Monday, June 22, 2009

Want to Work at Startek Click here! Choose your career. Cornwall Kingston

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Startek Cornwall and Kingston Fire Employees

CORNWALL -- StarTek, one of the city's largest employers, has fired at least 17 workers reportedly because of their criminal histories.
The Denver-based company would not confirm what it called "a change in company policy", citing the privacy of its workers, but the laid-off employees have been busy posting their concerns in online forums.
An employee at the Cornwall location Friday said staff was recently called into a meeting to discuss a company policy change related to background checks.
"They said if we hadn't had one, one would be done," said the worker, who asked not to be named. "Shortly after the meeting people were let go."
The local employee, who still has his job, said he had a background check when he was hired by StarTek.
Approximately 470 employees remain at the Cornwall call centre.
The Kingston Whig-Standard is reporting today that 12 people were fired there because they had unpardoned criminal records.
Peter Engelmann, a lawyer with an expertise in employment issues, said the company may need to show that the job involved issues of trust when dealing with the company or the public.
"The difficulty for a company that changes rules retroactively is they'll have the just cause issue," Engelmann said.
The local Vincent Massey Drive company's management released a statement Friday that cited a "change in company policy" and "changing business conditions," as reasons for the sudden dismissals.
"It is always unfortunate to have employees leave, no matter the situation," explained the statement released by company spokeswoman Rosemary Hanratty. Hanratty would not confirm nor deny that the company has instituted the new criminal background policy. There have been reports that employees signed release forms that ensured a heftier severance package. The release protects the employer from a lawsuit after the dismissal.
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"If an employer has hired people, and it didn't think that a criminal record was a problem hiring them to start with, and they've been otherwise good employees since they've been working, and all of a sudden they're being fired because they have a criminal record, employees in that situation should seek counsel," Engelmann said.
He added that the issue would not fall under discrimination law, but could be challenged as an "unreasonable company rule."
A U. S. Department of Labor spokesman told The Mansfield News Journal that it does not appear the company violated the law.
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These criminal checks should have been done before they were hired, not after. Could be reasonable cause for lawsuits against this company.
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Post #1 By rkake, 1 day ago 2 Votes Vote:

pretty sad that an employer can search your records dating back till the age of 18 but you can also pay the $40.00 and do your own record search so that being said maybe they really shouldn't be taking the hard stance that they are, and maybe they shouldn't "throw stones when they also live in glass houses", aside from that I do know for a fact that the employees were told they had to sign the documents or they were FIRED right then and about a threat call center's are quick to hire you as long as you will lie to their customers to make you look good at all times stupid me I thought you were in the business of customer service.....well aren't your employees one sort of customer if they weren't qualified in the first place why did you hire them??? But to go back in their records some of them some 20 years thats ridiculous and perposterous ever heard of statute of limitations? They were provided with criminal background checks from each employee before they hired them so if it wasn't included then why does it matter to the employer when it didn't show up in the record check from the police departments???hmm I wonder sounds fishy to me oh I get it this is their way of getting rid of people who are and have been there since the start of STARTEK SUPER BAD BUSINESS PRACTICE think all of the employees should BOYCOT you all show up for work but dont take the walk through the doors until they change the ridiculous policy!!!!
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Post #2 By Ushouldbeashamedofyourself, 1 day ago 4 Votes Vote:

I completely agree that this should have been dealt with at the beginning of the hiring process, it is unfair too all employees who were fired.
It is the responsibility of the employer at the time of hiring to ensure that potential employees fit the requirements that are expected. To fire that many people has a huge effect on the family as well as the community.
How are those people supposed to pay their bills now? StarTek has an obligation that they are not following up with.,.
Tsk tsk..
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Post #3 By Momsrus, 1 day ago 2 Votes Vote:

Not to mention that all STARTEK employees also had to sign papers saying their conduct outside of the workplace can be cause for dismissal well excuse me I didn't realize that my personal time away from work was any of your far as I'm concerned tell STARTEK to blow it out their ass!!
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Post #4 By Ushouldbeashamedofyourself, 1 day ago 2 Votes Vote:

