobeauty Reply:

Agreed. Seems there may be more to the story and not to mention there is probably nothing illegal going on here so unless she can find something it will be pretty embarrassing if she’s still working there if any dirt is found.

01.23.12#2

Comment by Ace.

I Jerry McGuired it 5 months ago. The employers were providing housing for the girls – a 12X12, windowless room in the basement of the hotel for all 3 to share, which was flooded 3 times over the summer by the dishwasher upstairs. I hadn’t thought about how that was worth the pay-cut. The girls were worked like crazy and they hated it, and I hated watching them hate it. In the end, I know they were happy because they were making more than their professional parents back in Bulgaria. All’s well that ends well, I suppose. My employers weren’t doing anything illegal, they are just cheap bastards and I don’t work for them anymore. Thanks for your answer, Kristine!:)

Kristine Reply:

Awesome, Ace! I’m glad to help…even if it was five months too late!

01.23.12#3

Comment by mtwildflower.

The pay may not be illegal, but I bet their accommodation are. A basement room with no fire escape and a leaky diswasher flooding their room?

It’s a health issue and fire issue. Those are biggies.

Kristine Reply:

I completely agree. I had a feeling that, to us commoners, it might appear that he’s not breaking the law, but those lawyer types are good with…you know, the law. Ahem.

01.23.12#4

Comment by shrink on the couch.

A Houston news channel used to have one of those consumer advocate reporters – Marvin Zindler. What an annoying sign off voice the guy had – plus he looked like Ted Baxter from MTM Show. Quite the character who got results. Every city needs one.

Kristine Reply:

I still remember the theme song for the one in New York City. Shame-shame-SHAME! Shame on you!

06.05.12#5

Comment by My Boss is Mean and Pays Me Nothing! | The Mouthy Housewives.

[…] Mean bosses suck. Seriously. It is very difficult to go work feeling undervalued everyday and desperately needing more money to support your family. And we are still in a very tough economy which doesn’t give you a lot of leverage when trying to negotiate with your 27-year-old smug face boss. […]

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