Thursday, May 14, 2009

This is the Stip-End


You're psyched because you just landed that dream job at Bloomberg, LLC--the one you spent all your college years hoping to snag. You're given a corner office and put directly in charge of 35 employees. Life is good. Your first assignment is to get your employees to work on a report on Widget, Inc. You figure it's a snap. You plan out exactly what you want each employee to do, and you set them to work. They do a great job. Your planning is paying off.

Mr. Bloomberg stops by himself to see how you're doing. "How's the report coming?" he asks.

"Great!" you reply. I'll have it on your desk tomorrow morning."

"I knew I could count on you," says Mike. "By the way, I'll need a copy of what each employee has done. Put their work in file folders, collated and stapled.

"Yes, sir. Where is the copy machine?"

"Right there, down the hall."

You collect your employees' work, and trot down the hall. The copier is out of paper. You laugh at the silliness of it all. This would have to happen on the first day.

"Mr. Bloomberg, sir, where can I get copy paper? The machine is out."

"We don't give copy paper. We have Employee's Choice. EC for short."

You don't remember hearing about this in grad school. "EC?"

"An innovation of mine. All our executives get $150 a year to buy supplies."

"$150? I guess I can buy some paper with that," you reply.

"Good man," says Bloomberg, even if you're a woman. "And don't forget, each report needs to be in a folder."

"Where are the folders?"

"They come out of your EC money," said Bloomy. "And don't forget to collate and staple them."

"Where do I get the staples?" you ask, noticing that your 1930s stapler is empty.

"At Staples," snaps Bloomy.

Of course, this scenario has never happened, at least at Bloomberg, LLC. Mayor Mike knows that to run a business effectively, you need to give your employees the tools to get the job done. Unless those employees are teachers. Then you're on your own, except for the paltry $150 Teacher's Choice stipend you get each year. Except it looks like you're not going to get it anymore. TC is not in the city's budget.

TC was always a stupid program. Who ever heard of employees having to buy their own supplies? But that's been the agreement between the UFT and the city for about 20 years. And the union brags about it.

The stipend used to be $250. When it got cut to zero and then restored to $150, the union claimed a major victory. Perhaps this time they'll fight for us again, guaranteeing us a box of chalk and some Crayolas. What a victory that would be!

4 comments:

Ms. Tsouris said...

The Teachers' Choice money was just moved-around-the-budget money. It was the old OTPS (Other Than Personnel Services) money that used to go to the administration so they could buy paper clips and folders. Wow,now I get to buy my own erasers without all that paperwork....and I can do without that last minute rush at Staples on March 14th. Now Bloomberg et al has stooped so low that they no longer feel obligated to provide us with basic classroom necessities. They have their own "achievement gap".

Pissed Off said...

I get my chalk at the community college I work at in the evening. Teh board erasers come from there as well.

Chaz said...

Mr. Talk:

You forgot about the sexual harassment at Bloomberg when he calls the women into his office for some personal attention and mentoring.

Miss Eyre said...

What are we supposed to do without teacher's choice? My administration is not going to buy me markers or colored pencils for my kids. They're not going to buy me goofy workbooks of activities or border paper or colored indexed cards or any of the things I'm expected to have to make my room look nice.

I could cry, I really could.