Now I have a personal bone to pick with U.S. Fencing. This comes as a result of realizing that I’m not getting paid for Anaheim Summer Nationals.
I was never told by anyone tied to the organization (of course), they don’t have the balls to do that, but I’m guessing that they don’t even realize that they owe me for working five days of that event because their management, accounting, bookkeeping, and communication has been and always will be substandard. Let me ask you how it is that they accept my commitment to work for them, pay for my airfare, attempt to reserve a room for me (I didn’t have a room when I arrived), assign me work as a referee and mentor every day for five days, and decide that they don’t owe me anything for my time?
I discovered when I arrived in Anaheim (from other disgruntled referees present) that we weren’t going to leave with a check in hand as we had at all the other events that season, a precedent that the organization had set by example at every event all season long. On the last day of any given National event, we received a check for honorarium on our last day of work before we left the venue. The only reason to submit a reimbursement form was for “out of pocket expenses”. Apparently there was an email circulated that addressed this very issue; however, I never received this communication. Nor did I ever receive any communication regarding the apparent change in policy regarding the necessity to submit a reimbursement for honorarium. Although I’m confused as to why one would need to submit a reimbursement form for daily pay when one is not “reimbursed” for services rendered, only for expenses incurred that need to be settled via “reimbursement”.
But maybe I ain’t so good with englush…
I looked into my lack of a check by way of asking a friend that is employed by U.S. Fencing if she could find out why I was never paid, and I mentioned that I had never received a check for out of pocket expenses either and that I would look for a copy or receipt-confirmation-email of the reimbursement form from Amanda. After waiting about a month to receive any communication, I sent her an email reminding her of my request. I finally received a reply stating that they had no record of receiving an out of pocket expense reimbursement. I reiterated that “out of pocket” was not my original concern, and clarified that I was trying to find out why I had not been paid for my work. The response I received to my clarification stated, “The SN expense form had a field to indicate honorarium and per diem; this is what the checks were based on.” So again, not only the inability to state factually that they had no intention of paying me, but also that there had been a policy change that affects all officials for a specific event (that I had not been notified of). So I had to surmise that they didn’t intend to pay me, without anyone having to address me personally to say so. Does this sound familiar to you? How many times have you heard from someone else that things were very different what you expected, someone other than the organization? It’s sounds caustic to refer to U.S. Fencing as an “organization”.
Reference my last blog where I state, “This is another thing that’s typical of U.S. Fencing – the inability to contact everyone affected by any given change.” This is exactly the reason I have to spend my own time researching reasons for non-payment when as far as I’m aware – nothing has changed! Wouldn’t it be nice if FOR ONCE the organization was fucking pro-active?!
Granted, the current administration isn’t responsible for this “oversight”, however they inherited ALL of the existing circumstances. Yes, ALL OF THEM. And… they knew full well what they were getting into. It’s only been about twenty years of goddamn mismanagement!
Yes, the USOC should step in and take over fencing, like they did with handball. Then we will only have two events a year – qualifiers, and Nationals and that’s it, and at least I’ll know what’s on my schedule, AND AT LEAST I’LL GET PAID!
Oh, and by the way… I’ll be on the phone to my attorney regarding my lack of pay, and I’m pretty sure it will cost them much more than the $500 or so they owe me to try and defend a case that they can’t prove/or win.
Think about it, they’ll have to produce emails or other documents (that don’t exist) to prove that they notified me (and everyone) that everything had changed for this one event at the end of the season, and that now I had to submit a form that doesn’t exist in order to get paid for work that they have a record of, and can’t deny. Because there were only about 200 people that saw me there, working as I always do, and always have at every National event for the past ten years…