Pros: great retirement plan
Cons: corrupt management, hostile workplace, no structure
USC is a highly prestigious university to be associated with. Many of the people I was around during my time there were pleasant, likeable, and helpful. However, they all were not so delightful.
I moved across the country to take a job with USC in August of 2011. I was asked to commit to 2 years in the department up front. I was promised full time – more... hours. At first, I was promised 40 hours per week, but once I started working, full time turned into 37.5 hours per week. That's a large chunk of change when you think long term.
After working for about 10 months, my supervisor suddenly began to have complaints about my work. It was as though it came out of nowhere. I went from receiving lots of praise and positive reinforcement to receiving only negative feedback. Then, on July 1st, 2012, I was told that I had to start working part time hours (18.75 per week) due to budget issues. This was after I was guaranteed full time hours before moving across the country. My supervisor never filed the proper paperwork with HR to move me to half time because they didn't like to play by the university's rules.
Then, toward the end of 2012, I was told that my job would be posted for advertisement online and that as soon as a replacement was found, I would be let go. My supervisor even had the nerve to say I could stay on and help train my replacement. This was the last straw for me. I took this information and evidence I could gather through emails, etc. to the Human Resources office.
The people in HR acted very concerned about what was going on. They told me they were glad I had approached them, and what my supervisor was doing was not right. They even went as far as to say that my supervisor seemed to have problems following the rules in other situations. They immediately called and told my supervisor that they had no grounds to get rid of me based on my performance. I was told that they were going to investigate the situation, and that they would look to transfer me to a different position in the university where I would carry over the same salary and hours (which, in the university system was still full time). At this point, I went on medical leave for 3 weeks on the advice of my physician. I had undergone so much undue stress from my supervisor that my blood pressure was in the high range. Doctor even tried to offer me anti-anxiety meds, but I know enough about them to refuse that sort of treatment.
Upon returning, after nothing happened for weeks and I continued to work in an EXTREMELY hostile work environment, I tried to get in touch with people in HR to find out what was happening. The situation continued to get worse with my supervisor to the point where she wouldn't even communicate with me.
Then, out of the blue, my supervisor asks if I could meet one afternoon. I go into the conference room to find my supervisor sitting next to the HR representative that had appeared ready to lay down everything to make things right for me only weeks before. The HR rep proceeded to tell me that I was being laid off, and that my position was being eliminated. I received a month's pay followed by a month of severance (which was better than what I was going to get before), but here we are in May, 3 months after being laid off, and I still don't have a job.
Basically, the HR department here looks out for the supervisors and ignores terrible things that are happening to regular employees. I watched myself get laid off for budget cuts while my supervisor went to conferences every single month and spend thousands on 5-star hotels, flights, meals, etc. out of the same budget my salary came from. Something isn't right there. And I had to process the receipts! On several instances, my supervisor flew across country to "work with a colleage" and spend upwards of $500 per night on hotel rooms and ate dinner at places where the bill was over $300 for no more than 3 people. I still have the electronic versions of the receipts to prove it, actually.
Something is wrong here, and it certainly wasn't my performance. – less