My job description just changed and I am MAJORLY freaking out!!!

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Californiablonde, Oct 2, 2015.

  1. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    I knew when I got this new boss it would be trouble. He just called my supervisor and me into his office. He now wants me to make the absence calls every single day instead of once a week. And normally we only make calls for a kid who has been excessively absent. Now he wants me to make calls to all the kids who are absent from even one class! That's approximately 150 calls a day! I can't handle it!. Plus instead of contacting the parent, he wants me to call every single person on the emergency card. In other words, I am going to have to call all the older brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, and grandparents. This is a nightmare.

    My supervisor just informed me that instead of splitting the calls in half, she COULD make me do all the calls, but she is being nice and won't do that. How "generous" of her. Well guess what? I can't even handle making half the calls. It's still about 150 calls a day! OMG I need another job ASAP. There is no way on this planet I can handle making that many calls every single day. Most of them don't even speak English. My supervisor gets very upset at me when I ask her help to translate. But what other choice do I have? I am seriously stressing out over this. I don't know what to do. I need some good prayers and words of encouragement ASAP!
  2. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    Here is the way. Write a script for yourself. Repeat it to people mindlessly. Think of something else as you say it. 150 times a day will soon become mind numbing, practice makes perfect. CB ! Who gives a flying you know what about what they think? You can do this.
  3. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    The problem you are going to find, CB, is that an attendance clerk's job basically consists of contacting family members of absentees and logging the results of those contacts in a database or spreadsheet used to generate reports by higher ups.

    You are not going to get away from the phone calling, I fear.

    by the way, a typical tech support rep takes 80 or so calls per day, many people are irate, and each call requires intensive thought as well as people skills.

    Your calls do not require thought. You should be able to use a script and once you get used to to that, do OK>

    Meanwhile, what have you done towards seeing a new doctor to find medication and therapy to address both your bipolar and your severe anxiety?
  4. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Well-Known Member

    Our schools here have automated phone calls that go out when a student is absent...or when the sky is blue, it is raining...seriously, we get about two calls a day about the most mundane things. It drives me bananas!! So thankful this is youngest's last year of school...
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  5. Feeling Sad

    Feeling Sad Active Member

    I am a teacher and our district sends out automated calls, as well. The power went out for the last hour of school. No big deal...but calls went out and the phone rang every 2 minutes to send yet another student up to the office.

    The kids were placing bets who might be next, and then cheers went out.

    When I write report cards, I would think of the right way to word something. With an IEP, this still has to be done. But, with regular report cards, comments can be imported from a long list or still be self-generated. We also have the same phrases in Spanish right below.

    The script idea is perfect. Start off with a basic polite script in English and the same script in Spanish. Have several possible answers to possible questions in English and Spanish below. Just tell them that this is a courtesy call, be polite, and brief.

    Yes, it is very difficult to deal with rude parents. You could say that I am sorry, but I have an incoming call. Good bye.

    Do not let them get to you. You sound like a very nice person. Just be brief and very matter of fact. Take down a quick note and say thank you and good bye. No judgement. Calm and brief.

    Take care.
  6. Feeling Sad

    Feeling Sad Active Member

    Just a quick side note. You probably already know this fact. The school wants the absences to be excused with a reason from the Guardian in order to receive tax money for that child for the day. If an absence is not excused, then they lose the money. Added up, it amounts to a lot. Your job is very, very important.

    Take care. Remember, brief and 'good bye'. Do not be engaged by them. Employ a script.
  7. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    Ack! My phone # is listed with the city emergency services, which is nice as i get automated messages about things like public service outages.

    What isn't so nice is that apparently my phone # was shared with the local elementary school district. This means that this AM I got a phone call at 5:30 informing that school would be starting fifteen minutes late due to something to do with a meeting related to transportation.

    I'm not sure quite what as i was still half asleep and trying to stifle a panic attack as when the phone rings at that ungodly hour, my conditioned response tells me it isn't good news.

    I'll have to call the school district tomorrow to get my name and number taken off the call list. I can only imagine the calls I'll be getting come winter, though in WI they tend to be very sparing with snow days, since we get so much of the stuff.

    CB, I am rather surprised, since it sounds like you work for a larger district, that you haven't gone over to an automated system for at least initial contacts.

    I am also surprised that fluency in Spanish isn't a requirement of your job, given what, from what you've written in the past, seems to be a high Hispanic population in your district.
  8. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    We do send out automated calls for absences. We've been doing that for years. My new boss says it's not good enough. He wants a live person to call every single day. And the lists are huge because most people have bout 5 to 7 emergency contacts. I have to call each and every emergency contact. Yesterday I made about 200 calls. And guess what? The parents are calling me back, absolutely IRATE that I am calling everybody on the emergency card due to something as trivial as an absence. The emergency contacts are getting pissed at well. One lady today demanded to talk to my boss because she says calling emergency contacts, when they are to be used for true emergencies ONLY, is insane. I agree with her.

    I told my boss I am getting complaints about parents who do NOT want their emergency contacts contacted about absences. He is a jerk. He told me very abruptly, tough s**t. He said he considers a student not being in school for ONE day, to be a true emergency. HE is insisting I make all these calls even though the parents are telling me not to. I can't handle this. I am SO worried I am going to have another nervous breakdown and walk out.

