I worked at BDO USA full-time (More than a year)
The flexible schedule was great.
In 2007, I began working at an accounting firm outside Washington, D.C. Overall, the staff at the firm were culturally diverse, we were all from different countries and ethnicity except for management. Management was typically white. Of the people that looked like me (I'm African American) there were less than 10. It didn't take long to get the feeling I wasn't suppose to be there. Not that I didn't deserve to be there but I was more there as a placeholder. Maybe it will be helpful to provide a list.
1. I was rarely assigned so I would find work in the office to stay billable. When I was assigned I would be assigned to clients that were sometimes 2 hours (one way each day) from where I lived. This part didn't bother me so much because it was apart of my job but it did give me the feeling they wanted me to quit.
2. I was always assigned to the manager who was a jerk and he had a specific team he worked with (all white men) except me and they never spoke to me and I don't mean a morning greeting. I would sit for weeks with no interaction from the people sitting less than 2 feet away from me. I was ignored...completely.
3. When I asked to be removed from this team I was placed back in the office and remained unassigned. When I asked to be assigned to other clients, one of the two HR ladies told me I wasn't assigned because my reviews were bad. I met with one of the managers who looked liked me to discuss how I can find more work within the office. This prompted him to look into what I was told by HR and he found that it wasn't true at all. I actually had great reviews I just wasn't being assigned and he didn't have a reason why. Shortly after, that lady in HR left our office with no announcement.
I moved onto another department within the firm where I knew I would be billable which was better but not completely. For the most part everything was great. I had to learn how to CYA (cover your assets) very quickly. I had two consistent clients.
4. The Senior on my smaller client didn't want me to have my own email address and locked most of the documents I needed to perform my duties in a cabinet. She was the only one with a key and she was never there. When it came time for my review it describe me as being ineffective; however, in my response I noted she was never there and my tools were being withheld. From that point on she was present. However, she tried her hardest to discredit me in anyway she could.
5. When my grandmother died I came to work early to finish my assignments for the week. I called and emailed all my superiors to inform them of my plans to complete my assignments before going out on bereavement. She was the only one who didn't answer. Later, I found in an outgoing message (remember I wasn't allowed to have my own email so I had to use hers) to a manager lies about how I didn't show up to work and I just left a note about my grandmother dying. She didn't know I had communicated with everyone prior to coming to the office Monday morning.
6. I spent the majority of my week at my second client. Around the time the economy started going bad I noticed I started getting write-ups for offenses that weren't offenses (I received two). The second write-up came with my review that year. I learned later it wasn't just me. There were a group of write-ups and poor reviews. With both write-ups I responded to them in writing disputing the claims and asked for my response to be placed in my HR file. After the second write-up came layoffs and everyone that was in the group of people who were written up were laid off except for me.
Advice to Management
Although the organization was very diverse, the simple act of hiring employees is not enough. Get to know your staff and what is important to them. What inspires or may offend them? Actually train them to be great. Create an environment that feels like a team.
Good professional growth opportunities
Good learning opportunities
good compensation level
401(k) does not offer any matching for the first year
No assistance for the first time home buyers
Advice to Management
The senior management is doing a good job. It would be nice for the senior and management level professionals to get reimbursment for the use of wireless data service for communication devices such as blackberry.
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