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Employee Review of American Red Cross - Check out more reviews of working at American Red Cross

3.3Rating Details
Job Security2
Work/Life Balance3
Career Growth2
Work Environment3

From Philadelphia, PA — 11/13/2008

I'm going to start this by saying that my review is colored by the fact that I was terminated. I was fired for a Family and Medical Leave issue on which the Red Cross lawyers and my doctor disagreed. I was summarily dismissed. I am pretty bitter about it, but I really do believe in what I was doing at the Red Cross.

Pay: A lot of people complain about the pay, but when I look at similar jobs at other NGOs, I actually made about 5k more than I would have elsewhere.

Respect: I rated as high as a 1 because your coworkers will, in general respect you. Unfortunately, they respect you more than many members in management. I had coworkers get fussed at for having a potted plant in their cubicle, while I got away with my cubicle being completely trashed (shame on me, I know)!.

Benefits: The benefits were great. I could see any doctor and didn't need a referral. Mental health benefits needed some work, but were better than most insurance companies'.

Job security: If you've managed to survive a while, then you're pretty secure (hence why I rated -4 and not -5). Otherwise, you should be worried. I kept being told by other people that if someone "upstairs" took a disliking to you or felt like you were too much trouble, they'd get rid of you lightening fast. I always took that with a grain of salt until it happened to me -- right after I got a raise! The American Red Cross is far more focused on possibly getting sued externally than taking care of its employees. Their lawyers have either never heard of laws against "perceived disability" or they figure their former employees will just roll over and play dead.

Work/life balance: I rated this low because I'm single and have no dependents. There is a bit of a perception from management with families that you really have no life and therefore why on earth should you need time off or have any personal issues? Management is, of course, compensated for being on-call 24/7 and having to work longer hours...but I wasn't! I had to carry a phone all the time and even though it was supposed to be for emergencies I would get calls about the location of files on the network! It was painful to receive compensation time for scheduled extra hours as management within departments kept saying that if they made the policies official senior management would cut all compensation time. I worked non-traditional hours, and felt a little bullied every time I was told this. If I had not been able to take compensation time, I would have been scheduled to work over 50 hours a week, if not more. That, of course, doesn't include any time I might have chosen to work in order complete my tasks on time (I'm well aware that that would have been my own decision).

Job growth: There is little potential for job growth. Those who make it to higher positions tend to stay there, and upper management seems to prefer hiring from the outside rather than from within for management positions.

Location: The Philadelphia office at 23rd and Chestnut is at a great location. I was able to walk to work. For commuters, the Chapter building is located right off of major roadways and near parking garages.

Coworker Competence: I felt as though my co-workers were competent. I worked with a variety of people from different backgrounds, education, and experience.

Work Environment: Coworkers were great, environment was a little sterile. They had begun stricter monitoring of computers and installed extra surveillance cameras about the time I left. There was a perception that you shouldn't seek changes in policy. Some managers tended to micromanage.
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