FI and still putting up with BS job

Hacking employment, improving work, professional development
cimorene12
Posts: 623
Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2011 3:10 am

Re: FI and still putting up with BS job

Post by cimorene12 » Tue Apr 09, 2019 10:57 am

There is no real reason for you to stick around working in this terrible environment with a bad boss after you've hit FI. I recognize that you're geographically bound until your son graduates, but just quit. You will fulfill your need to teach in a different way. Do not sign the new contract.

Scott 2
Posts: 1331
Joined: Sun Feb 12, 2012 10:34 pm

Re: FI and still putting up with BS job

Post by Scott 2 » Tue Apr 09, 2019 10:15 pm

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.

cimorene12
Posts: 623
Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2011 3:10 am

Re: FI and still putting up with BS job

Post by cimorene12 » Wed Apr 10, 2019 3:15 pm

Frita wrote:
Mon Feb 04, 2019 6:10 pm
My boss is a lying jerk. Most co-workers are in duck-and-cover mode. The fear and mistrust are palpable. My boss also manhandles kids and I fear he'll hurt someone. (Several of us have filed a complaint. Now he's in retaliation mode.).
I've said this before, but someone who hurts kids is not a good boss. Scott 2 seems to think you should work this out and eventually get fair pay. I don't work for people I know for sure hurt children, no matter how much I am paid.

Think about what would happen if he seriously hurt a child under your care. Are you ready for the repercussions on your career because of his potential actions? I'd get out of there before things get worse.

Scott 2
Posts: 1331
Joined: Sun Feb 12, 2012 10:34 pm

Re: FI and still putting up with BS job

Post by Scott 2 » Wed Apr 10, 2019 4:32 pm

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
Posts: 202
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2018 8:43 pm

Re: FI and still putting up with BS job

Post by Frita » Fri Apr 12, 2019 11:17 am

@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.

Frita
Posts: 202
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2018 8:43 pm

Re: FI and still putting up with BS job

Post by Frita » Sun Apr 14, 2019 1:03 pm

Friday my boss came into the kitchen where a colleague and I were sitting. We were on our dutyfree break. He said, “No one is supervising students in the lunchroom,” hinting that we should go out there and walked away.

My colleague said, “He didn’t directly tell me to go out there, so I am not going.”

I said, “Me neither.”

The person who was supposed to be in there was at school, routinely blows it off, and never gets called on it. For most of my career I would have stepped up to help (actually before my boss noticed the issue). Despite wanting to clarify if he’d like me to cover, I matched his passive-aggressive request with my passive aggressive answer. I am done with this crap.

Thank you for your suggestions and support! I am changing. I am disengaging and setting/maintaining boundaries. The more I do, the more I feel ready to move on.

P.S. Leaving school one of the six years was just standing in the street with cars zooming around. My boss was doing crossing guard but not paying attention to the perpendicular street. The kid’s mother was talking to another parent. I did run and get him back to his mom a half a block away. The mom was grateful. My boss was oblivious. Just to support that I won’t put kids at risk...
Last edited by Frita on Sun Apr 14, 2019 2:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

cimorene12
Posts: 623
Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2011 3:10 am

Re: FI and still putting up with BS job

Post by cimorene12 » Sun Apr 14, 2019 1:17 pm

Frita wrote:
Fri Apr 12, 2019 11:17 am
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.
What you said reminded me of an excerpt from Ryan Blair's Nothing to Lose, Everything to Gain.
Image
https://www.amazon.com/Nothing-Lose-Eve ... 591844037/

In this analogy, you are in the position of the mom, even if you are not personally being physically abused by him. You are an adult. You've spoken up against the abuse and seen the higher authorities do nothing about it. It's time to leave.

Frita
Posts: 202
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2018 8:43 pm

Re: FI and still putting up with BS job

Post by Frita » Tue Apr 16, 2019 10:11 am

@cimorene12

You nailed me! I think sometimes staying and playing the game can have benefit (an example being Oskar Schindler) but question whether/doubt that this fits into that category.

So, I am grinding the year out. I was supposed to have my evaluation yesterday but my boss canceled 48 minutes beforehand. (Last year he just kept canceling and rescheduling. We never had one, just said I was doing fine and he’d do one in the fall, which never happened.) This outcome was predicted and not surprising.

cimorene12
Posts: 623
Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2011 3:10 am

Re: FI and still putting up with BS job

Post by cimorene12 » Tue Apr 16, 2019 4:55 pm

Frita wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 10:11 am
@cimorene12

You nailed me! I think sometimes staying and playing the game can have benefit (an example being Oskar Schindler) but question whether/doubt that this fits into that category.

So, I am grinding the year out.
I'm not opposed to you finishing your current contract, but picking up next year's contract is not a good idea. A cursory glance at Oskar Schindler's life means that I don't think your situations are exactly the same. He sheltered Jews from the Nazis at great personal cost.

Frita
Posts: 202
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2018 8:43 pm

Re: FI and still putting up with BS job

Post by Frita » Tue Apr 16, 2019 8:10 pm

Agreed, saving lives doesn’t compare to just teaching kids! I was not saying they are in the same category, just an example where staying in a bad situation was beneficial.

Not returning will mean the end of my teaching career, at least in the US. I won’t be able to move and pick it up in four years when DS14 graduates. I feel sad to be done this way but can’t imagine continuing either.

