…also known as AN AIRING OF GRIEVANCES.
Time after time when friends, family, and students have told me they hate [X] (job/major/roommate/etc), I retort to them that they are the authors of their own destiny. Then I go to bed, wake up, and return to the living hell that is my own place of employment and proceed to complain to everyone about everything.
Well, it seemed pretty hypocritical of me to tell everyone else that they should be in control of their own lives and then act like a victim in my own. So, yesterday, I quit my job.
- My paycheck was a joke. I worked the exact same number of hours each week since September, yet my paycheck has almost always been different. Some weeks a few hours would go missing, and sometimes it would take two to three more paychecks for them to magically reappear (this usually occurred after I mentioned the Department of Labor). As an instructor, I only got paid for in-classroom hours, although I completed several additional hours of work outside of the classroom. And the rate I was being paid was about half that of the usual “going rate” for similar positions throughout the city.
- Nothing was organized or regulated. There were apparently no standard procedures or protocol for any sort of situation, and when I inquired about solving an issue, I was mostly greeted with disdain or conflicting information. I’ve been given paperwork with no guidelines or instructions and reprimanded when it’s been completed incorrectly (despite not being shown the “correct” way to do it). Administration dissolved the Student Services position about halfway through the semester, so after that none of the instructors had someone to refer students to about disciplinary infractions or personal issues.
- The students were treated as commodities. In addition to teaching, I also worked in the tutoring center. Despite the necessary work that we do there (a LOT of English tutoring to ESL students who haven’t been provided with ANY additional support from academics, a LOT of math tutoring, etc.), we constantly had to prove our “worth” to the school. The president came down one day and demanded to know if I had tutored anyone that day.
ME [gesturing toward the computer lab]: Well, I just helped Kareem—
PRESIDENT: Kaleem? Who’s that? Do you think I know who that is? Don’t use their names. I don’t care about names.
4. There was an intense culture of disrespect amongst faculty, staff, and students. If I had a dollar for every time I was called “sweetie,” “sweetheart,” or “little girl,” by faculty members (I am twenty-seven), I’d be a very rich woman indeed. The aforementioned paperwork and “names” issues are two more examples of this disrespect. There was a faculty Christmas party that I decided not to attend, and I received a curt reprimand via email for not going (wtf?). A fellow staff member was sexually harassed by an older male “doctor,” and she was made out to be a liar and had no support from any of her superiors (except the Student Services administrator, who—SURPRISE!—was fired about two weeks later).
Additionally, the students show the instructors absolutely no respect. On my final day of class, I allowed one student (who had been absent from more classes than she had actually attended) to present two final speeches for our class. Even after those presentations, she still had a failing grade. She “refused to accept,” the F, proceeded to yell and swear at me in the classroom, and shouted that I was “ruining [her] fucking average,” and “refus[ing] to work with [her],” even though I had LITERALY JUST LET HER DO TWO MAJOR ASSIGNMENTS THAT WERE BOTH OVER A MONTH LATE.
That moment definitely gave me no regrets about my decision. That was Wednesday. Yesterday I wrapped up grades, paperwork, cleaned out my closet, and turned in my resignation.
AND I FEEL SO FUCKING FREE.
I admit that I’m definitely scared about the future. What the fuck am I going to do now? Visit my family for Christmas. Drive cross-county with a friend to help her move. Make a good, honest try at being a writer, I guess. Eat a LOT of rice, ramen, and various other cheap panty staples.
And wake up every morning not feeling stressed, unhealthy, and miserable, and instead feeling like the Author of My Own Destiny.