Wednesday, May 9, 2012

(And now, a small rant before my brain explodes)

I tutor.

I've done it since I started teaching, 12 years ago, and before that, I did it in college and grad school.

I love it.

What I don't love is being stood up.

This year has been particularly bad about that, and it's infuriating.  It is occasionally so frustrating it literally brings me to that awful involuntary tears phase where you're so angry, and so frustrated, and so helpless to do anything, that your eyes well up.

Well, my friends, I am there again.  This nonsense is getting old.  Very, very, bleepity-bleep OLD.

Check out this email I got from a Dad on Monday (keep in mind that they usually have a standing appointment for Tuesday and Thursday, but they'd already cancelled for Thursday):

Hi Jennifer,
I completely forgot.  [Name redacted] will not be there on Tuesday.  can I reschedule for Wednesday? 
I am very sorry for this late notice.
[Name redacted]

Naturally, I responded:

Hi [Name],

Wednesday is fine.  Can we say 4 instead of 5?

And he responded again:
Yes, [Name] will be there at 4pm on Wednesday. 
Thank you for being so flexible.  :)
All of these messages were exchanged within a total of probably fifteen minutes.  It's not as if there were days -- or even hours -- between question and answer here. I even sent a final email confirming that we were good for 4pm Wednesday and I was happy to be flexible, what with finals around the corner. 
Well, I juggled my whole afternoon and cut short a fun shopping trip and game-playing afternoon with CAM, and "didn't have time" to pick up WHM's party invitations, in order to be home and ready by 4pm.

It's now 4:50 and as you can imagine, there is no tutoring person in my home.  Neither have they responded to phone calls or emails.  I am fairly confident they are getting the emails, if not the phone calls.

I am not pleased, my friends, not pleased at all.  

We've been over this before, readers, and I know you're probably sick of hearing my rant, but tutoring is how I make my "living," since I am staying at home.  I don't make a lot of money, but this money pays for my kids' Kindermusik, and ballet, and, quite frankly, almost anything I do with the kids that we don't do as a big family event -- and it even pays for some of those.  It pays the small monthly bills, including a specific credit card bill.  It buys me an occasional lunch.  IT IS GOING TO STOP COMING IN AS OF NEXT WEEK, and I don't have the patience (or bank account balance, quite frankly!) for this nonsense of being stood up.  Even if my bank account had a whole lot more numbers before the decimal point, I would still be furious right now.

I know.  You're thinking, "Jen, you're the dumb one, get the money up front!"  
I used to charge my hourly rate and require two hours' payment up front, so that if I was stood up, I had already been paid.  This year, I experimented with "school-week" discounts.  Essentially, if a student comes for more than one hour in any given Monday-Friday five-day period, I discount the second and third (if we go that far) hours.  That made the whole pre-payment thing very difficult to implement without being confusing -- even though I keep impeccable books.  (Plus, I learned early on that I had some parents who tried to game the system by prepaying for two hours, cancelling the second, and then not paying the difference when the kid came the following week.  That person stopped coming, by mutual agreement.  My tutoring, my blood pressure, my house, my rules.  This is no EOE situation.  But you can imagine that even if one weren't trying to game my system, it got complicated.)

Well, forget the discount.  I'm only hurting myself here, clearly.  

Back to full price, all the time, from now on.

And if this person shows up next week without payment for today's session, I will send this person right back home.  

Rant over.  Thanks for letting me get this out.


No comments:

Post a Comment