I would just like to send Star Tek Cornwall a heartfelt congratulations in reminding us how expendable our work force is during our current recession. 17 employee's let go due to bad criminal checks, funny though that they were good enough to work for you over a year before this and you didn't seem to mind them working there? Don't you rather think that is kind of convenient? Must be better employee pickings now that Cornwall has lost a lot of jobs because of the recession. Guy Lauzon, Do you not find that strange?, What are you doing about this? How about unemployment Canada? Do you not find this unusual labor practice? UIC must love paying out the benefits And lets not forget Ontario Department of Labor. Have you not checked into this? Trust me there are more than just 17 employees let go this year on even lamer excuses that this. Currently there is no or little legislation in place to protect call center employee rights. What recourse do they have? This needs to change, During these tough times should not our government be protecting our labor force. I agree that those 17 should contact legal council, and by the way Head Office Star Tek (which is located in Colorado), Cornwall is in Canada and not the USA. I truly feel bad for you 17 employees and you should fight this together. I wish all 17 of those who were unjustly fired the best of luck and you know what, they don't deserve you and they did you a big favor. B.t.w. did they display your stats to the rest of your teams? That's a breach of the Privacy act. Just giving ya something to start the battle with. :) STAR TEK YOU BLOW!!! You give a tiny bit to our community and take everything from it.....Also to the rest of the community, if you think what Star Tek did was wrong, Monday, every time you drive by Star Tek, Blow your horn and give your support to those unjustly fired by Star Tek>>>>
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Post #5 By Toolman01ca, 1 day ago 1 Votes Vote:

I will drive by and blow my horn in support of the workers that lost their jobs unjustly for sure
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Post #6 By dodger, 1 day ago 2 Votes Vote:

Thanks Dodger, its about time that place knows how we feel about their crap. Let everyone know....
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Post #7 By toolman01ca, 1 day ago 0 Votes Vote:

Ushouldbeashamedofyourself, I agree with you whole hardedly, they should take a day, but it would require everyone ..... not just a few to boycott their job. Normally I am not big into Union's but in Star Tek's case....they need one bad. It was attempted a few years ago, but management basically told the employees that the day a Union was introduced, would be the day that Star Tek would close. And the person who tryed was let go a few months later...
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Post #8 By toolman01ca, 1 day ago 0 Votes Vote:

management basically bring on their own problems with the unions by being unfair to their employees This is one of the many reasons that unions come together, this kind of unfairness.
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Post #9 By dodger, 1 day ago 0 Votes Vote:

Anyone who sees this as being just has their head up their bums.
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Post #10 By dodger, 1 day ago 0 Votes Vote:

To be fired for something you actually did wrong while being employed by a company is okay but to be fired for something that was accepted all along and suddenly is taboo now that is wrong.
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Post #11 By dodger, 1 day ago 0 Votes Vote:

First of all signing a document under duress is not a valid document and if enough people file complaints about it then things will change.
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Post #12 By dodger, 1 day ago 0 Votes Vote:

well i know I mentioned union when I was there and was even called into the office and got *****ed out...hmmmm...wonder why i'm not there anymore?? Besides the people who are still there from the time I was were too damn spineless to stick together....They did what startek wanted them to....anyhow started will get shut down before long i'm can only screw people over for so long. I think I will be the first person standing there laughing as all the high ups get what they deserve..
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Post #13 By Nicole1975, 1 day ago 0 Votes Vote:

A company can let someone go as long as they pay the proper severance. Companies, like people, make good and bad decisions.
Nobody wants to ever lose their job; especially when they perform well at a difficult job and Startek is not an easy place to work at.
I feel for employees. Perhaps instead of firing them Startek should've just helped them with the legal pardon process?
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Post #14 By cornwallfreenewscom, 20 hours ago 0 Votes Vote:

