AARP Scsep — treated with no dignity, respect, value
AARP Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) is a grant program funded by the U.S. Department of Labor and administered through the AARP Foundation. It is designed to provide job training and job search assistance to individuals age 55 and older with limited income.
Great idea, [appears] to be a wonderful resource, and I do not know how it works in other cities, but if you live in Seattle, and are thinking about applying for this program...do a lot of practical, face to face, research and informational interviewing before making application!
Myself, and others, have experienced what seems to be more than a reasonable amount of dysfunction in how the program is being "administered." I have not felt like I was being treated with dignity, respect, or valued from the first day.
On the first day of application I was sent on a wild goose chase (i.e. an unnecessary trip that wastes time, energy, resources, etc. without realizing any gain). Later in the week I was sent on two more wild goose chases.
Later still, I experienced confusion and ambiguity from the staff when I sought to clarify their WorkSearch Jump Start program. An email to the Project Director raising concerns about the wild goose chases and the confusion was met with a "circle the wagons" mentality.
After a period of time I was notified that I had an interview with what was to become employment ($8.55 per hour for 18 hours a week) at with my "Host Agency." This is the initial step that must be taken as a means to actually "gain" access to benefits the program offers. As instructed by AARP staff, I showed up for the interview eager and ready to work...only to discover from my Host Agency that the interview was actually suppose to be two days away...not the day I was instructed to show up. Another wild goose chase, and somewhat humiliating.
Later, I discovered that other AARP SCSEP Participants are experiencing similar dysfunction's, especially with interviews. I've been told stories similar to mind, plus other stories of two SCSEP Participants being scheduled at the same time for the same interview and more.
The SCSEP Participant Handbook--which was provided nearly 3 weeks after applying, and then only because I showed up in person to debate a procedure that I was being different sets of verbal instructions to follow--talks about the importance of open communication so that one might be fully assisted. Yeah, right...good luck with that in Seattle. In my experience, this staff is one of the worst "communicators" ever, and I question that they are following the procedures that they are suppose to be following.
Due to my own personal drive and initiative, the assignment that I am performing (as my Host Agency Executive Director verified in a performance review that I requested) is that of what could be called a Commercial Handyman. This is fine with me because there has been no agreement between myself and AARP about any job title, and I get exposure to a multitude of knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSA) that would increase my marketability in this very tight job market (i.e. Custodial, Building Maintenance, Administrative Assistant, Grounds, Warehouse, Minor Information Technology, Other).
Then I noticed on my time sheets that the job title of "Stock Clerk" started showing up. After a review with my Host Agency Executive Director about my performance and the actual job tasks that I am performing, I submitted a job description of a Commercial Handyman, resume, and explanation about my Host Agency review with a request that the job title be changed to Commercial Handyman in order the reflect [and therefore get recognition for] the tasks I am actually performing (which again make me more marketable).
Instead of changing this job title to match my career goals, the Project Director forwarded my email to another employee (that I don't think I have met yet) who informed me that he checked with a Payroll Administrator who apparently--and without any knowledge of what I am actually doing or bothered to contact me about the matter--chose the job title "Stock Clerk" because the Department of Labor doesn't list Commercial Handyman.
The problem with that is this time sheet (which may be a federal document) has legal "effect." In order to receive pay for the hours I have worked, my Host Agency Supervisor and I MUST sign this document which is stating that I am a Stock Clerk...when the KSA's that I am actually performing make me far more marketable in the job market as a Commercial Handyman!
Now that I have raised my objections (openly communicated) about the job title of Stock Clerk being completely unacceptable, that I feel like I'm not being treated with dignity, respect, or valued, and have requested the job title be changed to either Commercial Handyman (or Administrative Assistant, Undefined, or left blank until a job title can be agreed upon) I am getting stonewalled and essentially "forced" to sign this document if I want to get paid. I noted on the last time sheet that I was signing the time sheet in protest... Communications from AARP SCSEP Seattle are, at the moment, non-existent.
So I am in the process of contacting whoever I can to take an independent look into this matter. Interesting thing is...is that I have no intentions of being litigious, nor am I seeking to get anyone fired! But I am certainly wanting AARP to hold their staff people accountable for their dysfunctional behavior, I want my job title to be changed to reflect the things that I am actually doing, I want to be treated with dignity, respect, and to be valued, and finally I want assistance with becoming more markable in the job market! After all, I am not collecting unemployment! I am 58 years old, and I must say this is the worst "assistance" I have ever received from anyone, or any agency!
Do any of you want to risk going through this type of experience?
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