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KellenWinslow  
#1 Posted : Tuesday, September 17, 2019 8:00:38 AM(UTC)
KellenWinslow

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I am checking if anyone knows what options there are if I moved myself across the country after verifying the address to report to. When I got halfway across the country with my moving truck, an agency admin person called and advised that I needed to pay to travel 8 hours away to onboard. I dumped out my stuff, paid for travel, and onboarded. They reimbursed that travel to onboard. At onboarding, I learned that there is no office space at the location I moved to, despite it being listed in the announcement. There is an office but it has no space, is not expected to have space, and they are not prioritizing this area for finding additional space.

They told me to sign a telework agreement, and given that I had just moved myself across the country, and they said they were trying to locate office space, I signed it.

I have now withdrawn by email from this agreement.

I have found out I cannot work effectively 100 percent from home with the noise and tiny space and equipment that is not functioning.

I have sent back faulty equipment mailed to me and gotten new equipment and am still having trouble getting it to work. I have sent pictures of it and talked to an IT person 12 hours away to try to get it to work. I'm starting at a tiny screen to do work comparing documents, and was advised I would need to buy my own additional monitor and printer, although the first monitor is provided and does not yet work with the equipment sent. I called a lawyer and he said I should not be buying equipment like this.

Should I resign or what options do I have?

I don't think I can continue on not being able to work effectively and now also being told I am not producing enough work when I have had trouble just getting the IT equipment to function for two months.

I asked to be put in an office since two weeks after starting and they said no, because they need to hire more people and try to optimize where they hire them from and there is a nationwide space shortage.

Now, I'm told I am not productive enough and am getting a review on my performance.

Would I resign (I've done it before) or is there a way to apply to other jobs and go on leave without pay? (LWOP).

Thank you for any insights.

The additional factor is that the job announcement said "occasional travel" but I will have been required to travel for 5 weeks out of a little more than 2 months.

There is no union. I emailed employee relations. I have now contacted the outside HR office that sent me the job offer to ask what options I have.
Endless Summer  
#2 Posted : Tuesday, September 17, 2019 1:02:06 PM(UTC)
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It sounds like your best bet is to ride this out. A couple questions/observations.

What agency is this?
What is the noise from in your residence?
Your TW Agreement probably says something like "can be cancelled for unsatisfactory performance"
If your work requires you to have two monitors and a printer then they need to provide it or you take a tax deduction. I doubt this is a requirement from them.
You are in VA? You might factor in the cost of transportation and the intangible cost of spending x hours each day commuting. That should pay for a monitor and printer pretty quickly.
If you are teleworking 100% of the time with occasional travel, you can live anywhere. Find someplace cheaper/more conducive to teleworking.
Of course you can look for work and I think in your situation it's probably a good idea.
Almost everyone in your office is wishing they had the sweet deal you've got. 100% teleworking is a dream.
KellenWinslow  
#3 Posted : Tuesday, September 17, 2019 1:11:47 PM(UTC)
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Thank you for the insights. I have actually not been able to function from home to perform core tasks. The equipment provided hasn’t worked and I’m viewing a small screen to try to work at the same time in multiple documents. Lastly, my home is not conducive to the work. I’m in a tiny space. I’m right next to a daycare playground of some kind, as one example. They told me I need to buy a second monitor to compare documents. And a printer. The travel is not turning out to be occasional, it’s closer to 25 to 50 percent so far. I have withdrawn from the telework agreement and am trying to determine what to do now.
FS0201  
#4 Posted : Tuesday, September 17, 2019 1:33:03 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: KellenWinslow Go to Quoted Post
I am checking if anyone knows what options there are if I moved myself across the country after verifying the address to report to. When I got halfway across the country with my moving truck, an agency admin person called and advised that I needed to pay to travel 8 hours away to onboard. I dumped out my stuff, paid for travel, and onboarded. They reimbursed that travel to onboard. At onboarding, I learned that there is no office space at the location I moved to, despite it being listed in the announcement. There is an office but it has no space, is not expected to have space, and they are not prioritizing this area for finding additional space.

They told me to sign a telework agreement, and given that I had just moved myself across the country, and they said they were trying to locate office space, I signed it.

I have now withdrawn by email from this agreement.

I have found out I cannot work effectively 100 percent from home with the noise and tiny space and equipment that is not functioning.

I have sent back faulty equipment mailed to me and gotten new equipment and am still having trouble getting it to work. I have sent pictures of it and talked to an IT person 12 hours away to try to get it to work. I'm starting at a tiny screen to do work comparing documents, and was advised I would need to buy my own additional monitor and printer, although the first monitor is provided and does not yet work with the equipment sent. I called a lawyer and he said I should not be buying equipment like this.

Should I resign or what options do I have?

