Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Slavery Through Bureaucracry

Forgive my ranting but I am hoping that sending this sad story to all four of my readers might help me feel better and restore some semblance of goodness in the universe.

I was hired to be an English teacher at a school that shall remain nameless (because I am a wuss and don't actually want them finding this post). One month before I began, I was sent what looked to me like a book but which turned out to be a packet of detailed personal information that I needed to fill out in order to be employed. Included in this packet were questions about if I had adopted my child or convinced her naturally, a request for a bank account number (since I didn't have a bank account, I used a friend's account) and proof of health insurance. I diligently translated the entire document, answered all the questions, and provided all the requested information.

Skip ahead to the end of May. I had been working about a month and it was payday. I was called into the office and informed that they weren't going to be able to pay me until they received a bank account, proof of health insurance, and a tax identification number...oh, yes, and they needed this information yesterday. When I told them that I had already turned in this information months ago, the lady looked at me confused and told me again what she needed. I asked if I could use a friend's bank account since I didn't have one of my own. She said that would be fine.

So, I called Adam, who was diligently working at home, and begged him to get to get our friend's bank account info (again) and bring that and the health insurance documents into the school. Adam missed half a day of work getting this information to the school so they could have it that very day. I had to wait to get them the tax card because I needed to go into the foreign affairs office (again) to get it and I couldn't do that until Friday as I was busy working! Had they told me I needed it earlier, I would have gone in earlier and gotten it.

Two weeks later, I still have not been paid. When I ask the lady in the office about my pay, she informs me that I need a social security number, and that they can't use the bank account because it wasn't in my name....grrrrrrrr........

I tell them I don't have a bank account number (again), and they tell me that they will write me a check once I get my social security number. She tells me to go to the social security office the next day during my break to get the number. I do this and upon my return get yelled at for not being on campus! .... grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr ............

I leave Germany on Saturday. Today, Tuesday, they inform me that in order to get my pay, I need to get different health insurance. Are you fucking kidding me???? I'm leaving in four days! I'm not getting new health insurance when the health insurance I have was good enough for the government to issue a visa with it!!!!

Needless to say, I will not be returning to work for the remainder of the week. I'm owed two months worth of pay, and I am so pessimistic that I will ever see a cent.

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