    My last job was doing customer service on the phone for people who got parking tickets. That job was so stressful that I walked out unannounced and never went back. It was a nightmare. Because I quit, I wasn't eligible for unemployment. We were homeless for six months because I had no income till I finally got the job I have now. I am so worried I am going to break and the same thing will happen again. I seriously can't deal with talking to mean, rude, and nasty people 8 hours a day. Right now I hate my life. I haven't cut in years. It's tempting but I won't do it. I really hate my life.
  9. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Oh CB, is there no one over your bosses head? An HR department? Something? It makes no sense at all to be calling four or five people over the same child's absence. Heck, our emergency contacts were a friend, my brother and Jabber's parents - who live more than an hour away! Do you have to call them all even if you get the first person? Because that REALLY doesn't make sense.

    Did your boss talk to the woman? Maybe every time someone complains, you should sweetly tell them that you are only following the new policy and ask them if they'd like to speak to the person who made that policy? A few of those calls and perhaps he'll understand.

  10. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    Lil my boss REFUSED to talk to the woman. He told me to "deal with it." She even requested to talk to him and he said too bad he's busy and wouldn't talk to her. She's not the only parent complaining. This is becoming a real problem!
  11. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    All I can do is suggest going to HR or something. Document, document, document! Every single time a person complains, note the name and date. Every single person he refuses to talk to who complains, note the name and date. Ask them to email or send a letter outlining their complaint.

    While I agree that the job of a attendance clerk is to call the parents for every absent kid - calling all the e-contacts and him refusing complaint calls - that's just wrong!
  12. dstc_99

    dstc_99 Well-Known Member

    So even though they have an automated system they want you to call the parents as well? Then to top that off if the parent doesn't answer you have to call the emergency contacts until you get someone? I specifically ignore all phone calls during my work day due to my job requirements. The only time people get me is if I happen to get a call during my lunch break. I would not be happy if they called all my emergency contacts to find out where my kid was. It makes it look like I am a bad parent when I simply can't take the call. Add to that I am probably at a doctors appointment with my child when the call comes in.

    in my humble opinion they are trying to make the job difficult. Are they trying to force you out? If so I would write down the supervisors name and number and repeat it to the angry parents. I would also write down his supervisors name and number and give them that if he refused to take the calls.
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  13. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Yep. I like that. "I'm sorry, Mr. Smith can't take your call. Would you like the number of Mr. Smith's supervisor?"

    Actually I just re-read your first post. So, the guy who made this call is over your immediate supervisor? What does your supervisor say when you tell her that someone wants to speak to your supervisor? Because it should go up the ladder. You, then your sup, then the guy who made the rule...and if he doesn't take their call, it should go to his sup.
  14. AppleCori

    AppleCori Well-Known Member

    Could it be that the supervisor wants all the emergency contacts to be called because he is hoping that a continued disruption of their day will initiate a call from them to the parents on why they are not getting the child to school?

    Sounds good in theory, but in reality it probably only serves to annoy everyone, and may have people withdrawing their names from the emergency contact list.

    All the absences takes money out of his school's pocket, so he is focused on that.

    The phone calling wouldn't bother me, personally, but it would frustrate me to have to call the emergency contacts to no end. They probably don't know where the kid is, and they don't want to be bothered at work, so I can see how this would make them angry.

    This policy probably won't last long, if the people complain enough.

    Are there any other jobs you can transfer to?
  15. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    I am currently looking for other jobs and not only at my district but at others. This new boss (by the way he is assistant principal, NOT the supervisor) is just downright mean. He is mean, rude, and angry to the students. Not an understanding bone in his body. He just met with a kid who is severely mentally ill. The kid got very upset with him and threatened to harm himself. He created quite a scene and the whole office heard it. My boss proceded to yell back at the kid and make the student even more upset. He has not idea how to handle students, in my opinion. I have had several bosses in the nine and a half years I've been here, and I have never had one of them treat the students so poorly.
  16. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    I hope you are documenting EVERYTHING! And I hope your new job description is down in writing, that you've been told by your supervisor to make all those unnecessary, annoying phone calls. This person sounds horrible and it's only a matter of time before they're swamped with complaints from angry parents. And when that happens it would be very easy for him to blame it all on you, to claim that you took it upon yourself to make all those annoying calls! You need to get it in writing that you've been ordered to do it that way and then make a note of every conversation you have with this person, the time, date, and what was said! Just curious, is your position under Civil Service?
  17. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    I'm not sure what Civil Sevice means, Donna.
  18. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    If you don't know, then you're not. You didn't have to take a civil service exam to originally get your job, did you? Here some people in the school system work for the county and some work for the state. The state workers are under civil service where they have a grievance procedure and some protection from unfair job practices.
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2015
  19. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    I took and English and Math placement test to get my job. Is that what you mean? Forgive me if I sound ignorant.
  20. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    No, that's different. You probably work for the county then. I hope you do get everything in writing about your job duties, for your own protection. And DOCUMENT every contact you have with him! He sounds horrible and probably won't last long if he's treating the children that badly and angering the parents. They won't put up with that for too long.