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Thursday, February 02, 2012

Mistakes Were Made…


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… 

2 comments:

Sarah Farr said...

I have had similar expereinces twice.

Once when multiple subs were needed throughout the day to cover teacher training and they overbooked. The sub coordinator worked very hard to find a spot for me, because she said she would have to pay me either way.

The other was when I was supposed to sub for only the second half of the day. So, I decided to sleep in that morning, but the school called and woke me up saying that I was supposed to be in for the full day. I rushed in only to be told once I arrived that they were mistaken, but I would still be paid a full day.

In neither situation did I have to work as hard as you to be paid.

Mr. C said...

A couple weeks ago, when I showed up to a school about 30 minutes early, I found not a single car in the parking lot, and all the lights off. I thought this was a little odd, so I tried call the school, with no answer. I even got online (I love my smart phone) and checked local news stations to see if the school was closed because of a snow day... nothing. Nothing in my email about it either.
Finally, I drove over to a nearby gas station and asked the attendant about it. She said the school had some sort of automated system to call students and tell them about closures.
No one bothered to to me. On my 20 minute drive back home I finally got an email telling me that my job was canceled. This was about a half hour after school would have already started. Needless to say I was VERY unhappy.
Having read your post, I really wished I had driven back down to complain to the higher administration.