Exodus (T minus 2 weeks)
The situation mid April 2007 at Bond University was now at follows:
- I had signed an agreement in March to leave for research overseas in May, and to get a redundancy payment in exchange for some academic work.
- Based on the agreement we had sold house, car, cat, and shipped everything what is worth shipping to Europe. The rest we have given away.
- I had worked March and April on the school website, according to the agreement. Helen Kenneth had been specifically hired to help me with the data.
The first formal letter had taken long, and it had not reflected the original agreement. So we were waiting for a sanitized version. Iain remained reassuring:
"They are working on it."
but given that we wanted to leave Australia start of May 2007, I started to get nervous. The kind of nervousness you get when you realize that you either deal with a fraudster, or an imbecile. Or a combination of both.
Curtain, Act I, Scene IV
On April 13th Iain presented us with another formal letter. Things did not get better, actually they were going right south:
- the duties on my side have been more detailed,
- the payment was now pro-rata, could be retained until deemed acceptable,
- and the payment was now under corporate law, whatever that meant.
But all sounded now more like a trap. The worst part was that the the payment was not secured to be tax-effective, something which left me short 15000 AUD from the original agreement.
No way I would let this go through as transliteration of the already signed agreement.
Check the numbers!
While Iain advised me not to talk with Chris Andrews (just to avoid crosstalk), he sent us to Mardi Stringer in Human Resources to figure out about the tax-effectiveness.
Mardi was uncomfortable. Obviously the advice Chris Andrews made her give 2005 was ... appropriate at that time. But she could not give any authoritative statement about the payment now.
"I will do what Chris Andrews tells me to do."
Great. Time for legal advice.
Of course, it's binding!
"I'm surprised that Iain Morrison has signed that."
Eric Colvin, law professor and BUASA (that is the academic union) heavy-weight waved with the agreement.
"It's binding. He is the head of school. Your superior. You should get a lawyer to get this through."
Even greater. 14 days before leaving the deserted island and we can now look for a lawyer.