The thing is Startek wants the community to think they are all giving with their fundraisers and stuff...inside the four walls the employees are treated like crap.Unless you are dying,you'd better be in your seat whgen your stift starts or you are penalized,if you need a next day off its almost impossible to get it and you are yelled at through a 2 way radio if you have been on hold too long. It's awfuland degrading. I work there and feel degraded every day.Only thing keeps me there is the money.One of the person fired had a charge from about 48 years ago..absolutely rediculus. Another person went in to complete their papers after being let go and she was told they didn't know how long it would take to fire her so she could go back to work for now..this isn't over yet. Get some complassion StarTek..
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Post #15 By JohnnyAppleSeed, 17 hours ago 1 Votes Vote:

legal council is expensive as well, hell I would give 20 bucks as a start with their legal council, would anyone else donate?, just curious....I really want to see Star Tek get it court, Only thing those idiots understand is money.
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Post #16 By toolman01ca, 14 hours ago 0 Votes Vote:

No offence Jamie, Standard criminal checks are done about 2 to 4 years back, why would they decide they should go back further if it wasn't an excuse to get rid of people for downsizing, if they laided off like most NORMAL companies do, they would have to call them back. This way they get rid of what they consider undesirables and down size. Pardon my foot, what Star Tek did was cold, calculated and premeditated. And on notice, any charity that accepts funds from Star Tek Cornwall will no longer be supported by my family. Accepting money from Star Tek is like buying absolution, and after what Star Tek has pulled now and in the past, You can't buy your sins away Star Tek.
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Post #17 By toolman01ca, 14 hours ago 0 Votes Vote:

yes, I too won't be dishing out any more money to StarTek for United Way or battered women or any other charity they promote. I'll give to those agencies through another source. Those agencys deserve to be represented by a reputable place of employment someone that values the employees and promotes it.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

17 - 38 Employees Fired From Startek

A massive amount of employees were fired from Startek Cornwall for having criminal records. Problem is, Startek requires you to do a criminal record check. Startek then decides whether the company will keep you if you have a record, depending on the offence. Startek just decided that it no longer wants to have workers with criminal records. Startek Cornwall, has let go employees for various ridiculous reasons, including discrimination.

Employees are discussing a class action suit. The "firings are still happening and is not yet over.

Keep the e-mails coming and let us know what's going on guys.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Employees Contribute to Local Charities Startek doesn't do Crap except "host" Fundraisers

StarTek success Article online since March 16th 2009, 15:58 Be the first to comment on this article

Seaway News

Big Brother Big Sisters’ Bowl for Kids’ Sake got a huge help from StarTek. With 20 registered teams and a total of 100 participants, the employees of StarTek were able to raise a whopping $3,139 for the cause! Big Brother Big Sisters’ Bowl for Kids’ Sake got a huge help from StarTek. With 20 registered teams and a total of 100 participants, the employees of StarTek were able to raise a whopping $3,139 for the cause!

Employees Contribute to Local Charities Startek doesn't do Crap except "host" Fundraisers! Employees take their ten dollars an hour and contribute. You guys notice the Startek Check? Looks good, nice picture and all of that... To bad Startek didn't donate anything.... just the employees... You think they would match it or something.... so sad... The opening line gets me. They sure do look good in the public's eye. Why can't hey keep employees? Most people that work there can't stand them, but they always end up with their picture in the paper in positive light, even though they are fascists!

What Some Ex-employees have to say!

