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One of only a few that weren't furloughed - help me to understand DH's POV.

(49 Posts)
WeatherObsessed Wed 09-Sep-20 17:43:36

The company that DP works for furloughed a huge percentage of their staff and have now made a number of redundancies from this group too. DH has thankfully kept hold of his job but he did have to take a 15% pay cut, so not far off that for those who were furloughed. He has continued to work throughout lockdown. He worked long hours before Covid and his hours have now increased (with no increase in pay) as he is one of only a few people to be on the payroll plus working from home means there is no real end point to his working day.
What he is really struggling with is resentment 😬 towards those who were furloughed for 5+ months. He has been under a lot of stress from clients and all he has seen is the highlight reel from his colleagues. For example, they invited him to a zoom chat in the middle of the working day early on in lockdown. He was busy trying to juggle work and every one of his team sat on the meeting drinking a beer and talking about going for walks in the sunshine, binge watching something on Netflix and enjoying not having to work. His social media was full of colleagues sat in their gardens, enjoying a drink with their feet in the paddling pool. Most have now returned to work, refreshed after a long break from work and DP is more stressed than ever. He is so down about it and resentful and I'm struggling to get him out of it. I have pointed out that he is bloody lucky to still have a job and that millions of people are in his positioned having continued to work (me included!!) throughout lockdown. Anyone else felt like he does? I'm struggling to understand tbh!

OP’s posts: |
Pollypocket89 Wed 09-Sep-20 17:45:47

No, millions don't have a job. All he sees is a fraction of their day, not their worry behind the scenes

Michaelbaubles Wed 09-Sep-20 17:48:49

Given that he was hardly earning any more than the furloughed people and working harder than ever, I’d understand some feelings of resentment tbh. Ok he’s got a job but a little empathy for the fact he’s been pretty screwed over by the whole situation wouldn’t go amiss. That’s all he’s looking for, I’ll bet.

TheDailyCarbuncle Wed 09-Sep-20 17:50:02

He has been treated hideously and anyone who says he should be grateful to have a job has seriously swallowed the capitalist cool-aid and needs to take a look at how they value human beings. I say that as a capitalism-positive business owner.

His company has saved money by exploiting him. Of course he feels resentful. I've seen a lot of other companies do the same. It's pure greed.

TingTastic Wed 09-Sep-20 17:51:08

Also worth pointing out that he will be bottom of the list when the redundancies come...

Pollypocket89 Wed 09-Sep-20 17:51:49

As long as he feels resentful of the people furloughed the workers not the actual furloughed workers themselves that's reasonable

SummerHouse Wed 09-Sep-20 17:53:04

Myself and partner worked throughout lockdown and felt a bit confused when friends appeared to be living a stress free life. This jealousy passed very quickly. My thinking changed entirely. Furlough can be just as hard if not harder. Work has given us a purpose and kept our minds occupied. And I think it would be very hard to go back after so much time off. We saw the cocktails in the garden, we noticed the deep tans, we saw the home improvement projects... But appearances can be deceptive.

Can DP take leave now others are coming back? Hopefully his workload will ease. flowers

SauvignonGrower Wed 09-Sep-20 17:53:48

He is right to feel resentful. And he is also lucky to have a job. The feelings of resentment will pass as unemployment rises. It's ok for him to wallow in it for a while.

Maybe focus on helping him get a grip on his working pattern to reduce exploitation by his employer? There need to be strict rules in place around when he logs on and off, otherwise he'll get burnt out.

museumum Wed 09-Sep-20 17:57:40

He will be burnt out like many of us who worked through. Has he had a holiday? We weren’t sure about “wasting” holiday when we couldn’t go away but we took a break recently and it was really really overdue and beneficial.

Healththrowaway199 Wed 09-Sep-20 17:58:08

I sort of see where he’s coming from, but just remind him that he’s only seen the highlight reel of his furloughed colleague’s lives. He didn’t see the bad sides ie the stress or worry of redundancy behind the scenes. Let’s be honest, his employer doesn’t sound great, so there was no guarantee his colleagues jobs were safe. Especially as redundancies were actually made, not all furloughed staff returned.

JamMakingWannaBe Wed 09-Sep-20 18:00:35

At my work, staff who were furloughed but have now come back to the office are asking my employer to "buy back" the annual leave they weren't able to take when they were off. Zero consideration for the staff who has been working (office based) all through. Management have noted it ...

Defenbaker Wed 09-Sep-20 18:03:06

I feel for your DP, it sounds like his employer has exploited the situation by making him accept a pay cut while expecting him to cover extra work. Also, a bit of empathy from his work colleagues wouldn't go amiss - he must have felt like they were rubbing it in when they all compared notes about what a great time they had on furlough.

On the other hand, those who've been made redundant might envy him still having a job. The job market is so uncertain now that anyone looking for work is probably very worried about the future

Hopefully your DH's firm will restore his pay and/or give him a bonus as a thank you, at some point.

RaspberryToupee Wed 09-Sep-20 18:04:18

DH took a 20% pay cut and continued to work over time, whilst others in his office were furloughed. He was pissed off, understandably. He would have rather been furloughed and having a ‘break’, especially as the people furloughed in his team were young and so not worrying about paying rent/mortgage. When they told him he was getting a pay cut, he was really annoyed. We both were. He sulked for a day. Since then both of us will occasionally make a comment if his work does something e.g. he did get a small bonus for their loyalty and we both made the comment - well it’s not even one month of the reduced pay. He felt devalued for a while too. But he’s thankful he has a job. He’s made himself really useful and brought in a lot of money for the company. We hope they’ll recognise his loyalty when they’re able to but for now, we both have jobs, we’re both safe and we’ve managed to keep some sort of routine throughout this.

