Sunday, July 15, 2012

Part 1: Sometimes I have to do what's right, not what's financially stable

I know it all sounds crazy, especially after I've been complaining about no money and crappy insurance for years now (OMG it really has been YEARS!) but I really did turn down 2 full time jobs.

As I've mentioned and just assume everyone remembers but for those who don't, I work as a facility for kids who are part of 'the system'- Dept of Family and Children, or Dept of Corrections or Probation. This is a place where kids get sentenced and we have mainly non-violent offenders who are ages 12-18. Kids live here, go to school here, go to church here, and have therapy here. I have 2 jobs- one at the school at this facility which is, strangely enough, an actually public school which is where I am the librarian, and I also work as a weekend secretary and answer phones at the Welcome Center for the entire facility, which includes the school and all the residential buildings. This is a non for profit, Christian facility which is sustained with very little state funding and mostly through donations, private donors, grants, and other private dollars.

The non school part of this corporation is starting a new type of program for girls with problems. I won't go into many details because it's not important in only that they are starting a new program and it's going to be a HUGE money maker if it is successful. HR is being super selective in the hiring process, and it's completely different than any other programs be have because it won't be for kids who are part of a 'system'; instead it will be for girls who's parents' have money and pay for these girls to get help. (Can you tell I'm working really hard to not use any buzz words so people where I work don't fall upon this blog???)

I haven't applied for a position with this new program because I don't want to be part of it. It doesn't interest me nor does it drive me. It's certainly not my passion at all. I do want the program to be successful and I wish it well but it's just not "me". So imagine my surprise when the new program director called and asked me to interview for a supervisory position. I was curious and I interviewed. At the end of the interview, while I was practically glowing with all the praise and compliments I received, I still didn't feel like it was my passion. The director said he wanted to run some figures passed the CFO and would get back to me, but it was going to have health benefits, provide housing and be in the neighborhood of $26-30k/ annually. The down side is that it would be salaried, it would be essentially on call 24/7 for weeks at a time, it would be living under a microscope personally and professionally. It would also be about 50 hours a week, before the on call stuff, doing supervision of all the staff in the program, as well as all the case work paperwork for the girls in the program, all housing duties and issues, and scheduling of all girls activities, therapy, school, chapel, volunteer work and anything else. Whew!

I didn't turn them down flat. I wanted to think on it and talk to my support group- family and friends. While I was thinking and while they were figuring out salary and stuff, I was called in for a meeting with the program director AND the CEO. Since it's a new program and pivotal to the survival of this business's future survival, the CEO wanted to chat with me.

That meeting was a disaster. It ended with me in tears. I felt like the CEO was attacking me for what happened at work with ITSam back in October. He asked me only questions about the situation, and nothing about the job. He wanted to know what I felt was my responsibility in all of it and about my personal walk with God and growth. It was a mess. I have to say the program director looked stunned as I felt. All I can say is that muddled through it and it was awkward and terrible. I went home and told Daddy-O what happened and I think he was as appalled as I was. I also told my school principal and he was so upset FOR me and told me he doesn't feel the same way about me as the CEO does and doesn't think any of those things either. I talked with friends and got feedback and decided I was going to work on Monday and tell them thanks but no. I hadn't come up with a complete speech yet, but I was working on it. This all happened on a Friday.

The next day, Saturday (like I need to point out that Saturday follows Friday; yes, I am Ms Obvious!) I had to work my weekend receptionist gig. One of the company's very upper level manager's stopped by my desk- this person also happens to be my immediate supervisor over my receptionist position. This manager is a relative of the CEO (yes, this place is VERY incestuous!) and this person and I had a talk about just work in general. I've never really been sure about my thoughts regarding this individual overall; this person is a fine boss so that's all that really mattered. But this person said, in conversation to me, and I am NOT taking this out of context, the following "we would never knowingly hire homosexuals because it's against everything we believe here" and "we need more color but the right kind, ya know?" AND "we should only have Christians working here".

I thought I was upset over the interview but this about blew my mind. I went home ready to tell the entire company to stuff their jobs and their programs where the sun don't shine.

The problem is that when poor, a person cannot stand on principle. I had a big talk with Daddy-O and friends and we all determined that I just couldn't quit. I'm in too much of a financially dire situation. I could probably not have a trouble with my library job, maybe, but the CEO is a powerful man and is well connected with our school superintendent and suddenly in this day and age of budget cuts, I could see my job vanishing. I don't know this for a fact; it really is just a guess but it wouldn't surprise me.

So I made a decision. It was do or die time. I went in on Monday and said no to the job. I was firm in my resolve but turned it down flat. I kept all my comment about hypocrites to myself, all my legal thoughts about questions about religion and sexuality and race being against CEO guidelines, about the whole mess. I said no thank you, my passion is for teaching and working in education, and I'm going to take classes this fall and be a certified teacher by Christmas and I am just wanting to devote all my time to that process, and stay in the school. I thanked them for the opportunity to interview but to please remove my name from their list of candidates if they hadn't already. Then the program director told me the job was mine if I wanted it but he understood and respected my decision and he was sorry for the interview with the CEO. I thanked him for the offer but firmly declined.

Now I know I mentioned at the beginning of the post that I turned down 2 jobs, AND I'm going to school in the fall. So stay tuned for tomorrow's post for the details of "the second job in 2 weeks that I didn't apply for and turned down."

Not kidding,


Bragger said...

I was already a big fan, but this...THIS is one of the many things I love about you. Congratulations for having a backbone. Not to mention integrity, forethought, and a belief in what you do.

Curley said...

You know that I totally believe in you. What that CEO did to you was against the law. I don't care if it is a religious based facility. They don't have the right. What happened in October had nothing to do with the job, then or now. I'm proud of you for making a really tough decision. Now, go finish that degree in teaching.