Go Startek............What a friendly place to work...........They hire you knowing what you did and then just fire you.................Like this economy is not hard enough to live in that you need to go and destroy peoples live.................I award you an F for values and morals................Posting date 6/11/2009 6:58 AMPosted by T
Startek is lying!!!! 27 people!? Please.. From the first floor maybe. They have fired alot more people than that. That place has no loyalty. No matter how hard you work. Or how well you do your job. You are at risk for losing your job. Heaven forbid you get sick 2 days in a row. And you drop below your 95% showrate. You could be fired. They pit teams against each other to "win" a gift card at the end of the month. Some sups resort to threats so that their team will win. They treat you like a traitor if you have to miss even a few hours for a family event. Even tho they say "flexable schedule" HA! for them not us. The worst part about the job. IS NOT the customers that call in. Its the OMs and sups that walk around like we are in a labor camp. I'm a current employee. But only for a short moment longer. Even shorter. Should they figure out who wrote this. But hey. They should have checked my application. Non-conformist baby. Since they said anyone caught talking about will get fired. Well I talked about it. Can you guess who?Posting date 6/11/2009 7:00 AMPosted by EastsideLady
Tell them to come to Onvisource. They'll enjoy it better. We already have alot of their old employeesPosting date 6/11/2009 7:25 AMPosted by Ex Startek Employee
Hiring and termination decisions that are based on names, arrest and conviction records, employment and personality tests and credit scores — all of which may disparately impact people of color are violations of Title VII. Since the economy has been falling because of corporate fraud our overpaid corporate executives are targeting the people of color and very old criminal records in order to create a hostile society to justify more bailouts for their party lifestyles. Liberal democrats want to build more prisons; have law enforcement on every corner; control the working class to the point of Paula Jones, Monica Lewinsky, and hundreds of other victims. This is the change you voted for; can you say O'bummer.Posting date 6/11/2009 8:14 AMPosted by Tao4mind
I agree 100% with Eastside Lady. I hated it with a passion, not because of the customers over the phone but the sups and higher ups.Posting date 6/11/2009 8:57 AMPosted by another ex startek employee
All these employees who were fired should immediately file a WRITTEN complaint (keep copies) with the EEOC and State Empl. Regulators. The firings are illegal and in violation of law.Then, go to the biggest employee lit. LAWFIRM (as a group, elect the smartest to lead) and ask them to represent you by filing discrimination lawsuits (and other applicable counts) against the Company.ATT needs to know that someone with a old conviction is not fodder and I personally have canceled my ATT cell phone and went to their competitor because of this happening all over -- who do they think they are? What business element could they possibly argue is impacted by someone having an old conviction.Google "BAN THE BOX" and join in on this nationwide, this is wrong, America is the place for second chances and as long as your doing good you should be allowed to work. This discrimination due to old convictions has got to stop and I think AT&T is wrong for making their contract holders fire anyone with an old conviction!Posting date 6/11/2009 10:58 AMPosted by M
This is not a stable job...Startek brags about building a career and then they fire you with no notice because they decided to change their policy...many have lost their job her in Decatur, IL and there are more to comePosting date 6/11/2009 11:36 AMPosted by current Startek employee
I was fired in 2004 from Startek for showing a motorcycle key (for a bike i'd just bought) to someone, and a third party (whose name I don't even know who that is) claimed I had a pocket knife. Startek always has been, and always will be, Enid's biggest lie. Wages kept low by the city commision, keep in mind the same AT&T job lands you $14 an hour in OKC. I think Vance should go back to work, and Startek should go on strike. Everybody hates it there, it is, after all, where you go with no other choice.Posting date 6/11/2009 12:00 PMPosted by J

Startek Ex - Employee

StarTek - Capitalism Without Conscience By Lea MacDonaldinventor@adan.kingston.net1-29-5
After several people provided dismal reviews about their employment at Canadian StarTek call centers I decided to become an employee to investigate.

At the time of my employment StarTek was handling calls from AT&T wireless customers. StarTek makes money based on the spread between what providing such a service costs AT&T and what StarTek says they can provide the service for. By any other name StarTek is an out-sourcing company used by AT&T to thin costs associated with their wireless operation before Singular eventually bought them out.

An initial impression of being employed by a corporation harboring deep concern for its employees was short-lived. It took less than two months to conclude that StarTek personifies capitalism without conscience. Despite being staggered by the indignities people were subjected to in order to collect a paycheck I decided to walk lockstep with the StarTek training program in an intrepid effort to understand the dysfunction that contributes to a 137% attrition rate every five months.

