Kevin Rhodes (cormac) wrote,
Kevin Rhodes

The Old Job

I worked at Student Life and Development for two years. I am proud of the work I did there, and cite many of those experiences as some of the most enjoyable I've had while working. The dress code was lax, it was on-campus, and I got along with everyone.

The only problem was that when it came to paperwork, my bosses were horribly inept.

I got hired on in late August, 2004. Because my new boss (Mike) dragged his feet on paperwork, I didn't actually start working until early October. At the end of that semester, I was sent home for two weeks because work/study ran out early, and they hadn't budgetted to hire me on as a regular student assistant. In the Spring (05), I was promised that I would be hired on as a regular SA full-time during the summer (which was one of the reasons I was able to move out of the dorms and into an apartment) as soon as work/study ran out. When the funding ran out, however, Mike sent me home for nearly a month while he trudged through the paperwork to get me rehired.

This past winter, I was similarly sent home on December 18 when funding ran out, and told to come back at the end of January. When financial aid did not kick in until the end of February, I was told to stay home because Mike couldn't get the paperwork done to hire me on as a regular SA for a month (he assigned my work to someone who'd never used the database before, and who subsequently corrupted quite a bit of the data). When I came back, I was told that I'd only have 13 hours a week, because that's all work/study would pay for.

When I calculated the amount left over in work/study on May 22, I found that I only had 22.4 hours left in the coffers. Because I was in charge of 5 major projects (including an audit of the database), I was immediately concerned about whether they'd be completed before funding ran out and I was sent home. So I clocked out, informed Mike and the director of the department (Jeff) of the situation, and asked them to meet and prioritize my final hours with SLD.

I called in daily, waiting to hear the outcome of the meeting, and was told that it would be held "tomorrow, for sure" each time. In the meantime, I had been turned down for another job because I couldn't commit immediately to it (I really wanted to finish my projects). Finally, I was told by Jeff in a rather heated discussion that I would be guaranteed a job immediately after work/study ran out. I confirmed this Monday, after I informed Jeff that there were 4 hours left in the coffers.

I went to work yesterday, and Mike was out sick. Jeff was irritable, and mildly hostile when I asked him questions about another one of my projects. Concerned that the paperwork had not gotten done, I had Mike's secretary call him on his cell to see what he'd done on the matter. He responded that he'd talk to me "tomorrow" (sense a pattern here?). I called up payroll to see if anything had been turned in, and was informed that they'd not recieved anything on me since last fall when work/study was reassigned. Now armed with the knowledge that my employment would be at an end at noon (at least for a few weeks), I worked as quickly as I could to prepare the other student assistants for my departure by writing out protocols for the audit and normal procedures for inputting data.

Jeff came up to my desk (which happens to be in the hallway) at 11:00 to ask me about a report I had filed earlier that day. He asked me how I was doing, and I said "eh" or something similar. He said "you don't seem very enthusiastic," and I told him that it was hard to be enthusiastic when I knew my employment would end in an hour. He took offense that I was not taking him at his word, and I countered that his word meant nothing in the face of the office's track record and the lack of paperwork filed. He insisted that if I'd just kept coming to work, everything would be taken care of, and I told him that to work without payroll's knowledge was illegal. His response: "If that's going to be your attitude about it, then I guess today will be your last day." As he turned to go, I asked if I was fired, and he said yes.

I'd expected this to happen since early February, but I hadn't expected Jeff to actually fire me. My termination in this manner opens me up to apply for unemployment (which I don't expect to get, but it'll be fun to know that Mike and Jeff have to fill out more paperwork to defend my termination), and since I didn't receive a check immediately upon being fired, SLD will most likely be charged a per diem penalty until they issue me one. Knowing how long it takes for the bureaucratic process to work, and how horrible Mike and Jeff are at completing paperwork in a timely fashion, I expect to be receiving quite a bit of money from this.
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