Since the women's pages have stopped running cute features about
women who become telephone linepersons, sometimes we forget it's
really true that women can be anything they want.
ITT Educational Services, which operates technical institutes
nationwide, is recruiting women for training in such fields as
electronics engineering, automotive mechanics, and computer
engineering and programming. The Women's Bureau of the Department
of Labor has pinpointed these as areas where the demand for women is
Women now comprise nearly one-half of all employees in the
electronics industry, and the demand for their skills is growing -
whether or not, as some surmise, it's because of the patience and
dexterity they developed from such women's work as sewing.
QUESTION: After I was laid off, I couldn't find another job, so
I signed up with a temporary agency. I ended up working at my
former employer's, doing essentially the same job at two-thirds the
salary and no benefits. So far as I can see, I'm a permanent
full-time employee, except I donn't get what I used to get for it.
I feel shafted. Can I sue?
ANSWER: Anybody can sue anybody about anything, but only a
lawyer can tell you whether you have a chance of winning. Your
story is becoming more and more common as companies find ways to cut
costs. Actually, you're fortunate; most people in your boat end up
working only part-time. It sounds as though you may be one of the
approximately 2 million (and growing) "leased employees," discharged
by their companies and then leased back from agencies such as the one
you signed on with. It's a coincidence that you landed back at your
former boss's. If you're not happy, keep looking for another job.
Q: After 12 years' experience, I was a good production manager,
if I do say so myself. I figure I knew as much as anybody in the
country about making drilling pipe for oil wells. But then somebody
pulled the plug on the oil industry, and I've been more or less
unemployed along for pretty close to four years. Do you have a word
of advice for somebody like me?
A: Retrain. Actually, from the way you've described your
circumstances, you seem to have done pretty well. Many men in the
petroleum industry have been in bad shape for longer than four years,
and if you've kept limping that long you must be a survivor. But
did you know that 4 million new jobs opened up last year? …