ARE sign-off and negative comments


After reading some negative comments from a previous employer on my  hours sign-off, It occurred to me that there's no recourse for interns in such situations, nor is there the opportunity for interns to formally comment on employers or mentors (unless I'm mistaken, I'm new to this).  The reality is that my employer was a nightmare, with more than half the staff leaving over the last year, and my former boss is a petty tyrant who still can't take responsibility for any of it. Sorry.  I thought I had put this all behind me. 

Has anybody here ever approached their local association to complain or address such an issue?  Not that it would matter, seeing how same boss is a board member of the local association, but I'm curious.

Jun 24, 13 1:25 am

This is exactly the "least professional of the professions" bullshit I allude to and why it torques me.  The proof in the pudding is the turnover.  Those kinds of numbers don't lie.

Do you have an outside IDP mentor?  Is there a general IDP sponsor for your area?  I would call NCARB if you can't get anywhere with the local chapter, after trying your IDP mentor or external area coordinator.

Also, do you have any previous reports from this employer that were different in their tone?  Do you have reports from other employers which were favorable? Here's why I say that.  I reported every 3 months and, in addition to hours, there were areas where they would check off various aspects of your competence and professionalism.  At two employers, these proceeded just fine, with check boxes in the "right" places, but, upon giving notice and with a last IDP report to be filled out, they checked the "less than" box on professionalism when they had checked "fine" or "more than" on earlier reports.  Parts are parts, and hours are hours, so I still got the credit, and you should too.  I'm sure NCARB knows how many pricks there are in practice who abuse and are spiteful toward interns trying to get ahead.  IDP needs to be shelved and we need to go back to a flat time internship system.

I wish you the best.  Tread lightly, but tread.  And, in the future, report frequently to avoid this, if you are still accumulating time.

Jun 24, 13 1:46 am
And, as advice to you and other interns in the future, when you realize things are going to be bad at a job, cut and run as soon as possible.
Jun 24, 13 10:13 am

Really? That ex boss is such a fucking loser (excuse my french). Actually I never knew they could do that. This is why architecture is such a rotten profession - because of horrible people who think they are in charge of weeding the waste from the system.

Jun 24, 13 10:22 am

oh, there's recourse; put their name on here, or email it to me and i'll give them a call.

Jun 24, 13 11:07 am

intern union! 

Any licensure process requires "due process"  Seems your right to due process was violated.  Take it up with the Department of labor. 

Jun 24, 13 11:44 am

hmmm....can you quote some of the 'negative' remarks? I'm really curious what he had to say and how relevant it is to your IDP completion!

Jun 24, 13 11:47 am

By hours I am assuming you mean IDP?  since IDP is a state sanctioned mandate, it is subject to 14th amendment protections.  The hours are your property interest....and you are being unfairly denied property without due process..

Jun 24, 13 11:59 am

And, as advice to you and other interns in the future, when you realize things are going to be bad at a job, cut and run as soon as possible.

I agree.  When times were better, if it looked like it was going to be a lemon, it was probably better to walk way, and have nothing on the resume as if "still looking," than a short tenure with a horrible firm.

I still think the hours are yours as credit, despite what he wrote.  The hours are real.  His subjectivity is not.  Also, there is probably a pattern of this person doing this to other people in their IDP reports.  That ought to be investigated.  Can you talk to previous interns?

IDP needs to go!

Jun 24, 13 12:22 pm

i'd sue the bastard for libel. do it in small claims, that way, if the prick tries to blow it off, you can get a lien against his property, when the judgement is in your favor.

Jun 24, 13 12:30 pm

just to clarify a point here, which may have already been addressed:

is there any actual down side to having a negative comment on your record?  were you denied credit for the hours, or did you face a hardship in some other way?  I'm pretty sure that record isn't public, so future employers won't be making decisions based on that guy's statement.

if it's just some guy putting down a negative comment or unfavorably checking a box, and you don't have any specific (financial) hardship because of that, i don't think there is really much of a reason for you to dispute it.  also, i'm pretty sure it's not going to be covered by the US constitution.

too bad that website went down.

Jun 24, 13 1:51 pm

curtkram is right.  Unless you can show actual damages (loss of hours credit, delay in licensure, better pay in new position, etc.) there isn't the basis of a lawsuit.

I guess the lesson is to get your hours signed off before quitting.  A lot of employers (any line of work) take it personally when someone leaves, even though they are amazed when a fired employee also takes it personally.  Rank has its privileges.  One more reason not to work for someone else if you can help it.

