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"...another reason I'm intrigued with the hanged of Salem, especially the women, is that a number of them aroused suspicion in the first place because they were financially independent, or sharp-tongued, or kept to themselves. In other words, they were killed off for the same sort of life I live right now but with longer skirts and fewer cable channels." Sarah Vowell, The partly cloudy patriot.


Feeling a bit guilty...

Yesterday when I arrived at my joblet, my supervisor asked if I could work saturday (today), sunday, monday, tuesday, wednesday, thursday, friday, and then again next weekend. When he asked that, I just became overwhelmed and almost began crying. Although I need the money, I did have plans and was looking forward to them (just plans to do crafty stuff, sleep, watch george stephanopolous, etc., but still). I also became overwhelmed at the prospect of working all day every day still with no money and no idea when I would get paid.

I emailed him a little later and told him I wanted to be flexible and helpful, but in the absence of any idea whatsoever as to when I would get paid, that was hard both because it was making me anxious, thus making it hard to concentrate, and also because it costs money to come into work every day. I asked him if he could just please help me in getting the payroll person to simply give us a paydate sometimes that day.

So, he took that to mean that I was basically saying until I got paid, I wouldn't work. Although I'm sorry he took it as such, he did actually finally put some pressure on people, and I will likely get paid next friday. I was pretty pissed off for a couple reasons:
1. they needed me to give them my social security card - which I don't carry with me - and I was frustrated they couldn't have told me that earlier so I could have brought it in;
2. the person who was on vacation - and thus apparently holding up my pay - was the same person I talked to 3 weeks ago and who had me come in and do all the paperwork initially.
3. she is also the same person who - three weeks ago - told me that if i wasn't paid last week, she'd put in a request for me to get paid that same week.
4. she told me yesterday that it typically took 3.5 weeks to get the first paycheck here - well, why didn't she just tell me that to begin with? I could have made plans and could have adjusted to that - but instead, I felt mislead and it made me frantic. And in the meantime, I ahve been beating myself up for a frivolous $2.50 I spent on something I didn't need, and which I bought because I thought I was getting paid soon. Ridiculous.

So, later on my lunch I was reading the new york times, and I showed my supervisor a picture of a man in china trying to get onto a crowded train by climbing in the window. My supervisor said, "See, things could be much worse."

I almost started crying. I know things could be much worse - I'm pretty well in touch with the fact that people in the world have it much harder than I do. On the other hand, things are pretty not good for me right now too. One thing I have learned from being a shrink is that you never really know how hard anyone has it until you really listen. People tend to keep their hardships hidden - thus it is not useful to make suppositions about peoples' lives from external impressions.

And, I would point out I am not frantic about money because I want to buy clothes or anything superfluous - I am frantic about money so I can buy groceries, pay bills, get my phone turned back on, pay rent ....

sometimes I hate people.


At 11:04 PM, Blogger BrightStar said...

This totally bites. You have every right to require payment before you work overtime. It frustrates me that people are casting this as you being demanding or something! You need the funds for basic necessities! I am so sorry that these people are being unreasonable.

At 3:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's fair for you to know when you will be paid. Hope you don't have to wait too much longer!

- grad007

At 11:49 AM, Blogger Ianqui said...

I could repeat it a million times: you have every right in the world to demand your paycheck. Demand it every day until they're so sick of you that they just cut a rush check, even. In fact, often universities have a system where a rush paycheck CAN be cut, because lots of people need them right away. DO NOT feel bad about this. Don't feel bad about putting on pressure. This happens every year to people at XU, and the ones who get the situations resolved are the ones who ask about the status everyday. You have every right to do that.

At 8:14 PM, Blogger Inside the Philosophy Factory said...

3.5 weeks is pretty long for a typical wait to get a first paycheck. As long as I've been around, that is the longest time it should take -- if you start right at the beginning of a new pay cycle... but, most people start someplace in the middle and don't have to wait that long.

I'm glad you got it settled, but it is too bad they are trying to make you feel guilty when you shouldn't.


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