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Low rent comes with a catch

My boss wants me to move into the hotel where I work — but I’d have to cover for colleagues who don’t show.

Is this a good idea? Our elder is not convinced.

Dear EWC

I have been working for a hotel for almost five years now. The owner has always been nice to me in the past. He has even loaned me money in the past interest free and did not rush me to pay it back. He recently asked me if I would want to move into the hotel. He would be charging me less than half what I pay rent now plus I would get free housekeeping. I would still be working 40 hours a week and get my regular pay. Here is the catch though. If someone calls in sick or just doesn’t show for work or if someone quits without notice I would work until they hire someone else without pay. People quitting without notice happens sort of frequently. I would be saving about $450 a month. I would like to think he wouldn’t take advantage of me working free but I have a trust issue. I thought I could try it a couple months and if I feel he is taking advantage I could move back to my old apartment. What should I do?

JensPen replies

Congratulations on being at your job for almost five years! That certainly indicates that you are a conscientious and reliable employee. Clearly the owner and management have a lot of confidence in your ability to handle your responsibilities in a professional manner. That’s great!
I understand how enticing it must be to think about accepting the owner’s offer to move into the hotel and be able to save $450 per month! My question for you is, what about the trade-off? You mention that you would have to fill in for sick calls or no shows or someone out and out quitting. You would be doing that on top of your regular 40 hour week and for no pay. Ask yourself if physically and mentally you are prepared to cheerfully take on one or two extra jobs. You could potentially be working 60-80 hours a week. That’s a lot of work with little free time for fun and rest.

A red flag to me is that you mention being taken advantage of. The fact that you are thinking that might be a possibility means that your intuition is sending you a little message. Also think about if it doesn’t work out to your liking and you want to go back to living on your own. Might that not jeopardize your current position?

Please think about these scenarios and make the choice that you think is best for you. My opinion is that you have a great job now and that you are well respected. Stay where you are, or now might be a time to think about advancing in your career and looking for a job with more responsibility and more pay, not one that gives you more responsibility for no pay.

I wish you the best of luck and am confident that you will make the right decision.

Letter #: 435491
Category: Career

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