The Joys of Working for an Underfunded Startup

I’m currently working for a small and apparently underfunded startup with awesome potential. It is sad because the technology they have developed is pretty damned good.

But unlike other start ups, I don’t have any stock options. ZERO.

I signed a one year employment contract that my attorney said was so restrictive it was laughable and unenforceable, all for the security of a cozy permanent job and a steady monthly paycheck… or so I thought.

At first, our paychecks arrived around the 15th. A few months later it was towards the end of the month. Then they missed; no announcements, just quiet consternation. They made good with us and gave us a paycheck which was post-dated. My bank refused to accept the paycheck because it was post-dated. Imagine my surprise.

So as the month of November drew to a close, I knew that we are going to have late paychecks again. Sure enough, December arrives and nothing.

Today, I walked into the CFO’s office and tried to diplomatically ask about my paycheck (the other employees had been paid while I was out of the office). The CFO said for me to check with the office manager, and then said.. “that’s why you should be here on a payday.”

Not thinking, I replied, “I can’t predict them.”

“Excuse me?” he said, eyes smoldering with anger.

“I never know when I am going to get paid. I don’t know if or when I will get paid.”

“Well you tell me when your engineering work will be done and I will give you some stability,” he snapped. Considering the way he raised his voice at me, I know I pissed him off. He started in and I just said I will check with the office manager. I’m so non-confrontational at times.

What the f*ck? I get snapped at because I dare ask about my late paycheck? Resume submitted.

How to Better Motivate Employees

You know, the CFO in question is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and has a great business background. I’ve talked to him enough to know he is a smart guy and exceptionally talented, but some times I wonder what the hell he is thinking…

Well, the vacation policy was revised again today in an email. Our vacation is now basically PTO (Paid Time Off). For example, if you take a half day off, you take a half day of PTO. However, the email left out whether we could roll over the accrued time, get paid for it, or if we had to use it before the end of the year.

Well, coworker #1 asked the CFO about the revised vacation policy. The response: use it or loose it; nothing will roll over to the next year. In the next breath, he added another catch: if everyone starts using their vacation he will take away the days off at the end of the year.

Coworker #1 is pissed now. I chuckle. Coworker #2 comes in and we calculate the chances of getting paid this month. Everyone is depressed or angry. Everyone left early.

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