I was mentally shopping for a new wardrobe, specifically some fabulous shoes, when I called HR. I called because I’m terribly impatient, and I wanted to know what the deal was. Where was my contract? What was I going to get paid? When was orientation?
I should mention I don’t have a teaching license. For the past three-four years I’ve been putting off getting my license. It’s probably because I want to be a tenure-track professor, but I’m not. I was a lowly adjunct. Getting a license has been a very low on my list of priorities, writing and getting full-time work has been a first (and I guess the wedding planning). However, I am pretty specialized in the subject of writing and literature, more so than necessary to teach high school. Right?
For a week I was jerked around by HR. I couldn’t get them on the phone and when I did no one could answer my questions. The thing is, I don’t give up that easily. I finally got my recruiter on the phone after three emails, two voicemails, and at least three messages with secretaries. I told you, I’m a bit of a psycho.
“Hi, this is One Mean MFA, I emailed about my hiring and lateral entry status.”
“Oh, yes, hi.”
“Hi, I’m really sorry. I’m sure all my calls and emails are driving you crazy.”
“Well….” this was followed by an awkward laugh.
“I did email you back.”
“You did? I never got it?”
“Yep, my sent messages confirms it.” Well, my freakin’ inbox is empty, so you’re a liar.
“Hmmm, I don’t see anything here.”
“Well after looking at your transcripts, it’s clear you’re not eligible for lateral entry.”
“You’re GPA is too low.”
“How is that possible?”
What the hell?
Turns out I had accidentally sent transcripts from undergrad, forgetting I’d taken a chemistry class that I’d failed during undergrad that I had intended on transferring. Ah how quickly I had repressed my pre-med adventures and failures. Pre-med. What the hell was I thinking. Anyway, the transcript didn’t have anything from my master’s degree.
So, I dropped 40 bucks and had my transcripts from grad school sent to me instead of HR as instructed. I had them sent to me so I could have them scanned at Staples to then email them to HR. What a clusterf*#&.
Two days later I actually received a call from HR.
“One Mean MFA?”
“Yes, this is she.”
“I have [insert generic name of HR staff person here] on the line. I’m going to transfer you so she can explain your lateral entry status.”
Immediately I knew something was wrong. Had everything been okay, I would have simply been told that I was good to go and been given further instruction. Instead, I was being transferred to some lady who was about to tell me I didn’t have a Goddamn job.
“One Mean MFA?”
“Unfortunately you’re not approved for lateral entry.”
“What?” I remember standing in my kitchen in my workout clothes. I had just come back from a run.
“You’re missing classes and aren’t qualified to teach high school English.”
“How is that possible? I have a master’s degree.” I couldn’t breathe and started shaking.
“The state requirements changed July 1st, lateral entry applicants teaching English are required to have six credit hours of grammar, six credit hours of linguistics, six credit hours of British Lit, six credit hours of American Lit, six credit hours of journalism….” she just kept listing all these classes: adolescent lit, child developement, and on and on. Seriously, who takes six hours of flippin’ grammar.
“But…” I held onto the kitchen counter, “this is so upsetting.”
She kept talking but all I kept saying was, “This is just so upsetting. I can’t believe it.”
The HR rep on the phone was cold and didn’t even say sorry for the misunderstanding. I even went on about how the state and county’s website had not listed those changes even though almost a month had passed.
“Well, what are you going to do? That’s life.” It was the only words that I could think of to end the phone call.
The phone call ended, and I dropped to the ground shaking.
The End of the Hunt: The Conclusion will be up soon. Thanks for hanging on and reading on.