A minor volunteer disaster

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Backroads, Feb 6, 2017.

  1. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    So... I really need some advice on how to approach this and deal with this.

    One of my student's grandmother comes in weekly to volunteer. She's great, really. The other week, she said she was going to run a bunch of advance copies of a tiny workbook that I do weekly in my classroom.

    Displeased with the work it needed to make these at school, unbeknownst to me, she made the copies at the local Staples and presented me with a receipt for over 500$.

    I don't have that much money in my school or personal budget to reimburse her.

    And I really don't need this kind of stress right now.
     
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  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Yikes. It would be tough, but I would just be honest with her and tell her that you can't cover that since she didn't run it by you first. $500 for copies is outrageous. If it were like $10 I'd probably just pay it and tell her to clear that sort of thing with me first in the future, but $500--no way.
     
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  4. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    That is crazy. Either she had no idea that the cost would be that high or ..... What else could it be? But, no way should you be responsible for paying it. What a reckless move on her part.
     
  5. cupcakequeen

    cupcakequeen Comrade

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    Oooh...that's a sticky situation.

    $500 for copies does sound insane. I wonder if she knew how much it was going to cost before they were printed. When I've used staples, they always give me a total cost or at least a per page price up front. I can't imagine they told her it was going to be $500 and it didn't occur to her to clear that kind of thing with you first. I definitely don't think you have any responsibility to pay for it, but perhaps she might have some recourse with Staples if she was not informed of the price up front.

    If she was, then not to sound harsh, but that's her problem. You certainly didn't tell her to go to staples when they could have been done for free at school.
     
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  6. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    It seems she honestly just thought myself or the school would cover it and it would be easier than cutting and stapling on her own. She basically made for the rest of the year, hence the high cost.

    Like, wow, lady.
     
  7. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    I agree that she probably didn't realize it would cost that much. I would just be honest with her and say that you don't have that kind of money in your budget and thank her profusely for what she has done.
     
  8. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I just can't believe that Staples wouldn't have given her an estimate, especially in the print shop where items are customized and non-returnable?
     
  9. Loomistrout

    Loomistrout Devotee

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    It was a communication mistake. In her mind she thinks she is doing you a favor which she did. If no one trains or tells her otherwise she is doing the best she can with skills she brings to the job. The stance, "She should know better", is based on assumption she has a keen understanding of school costs and the source of reimbursement. To make her pay you would have to prove "intent"; she intentionally ran up the bill even though she was instructed not to.
     
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  10. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    So the OP has to cover this cost because the volunteer didn't know how things work? That's not fair at all to the OP. Even someone who doesn't understand the process should balk at a $500 bill. Any reasonable person would have stopped and asked if it was okay to proceed before assuming that it would be okay.
     
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  11. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    To update... it's getting sort out via the school and the budget committee. Which is a relief. She is married to someone on the board, apparently, so has connections.
     
  12. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I'm glad it's getting worked out. What a mess!
     
  13. MetalTeacher

    MetalTeacher Companion

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    I can't imagine being ABLE to just throw $500 at something like that, out of pocket.
     
  14. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    If only I could!
     
  15. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    From now on give her VERY SPECIFIC directions on the jobs she does.
     
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  16. Mr Magoo

    Mr Magoo Comrade

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    .
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2017
  17. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    If that hadn't worked, I would have suggested she write it off on her taxes as a donation to the school, but this is even better.
     
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  18. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    Thank goodness she has connections. I would have refused to pay that out of my school budget or personal account. It's quite ridiculous that she expected you to cover her rogue decision to go elsewhere.
     
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  19. Loomistrout

    Loomistrout Devotee

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    A weeks' copying for $500 should send up a red flag. OP stated copying was for the rest of year or about six months. It is not out of the question a reasonable untrained person, especially if that person has previous work experience where such orders are common and company reimbursed, would find the price not unusual. If the copying is school issue material related to content OP has a case to approach administration, parent club or other organization for reimbursement.

    *** Which I see she has done. Good news!***
     
  20. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    There was no 'order'. This volunteer over-stepped.
     
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  21. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    That's nuts. No way I would pay for any of it out of my own pocket. Glad it got settled. Do people think schools have an unlimited amount of money to pay for things? If they only knew!
     
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