Jun 24, 13 2:25 pm

Isn't the 2 week about face that occurs in employer-employee relations upon resignation just amazing?  It seems to be the worst in architecture, and they can get real PISSY, reflecting the lack of professionalism in some offices.  I had a friend who went to law school and went to a slick high rise firm in DT L.A.  She put in some 3 years.  They were very gracious when she resigned, and took her to lunch and also bought her a nice leather work case. I would find law boring.  However, look at how they go about it.  You go to law school, you take the bar exam late in the summer after school ends, and, voila, you're a lawyer who can be admitted to the bar.  There are no internship forms.  Your value then comes from your experience gained in practicing law.  With IDP, architects are clearly in LAST place when it comes to the process for obtaining professional certification.

Jun 24, 13 3:01 pm

curtkram is correct...I was under the impression that the hours were rejected based on these negative comments, but if not then there is probably no legal recourse...

If however they were, then yes, you would be protected under the constitution.  Due process is not only about criminal due process, it applies to property and workers rights as well.  Especially when the state is involved in any way like with IDP. 

Jun 24, 13 3:11 pm

I think this might be much ado about nothing.  I hope it is.

I'm sure they see this at NCARB.  It's NCARB that logs hours and keeps IDP records, not the state boards.  NCARB then transmits the file to the state board.

At any rate, I think NCARB would contact someone if there was a question.  And the intern could then explain their situation.  If there is a precedent that this employer does this, then they might overlook it.  This is a situation that could be remedied, or should be, with some minor correspondence, if it came to that.  The OP has not weighed in with additional information.

This employer might be a part of the local "good ole boy" network, but he should not be able to put unfair practices through NCARB, which is located in Washington DC.  I don't know where CACB sits, if the OP is Canadian.

Jun 24, 13 3:52 pm

Wow, so many comments.  I see my ire was not out of place.

I have no reason to believe that my hours won't be counted.  If I'm contacted about what happened, I will be honest.  I've since moved on to a great firm where I get all the support and responsibility I was hoping for. 

I feel like I've given too many details, so I won't be divulging too much more, except to say that I'm in Canada (no 'constitutional rights'). I still have to show everything to my mentor. I'd prefer to take the high road in all of this - nobody should be immune from critique or criticism, I can take it.  But I was unfairly criticized, there is no doubt, and my current employment situation is proof that I should have left long before things got as bad as they did.

curtkram, we see eye to eye on this.  I was mostly just tiredly venting and though that others must have been through a similar scenario.  I'm not crying over it, I got my hours signed. Good riddance.

Jun 24, 13 4:21 pm

We thought the issue was that the counting of the hours.  Evidently, they will be counted.  It's the comments that were an irritant to you.  Understood.  And, no, you didn't provide that much information at all.  We just know you're interning somewhere in Canada where your past employer is a mucky muck of sorts and that's about it.  Glad that's over with.  I, too, had an issue where every 3 months I'd be ranked as "above" on professional attributes and the final report to be submitted came in as "below" once I had given notice, as if it was a last jab of sorts.

Jun 24, 13 4:52 pm

there are few things that truly unite architects from all sorts of different backgrounds.  universal hatred of NCARB is one of those things.  i don't know much about the Canadian equivalent though.

Jun 24, 13 5:05 pm

In this case, it's more the employer that is a problem than it is NCARB, though the latter's mission is misguided in my opinion.  The lack of uniformity among state licensing requirements AND IDP is a clusterfuck.  Also, the pettiness in filling out forms like these, and inserting these kinds of comments, show how some practitioners are more like catty teenage girls than they are grown men and women.

Jun 24, 13 6:25 pm


what a stupid system it is.  

Jun 24, 13 6:58 pm

AFAIK, we actually use the same experience forms - I can write the NCARBs if I want, which would give me reciprocity with the U.S.  Also have the option of writing a Canadian version, which is 4 (longer) tests.

And yes, it's a dumb, top-down-only system.  I know I've got to put in my time (I'm not a kid by any means).  I've been through an unrelated apprenticeship before, and perhaps I had a great teacher, but I loved the experience and I did very very well, very very fast.  The fact that this architecture system is 98% hands-off, and yet employers and mentors (who you might see for 10 minutes every 6 months) feel that they can assess you so completely is madness.

Jun 25, 13 11:00 pm

Yes, the NCARB and the CACB are simpatico, and we're sort of set up for reciprocity, if needed.  In the book I once had called "Architecture Schools in North America" to research schools, the U.S. and Canadian programs were fully described in a few pages devoted to each.  It's probably in a box somewhere.

Jun 25, 13 11:47 pm

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