Thursday, January 15, 2009

Finally ...worker's comp is doing something!

I heard from State Fund yesterday, and my file is at least in the hands of a utilization reviewer. Too bad my doctor is more qualified than any reviewer, but I digress. My file is also in the hands of a female adjuster who sounds a whole lot smarter than the last affirmative action beneficiary who had my file.

Now on to the not fun stuff. My contract was terminated by the community college district I'd been working for since the fall of 2005. I had been doing communications for this district, and doing a pretty darn good job. I was getting stuff placed in industry publications and to a lesser degree, in local medias. About six months into the job, in the spring of 2006, I was promised the full-time position (when it opened up and an official job description was created) by the chancellor of the two colleges and her assistant.

Last March I interviewed for the job. I showed up to the interview with a fever of 101 (something I'd never do for a normal job interview, but I felt my work spoke for itself), feeling like crap after working an event the previous three days that was produced by the district itself. My references weren't checked. Each were prepared to say I was the right person for the job.

In June I received a letter saying I did not get the job. In July, I received an e-mail from the chancellor asking me to fix a news release draft written by the person who did get the job, and who would be starting in the fall. I can usually edit/fix anything, but that blob of words was impossible. To this day I am not sure what the thing was supposed to be about.

The person who got the job was a Latina with a history of being fired/asked to resign from a pair of high-profile PR jobs due to incompetence.

Because of the budget crisis here in California, the community college district cut all independent contractor contracts. Now tell me this, why not keep someone who costs you $40 an hour (and worked maybe 80 hours a month) versus someone who costs the district $100K (salary and benefits) and that someone cannot do the job? One of my duties was to produce a monthly newsletter, which means figure out what to write, research/interview, obtain photos and ultimately do an 8-page layout using InDesign and Photoshop. Once I'd been told my contract was no more, I was asked to turn over the work I'd done thus far, which I did. It was all done in InDesign.

The "new" PR gal had a fit because she does not know how to use the program! She is also having a fit because I did not turn over notes to the stories I was going to do—because I had taken no notes!

She's in her mid-30s, I am not. I have had three prior back surgeries. I have an advanced degree; she does not. She has been the beneficiary of affirmative action all the way through school; I have not.

What I want to know is this: what plans does the messiah have for people like me? I have no recourse regarding the "job promise" because there is no way anyone is going to admit to having told me that. But why is it once a person is "in" they keep getting chance after chance based on ethnicity? Answers ... anyone?


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