Tuesday, August 05, 2008

You'd have thought I'd have learned my lesson by now

A recurring theme:

December 2007: StyleyGeek gets hired as a writer on a new magazine. She works 20 hours, sends in her copy and bills the company. Oops! The company has done a runner. (StyleyGeek never gets paid.)

February 2008: StyleyGeek gets hired to fill in for someone on teaching leave for the semester. She works for six weeks, then they tell her they were actually supposed to have advertised the position, and could she please apply for the job she is already doing, and then they might be able to process her contract and pay her. (Eventually resolved satisfactorily).

June 2008: StyleyGeek is working as a research assistant. The faculty member she is working for wants to go to a conference overseas during one of the teaching weeks of the following semester. She asks if SG can cover her lectures that week, to be paid out of the same pool of grant money the research assistant money came out of. SG agrees happily, teaches the classes, and is then informed that, oops, that money is earmarked for research assistance. You shouldn't have taught the classes after all. Now we don't know how to pay you. (Still not resolved).

August 2008: The research school likes the website StyleyGeek designed for her department. They ask her to revamp their website and put in lots of cool stuff like she did on the other site. By Monday, please, as they have an important review coming up. StyleyGeek stays up all night creating some working examples of some of the 'cool stuff'. The next morning she emails the IT people to ask for access to the website files. Is informed that only the IT people are allowed access to the files. All requests for website changes must go through them. The 'cool stuff' is too difficult and they won't do it. But the research school people did not have the right to hire her to do it either. So even though this time the money is there and earmarked for the project, SG still might not get paid.

In future, StyleyGeek does not work without payment in advance and written confirmation of her job, preferably from the Vice Chancellor, kthxbai.

Updated to add:
I just remembered another one! 2006: I was employed by a government department to work on their website. Except, oops! They had forgotten they were only allowed to hire Australian citizens. Or they hadn't noticed I wasn't one. Or something. Either way, the job evaporated before the ink on the contract was dry.