Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The BGI Staffing Story, or "Why I Didn't Get a Paycheck for Four Weeks"

lara stone, via esb

Months ago, and by “months ago,” I actually mean “April?” I was lucky enough to become employed through a previous boss of mine at the University of Cincinnati’s Institutional Review Board. Being employed rocks, and thank you, everyone, for putting up with my zany attitudes.
(Seriously – “business casual” to me, basically means that I’m not showing any inappropriate amounts of skin……I don’t think business casual to them means green tights or rocking shoes or funky green-colored high-waisted pants  {which are not like this, but hey, i like these too,} or red-sequined hearts or telling everyone good morning.
Alas, have they not supposed I’m dressing for the job I want to eventually have?)

ANyhoo. I began my employment with UC again, this time, as a temp. Meaning I’m working through a temp agency. And because temp agencies are kind of a dime a dozen (oh how wrong we were,) my boss selected a company called BGI Staffing to use.

At first, BGI was okay.
They didn’t contact me to discuss any procedures or policies regarding their company.
They didn’t mail, email, or fax me time cards.
They didn’t even tell me how I was to go about being paid.
But I began working, and I, of course, figured it out on my own, mainly by calling BGI and asking questions. Despite the fact that BGI was so non-committal to my excellence and preparedness as an employee, I wasn’t off-put by the company until I talked to someone on the phone.
Ring ring.
Ring ring.
BGI: (answering) What.
Allyson: (surprised) ummm…I’m sorry, I think I might have the wrong number…..(stammers) um, eh, (clears throat,) is this BGI Staffing?
BGI: yes.
Allyson: OH! HI! I’m a new employee and I had some questions about policies and procedures……

The conversation continued. Basically, BGI was short, unhelpful, unwilling, and surprisingly seemingly unhappy to be answering the questions of one of their new employees, a new employee, I might add, who was going to be making them a lot of money while they sat on their ass and fucked up my paychecks all the time.
Oh WAIT. Did I just use colorful language on the internet? That’s right, I did. Most be appropriate then, right?
Turns out, BGI Staffing, over the course of four months, fucked up my paycheck FIVE TIMES. And by “fucked up,” I mean they either “misplaced,” my weekly time card (which I faxed in on time every week, and requested a receipt of arrival,) or flat-out lied to me about having it cut (obviously someone isn’t taking the two seconds it would require to check their documents to see if they honored the request,) OR they failed to mention to me that my PO had expired, resulting in two week s of work in which they just nonchalantly tell their employee (who is calling to inquire as to where her money is,) that the PO has expired and they just don’t know what to do.
When the latter did in fact occur (three of the five times,) BGI did not even come close to alerting me that they had a problem. Additionally, they did not contact my supervisor OR the human resources department at the University in a way that resulted in solving the problem.
I very quickly developed a habit of calling BGI immediately when my paycheck failed to arrive. The sooner I take care of the problem, the sooner I actually get paid. One week, after being particularly unhelpful, I passed their number on to my supervisor, who promised to take care of the problem. His call was met with equal disregard as BGI was rude, discourteous, unhelpful, and refused to transfer the call to someone at their agency who might actually take care of the problem.
Another time, when I needed an address change, I called BGI, informing them of such. Upon giving them my address, BGI spoke harshly to me about “giving them the address too quickly,” and advised me to “be aware of others’ feelings,” when working together. I told them very quickly that I would give them all the time in the world if they would just be polite about what they wanted.
So, BGI continued in the same vein like this for quite some time. I excelled in my work with the University, and because of personal circumstances, my employers kept extending my position’s timeframe, happy to help me out, and happy to have me aiding the office (which is sadly shorthanded due to budget cuts.)