I don't think I can continue on not being able to work effectively and now also being told I am not producing enough work when I have had trouble just getting the IT equipment to function for two months.

I asked to be put in an office since two weeks after starting and they said no, because they need to hire more people and try to optimize where they hire them from and there is a nationwide space shortage.

Now, I'm told I am not productive enough and am getting a review on my performance.

Would I resign (I've done it before) or is there a way to apply to other jobs and go on leave without pay? (LWOP).

Thank you for any insights.

The additional factor is that the job announcement said "occasional travel" but I will have been required to travel for 5 weeks out of a little more than 2 months.

There is no union. I emailed employee relations. I have now contacted the outside HR office that sent me the job offer to ask what options I have.


Originally Posted by: KellenWinslow Go to Quoted Post
Thank you for the insights. I have actually not been able to function from home to perform core tasks. The equipment provided hasn’t worked and I’m viewing a small screen to try to work at the same time in multiple documents. Lastly, my home is not conducive to the work. I’m in a tiny space. I’m right next to a daycare playground of some kind, as one example. They told me I need to buy a second monitor to compare documents. And a printer. The travel is not turning out to be occasional, it’s closer to 25 to 50 percent so far. I have withdrawn from the telework agreement and am trying to determine what to do now.


I wouldn't quit, but certainly sounds like you might want to look for a new position.

What about going to the library, finding a new apartment, or even getting noise-cancelling headphones? How did your supervisor respond when you rescinded your telework agreement?
The excuse of, "I read it on FederalSoup..." won't work. Please do your due diligence.
KellenWinslow  
#5 Posted : Tuesday, September 17, 2019 4:10:40 PM(UTC)
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I am waiting to see what they say. I asked to be put in a role with a brick and mortar office with equipment and a physical address. I may ask about the possibility of going on leave without pay but I don’t want to resign. I asked a career counselor who says the same thing that you just said, about applying to other jobs.
Rikaku  
#6 Posted : Tuesday, September 17, 2019 5:58:43 PM(UTC)

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Did you sign a regular TW agree with all working hours reported as TW, or did you sign an ad hoc TW agreement?
TheRealOrange  
#7 Posted : Wednesday, September 18, 2019 4:54:33 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: KellenWinslow Go to Quoted Post
Thank you for the insights. I have actually not been able to function from home to perform core tasks. The equipment provided hasn’t worked and I’m viewing a small screen to try to work at the same time in multiple documents. Lastly, my home is not conducive to the work. I’m in a tiny space. I’m right next to a daycare playground of some kind, as one example. They told me I need to buy a second monitor to compare documents. And a printer. The travel is not turning out to be occasional, it’s closer to 25 to 50 percent so far. I have withdrawn from the telework agreement and am trying to determine what to do now.

I am not sure that sending an e-mail stating that you are withdrawing from the telework agreement is valid to nullify an executed agreement ("I have now withdrawn by email from this agreement"). If it is a valid way to withdraw from the agreement, what now authorizes you to work at all if there is no office? If your job requires you to telework and you do not have a valid telework agreement in place, that certainly could be an issue. I know people who work full time from home when not traveling because there are no offices from which they can work, and if they did not work from home, they would be removed. If I were in your situation, I would be concerned that management could act and mandate that I telework as initially agreed or remove me from my job. Therefore, I would do my best to work from home or an agreed upon alternate location while I continued to inquire about proper equipment (and perhaps continued looking for a different job). I would not recommend failing to telework or resigning, and I highly doubt LWOP is a viable option.
10years2retire  
#8 Posted : Wednesday, September 18, 2019 8:41:35 AM(UTC)
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This just proves that one persons dream job, is an others nightmare.
KellenWinslow  
#9 Posted : Wednesday, September 18, 2019 8:51:38 AM(UTC)
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All hours are telework, five days a week. However, they told me to code it situational for timekeeping. I called a federal employment attorney.
mallen  
#10 Posted : Thursday, September 19, 2019 11:08:35 AM(UTC)

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Are you in a bargaining unit. If so, talk to the union. Joining the union might also be a good idea, because you need something from it. Right or wrong, you get better results by joining rather than saying, "I want something, and by the way, I dont actually want to join. (If you previously declined to join, then you just say "I honestly never realized the importance of joining, until I needed it, then join,and its all good)

While it does not seem to me that you should have to purchase your own IT equipment, you can get monitors off Craigs list or from the Goodwill for about 10bucks, if you do a little searching, you can find some very nice ones. But before you do ANYTHING ,talk to the lawyer, and talk to your union steward if you are in a bargaining unit.