I get it, your husband thinks they’ve been living their best life and he’s being working hard but those activities are probably distraction techniques from worrying about having a job. Has he had any time off? I know it seems a bit pointless taking leave when there is nothing to do (and restrictions are getting tighter) but I’d urge him to have a week off and just recharge at home.

RandomMess Wed 09-Sep-20 18:04:17

Our staff were furloughed at 100% pay and even before they went off "what are you doing to fill your time" - erm working more than ever, homeschooling DC struggling to cope tbh...

I do understand your DH because he has been exploited and I was at break down from work stress until June time.

OK longer term he's better off but when you are struggling your self that doesn't actually help you cope any better.

Makegoodchoices Wed 09-Sep-20 18:05:43

I’ve been furloughed the whole time - I feel purposeless, particularly now I don’t have to home school which was a sanity saver for me. I’ve watched a lot of Netflix but haven’t achieved anything for months and have little job security.

I’m not saying it’s that hard - it’s more that there’s so much...nothing.

PurBal Wed 09-Sep-20 18:06:14

My friend has similar. Cut her hours to 4 days a week instead of 5. And cut pay too. Most of her colleagues were furloughed so on the same amount but no work. Irony is her workload increased because she was having to take on colleagues work. When she protested that the workload was too much it was heavily inferred she should be grateful to have a job. It was shit for her and unfair for sure.

Healththrowaway199 Wed 09-Sep-20 18:10:01

I wouldn’t read too much into the furloughed staff discussing how they enjoyed furlough - it could be a sigh of relief sort of statement, ie they’re saying that everything worked out in the end, rather than gloating. Definitely a distraction technique like @RaspberryToupee mentioned.

Plus, it would not be socially acceptable if they had instead said “oh we spent the last 5 months in really a dark, depressing, bleak place”. Even if it was the reality, not everyone in the office would respond to that well. It’s just a societal norm to say “I’m fine, thanks”

Fatted Wed 09-Sep-20 18:10:33

I think your DH has every right to be angry. But his anger needs to be placed in the right direction, towards his employers. I'm sure the others have enjoyed their time off, but I'm also sure they didn't necessarily have a say in what happened either. It was his employers that put every one on furlough, cut his pay and demanded more from him for less money, not his colleagues.

WeatherObsessed Wed 09-Sep-20 18:14:28

It's good to hear he's not alone in his feelings. He has taken a couple of weeks of annual leave but it doesn't seem to have worked in the long term. His furloughed colleagues all accrued annual leave whilst on furlough so now have a lot to take before the end of the year hmm. I have suggested he take some time off himself next week as the forecast is looking good.

OP’s posts: |
RandomMess Wed 09-Sep-20 18:14:39

Have to say my moaning colleague was a really senior boss... all the low grades have had to carry on and do more!!

ErinBrockovich Wed 09-Sep-20 18:16:09

I feel resentful of people on furlough. It does look like an easy ride from the outside. Especially when you see the social media posts like your DH did and hear complaints about returning to the workplace when you’ve either been working the whole time or are unemployed.

FranBlake Wed 09-Sep-20 18:24:17

We have the same situation. Furloughed workers are starting to come back to work in my company and feathers are ruffled. One person refused to come back until schools started again as she has been looking after her granddaughter - leaving another member of staff who has struggled all over the holidays unable to take leave to see her own children absolutely hopping mad.

I suggested to the SLT that those who worked throughout, often putting in longer hours and taking on tasks that were not part of their remit should be rewarded in some way - additional leave perhaps. It has not gone down well and I was told that they are lucky to have jobs - I disagree, the company is lucky to have them, they have put up with a lot of shit!

For reference I am a solicitor working in a medium sized firm. The furloughed were the support staff. Financially, I have increased my billing so far this year and I think the firm used furlough to save cash rather than because they had to. They reduced support staff to the bare minimum and used the threat of job losses to make those working work harder for less pay. I know they will try to wriggle out of paying my usual bonus too (I am supposed to get a % of my billing).

Some employers have acted really badly.

Pomegranatepompom Wed 09-Sep-20 18:25:13

I think people who worked throughout are now shattered. It’s probably normal to feel some resentment to the furloughed who have returned to work. It was definitely much easier for them.

FranBlake Wed 09-Sep-20 18:26:38


It's good to hear he's not alone in his feelings. He has taken a couple of weeks of annual leave but it doesn't seem to have worked in the long term. His furloughed colleagues all accrued annual leave whilst on furlough so now have a lot to take before the end of the year hmm. I have suggested he take some time off himself next week as the forecast is looking good.

One of the things I did suggest to my employers was to make the furloughed staff take their accrued leave before they could come back. Otherwise we would have the situation of the furloughed taking October/ November off and none of the staff who haven't had leave since March wouldn't be able to. They have at least done this.

Isolatedizzy Wed 09-Sep-20 18:30:53

I understand how he fells , someone who works for me, small team, is a single parent, still lives with her mum and dad, has managed to work 4 afternoons per week, (which I am grateful for) the rest being a mixture of leave and special paid leave.
Now I understand it's been no walk in the park for her either trying to juggle childcare and work but my god have I been envious of the facebook photos of bike rides, walks, kite flying while I've been sad at my laptop for 10 hours a day, trying to do my work and lots of hers with no acknowledgement or appreciation from my boss.

None of it is logical, I know she's over the moon to have her son back at school and be back at work but she bounced in this week, all enthusiastic, dressed up looking relaxed & well and honestly I could have punched her!

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