hey guys, it’s Barbs, and I wanted to
talk about an old job of almost 4 years that laid me off this year. we’ll start
with talking about what it was and how I managed it. so to give some background I
worked as a proctor coordinator at a university – for now let’s just
call it strawberry college. I started as a work-study student in spring 2016. I
worked with undergrad students with disabilities and administered their
exams based on their testing needs, such as a quiet room, extra time, etc. it was
part-time and I was told that proctoring tests was easy. I didn’t have enough time
for training because exam weeks were already starting, but because it was sooo
easy, right? I was pretty confident that I got this, so.. I was like ‘Eh, I should be
find. I don’t need any training.’ when I first started it, was complete and utter chaos.
so remember when I said that I thought the job would be easy? SIKE. it was a
two-man job but I was only one man, based on the
overwhelming responsibilities and lack of organization.
I had to email students and professors with vital information that I had to
triple-check before hitting the button SEND. and they HAVE to be the correct
pairs of students/professors because of confidentiality, and if it’s not the
right pair or not even a right student… I’d be screwed.
I had to schedule students the correct testing rooms at the correct time… WITH THE CORRECT TESTS! okay? Cuz if I didn’t do that… I’d be screwed. I
even have to work with a cluster of data that wasn’t even ALPHABETIZED. And it’d had nothing to do with proctoring! oh my god, it all HIT me like Hurricane Katrina. I had to hold up the
fort during horrible storm as if my life depended on it.
that’s how chaotic it was. Oh and the enrollment rate at the disabilities office?
it was a bit over two hundred. two hundred students and more were being enrolled by the day. no she wasn’t ready she wasn’t ready I
was one person in a two-man job and it was too much for me at the time
when I was a student. I felt like I couldn’t focus anything – job assignments, homework, papers…
I didn’t even know what to order for take out because I was that traumatized.
and if you’re currently a student who has a job similar to this and is able to
push through right away? kudos to you. seriously.
kudos for not using your sanity, because I sure as hell did. I ended up quitting
that job in a month. I couldn’t handle that much responsibility. however I went back to this overwhelming
job at fall 2016 because I had bills to pay. no no if it’s because Paoh,
college classmate, contacted me that the disabilities office needed a second
person and thought that, since I worked there before, that I’d be the best person to
reach out to. so I was like ‘okay, sure. I’ll take the job.’ only because there was a
first person there. if it was just going to be me again, I would’ve been like ‘yeah, no.’
but that was already somebody else there so I was like, ‘okay, I’ll take it.’ I learned
later that Paoh has worked there for a while and thought she couldn’t deal
with it anymore that’s probably why she asked me. She got hit with Hurricane Katrina. it’s okay, I completely understand. the job is not easy. the
first person and college classmate, Shen, was still working there. he knew right
away that the office was pretty chaotic. he got hit with a bit of hurricane
Andrea. however, it was good that he was there and why did I think it was good? it
was because that meant our responsibilities would be split. he would
help with proctoring and data, and I would handle scheduling and coordinating, and
it could be switched depending on the demand. and that was what we did. he was
able to craft some templates that make things easier for us when writing emails
and making calls, and I thought it was GENIUS because it would help calm down
some storms and that way we didn’t have to worry about not knowing what to say
to students and professors when contacting them regarding their tests! so for two
years, we created a system that worked. and it made things SO much easier. not
just for me, and Shen, and our boss, but also for students and professors, old and
new alike. no clutter, no chaos gone. and even though I graduated in fall
2017, I was brought back as per diem staff to continue working at the
disabilities office. I was able to hold the office together after Shen graduated in
spring 2018. I was able to take on responsibilities that I thought was
impossible to do before. I even started adding other multiple responsibilities.
I even acted as a receptionist and trained a graduate assistant. there were
still some storms but they weren’t as bad as the ones in the beginning. so
let’s talk about how strawberry college laid me off after almost four years!
although I enjoyed the job very much, I was paid in pennies, pretty much, despite
doing a lot of stuff.. since I worked in a private institution.. okay, not literally
pennies. but it was a wage that was impossible to even get groceries. if I
really wanted to, I would have to work more hours to make it possible.. which is
realistically sad. so, like a hustler, I had to get another job, which is the current
after-school job that I have now. however, the hustle had to end. in
February 2019, I received an email from strawberry college that, because of huge
amounts of unpaid debt that it was struggling to finance, there was a
possibility that the college will close down.. for good. not temporary, not short
term, PERMANENT. here’s some backstory of this a fortunate turn of events that
weren’t mentioned before. in the end of fall 2016,
we learned that strawberry college has about 30 million unpaid debt, including
about 20 million PAYROLL TAX. and the trustees didn’t even
know about it like… WHAT? how did it go on for that long?
and UNNOTICED at THAT. like that’s really freakin bad especially the payroll tax
that is to help fund insurance benefits, transportation, and, because robbery is a
college, EDUCATION. so this got everyone including me SHOOKETH. in spring 2017, a majority of professors and some staff were laid off or released with no back
pay. no doubt that they were really pissed off and fought with the college.
this also pissed off students, too, including me, because the professors who
we were supposed to have courses with were LAID off. so we had to be re-enrolled with people who we either never heard of, don’t know very well, or CANNOT STAND AT ALL. that’s another topic that I might talk about in the future, but I
digress. sometime after, an anonymous person gave
five million dollars to help strawberry college, which is nice, but um with the
info regarding that the college is closing its doors for good,
that could have been used to pay for student loans.. INCLUDING MINE.
strawberry was trying its hardest to pay everything off for two years. luckily I
finished my degree within that time frame, which what I feel right now.. is a
waste because I still haven’t had job in my field. there’s a video based on
something like that, but again, I digress. then, the news happened. there were rumors
that strawberry was merging with another college – we’ll call it Apple college. but
with some confirmation, I learned that the students already enrolled in
strawberry will be transferred to Apple College and continue their studies there
after strawberry closes. hmm… what does that even mean? it wasn’t official until
March 2019 that strawberry announced that it will be closing its
doors for real in summer 2019 and Apple will be enrolling students from
strawberry, since the financial situation was too difficult to manage. I mean with
over $30 million in debt it’s realistically impossible to pay off quickly. so you can
imagine, at the time, that everyone was very very upset, especially the students.
but hey, guess what? they got something at the end. it’s staff that were very
upset. we were left with no jobs. NOTHING. I have my current job, but still, it’s
frustrating because finding a new job is pardon my French, but finding a new job
is fucking hard, okay? especially when you worked at something
for so long that you truly enjoy and made a change in it and then suddenly
you have to start all over, but somewhere else, and it hurts.. a lot. I
received a letter from strawberry college stating that my last day of work
would it be in July 8th 2019. after seeing that letter I-I.. I was just… done.
this is for real. all my hard work.. poof, vanished, just like that. I couldn’t
continue working there any longer than I hoped. so I ended quitting in May
2019 after landing the summer camp opportunity (which I regretted later on, LOL.)
and realizing that staying at my after- school job was my best bet. it was
bittersweet. strawberry College has ceased its
academic operations on August 2019 and Apple will lease the campus that I
worked at until the end of December 2019. so.. that’s how I got laid off. so thank
you, strawberry college, for fucking us over, with your stupid amounts of debt
that should have been checked AGES ago. moral of the story: if you’re attending
at a college and you hear that there’s a chance that it’s closing because of some
unpaid debt that wasn’t checked properly… RUN, just RUN. find something
else before you’ll regret it, because finding another place after being at
another for so long can be scary. so yeah that’s my moral of the story.