Edited by user Thursday, September 19, 2019 11:12:41 AM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

KellenWinslow  
#11 Posted : Thursday, September 19, 2019 11:12:25 AM(UTC)
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Thank you very much. There is actually no union and this particular place answers only to Congress, and I called to ask the congressman about this situation and the staff never heard of such a thing as mandated telework. I got good advice from the legal consult and am following up on that now.
FrankJr  
#12 Posted : Thursday, September 19, 2019 12:43:20 PM(UTC)
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Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater. A monitor and a printer is a few hundred dollars. I don't think the current role or the current organization is a "good fit". I don't think telework or travel is a good fit. Every employee that teleworks signs a telework agreement, be it one day a year or 365 days a year.

A decade of telework was highly beneficial to both the employee and the employer. I paid for the additional equipment and the additional Internet connectivity required to be successful. A room was dedicated to work and work alone. The exterior noises were addressed with very heavy curtains.
KellenWinslow  
#13 Posted : Thursday, September 19, 2019 1:50:56 PM(UTC)
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Given that I wasn’t told the truth about the position, I am focused on finding a new job, even if it is outside government. Trust is invaluable.
djp  
#14 Posted : Thursday, September 19, 2019 6:30:06 PM(UTC)

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A few issues.....

If it’s 100% telework the job must say that.

2 jobs thst are 60%% travel need to say that

3. If they say 100% of the job is telework then your time traveling to another place for work is all official duty time. You needing to travel more than 50 miles then hotel need to be provided.

IT equipment must be provided to do the job. You are not to buy a printer or monitor. It must be provided.

Like to know what this agency is. If it’s 100% telework thrn you didn’t need to move.

KellenWinslow  
#15 Posted : Thursday, September 19, 2019 6:35:42 PM(UTC)
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It is in the VA. The announcement didn’t say any of that...... I’m also a disabled vet and now am asking if I can have an accommodation to work in an office.
djp  
#16 Posted : Saturday, September 21, 2019 5:31:04 PM(UTC)

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I work for VA..give me some specifics of what this job is under? Is it VHA, VBA, with hospital?


There is office space in DC
KellenWinslow  
#17 Posted : Sunday, September 22, 2019 1:46:09 AM(UTC)
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It is not in DC. This office has a nationwide office space shortage and does not routinely draw upon the office space you describe due to its core function.
King_Fed  
#18 Posted : Sunday, September 22, 2019 3:32:04 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: FrankJr Go to Quoted Post
Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater. A monitor and a printer is a few hundred dollars. I don't think the current role or the current organization is a "good fit". I don't think telework or travel is a good fit. Every employee that teleworks signs a telework agreement, be it one day a year or 365 days a year.

A decade of telework was highly beneficial to both the employee and the employer. I paid for the additional equipment and the additional Internet connectivity required to be successful. A room was dedicated to work and work alone. The exterior noises were addressed with very heavy curtains.


Exactly... this is called getting on with your job.

Poor performance reviews tell me there are others in the same situation but they are producing work. Fact that the person has "resigned before" kinda says it all for me...

Employeers nightmare...

Trust? NO such thing. No matter what people think, your supervisor and co-workers (ones worth a darn) want you to perform. They don't really care what you did over the weekend or how you are feeling today.

Do the job you are being paid to do. Monitor seems big enough to come on here and post.
KellenWinslow  
#19 Posted : Sunday, September 22, 2019 3:35:41 PM(UTC)
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Part of performance management is providing equipment that works and is adequate for the job. Or adequate support in getting it to work. And office space to do the job.
Rikaku  
#20 Posted : Sunday, September 22, 2019 4:46:27 PM(UTC)

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Originally Posted by: King_Fed Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: FrankJr Go to Quoted Post
Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater. A monitor and a printer is a few hundred dollars. I don't think the current role or the current organization is a "good fit". I don't think telework or travel is a good fit. Every employee that teleworks signs a telework agreement, be it one day a year or 365 days a year.

A decade of telework was highly beneficial to both the employee and the employer. I paid for the additional equipment and the additional Internet connectivity required to be successful. A room was dedicated to work and work alone. The exterior noises were addressed with very heavy curtains.


Exactly... this is called getting on with your job.

Poor performance reviews tell me there are others in the same situation but they are producing work. Fact that the person has "resigned before" kinda says it all for me...

Employeers nightmare...

Trust? NO such thing. No matter what people think, your supervisor and co-workers (ones worth a darn) want you to perform. They don't really care what you did over the weekend or how you are feeling today.

Do the job you are being paid to do. Monitor seems big enough to come on here and post.


Nonsense. Imagine being this person, traveling across country for a job advertised as one thing just to arrive and find out it's another thing. Employment is a two way street. This agency clearly has no respect for their employees. I can see if he/she WANTED to telework and they wanted them in the office then, yeah, maybe buy your own equipment to sell your case; but this is a case of them forcing them to telework and not even providing the tools needed to do it. This is disgraceful, possibly illegal, behavior by a government agency. I hope the OP takes this as high as it can go to be made whole and force the agency to adhere to the job description that was advertised.
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