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Are They Head Of The Callousness Department?

, , , , , | Working | May 6, 2022

I am working as a math tutor part-time while I’m taking online classes. Our department chair who oversees my boss is often unreasonable and unkind to us, as most of us do not have more than an associate’s degree. But this story really gave me a warning to get out of the place.

Due to a botched adenoid surgery I had as a toddler, I am prone to horrific sinus infections that cause unbelievable amounts of pain and can quickly progress to the point where I have to go to the ER. On this particular day, I woke up feeling the beginning signs, and throughout the day they worsened to the point that the over-the-counter painkillers I had in my purse did nothing.

My shift ended and I clocked out, intending to go to Urgent Care for antibiotics and painkillers. But on my way out, the department head stopped me.

Department Head: “I need you to go outside the testing room and watch a student we think is cheating.”

Students have up to two hours to complete a test, meaning I could potentially be in pain in the hall the entire time.

Me: “I’m sorry, but I’m on my way to urgent care. Maybe [Coworker] can do it?”

Department Head: “No, he doesn’t look like a student. We need you to do it. “

Me: “I have a really bad sinus infection and I really need to get to urgent care.”

Department Head: “I’m sorry you scheduled a doctor’s appointment so close to your work hours, but you should have expected that you might have to stay after.”

Nowhere in my contract does it say this. Hours are sent out the week before, and excepting illness or emergency, they are set in stone.

Me: “[Department Head], I’m really sorry I can’t help, but I’m in extreme pain and I really need to get medical attention.”

Department Head: “You seem to be perfectly fine to me. But if you won’t do it, I guess I’ll find someone.”

I got the heck out of there and rushed to Urgent Care where I was given antibiotics and prescription painkillers. I was also given a note not to go to work the next day, as I needed to be resting. 

The next week, I found that my hours had been cut to half their usual, leaving the tutoring center short-staffed. When I asked my boss if I could work more hours to help, she told me that [Department Head] had asked her to “shorten my schedule due to my medical emergency”.

This persisted for another week, with the short-staffing continuing as many tutors were students and had set up their work schedules around their classes and studying. Then, suddenly, I was back to my full hours.

This is only the first story I could tell about this place, and I finally ended up quitting when they refused to do anything about workplace harassment because the harasser was [Department Head]’s friend.

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