It’s not unusual to have assignments cancelled before day of the assignment. It’s part of the job and normally not a big deal. My preference is to have cancellations as much in advance as possible so I might have the opportunity to schedule an alternative.
But there are limits to my “understanding index”:
Cancel a week before: AOK
Cancel the day before: A bit disappointed, but still acceptable. Maybe another assignment will show up tonight or tomorrow morning.
Cancel the night before: That’s cutting it a bit close, but there’s really nothing I can do about it.
Cancel after I accept your late morning call, for a job that started an hour ago, where I have rushed getting ready, driven to the school in less than 20min since I got the assignment and THEN cancel?: Well, now I’m pissed.
“Then, why did I get a call to come here today?” I inquired in my calmest voice I can manage at 09:30am this morning.
The school secretary explained that she had already called a different sub come in. She needed to enter the assignment in the computer system but accidentally sent it as an “open assignment” that automatically put it out for calls. She didn’t know she had screwed up until I walked in the door.
“…Ok, so I’m not working today, but what does that mean for me since I DID accept the assignment. The “mistake” wasn’t mine and I’m here as instructed? Will I be paid for at least part of my time?” While she sympathized and apologized once more for the mix up, she said there was nothing she could do.
I left the parking lot feeling more than a little pissed. As it happened, the street I was traveling on went directly past the district office. I pulled into the district parking lot to have a chat with the district substitute coordinator lady to escalate my case.
After explaining what happened, she contacted the school and verified my narrative of events this morning. She then checked for any available open assignments for today. Finding none, she asked me to wait while she talked with the payroll office.
“The payroll system isn’t set up to pay by the hour so instead, we’re going pay you today for a “half day” assignment if that’s acceptable.
More than acceptable, I returned home and logged on to the SmartFindExpress substitute assignment system and printed this month's completed assignments showing today’s cancelled botched assignment and today’s completed half-day assignment.
Trust but verify and document…