Independent Contractor Status

So I was thinking about it today, what lessons have I learned from this latest incarnation of myself, as an independent contractor?

Today, after nearly a month of emails and phone calls left, I finally got ahold of the person I was told to contact about getting additional students. This is extremely important, because there is a deadline looming of if we have not had our first session, we can not continue with that student. The deadline is February 15th, and I have been trying to get new students since before Christmas, to be in compliance. Also, my current students, the two I have left, will be done at the end of next week, and I really want to know I will have some money coming in after that paycheck. Mind you, they can’t give me any details over the phone, addresses and names and phone numbers can only be mailed, and last time that in itself took over a week and a half to get that information, so I am not out of the woods yet.

What has this taught me? Perseverance. If at first I don’t succeed, then telephone, email and telephone yet again. Eventually I will get through. Though I hate being the one pulling teeth, especially when it is in the best interests of the other party to be prompt and professional. They only lose money by not hooking me up with additional students.  But my need for security in a paycheck is apparently of greater importance, thus I am the one being perseverant.

Yesterday, I was informed that my paperwork was incomplete from the seven hour stint I pulled filling the December paperwork out. It was? I was in disbelief. This, after checking the website that tells us if there is incomplete paperwork, filed under our individual tutor names. I was not on that list earlier in the day. Today there is merely a note saying a certain form for a certain student is incomplete. I looked it over. I saw nothing wrong. I called.

The concern was that my students completed their final tests in 15 minutes, i.e., too quickly. For one student, she actually completed it in 6 minutes. They wanted to make sure I didn’t give the students insufficient time. I retorted back, that student in particular took 15 minutes to do the original test (the exact same test, mind you) and we covered the material diligently in the 33 hours I tutored her since, and she had improved, as evidenced by her improved test score, and thus, she only took six minutes to complete the exact same test in her final session. At which time the person told me there was an additional student who they were questioning, who also took only 15 minutes to complete his test. 21 minutes I said, looking at my paperwork. I had to round down. And it’s not like he really was answering the questions, I know perfectly well he was guessing, just like he had the first time around, because he worked no problems out, and we barely touched on the subjects of the test, spending the majority of his time reviewing multiplication and division, not pre-algebra.

This was why they were holding up my payment of services rendered, because they were questioning whether I was lying on my paperwork about the time it took the students, or whether the students actually could be done that quickly? What little faith they have in both their students and their tutors! So I have had to send an email to the supervisors, outlining the legitimacy of the time claimed. For one student, I still didn’t meet the 34 hours of tutoring, because they took so little time to do the test, so they are saving money of what they could have to pay me. They should be thankful!

Lesson learned: I hate bureaucratic thinking! I hate bureaucratic paperwork, for the sake of dotting t’s and crossing i’s. I mean stop that, reverse it, you know what I mean.

Also, in the email I got that stated I had incomplete paperwork (not really incomplete, but rather questioned by them) without much detail about how it was incomplete, I was told I had until tomorrow to get it remedied.

I have places to go, things to do. As a matter of fact, tomorrow is completely booked, as was yesterday. Fortunately, I had time today to deal with it. But taking their time to inform of a problem and then demanding it be dealt with on their timeline? Really inconsiderate of anyone working more than one job, going to school, anyone with a family or other obligations or just generally having a life, i.e., all of humanity!

See note above, I hate bureaucratic thinking and bureaucracies. In addition, I loathe institutions and people who don’t seem to consider other people’s time, not knowing what else they may have to be dealing with in life.

Conclusion: I am still not seeing myself as a good fit for any large institution with institutional ways of thinking. I miss the days when I worked for start ups, where we were making up the flow of work and paperwork on the fly. If it didn’t work, we changed policies. I miss wearing multiple hats, always learning something new. I miss the days of working for a company that exploded in use so much that we were scrambling to provide professional services while bonding and having fun and being buried by the workload behind the walls of a legitimate business.

Ahhh. The ideal job/career is out there for me somewhere, I know it is.

And for your viewing pleasure from the random archives of Red Room Salon, see below!

Minnesota Rest Stop

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