Exodus (T minus 1 month)
Ground Hog Day
Things at Bond University had gone from good, to not-so-good, to bad:
After signing the agreement Iain Morrison seemed to have lost it. Somewhere in one of his large paper piles. I kept asking for a copy for my records, but he just threw a vexed look at his paper chaos and promised it tomorrow.
Come what may Tomorrow! Tomorrow! I love ya Tomorrow! You're always A day A way!
Chris Andrews has a copy. I'll get it from him.
When I kept asking him about the formal letter, he kept responding they are working on it. Day for day. Hard working people there.
Weeks later, when I finally held the signed agreement in my hands, I realized that Iain had done more changes to it than we had agreed on:
My wife was fuming.
Much concerning the payment was watered down and made conditional, and pro-rata. I had not checked that part on the last page when I signed it. It had not been under discussion then. My mistake to trust him. Not a mistake I planned to repeat.
Curtain, Act I, Scene III.
April, 5th 2007. Iain Morrison's office and I was again sitting opposite the man with the thin white hair.
The formal letter had arrived, prepared by Chris Andrews in Iain's name. And in it the payment was further reduced: no longer the pro-rata long service leave (LSL):
Because you are not entitled to it.
All in contrast to the written agreement from March 8th and in contrast to the advice from Chris Andrews himself.
We both were obviously thinking the same thing:
One of us makes a fool of himself.
And we might even have agreed on who it was.
My wife was close to going postal and yelled with Iain so that half the floor would hear it through the closed doors. If anyone had been there working, that is.
Based on the signed agreement we had started to strike tents to move to Europe. This is a stressful exercise.
Iain patronized my wife:
Leave out the emotions.
Which did not go down overly well with us.
He came up with an alternative plan: I would get the annual leave as payout instead and additional 3000 AUD would match the original sum.
- Look, Iain: I do not care from which account it comes. Just do it.
He phoned Chris Andrews to confirm. And came back later into my office. There he asked:
Are you happy now?
Check out tha HOD*, man.
* HOD = Head of Department.