FI and still putting up with BS job

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Frita
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Re: FI and still putting up with BS job

Post by Frita »

Another win today, my boss asked me again to work a full day (with no additional compensation) tomorrow with the skiing. He tried to make me feel guilty by saying he’d have to pay someone(!). I gave him another friendly, but firm “no.” This is getting easier. Go, me!

prognastat
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Re: FI and still putting up with BS job

Post by prognastat »

Frita wrote:
Thu Mar 07, 2019 9:33 pm
He tried to make me feel guilty by saying he’d have to pay someone(!).
He could have offered to pay you like he should have in the first place XD

Frita
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Re: FI and still putting up with BS job

Post by Frita »

Agreed, evidence of his jerkiness!

Scott 2
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Re: FI and still putting up with BS job

Post by Scott 2 »

Once he learns you have boundaries and know the value of your time, questions like that may stop. Good for you.

Even it you really wanted to do the ski trip, doing it for free sets a terrible standard for your coworkers. They might not be able to afford the sacrifice, and they shouldn't have to. The bad manager needs to be accountable for sourcing resources and matching commitments made to the capacity of his staff.

Frita
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Re: FI and still putting up with BS job

Post by Frita »

@Scott 2

There are only three of us who are part-time. I never considered that me not having boundaries paints the one gal who needs that job in a corner. It it is one thing to be full-time and doing duties as assigned during the contract day. My past actions have been part of the problem.

Frita
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Re: FI and still putting up with BS job

Post by Frita »

So, yesterday I was asked to go to the public library to select donated books and return them to our school. I was told the only times I could do this was before work today or afterschool tomorrow. Since I’d need a vehicle, I’d have to drive instead of walking. I still feel guilty but said “no” anyway. At some point it will get easier.

prognastat
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Re: FI and still putting up with BS job

Post by prognastat »

Does your boss seem to be improving on the accepting your denials/requesting less frequently front since you've starting saying no more often?

Frita
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Re: FI and still putting up with BS job

Post by Frita »

@prognastat

Nope, he is still pushing. He likes to make dictates, never asks. If it’s within my workday and not illegal or unethical (That can be an issue too, different story...), I have no problem agreeing. Words like “please” and “thank you” are not in his vocabulary either. I do notice that he no longer says “hello” or talks with me. Punishment? I do think it’s getting under his skin so perhaps he’s figuring out my new boundaries.

prognastat
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Re: FI and still putting up with BS job

Post by prognastat »

Well good on you for maintaining your boundaries. Hopefully eventually he learns.

Scott 2
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Re: FI and still putting up with BS job

Post by Scott 2 »

He asked you for unpaid overtime, using your personal vehicle, in an hourly position??? Am I understanding that correctly?

Frita
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Re: FI and still putting up with BS job

Post by Frita »

@ Scott 2

Unpaid overtime using my personal vehicle to transport books, yes. I am salaried, making well below the market rate at a charter school.

Scott 2
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Re: FI and still putting up with BS job

Post by Scott 2 »

That is unreasonable. Good for you.

Frita
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Re: FI and still putting up with BS job

Post by Frita »

Opening: This should probably be in the journal section. Despite having my poop in a group in many aspects of my life, semi-retirement work is not one of them.

Tone: I know that this can sound whiny. That is not my intent. I am just quite clueless and unskilled in this situation.

Background: Two contracts in a row my boss has told me if I work for less than market rate (and last one was even worse, basically volunteering for an extra hour per day or 5 hours/week) I’d be full-time. Fast forward, the cat’s out of the bag, no full-time for me (There are full-time opportunities; however, finding someone with all my certifications and willingness/ability for multiple plans in K-6 is difficult. Note that this dude has torpedoed me to shift out of the charter school and into the local school district. He has pretty much ruined my chances but ensured I am available.).

