From From Louisville KY — 02/12/2010
I've been at VMS for several years and have seen numerous ups and downs. As with most companies, there seems to be many inefficiency issues never addressed because departments are territorial. Middle management appears to more concerned about job preservation than trimming waste to improve the bottom line. Overall, I feel the company has done a pretty good job handling the impact of the recession. Our pay was cut but, as promised, it has been restored. Unfortunately, well before the recession, corporate failed to provide cost of living increases even when reasonable belt-tightening could have made it possible. Not only have we not gotten raises in a very long time, we've seen insurance payroll deductions increase, co-pays increase, and overtime eliminated. I understand that the economy is a hardship for the company, as it is for employees but, honestly, many of us on the lower rungs of the company ladder are struggling. While it isn't the company's obligation to pay us more than they can afford, they can hardly afford to return to the days when turnover was high in positions where training takes literally months. Monitoring is one of those jobs with a long learning curve and minimal standards. There is no incentive to improve production or quality. Those who do improve performance from year-to-year should be rewarded if for no other reason than to reinforce their work ethic and to shame the slackers. Better yet, fire the slackers to save the overhead spent on insurances, taxes, and 401K matching that adds 50-100 percent to the cost of wages in order to offer limited overtime to the most productive monitors who aren't in it purely for the paycheck. Expect and reward professional standards and you'll see the benefit. I really believe this is achievable, especially if overtime eligibility was raised to production of 1.0 for five hours of OT, 1.10 for more than five, and tied to standards set for attendance and quality.
Where job security is concerned, I have learned that supervisors seem to appreciate me as long as I'm on time, work instead of playing computer games or sending texts or talking on my cell phone, and don't whine about everything. Work-life balance is great because I don't ever have to work swing shift and, even when OT was available, have never been coerced to work it. One really good thing about monitoring: you can't take it home with you.
Career Potential: from what I've seen, there is only potential to make lateral moves where you change jobs but don't get paid more to learn more.
Work environment can be stressful with so many monitors crammed so close together. The department often sounds like a tuberculosis ward during cold and flu seasons, especially with desks positioned end-to-end being shared by shifts. Supervisors are a pleasure to work for and very accommodating as long as you're doing your job and meeting standards.
Co-worker competence: Ask a monitor what they do for a living and they'll tell you, "I get paid to watch the news." This is true, but it takes multi-tasking skills to combine the use of so many senses at such an intense level for so many hours. It is not for those with ADHD or texting-talking habits. You almost need to be anti-social to monitor because you work in isolation. I'm not sure new hires are screened for this. I hate it when monitors whine about their show assignments, which shows are on the pick-up list, that they got written up for constantly arriving late/leaving early/take long lunches without making up time/need forum pages because they think we need to express themselves. I don't want to potluck with you. I don't want to bowl or play softball with you. I don't see any need for an idea committee expect to get an extra long paid break. I'd rather work than read your jibberish on time-killing forum pages. Just shut up, do your job, do it well, and quit talking on your cell phone while I'm taking a leak.
Bottom line: VMS has improved to become a mediocre company to work for. With a little effort by management and employees, it could be fantastic. Unfortunately, mediocrity appears to be the new American norm. What a shame.