Frita
Posts: 202
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2018 8:43 pm

Re: FI and still putting up with BS job

Post by Frita » Sun May 05, 2019 3:17 pm

UPDATE May 31st can’t come fast enough! Twenty days to go (and I don’t typically countdown but decided to start today)! I have not signed another contract and have four days to burn up, one per week.

Next week my boss will be gone (M-F plus Saturday, when we have a snow day makeup) for a camp with 4th-6th grades. Typically, people slack off and don’t do their duties when he’s gone. It creates more work for the handful of us who do their jobs. I am mentally prepared to do only my assigned duties without any rescuing.

Friday he put a note on my desk saying that I “intimidate people” (him?) and to stop. WTF?! Can these “people” not speak to me directly? What am I specifically doing? Why give me a note like this knowing that we won’t see each other for nine days? Then as I was leaving, he gave me an envelope with a $600+ end-of-the-year bonus check. (I went to the bank to deposit that check straight away.). Insights into this shitty behavior?

cimorene12
Posts: 623
Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2011 3:10 am

Re: FI and still putting up with BS job

Post by cimorene12 » Sun May 05, 2019 5:13 pm

I'm glad that you are prepared to wind down to the end of your full time career working for this guy. I hope the next phase of your career in June is a lot better.

bigato
Posts: 2126
Joined: Sat Mar 05, 2011 12:43 pm

Re: FI and still putting up with BS job

Post by bigato » Sun May 05, 2019 5:28 pm

The note is just a psychological technique to harass you and to try to weaken your stance

bigato
Posts: 2126
Joined: Sat Mar 05, 2011 12:43 pm

Re: FI and still putting up with BS job

Post by bigato » Sun May 05, 2019 5:32 pm

By the way, I now remember one instance in the past where I was being actively targeted by management because I didn't comply with some bullshit and had no fear to say no. At a periodic evaluation thing they did back then, they tried to make me believe that I did not relate well to the work colleagues, which was clearly a technique to make me feel bad. I immediately
started telling them (they were a couple of bosses, a man and a woman) about how my colleagues didn't like them and how one of them even told me that she was about to quit the job because of one of them. At some point they interrupted me and told me that the evaluation was about me and not about them. :-p

Scott 2
Posts: 1331
Joined: Sun Feb 12, 2012 10:34 pm

Re: FI and still putting up with BS job

Post by Scott 2 » Sun May 05, 2019 8:14 pm

Your boss is trying to re-establish power over the relationship. He's figured out you have it. When he realizes he cannot, he may lash out as a last ditch attempt.

DutchGirl
Posts: 1203
Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2011 1:49 pm
Location: The Netherlands

Re: FI and still putting up with BS job

Post by DutchGirl » Mon May 06, 2019 5:15 am

1. Your boss doesn't like that he can't boss you around anymore.
2. Your lazy colleagues may not like that you're no longer picking up their slack and that now it shows that they're not doing their job.

A few more weeks now?

PS. Have you ever considered things like tutoring for a few days of the week? Could be fun and rewarding. My mother's done it for a few years after she finished her fultime teaching career; for her it was also a way to ease into retirement.

prognastat
Posts: 1000
Joined: Fri May 04, 2018 8:30 pm
Location: Texas
Contact:

Re: FI and still putting up with BS job

Post by prognastat » Mon May 06, 2019 12:41 pm

It's definitely a spineless power play. It would have at least been slightly less spineless if it had actually been conveyed in a meeting rather than a note.

Just let him know you are open the constructive feedback where if he can bring specific people/situations that you could act on, but that in it's current form it's not constructive and doesn't enable you to act on it.

Frita
Posts: 202
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2018 8:43 pm

Re: FI and still putting up with BS job

Post by Frita » Tue May 07, 2019 10:42 am

Thanks, I predict that he’ll be too busy (and/or disorganized) to speak with me, much less have my evaluation. There is no real benefit in preemptively responding.

Ugh, I don’t know why I even let this bother me as I am so close to being done working for shitty people in shitty environments.

@DutchGirl
• No tutoring for me, I prefer a more facilitative role than direct instruction. I will be teaching English in Guatemala again this summer though. • There’s a guy from my uni’s alumni group who used to be a struggling musician. When he finally gave up and got a mainstream job/career, he quit playing the sax. He said it was too painful. Who knows, I may feel the same way.
• I might volunteer more at the local soup kitchen. Most of the ingredients are rescued food, which I think is cool.

Frita
Posts: 202
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2018 8:43 pm

Re: FI and still putting up with BS job

Post by Frita » Wed May 15, 2019 5:35 pm

10 days (including 2 days of leave) to go!!

Two coworkers were told in the last couple days that they aren’t being asked back. (They were part of our attempt to get the director to stop manhandling kids.) I am playing chicken to see if I get the ax too as I’d file unemployment.

The mood at school is awful. I feel like I’m in junior high again. I feel rather sad about finally pulling the plug this way but am preparing to figure it out anyway. Meanwhile, I will do what I can for the kids the rest of the month.

cimorene12
Posts: 623
Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2011 3:10 am

Re: FI and still putting up with BS job

Post by cimorene12 » Wed May 15, 2019 8:53 pm

It sounds like you're wrapping up nicely. If you have experience teaching English Language Learners, is there any chance you'd do that after you leave your current position? For more than just a summer stint in Guatemala...

Post Reply