i have never been one to think inside the box. In fact most of the time I am totally unaware that there is even this thing called a box.
i was called recently by an old friend, who was former student and former program supervisor and asked if I would come back to a program that I actually helped start and taught in for over 10 years. I was asked to teach a class that I have a long history with and have presented over the years across the country at many schools and workshops as well as with in this particular program.
First off this fine institution seems to have lost all of my employment records with them over a brief four year hiatus since I last graced their classrooms. Annoying yes, but a good excuse to put most of my miscellaneous documentation in pdf format. Three hours later I am emailing in all of my certifications, class records for the last 10 years of continuing education etc… so much in fact I had to break it up into about 6 emails so that I would not bog down their system.
Then I am told that I have to fill out a new employee application… wtf? I do this, but guess what, I can’t do it online, I have to print it out, and mail it in – all the info they want would be on my CV if I was allowed to just send that in instead but that is explicitly and categorically not wanted according to this application. Another hour and two days later as I have to go to the store to acquire #10 envelopes in order to return this application with no supporting documentation it is mailed. I now have 500 of them.
i hear nothing so I guess we are good, and I am going about my business and working like normal. Then I get a panic message from above mentioned friend, the way it is worded tells me that “Houston; We have a problem”.
She asked if I have filled out and sent in all the paperwork, I say as far as I am concerned I had better be done with all of it. At this point I have put in 4 unpaid hours for a job that I was asked to do that pays two thirds less then what I make per hour. I teach out of love and to give back to the community not to pay my bills.
Turns out they wanted more paperwork! The first thing they want is a resume…. ummmm
First off in my field it is called a Curriculum Vitae and didn’t I just print all of that out by hand on that stupid application form last week because they didn’t want me to send one in? They want official sealed transcripts sent directly to HR( I graduated over 2 decades ago… that will surely be easy to track down and get sent in by the time I am suppose to start teaching)….NOT.
They asked again for the documentation that was in those pdf files I sent two weeks earlier (remember those 6 emails? I do) Then they wanted publications…
If you googled my name I am sure you could spend days reading all of the articles that I have written for professional journals, did they seriously expect me to print them out for them ??? as it seems they can not read pdf files. Then a list of all the volunteer work I have done, with any achievements and awards, not not mention that highlights would be listed in said CV I don’t like bragging that much about myself, and as with those articles there is this wonderful invention called Google search.
The last thing on the list just made me laugh, my course syllabus… with all the papers they want me to gather just to walk into their school again, my students will be lucky if they get a syllabus on my first day of class. oh – and I needed to take a CPR recert before I walked into the classroom and a possible piss test… by the way.
Needless to say…. my inner Honey Badger came out. I am blaming this new stepping into my own and telling people that I just don’t give a shit on early stages of menopause when asked. However I think it has more to do with some important changes in my life, and menopause still seems like a distant dream to me. Maybe someone in my life is finally teaching me to respect myself. Maybe I am just finally starting to learn to say no and not care. Maybe I have realized that I have someone special to love and serve in my life now and I no longer need to fill that emptiness by doing the work of 6 people.
And then the coup dé gras – I get home that evening and grab my mail – a letter from HR informing me that they are not hiring me for this class. Sorry they have hired someone else. Laughing my ass off I emailed my friend and told her that HR had hired someone – I hope that she is happy with whoever they hired to teach my specialty. She was not as amused as I was.
So what do I do? – I do want to teach, I enjoy it at some level. I don’t want the hassle, this craziness that this institution is forcing on me. I love this former student, she was in one of our first few classes of graduates, I will always have a soft spot in my heart for those. She is in a real bind due to the institution and certification agencies that are breathing down her neck ( I would NEVER want her job, so glad I said FUCK NO years ago when it was offered to me) and she has no other resource to teach this class at such short notice. If I can not get the rest of my paperwork together and I am now theoretically halfway through the process no mere mortal could manage the whole in less then two weeks unless they were really hungry for a poor paying job and just happened to have some of the qualifications. But if HR didn’t like mine, well…
My suggestion that has now been agreed upon, is that she will figure out some sort of busy work for the students for three of the four classes and I will come in as a “Special Guest Lecturer” without pay and give my brief overview speech, which is all they really need anyways with the changes in the testing. Then the two of us will go out and have lunch to get caught up. This way I will only lose about half the money I would have lost for doing the whole stretch of classes. I get to teach and not lose any face by having to back out of a commitment I had made. She gets her ass saved by having a national expert come in to teach. Neither of us has to deal with the mound of paperwork for the institution. We can look over what it is they have and actually need and maybe by next year I can be back on their records as an instructor. Then I can work up the advance classes I really want to teach. All in all I get a free lunch – and some face time back in an easy classroom after 4 years off. Not a bad deal.
I did find out weeks after this guest lecture experience that HR did not hire me because of the changes in the testing and that is was no longer a requirement for the students. Would have been nice to know this before all of the hassle and worry. But lunch was lovely and the students were engaging and I had quite a bit of fun – I think I like the whole Guest Lecturer title. Think that is the angle to work these days. So if anyone wants to buy me lunch – I am ready to play, just forget the paperwork.