I recently switched positions in the University. I could not survive on what I was making in my old position and the state refused, for over seven years, to give merit-based raises or cost of living increases to all state employees and the retirees living off the state pension. It was only this year (and election year) that they finally gave us a 2.5% cost of living increase.
State employees and pensioners are still making 7% below the cost of living in this state. (So whenever someone talks about “fat cat government employees,” I tend to get stabby.)
I got a job offer at a higher salary band in another division of the college. It looked like a good situation, but just in case, I consulted my Tarot cards.
Now I know many of my atheist, agnostic and monotheistic religion readers will scoff at this, but I’m a Neo-Pagan. It’s what I do.
In response to “Should I take this job?” that cards said “No.” (Simple three line “Yes/No” reading.)
I really needed the money. I have been pet sitting, selling off my comics, going around the college collecting old textbooks and selling them. Trying to sell antique books and furniture. I was barely scrapping by and I had Navient (Sallie Mae’s collection agency) breathing down my neck. So despite divine advice, I took the job.
It’s been a nightmare ever since. First of all, I screwed over my old department as they lost my position when I vacated it (the college would not allow them to hire a person to replace me) which dumped a load of work on the lead admin and the part time worker. I feel horrible about that. Training here has been confusing, which is not helped by the lack of information and organization in the department. I have been very frustrated at point because people would ask for thing that I had no idea I was supposed to give them. No one told me. And I would express myself. Either by being snappy, being silent, or by being loud. Not a the best choices, not the most professional of demeanors, but this place is a mess. And I have been taking any anti-anxiety meds in the middle of the day and having a drink every night just to unwind from this place.
And then someone told an outright lie about what I said to someone else. The person instantly recanted when confronted in front of my boss. Since then, her and my dealings have been nothing but professional and cordial. I treated it as a misunderstanding and let it go.
Out side of work, I got into an accident that took off my passenger side review mirror, which, while cheap, took over a week to replace. While in the rental provided by my insurance, I got pulled over because while my own car had the headlights on all the time for safety, the 2017 Sonata did not. So I was driving at night without headlights.
When I got my car back, I was pulled over this morning because neither of my brake lights were working.
During all this, Navient started calling 14 times a day. No shit. Fourteen times in 24 hours. Months ago, I had sent them everything: My pay stubs, my bank statements, my budget, everything. They had *all* the information on hand of my financial situation. Yet every time I talk to them I have to go over it all again while they try to hard sell me into taking a deferment, which allows them to rack up more interest and extend the period of time they can take legal action. I refuse. Nothing is going to change in three months anyway. I am not going to suddenly get a job that pays $100K a year. I send them what I can afford to send every month (their version of an “income based payment arrangement” is to take half my monthly income, over half if I drop down a salary level). That is all I can do. I dealt with them one week. I thought I had it settled (again). And then the following week they called back from another number to trick me into picking up. I got upset (this was in the middle of the car accident stuff, and I was being harassed) and I raised my voice.
After getting sympathy from my boss over everything, last week, right before the holiday, I was slapped with a disciplinary letter for my temper. They included the lying incident, which really does not have anything to do with my temper or behavior, but it just spiteful way to make me look even worse, despite the fact the person who made the accusation backed off it when confronted.
Now I am being treated as a simpleton, with my boss acting as if she assumes the tasks that I know how to do I am totally ignorant off. She also likes to rush in when I’m talking to students and ask if everything is O.K..
I have never in the entire time, the seven years that I have worked at this University, gone off on a student. Not ever.
I started looking for another job weeks ago. I have applied to positions that pay less than this one because this place is just horrible. Coming here was one of the worser decisions I have ever made. And I was told it was a bad idea.
So…when getting a hint from the divine. LISTEN.
P.S. Aaaaand my alternator went. For the love of you Gods I’M SORRY!