letter N

letter to ASM for deliquent paychecks

In response to the fact that the apprentices of this class did not get paid on the official payday, Friday, July 22, we have written a collective letter to hold After School Matters accountable to this issue:

* * * * * *
Monday, July 25, 2005

After School Matters:

Despite what you may assume, based upon our age range, we – the students of this apprenticeship program – all need this job and our paychecks to be on time as much as the next person. Some of us have children of our own to feed and most of us have responsibilities beyond ourselves: phone, gas and electric bills, rent, younger brothers and sisters, unemployed parents. A few of us, in fact, are the primary wage earners in our household. We’d appreciate it if you would read through this letter in its entirety and if you responded to us with a formal letter and public apology. Someone must be held accountable for this unfortunate happenstance.

“Not getting paid on Friday, really affected me because I wanted to go home with my first paycheck and buy some things that I really needed but instead someone got lazy on their job. I do my job at work, and if I don't I would be reported and fired, but if someone downtown doesn't do their job it is considered a minor inconvenience. Minor inconvenience; not getting paid is not a minor situation. If it is so important that I do my job shouldn't it also be important for someone, especially someone working with people's pay checks, to do their job. And shouldn't they be fired for not doing their job just like they would with any other person? I think so.”

“We didn’t get paid; that’s messed up because we worked for 3 weeks. I have bills to pay and have been trying to buy a present for someone very special to me; now I have to wait even longer to show my appreciation for this person; even if I was not working here, I would have taken this other job that was offered to me. If I would have known that this was going to happen, I would have taken the other job. I could have done what I had to do much easier and faster. I felt mad about not getting my paycheck on Friday because I have been coming to work early and doing my work. We’re doing our job, waking up early and doing our work, and they ain’t doing theirs.”

“I, Dezivikka Vasaquez, was affected in many ways from not receiving my check. For one, I have a one year old child. I need to have money in my pocket for emergency situations. Friday night my son ran a fever. To prevent it from getting worse, before seeking medical attention, I had to buy Tylenol. Luckily for him, I had foster parents who had spare change and we bought him some. But as a mother I should be able to be there emotionally, as well as financially for my son. One day this weekend I actually had to borrow money from my son's piggy bank so to get money for transportation to my foster family’s house. And today, my group home didn't even give me bus fare to get to work/ school. I was also no able to go out on Friday night, a reward I often give myself for making it through the week. A lot of plans were canceled and my son wasn't able to get to go to the movies. We all worked hard for our money; we’ve all got priorities and responsibilities to take care of. At the same time, we also want to thank you for providing us with the opportunity for us to learn web design. It has been a great experience. It also helps us maintain a productive schedule.”

“I needed clothes; I had plans on Friday to go to the mall and buy myself some clothes. This paycheck situation is some bullshit; that just wasn’t right. Everyone’s plans for the weekend were ruined, plus people have bills to pay. I was also angry at the fact that when I went to the mall with my dad, I saw all these nice clothes and wanted them.”

“I think it was messed up that we didn't get our checks the day that we were supposed to. I had plans to buy myself a cell phone and some shoes and clothes but now I have to cancel my plans because some loser doesn’t know how to do their job. I don’t think that this is right at all.”

“I needed this paycheck. It did make me mad when I was told that I would not be paid Friday. I felt cheated and used. There currently are no working members in my household. My mom cannot stand on her feet due to a recent operation, and my step-father is too old to work. And I am tired of having nothing to put in my parents' hands when they're out. I need to help put some food on our table and keep our lights on. The check being late by just a few days could not really pose a serious problem, but don't promise me a check a certain day and not follow through with it. That’s the principle of the whole situation. Whoever was responsible for handling all of the paperwork should have been doing their job, just like ASM would want us to stay on task and work hard. There was a certain deadline that that a person had to meet and I know that whoever they are, that they are not being paid to not do their job right and not meet deadlines. I don't know everyone else's problems that arose from not being paid, but I'm sure that someone has worse problems than me. Whoever handled the paperwork must acknowledge that we are not a bunch of little kids looking for some money to spend, but responsible adults who have bills to pay and families to support.”

”Because of After School Matters we didn’t get paid. I needed to pay a debt; luckily someone else allowed me to earn some quick money; if it wasn’t for that I would have been in some trouble. I got mad when we didn’t get paid on time because this is a job, and I am working. The teachers got paid and we didn’t.”

“I have two kids to feed. I did not have enough money to feed them. I do not have food stamps and DCFS is not helping me anymore, so it is hard for me to feed my kids. My kids need diapers so, because I did not get paid, I had to ask somebody for money this weekend. People do have lives and we do need money to buy stuff like food and clothes for my kids and pay for daycare so I can came here and worked. So think about that – I bet you got paid and enjoyed your weekend.”

I hope that when you receive this you are in the best of health and spirits. We look forward to hearing back from you and are anxious to hear what you all have to say for yourselves. Please respond in a timely manner.

With Both Concern and Gratitude,


The Region Two Web Design Apprenticeship Program,
at Dr. Pedro Albizu-Campos Alternative High School
letter N

(no subject)

This journal is for the Web Design Apprenticeship program at Dr. Pedro Albizu-Campos High School in Chicago. This journal will be used for announcements and discussion of the class projects.

Every morning, students complete a writing assignment, usually in the form of a question. You can view their responses by clicking on the "Friends" link on the left of this page.