decent pay and self respect…..College English Tutor

I started applying for jobs at a local community college in West Palm Beach, Florida approximately two years ago. It is a very large college with three or four campuses. They regularly advertise great-sounding positions in the local newspaper and online.

Now, I have a four-year degree and at least ten years of experience related to the professional positions to which I applied. After consistently applying for every position for which I was qualified or over-qualified for two years, I finally was granted one job interview with the college.

The department head had forgotten about the interview and arrived late; everyone else in their “committee” arrived late. Some were still chewing food when they arrived. One woman was doodling pictures on a notepad and staring off into the middle distance as I spoke, clearly disinterested. After the interview was over, I had to pursue the department head to ask how I’d find out whether or not I’d get the job.

Of course, I never got the job. Someone who already worked there got it. I applied for other jobs, many other jobs. I applied for basic clerical jobs for which only a high school education was required, security guard jobs, even part-time jobs. Never an interview, never an offer. Everyone who was granted one of these jobs, to my knowledge, already worked there and was “gifted” the job.

I tutored one day per week at one campus that is an hour and a half drive from home; and had to beg for that job. The lab supervisor wanted me to interview with the dean and fill out two applications in order to work one day per week. Once I began tutoring there, I would reguarly not be paid on time and after three months, when classes were out, I was “laid-off” for a month with no warning beforehand.

I was told by one administrator that part-time positions have to be “earned” and that one has to pay their “dues” to even be considered – forget about being qualified to do anything. Full-time positions are only given to friends of relatives or relatives or friends of people already employed there. It’s almost all complete politics.

I was told that I could continue to be a college english tutor, but that my hours could never be guaranteed beyond any given semester and could be cut at any time for no reason given and I’d never get benefits.

When a full-time position opened up, for which I completely qualified for, essentially hiring and overseeing tutors for a department I was “granted” two interviews -and then, big surprise, they hired someone nobody had ever head of. She looked as though she’d just turned 18. Maybe she WAS more qualified than I, but I had done the actual work already and knew everyone at that campus and was just as qualified on paper as she. In fact, during her first week on the “job,” she had a huge book about how to build web sites. When I asked about the book, she replied that she was told that she’d have lots of spare time on the job and lots of time to read or do nothing – so she thought this job would be the best opportunity to learn how to develop web sites — even though it had nothing to do with the job whatsoever! In less than a month, she’s already gone on two vacations and done nothing to upgrade the department or improve conditions and has no budget.

In summation friends, being a college english tutor at a community college sucks rotten eggs. I wish my name were Bu$h, because I’m tired of working for people with half the education or experience lording over their jobs and blatantly discriminating against others not “in the loop.” It’s supposed to be illegal to only promote from within, and it’s definitely immoral. You can never count on how many hours you’ll get from one week to the next, you’ll never be sure when you’ll get paid since payroll can’t be bothered to get out of their chairs to do anything and supervisors only pay attention to immediate concerns that imperil their jobs.

If you need a job, stay out of Florida, where the wages are pitifully low and all the jobs are service industry, and the state is made up of small ramshackle towns. Forget the sun and the low pay and lack of jobs, give me a frickin’ snow storm and a good job with some self respect any day!

Peace!

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