Problem: My boss has brought up wanting me to return, wanting to pay me the same and donate the extra time. I agreed to that pay rate with the extra time with his verbal commitment for full-time this year. That was naive on my part and not something I will continue. He refuses to discuss that he has manipulated me ir his crazy expectations in general. I told him today (again, same convo last week) that I would consider returning but the terms would have to be different. I am willing to walk but realize that there’s some space between here and there.

Question: We’re placebound until DS14 graduates and geographically isolated. How do I play this?

Scott 2
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Re: FI and still putting up with BS job

Post by Scott 2 »

Do you have relationships with your boss's peers or superiors? I would invest in those, making it painful for him to lose you politically, in addition to the work you do.

How long do you have until contracts are sorted?

Why are your chances with the local school district ruined?

Frita
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Re: FI and still putting up with BS job

Post by Frita »

Scott 2 wrote:
Mon Apr 08, 2019 8:46 pm
Do you have relationships with your boss's peers or superiors? I would invest in those, making it painful for him to lose you politically, in addition to the work you do.

How long do you have until contracts are sorted?

Why are your chances with the local school district ruined?
My boss pretty much does whatever he wants. The charter school does have a board, which is comprised of parents, but they are spineless. Smart as if they would get sideways with him, those kids would pay for it. The school has been around for seven years with chronic turnover in staff. This is the director’s second year. It certainly can’t hurt to make the board members or their kids happy. I will focus on that more.

According to our charter, contracts are supposed to be finalized by April 15th. My boss is very disorganized. Last year I didn’t have mine until the end of May. We’re at-will so I can quit or be fired without cause at any time. (Actually I would almost welcome that to end the struggle.)

A principal at another school where I’ve interviewed multiple times told me in confidence. With all the new and cheap candidates in our uni-town, coupled with state budget cuts, there is no reason to go on a limb either.

classical_Liberal
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Re: FI and still putting up with BS job

Post by classical_Liberal »

IDK... It seems to me you've tried several approaches with this person. Since you just want to teach, and don't need the income, I think it's best to make a decision at this point. Is all the hassle worth the opportunity to teach?

If the answer is "yes", I guess you just need to stay firm when it gets out of control and deal with the BS. Edit: I suppose you could look at this as an opportunity to learn to deal with unreasonable people, maybe that would make it less of a PITA? In the meantime, you could simply try to figure out a way to volunteer your time teaching in a different way? Are there any "out of the box" thoughts you have have about getting your teaching fix?

If the answer is "no", just walk at the end of the school year. Still, try the above to see if you can find other solutions to your need to teach.

Jin+Guice
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Re: FI and still putting up with BS job

Post by Jin+Guice »

Fuck this motherfucker. The only reasonable response to this parade of fucking bullshit is to light this asshole on fire.

You are FI right? As long as the answer is yes, never forget that you have the fucking dick and sometimes when you have the dick you have to fucking swing it.

Seriously though, if this situation is as untenable as you make it sound and this dude is really as awful as you make him sound (I'm not doubting you), you just need to fight him or quit. Stop making excuses. It's kind of you to consider your co-workers and the students, but you always need to consider yourself, your position, your needs, your wants and your goals first. You can't help anyone else if you're not helping yourself. It's not your job to stand up for your co-workers, that's their job. It is your job to stand up for students, but the only approach that seems to work is swinging at this guy as hard as you can. If he takes it out on students (and so far he hasn't punished students for your actions right?) there isn't a whole lot you can do besides continuing calling him out. Don't convince yourself that maybe this dude somehow deserves a fucking inch because of some agreement he tricked you into, he'll gladly take his mile if you do.

It sounds like confrontation is hard for you. There's nothing wrong with that. You're going to have to mentally prepare yourself to deal with this guy every time you go to work (probably you already do). This is going to be exhausting (probably it already is). If it's ever too much, it's fine to walk away. None of these people are ultimately your responsibility and the situation is not in your control.

If teaching is something you need to do there will always be opportunities for good teachers. Maybe it's difficult in your specific time, in your specific place, in the specific way you're trying to do it. If that's true you'll have to change one or more of those things to continue teaching, but there will always be a need for dedicated educators.

