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A Seething Mass of Rage - 09/30/2020

I had a bad experience this week with the agency that I was formerly associated with for jobs as a substitute teacher. As readers may recall, I took an assignment, obtained through this company, on September 15 that was supposed to last until the end of the month. However, I was only able to do the job for two and a half days because it was physically just too much for me. I am owed $275 for this work, for which I was supposed to receive a check last Friday, September 25. Friday and Saturday passed and I did not receive a check in the mail. I texted my contact there, who is replacing the woman I worked with last year. She informed me that the check had been mailed on Wednesday. However, they sent it to the wrong apartment number, and it is currently lost in transit. I have lived in this apartment since May of 2019, and I am certain I updated my address with their office.

I got very upset about this, because the exact same thing happened on my first job of the year last year. The check was lost and the company refused to give me an advance or a new check until after 10 business days had elapsed. By that time, I had incurred three overdrafts which cost me over $100, or more than half my check last year, as I recall. I complained to the owner, who was very sympathetic and who told me that if anything like that ever happened again, to come to her directly and she would give me an advance. Of course, when I went to the new contact and asked for an advance, which I actually did prior to starting work because I was afraid this would happen again, she said it wasn't their policy to give advances. So here I am, on the eve of my vacation, out $275 because the company's "policy" is to make people wait up to two weeks if anything goes wrong, even if the mistake is their fault. In my case, I won't be able to get a check until I get back from vacation. For someone on a limited income, it's a long time to wait.

To make matters much worse, however, the woman who was my contact last year, and who was just horrible about helping me then, decided to insert herself into this year's conversation. Unknown to me, when I was talking to the new contact and asking her if I should contact the owner, I was on speakerphone, and the former contact was listening in. She called me directly after I had ended my conversation with the new girl, and proceeded to tell me in loud, angry tones that she had heard me "threatening" the woman with calling the owner and getting her in trouble. I said that my intent was to see if it would help, since the owner seems to be the only person willing to help me. I also asked her if she really wanted to argue with me about this, since it was a virtual repeat of what happened last year. She angrily said that she had no e-mails showing my new address (but we had corrected it last year on my direct deposit form, or so I thought) and so it must be my fault. She continued yelling at me about "policy" and how they "can't" cut a new check until 10 days has elapsed. I said, "You know, I don't think I want to work with you any more," and she hissed, seething with venom, "We feel exactly the same way." She proceeded to tell me that I had been acting in a manner that was completely inappropriate and unprofessional, and I said, "You know, I find what you are doing right now to be completely inappropriate," and she hung up on me.

I am appalled at the behavior exhibited by the woman (though not surprised). I have since called the new contact, apologized to her and asked her if she felt "threatened" by me; she said no and said she would pass that along to the other woman. But I will never feel comfortable taking jobs from them again, and have asked them to take me off their roster. There are other agencies, of course, and I would make more money if I just booked myself directly. But I have to say, I am seeing so many instances of rage these days, especially from women. I think it is a reflection of the difficult times we are going through in the US right now. In the case of the woman who spoke to me abusively both this year and last, I know she has a difficult situation with a disabled child. But you know, I'm disabled myself, and I don't feel the need to spew rage at anyone who ticks me off. I sent a message via Facebook to the owner describing what happened and told her it was not fixable. I haven't heard back from her; they tell me she is out all week for medical reasons. But she already knew that this woman behaved this way; she told me last year that "you know, sometimes <she> is just a bitch." Well, yes, she is, and that is not the woman you need to have coordinating with your substitutes. Subbing is a difficult job that can suck the life out of you anyway; you don't need to add a difficult contact to the mix.

All this to say that I will not be doing any substituting in the near future. I am concentrating on channeling my own seething rage into working with Senior Helpers (I picked up a new client last week, a woman who also has Lupus, and we are getting along famously), raising my little pug Timmy, delivering happiness via DoorDash about five nights a week, and writing (this blog is a helpful outlet). Sometimes I really wish I could just stay at home, but I remember how bored and lonely I got when I was first retired and not working at all. It can be difficult sometimes, especially when dealing with unreasonable rageaholics who refuse to have a civil discussion. But that kind of situation can occur in any walk of life. At least I am happy where I live and have people and animals who love me.

#SubstituteTeaching #TheCheckisintheMaile #Rageaholic #ImNotUnprofessionalYoureUnprofessional #Will2020EverEnd?

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