The first week of training consisted of classroom learning continuously interrupted by impromptu visits and introductions by Human Resources personnel, Local Resource Procurement staff (LRP), and others who in relentless Stepford style perpetually pontificated about the opportunities StarTek held for them if they'd "just hang in there." Incessant talk of "team" and "the StarTek family" took on an ominous, cult-like pretense leaving one with the impression something was wrong. That uneasy suspicion was justified in week two.

During week one trainees were told by an LRP representative they would be working for thirty-seven and one half hours each week of their one-month training period, but they would be paid for forty hours. That promise held true for less than eight days when it was summarily withdrawn without satisfactory explanation in the middle of week two. The arbitrary withdrawal of that promise did not coincide with a StarTek handout: Corporate Code of Ethics and Business Conduct, effective January 1, 2004, wherein integrity and accountability are two of seven words used to define StarTek's corporate values. Evidently, like beauty, StarTek corporate values run only skin deep.

As trainees moved closer to their first day of call-taking on the production floor, they were trained in' at best, obfuscation' at worst, lying. For instance, should a Customer Care Agent be unable to assist a client they are instructed to tell the hapless caller: "Our system is currently updating and it will take a few moments to access your information. May I put you on hold?" The actual situation is one of poorly trained Customer Care Agents being unable to address the customer's request. Such a circumstance requires the agent to place a red cup on their cubical wall to signal a Red-Hat thereby eliciting instruction for resolving the issue at hand. During my tenure not only were Red Hats, in very short supply they were only marginally better trained than the lost and frustrated agents seeking their help. It was common to count as many as twenty-five cups signaling help from one of only two Red Hats assigned to our group. Customers often found themselves on hold for hours rather than risk hanging up to be once again incarcerated in Muzak jail.

It is not the employee's fault. Training consists of little more than a cursory overview of several wildly complex software programs with several more sub-programs housing hundreds of information pages and tools to help, define, instruct, and resolve customer issues. One system, called CCNET, is non-intuitive leaving employees discouraged, confused, and in may cases, defeated.

Julie, my training partner, was a cheerful hard-working woman possessing an eclectic professional background. She lasted two days on the production floor. Julie, in a courageous effort to serve customers better did the unthinkable, she asked for more training after realizing she could not help customers in any way. Further training was refused. Her supervisor simply told Julie, "You'll catch on." Apparently, Julie did catch on and headed out the door.

Agents are instructed to take ownership of their calls by resolving all customer issues, but then there is compliance - a seemingly innocuous term used to grade employees as they perform their job. Spend too much time handling a call and the agent falls out of compliance. Spend too much time wrapping up a call by documenting call issues in the customer's account notes, you fall out of compliance. Log onto your system late and you fall out of compliance. Stay on your system a little long and you fall out of compliance. Don't take your scheduled break at the prescribed time, you fall out of compliance. Fail to address or ask if you addressed all the customers, issues, you fall out of compliance. Fall out of compliance and you can be warned, written up or terminated. "It's hell and purgatory rolled into one." Commented an astute LA reporter.

Employees who made it through their first 90-days with StarTek were promised a fifty-cent raise - a raise which never materialized for the group I trained with. One employee wrote: "The newcomers that joined this prisoner camp a year ago September were told that once they reached their 3-month probation they'd receive a 50-cent raise with their performance review. Now, when the time has come, they are being told, No, not until after a year,. Unfortunately, nowhere in their agreement does it state this, but I have proof that they did state it because my hire group and everyone up to this hire, did get a raise. A friend of mine has had meetings with Laurie Hutchinson' the HR Manager, who frankly said they are not going to give it to him. They said that there will be an internal investigation and, no doubt, as with all internal investigations conducted on my behalf they will sweep it under the carpet. They made a verbal promise to these people and they are not following through with this. I was hired then received my 3-month raise of 50-cents, and at a year I received 26-cents with another performance review - now I am making a whopping 10.76! So, if they don't get raises, I don't understand why I did and everyone after me did not." It is appropriate to note that my hire group was made the very same promise last August but StarTek did not follow through and went mute on the subject.