Scott 2
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Re: FI and still putting up with BS job

Post by Scott 2 »

No surprise that posters on an early retirement forum are telling you to walk away.

It's my first impulse as well, but every job has parts that stink. Part of the game is figuring out how to defend your territory, keeping the valuable work you like, while deflecting what you hate. If you don't learn that part of the game, sooner or later someone offensive will take what is yours, and you'll be forced to suffer or run.

I think like classical liberal said, it comes down to how much you value teaching those students in your current capacity. You don't seem like someone who enjoys entering into a conflict just for the sake of trying to win. Some people really enjoy that game.

I personally have had good luck with setting my boundaries ahead of time, then sticking to them when conflicts arise. In this case, it could be you have a minimum price for your time, which if they can't meet, you are truly willing to walk away. If so, that's a powerful negotiating tool. Since you are FI, the worst case is you get to do something new. For you - it is a choice between two positives.

I wouldn't present it as an ultimatum though. More like - "we talked about X, I was able to bridge the gap from where we are to X for a year, but it's just not sustainable. I love helping the kids, I really want to make this work, but I need X to meet my other obligations." I might also drop some hints to my boss's peers and superiors that I'm really looking forward to next year, but worried being able to afford it, etc.

The decision to give you more money or hours ultimately comes down to your boss stepping up and negotiating for the appropriate resources. A good leader should do that pro-actively. If he's not a good a leader, the only options to advance your personal situation are to force the change or leave.

It's possible walking away could be what is needed to make them pay you fairly. It's also possible there really is an over supply of labor and it's not a good business to be in at the moment.

Scott 2
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Re: FI and still putting up with BS job

Post by Scott 2 »

To be clear - My perspective is based entirely on the employee / employer relationship. I work with computers. I am 100% ignorant when it comes to working with children.

Frita
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Re: FI and still putting up with BS job

Post by Frita »

@classical_Liberal

Intellectually, no, this hassle is not worth it. Being persistent is part of my personality/identity, but this is just crazy. Without the financial carrot (and even with it, this school has high turnover), trying to work with a this person is a losing battle. I am trying to think of those out-of-the box alternatives that involve leaving. I’d prefer to have those steps figured out in that order.

@Jin+Guice

The English teacher in me would like to acknowledge the voice in your writing (despite the adult language ;) ). It produces an emotive change that I find motivating.

Yes, I am FI. Yes, I am making excuses, trying to work with the make-believe land of what could be, rather than the reality of what is.

I totally get how I come across as avoidant and have given a lot of thought to it. I was/am assertive but am holding back more and more. The issue is I want to be collaborative and go for win-win. That is not possible with this guy. His dynamic is a zero-sum game, I have not maintained boundaries, and this has resulted in allowing myself to be fucked over.

@cimotene12

You highlight as an outsider what I struggle to see clearly as an insider. I absolutely will not sign another contract with these shitty terms. I am thinking about what I’d need and a little voice is saying, “to just be done.”

The charter school’s board and the authorizing public school are both aware of how he treats students. (I was part of the complaint.) I justify staying because I believe there are times I can run interference to protect kids. When I type that, I must wonder if I am like an abused spouse who watches the children be abused as well. Part of me wishes something bad enough would happen to force something to happen. You may be correct that it will continue to escalate.

@Scott 2

From what I have seen over the past three decades in education, it’s a go-along-to-get-along world. You are correct that winning at someone’s else’s expense is not my thing. My boss is playing that game and creates chaos to keep the game going.

You are right that I have not maintained boundaries. A market rate for my time is an excellent suggestion. That keeps me out of the weeds. Thank you for the sample language as well as suggestions to not confront with an ultimatum and to drop hints.

I appreciate your perspective that it’s choosing between two positives. I have been viewing it as the opposition, trying in vain to find middle ground, and will be mindful of this shift.

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