 sourced via esb

The Big One came along.
Week 1
My paychecks arrive every Thursday.
If the check hasn’t been received by Thursday, I call to make certain it has been cut. In the past, if there was a PO problem or some other bullshit BGI can’t explain to me, that gives me a work day to get it all sorted out. Granted, if there is indeed some sorting out that needs to happen (no thanks to BGI for any heads-up,) BGI will not solve my problems and cut me a check until the next pay cycle, meaning I go without a check for another week.
And of course, this particular week, my paycheck did not show up.
I called. I inquired. I was told, “yep, yer check haz bin cut and sint in da mail yesterday.” (they say the same thing every time I ask.)
I was satisfied.
Friday, it did not show up.
Saturday, it did not show up.
Week 2
Monday, it did not show up.
I called Monday afternoon.
Turns out, ACTUALLY, that BGI had not, in fact, cut my check like they quality-assured me they had. NOW, their story was that my Purchase Order had expired on August 31st (why the hell had they not told me this when I complete paperwork every week denoting a continued assignment?) EVEN THOUGH they had, actually, IN FACT, been paying me for the first two weeks of September.
Okay, BGI, you suck. I’ll figure this out.
I called my boss.
He called Human Resources.
Human Resources verified that, actually, my PO had over forty hours left on it.
Human Resources got in touch with BGI, and apparently the problem had been solved.
So I waited.
No check.
We called BGI again. My boss called his boss and his boss called Human Resources.
Human Resources called BGI, and apparently the problem had been solved.
Saturday. No check.
Week 3
By this point, my company decides BGI is no longer worth using. They like me, they want me to get paid. They find another company with competitive rates, and we begin making the switch.
Tuesday. The new company gives me a nice phone call! And an email! They scan in and fax their handbook (wow, a surprise!), allow me to complete the forms and scan/email them back, request the hard copies, and tell me how happy they are to work with me. Their telephone manner if polite, professional, and bonus! Pleasant.
Wednesday. My new time cards from the new company arrive in my mail. How nice!
Thursday. NO CHECK.
I call my boss. He calls his boss. She calls some other people. People call people, and BGI reports that they misplaced my paperwork.
OH –ALSO. Let me just say that whenever this has happened in the past, and I was the one dealing with BGI, that they pretend to not know who I am, on the phone. I call. “Hello, my name is A------- H. and I’m a temp through UC.” And the conversation continues. Then, I’ll call back when I have information for them, get the same guy on the phone (as far as I can tell it’s a two-man operation,) and say, “Hi! I talked to you earlier about my paycheck –“ Wherein the staffer very impressively consistently says, “duh, nope, I don’t recall anything about that. You must have been talking to someone else.” I am ALWAYS dumbfounded. “I’m sorry? You weren’t who I was working with earlier to solve this problem?”
Okay, so BGI “misplaced” my paperwork. Sadly, I believe this is true. BGI does not care enough about their employees or their contracts to pull their end when it comes to four weeks of not having a paycheck. They are unprofessional, unhelpful, idiots who made me put up with a LOT of asinine bullshit.
Friday. No check.
Week 4
I’m very happy with my new company.
I call my boss. He calls his boss.
michael donovan, via esb

And, finally, fucking finally, I call BGI. I was resistant to confronting them about this on the phone. There is no professional way for BGI to not be at fault in this manner. Knowing them, and how emotional they are and pissed off that they actually run a business and make money on people who work lesser jobs than they, I expected emotional and professional backlash from them, if I brought up the “missing paycheck for four weeks,” issue (which is why I had the higher powers handle it. –thank you, everyone.)
BGI: Hello, how can I help you?
A: Hi, my name's A------ H., and this is the fourth week I have not been paid from you. My office has been working extensively with you for weeks now to ensure I get paid, and I want you to tell me why I do not have a check.
BGI: You have been paid.
A: Really? When.
BGI: Yesterday. The check was cut yesterday.
A: You know, a month ago when I first called to inquire on my check, because this had happened before, you ASSURED me that my check had been cut, in exactly the same manner in which you’re telling me this now.
BGI: I'm unaware of that. (which is actually true. Four weeks ago, I talked to a different asshole when I called. But hey, these assholes work for the same company, and it’s the company that needs to be paying me, not the individual assholes. But I continue…)
A: And then. The second week, you told me my PO was insufficient...
BGI: That was a timeline thing, the timeline had run out...
A: EVEN THOUGH, you told me August 31st was the last day my PO was effective, and you continued to pay me for the first two weeks of September.
And then. LAST WEEK. When my boss and my boss' boss finally were able to get a hold of you and provide sufficient support to get me paid, you "sent the check." 
That week, when it AGAIN did not show up in my hands, you looked back through your files and mentioned that actually you misplaced the new paperwork on me.
You are aware that UC has moved this contract to a new staffing company because of your poor service?
BGI: (pause) No, that was a bid process, we lost out on the bid. IN FACT, our service was SO GOOD that UC extended our contract two months--
A:  MY SERVICE WAS SO GOOD. MY contract has been extended with UC, because of MY work. UC moved the contract because I complained about working with you, and they want a valued employee to be PAID.
BGI: Well, great, good for you.
A: (flabbergasted) THANK YOU. Thank you for being PLEASED that you’ve now lost your cut on the thousands of dollars I will be making with a new staffing company for the next year. I've been paid? GREAT.I'll thank you tomorrow for my check.
End call.
 Friday. My boss’s boss calls her personal contact in HR and they begin to find a way to force BGI to pay me.
No need, though, my paycheck finally shows up Friday afternoon, just in time for me to pay all my bills and save HR an advil or two.
Of course, I’m linking this review and incident of my experience with BGI everywhere I can on the internet. I’m sending this link to all my friends and family, hoping to get enough hits so that anyone googling “BGI Staffing” will find this post and lots of avenues to dissuade them from working with the company. I’m also reporting them to the BBB.
And honestly, it’s truly a pleasure. It’s the least I can do for you, BGI.

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