If accountability is the thorn in StarTek's side integrity is its Achilles heal. In a written evaluation of StarTek's business principals weighted against current practice a former StarTek management employee gave them a score of ten out of one-hundred. He wrote"Integrity-- This is where I feel the management team is struggling the most. Decisions on a site level, get made without, what appears to be, taking constructive input from the other departments possessing a make-it-happen' attitude. Preparation for change needs to be a focus. Input from those that are affected by the change needs to be taken into deeper consideration as opposed to putting out fires after the fact. False promises get thrown around, the things will change, cliché has become a standard - some form of stability should be in place. People are given promotions, based on unknown criteria, without the benefit of a proper, ethical job bid to determine if there are other suitable candidates available. Information is distributed one way, and changed on a whim. Again' structure is needed in order to achieve goals. Knee-jerk reactions to situations should be minimal, and stronger preparations for what if, should be taken into consideration."

Howard, an oriental engineering student who had recently graduated from Queens University, was unable to immediately find work in his chosen vocation applied at StarTek to start paying back money borrowed for his education. As he put it: "I learn. Now I pay back." Howard, an affable fellow, possessed a charming sense of humor and an enormously strong work ethic that elevated him to a Red Hat at 3-months tenure. Shortly after, Howard quit. I met him that day for lunch to ask why he,d quit StarTek. "They wanted me to lie," he blurted, "to my agents and the customer. I won't lie. There is not enough money to make me tell lies. I was not raised that way. They tell me just to do it. I won't. I quit. They said I could get another promotion. I apply and they do not give me promotion. Yet I am most qualified. They didn't even look at it. They don't care about people in that place. No wonder they don't want union in that place. Union makes them stick to rules."

The union has made overtures to rank and file StarTek employees from the periphery of StarTek property after discovering that conditions outlined in the StarTek employment contract were not binding on the company and were subject to change from moment to moment. The union further contends that StarTek's annual review process is less than fair and just. They discovered that some employees found themselves being discriminated against by losing points because they had been disabled from working due to a provable, legitimate illness, which the union believes, may be a violation of the Ontario Human Rights Code.

In a January 19, 2005-StarTek memorandum circulated to clarify StarTek's position regarding the implementation of a union' the StarTek Management Team stated, "Our strong preference is to remain union free . . . that it is not necessary, nor do we believe it will ever be necessary, for you to be represented by a third party."

The memorandum comes dangerously close to the use of scare tactics in order to get employees to support StarTek's position. The memorandum asks: "Did you know that the Canadian National Federation of Independent Unions, is actually an affiliate of the Laborer's International Union of North America, based out of Washington' D.C.?" Apparently the StarTek Management Team has forgotten it's own south-of-the-boarder affiliation with its parent company. What's good for the goose, evidently, is not good for the gander.

The dubious memorandum goes on to state that signing a union card is "evidence of supporting the union." Such a statement spawns question: "Evidence? What type of evidence? How does StarTek intend to use this evidence? In a court of law? To browbeat employees? To bring action for dismissal?" While StarTek's use of the word evidence might be considered an unfortunate choice of words, they move on to caution employees about being "tricked into signing a union card as a means of obtaining more information." Clearly, such a statement assails the integrity and motivation of union proponents. My personal experience with StarTek compels me to urge them not to throw stones while living in a glass house.

Friday, June 12, 2009

The Poor Woman With Arthritis

Background;Everything you do at startek is tracked and recorded. Every call you make, or take. Every break you take, you enter a code in the phone to start your break and you enter a code to stop your break. A woman that sits about twenty feet away from me went for break. Her hands are like claws. She has a disability, severe arthritis. She was 32 seconds late from break and was reprimanded.Poor lady. She could be on a disability but chooses to work. They knew she had this ailment when she started and always gets reprimanded. After a call you have 30 seconds to notate the account. This woman averaged 36 seconds and again was reprimanded. She has to type with two fingers for Gods sake! At least once a week I would see this lady reprimanded for some reason or another that is beyond her control. I feel bad, I mean, I can't call human rights for her.