The unpaid furlough strikes again

A friend of mine took a job with the city of Chicago late last year. He loves his new job. He likes the people he works with. And he’s thrilled that his commute each morning takes about 15 minutes.

He’s not thrilled, though, that tomorrow, the 4th of July, he’ll be taking his first of many unpaid holidays.

My friend is like many other workers out there: He’s being forced to take unpaid days off — furloughs — to help his employer, in this case, the city of Chicago, balance its books. My friend has to take 15 days off without pay by the end of the year.

He’s of two minds on this: First, he’s glad he has a job when so many others don’t. Secondly, he’s ticked that the rules of his employment have suddenly changed. It’s not his fault, after all, that the city of Chicago can’t manage its money.

He’s not too unusual, I suppose. There are so many people being forced to take unpaid days off now. I know it’s a better alternative than firings or layoffs. But, still, it always seems that the employees get screwed whenver there’s a financial crisis. I guess it’s true what they say: You’ll never make a fortune by working for someone else.