1) The number of classes I was promised went from two every quarter after a probationary quarter to "Well, we never had the budget to have you teach anything more than Swamps 1 and Swamps 2. We haven't offered Bogs 1 in over a decade."
Lesson learned: Get everything in writing.
2) The person who hired me left the institution. I found this out two weeks before I was slated to move across the country. So, all the assurances and things I were told mean absolutely nothing.
Lesson learned: People leave institutions all the time and the promises they made to you have absolutely no meaning when they are no longer at the institution.
3) New Chair knows very little about technology. When I asked how to use Shiny, Expensive Room Technology, New Chair giggled and said, "Oh, even I don't know how to use it! We have training on that after the Fall term." That's right, I can learn how to use Shiny after my entire first quarter. Thanks New Chair.
Lesson learned: Find someone else to teach you.
4) New Chair also stole credit from me. I learned how to code some new and fancy stuff in the LMS by spending a few hours online reading tutorials and watching YouTube videos from other universities. Trying to be Good New Hire, I showed New Chair these resources during a paperwork/meet and greet meeting. One day later, in a mass email I received from the Dean, I see an email exchange at the bottom between Dean and New Chair, where New Chair takes credit for "finding such a great resource" and the Dean thanks New Chair for "being such an innovator with the LMS."
Lesson learned: Email everything to create a paper trail. Showing it in the office only lets someone else take credit for your research and hard work.
5) This place is so unprofessional it makes my teeth hurt. I find out that my next term class may be canceled due to low enrollment in the form of a mass email send to all the adjuncts in the department. Hey, at least I know Johnson's class can't be canceled because of access issues and that Caruth's class has a waitlist. Thank you for humiliating me by name in this mass email saying that "You have to make sure all your Swamps 1 students sign up for Swamps 2 or we'll be canceling your class."
Lesson learned: You can be treated inhumanely and humiliated even after only a few weeks on the job.
6) I don't have a key to the building, so when the Early Bird who usually comes to unlock the building does not happen to come on time or to be out of town, I have to wait for up to an hour in my car for the office staff to arrive.
Lesson learned: Don't be more professional than your institution.
7) I was informed that I have to attend a five hour training meeting. Dean has not answered whether or not I have to attend it, or if I'll be paid to attend it. I checked my contract. It doesn't say shit about training meetings, and I'm not sitting through five hours of bullshit for a job that does not seem like it wants to keep me, despite three different staff/faculty saying "I hope we can keep you as permanent, full-time faculty!" (Is that this coast's way of saying "Let's do lunch"?)
Lesson learned: People will ignore your emails.
It's looking like I will be let go after this term. No job. Nothing else is nearby enough that is hiring in my field. I was sold a bill of goods, and everything Old Chair promised ("I can guarantee you'll have at least X students for your Swamps 1 class, and we haven't canceled a class due to low enrollment the entire time I've been here!") seems more and more like a blatant lie to get me in the door.
My other job treated adjuncts humanely. If there was any possibility that you wouldn't be kept for budgetary reasons, the Chair would personally meet with you. He got teary when I said I wasn't going to wait for the budget situation to resolve. I guess I thought that other departments would treat me humanely as well.
I pour the little remnants of my soul into the few students that I do have in Swamps 1. I'm putting way more hours into this job and the prep for this job than the salary is worth. I'd quit, but these students have a genuine interest in Swamps, and it's refreshing.
To top it off, Other Half and I are having serious relationship issues, to the point where it was suggested that maybe it would be better if I moved out. I take a job far away from any professional and personal network, and I am met with a dying relationship. I'm not even making enough money at this gig to get a studio apartment. I just have to survive until the end of the term and try to either a) find another job in town, b) move back to my old job/city and scrounge, c) ask my parents for help. I don't want to do a, b, or c. I just want the reason I completely shook up my life to not be falling apart. I'm hoping it's the stress of finally living together after a decade of weekend trips and between term breaks, but perhaps it was irrevocably broken before this move and I refused to see it. Academia destroys everything that is beautiful in this world.
Perhaps a mod or long time reader could help me out with this. There was a post on RYS where a writer was going through the tenure year and getting divorced and wrote about how much s/he missed his/her best friend. It was something that stuck with me, how academia can be so all consuming that when you look up you realized you let everything else that was truly important fall apart.