First Job After College Forgets To Pay Me

I started this blog to document the glamorization my life. I was in college and I was trying the wildest new things like going to Broadway shows and being a seat filler for award shows. It was amazing until I graduated college and made the decision to move back home to get a Master’s Degree in English for an extremely cheap price. I willingly made the decision to move home fully knowing that in order for me to stay sane, I would have to commit to two years of staying out of small-town drama, hold on to my crazy work ethic from UCLA that had me awake all hours of the day, and plan for a future PhD program where I would probably fall back into the rush of a giant university. Well, I’ve kept all of these things on a mental vision board. I’ve filtered out my social media, I’ve stayed at home, I’ve worked diligently on school projects and read my books and have done my best to not feel the sadness of leaving UCLA early and not feel the anxiety of post-undergrad stress of knowing that I need to work more and more to create a life for myself beyond the comfort of my own house… once I’m really done with college. Basically I’ve chosen not to set any kind of roots down after moving back home from college because I want to get out of here. It’s not a hard decision. It’s not anything major. I just never leave my house sometimes. 

I started substitute teaching. Learning about teaching has been interesting, but the paycheck is a different story. I get paid more than my student job, which is a great step up. Sub teaching requires a Bachelor’s degree so at least I am putting my degree to use. The problem is that it took two months to get hired after finding out that my application and my paperwork was not moving anywhere at the offices. Some websites may tell you never to go to an office and ask in-person about your job status, but 1) I keep hearing from teachers that they are in desperate need of subs 2) The hiring application had been closed 3) I had not heard anything back at all 4) This is a small town and corporate stuff/office culture is not… strong.

So I went to the HR office and asked, “I applied to be a sub and I have received no information for two months. When will I know?” They handed me hiring papers right then and there, and I finally began the process to become a sub. Then I was told I would be contact the following Monday for orientation the following week. I waited until 2:30 pm that following Monday and never received a phone call, so I called. (The office closes at 3 pm). The office person said, “Oh, can you come tomorrow for orientation?” So I said yes. Then at orientation I was told I would be eligible to sub the following Monday, but I had to wait until Friday night to register and log in to the phone system. When I called in to register, the recording said my account was invalid. After days of calling the sub help desk, no one ever answered my phone calls. I was still ineligible to sub. Then I finally drove back to the office and they said , “Oh, how weird, your account has been locked.” And finally, after three months of waiting to become a substitute teacher, I finally was fully hired. 

I also successfully became a sub for another district after just one week of hiring, applying, and going through orientation. 

The process of becoming a substitute teacher and having to break through the secrecy of HR was the most draining process to the point where I started looking for retail jobs because I was convinced no one was going to ever contact me from any school district. 

You would think that everything would be fine after I got hired right? Wrong. I started working on the last day of November, which means that I was meant to get a paycheck for 1 day of work on the 10th of December, but because neither the district had not yet created an employee ID for me (strange, right?), I never received a paycheck because the high school said there was no way they could submit a time sheet to payroll because I was not in the system. The office manager said she would file it as soon as she was given my employee ID by the district. My November paycheck never came and I found out yesterday from payroll that it is because the high school never submitted my time sheet to payroll for November. 

I grew up hearing “We want you to come back after college and give back to your community because that’s what everyone does, and you can help the future children of this city.” I came back and did that and found out that people were ready to take advantage of me and never contact me to be hired for a position they need filled, not pay me, and give me the run-around when I’m looking for answers and what I deserve (a paycheck for November). I’ve also had some great teachers depend on me to sub multiple times. 

In spite of the less-than-perfect systems I’ve run into here in my hometown, I’ve decided to continue to reject the small-town culture of where I live. Also, I’ve decided to ask too many questions whenever I need more than what I’m being given.  It’s not a terrible decision, but I think I want to pursue a PhD at some point, and I’m not going to let any small town goblins latch onto my feet like thorns and drag me down to the pits of teaching 4th graders with my only escape being grocery shopping on Sunday mornings at FoodMaxx. 

Is this a rage post? Am I killing my chances of ever being a potential full-time employee in my small town? Who knows. It’s 2019. drumpf is holding innocent people’s paychecks ransom for his border wall. The USA is literally denying people the right to life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness at our borders, and uh, literally killing children and separating families. I think there are bigger problems in the world than determining if my blog is inappropriate for my field. If anything I will be a great 4th grade teacher because I will teach compassion to all these children. But I’ll be certified to teach community college English so I guess I need to focus on how to teach compassion to college kids through English. 

I’m also still very young. I am the youngest person in my MA program. I am going to open a retirement bank account soon. Lots of fun things happening, like oh, yeah, I’m going to New York City in a few days. I don’t even know when I’m supposed to go back to grad school so while I’m off being cool and young and hip and trendy in NYC, uh….. don’t miss me too much little hometown. 

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