Fridays are my days off. My days to work from home.
On Fridays, I relax, catch up on grading, work on projects from my freelance employment if I have any. I also use Fridays to work on a course I’m developing for my CC (paid by an internal grant, which is great).
Some Fridays are busier than others. Sometimes I get more time to relax. When I do, the last thing I want…the very last thing…okay, maybe before the persistence of global warming and social injustice, but it’s very near there the end of the list of the very last things I want…is to do volunteer work for my employers on one of my Fridays.
Yet, I have too few fingers to count the number of extra administrative work, meetings, professional development activities that I have been asked to do on a Friday. This is a good day because it is a day off for most of the faculty. Perhaps I would be more open to it if I were full-time. It’s very likely that my Fridays would be different. I wouldn’t be doing freelance work, for one thing. I’d feel that working 40 – 60 hours per week was part and parcel of my position, and I’d be more than willing to do it.
According to my employer, I work 18 hours a week. This is what they report to Social Security, the state’s unemployment commission, the federal government, the Teacher’s Retirement program, and to their own internal HR department when determining my eligibility for health insurance. 18 hours a week, according to them, is all the time I need to get the job done.
I’m hired on a part-time basis because I’m needed only on a part-time basis. If the school needs me to work more hours, then they need to compensate me and give me credit (at least give me credit) for those hours. If I’m not needed for those hours, then why am I repeatedly asked to spend extra hours doing work?
I guess my point is this: It feels like my employer is taking advantage of my good nature to squeeze extra work from me while only reporting the hours they want to report, and never enough for me to qualify for benefits. It feels like an intentional effort on their part to dodge providing me with benefits and a fair wage. Perhaps I am reading too much into this. If I’m not, then I question the ethics of my employers, I wonder what they value, and I find myself doubting their commitment to the publicly posted mission of the institution.
I find myself wanting to clarify that there is a disconnection between the people who ask for the work and the people who report my hours. The disconnection is perhaps also intentional (if not, it’s at least effective). Perhaps I’m paranoid. (This feels like an unhealthy relationship.)
That’s all for now. I feel a little sorry for my readers because this turned out to be a rant. Those who can relate, I hope, will find company in their misery. Hello.