Friday, November 14, 2008

On Pleading Poverty

*** EDIT *** Under advisement from the Conceit and Sociopathy legal department, I have edited out the name of the payroll company in question. They will be known hereafter as "That Fucking Payroll Company". -CJ



So, thanks to the wonderful folks at the payroll company my employer uses, I am without money this weekend.
Today was supposed to be payday.
The day began as all previous paydays began. I got up fifteen minutes early, followed my usual morning regimen, and headed to the nearby Mac's store, where I grabbed my usual large "Seattle's Best Fair Trade
Organic" coffee. I walked over to the ATM, so I could withdraw money for Grant (our coffee truck driver) in order to settle my tab. Put my card in, told the machine to withdraw "x" amount of money, and...

"THERE ARE INSUFFICIENT FUNDS TO COMPLETE THIS TRANSACTION"

"OK, it's not the end of the world," I thought, "This has happened before. The money will probably be there by the time I get to work. Fucking direct deposit..."
Luckily, I had enough change in my pocket to pay for my coffee. I soon cleared my head of my apparent lack of funds. I got on the bus (with yet another rookie driver), hit PLAY on my iPod, and soon forgot about everything.
I arrived at work five minutes late (again, rookie bus driver), and the first thing anyone said to me was "CJ, did your cheque go through?". I recounted my trouble at the ATM this morning, checked my bank balance online, and soon found that NONE of us got paid today.
I'm a tad miffed at this point, because I realized the problem isn't limited to me and/or my credit union - it's affecting all of us at the branch, and therefore a rather large issue.
When the boss arrived, we informed him of the situation, and he promised to look into the matter when our head office opened up in the next hour. He managed to get ahold of the lady who looks after our payroll and, sure enough, she'd been fielding calls from all our branches. Seems none of our staff nationwide were paid. She told us she was on the blower to That Fucking Payroll Company and hoped to have a definitive answer for us soon.
She called back a little while later. Turns out, our good friends at That Fucking Payroll Company had fucked something up (having the fucking gall to blame Rememberance Day), and our cheques would be deposited either late today or early tomorrow. "Of course," I thought, "this HAD to happen this weekend, of all weekends." This weekend, my credit union is changing their system software, so any transactions will be delayed until Monday or Tuesday, so if my paycheque hadn't cleared by 5pm this afternoon, I would be broke until Tuesday.
Suffice it to say, we were constantly checking our bank accounts this afternoon. By the time we left work at 5pm, none of our cheques had cleared. I don't need to tell you that we weren't exactly thrilled with our pals at That Fucking Payroll Company, or with a certain coworker who loudly proclaimed "This is why you should always have at least a month's salary in the bank at all times, just like me!" - a certain coworker who, I might add, is damn lucky he can run faster than myself, as the smarmy little fucker was about to "meet with an accident".
In a sense, he was right. In theory, always having at least a month's salary in the bank is just sound financial advice. In practice, however, it's not always that easy in this day and age. I've been trying to do just that, which is why I cancelled my high-speed internet and digital cable last month, and liquidated a few pieces of electronic equipment I no longer use. It's an uphill battle some days, but, meh, I'll survive.
So, my credit union has assured me that any NSF or late fees will be reversed, which is a good thing, and my boss lent me $20 for cat food, so my kitties are looked after. No thanks to That Fucking Payroll Company, whose nonchalance in the whole matter ( "Oh, it should be there today or tomorrow. If not, you'll have to wait until Monday. But I can't really give you a definitive answer on that") was not appreciated.
Alright, I know sometimes these electronic glitches happen and sometimes people get screwed. I can understand that. What I DON'T get is why That Fucking Payroll Company chose to lay the blame on Rememberance Day. I mean, our payroll has never (in the fifteen years I've dealt with That Fucking Payroll Company) been affected by holidays before... even when a holiday has occurred in the middle of the week. So why now?
Methinks someone's fucked up royally and is trying to cover their ass. That's what has pissed me off about the whole thing.
Fuck, it's going to be a lean weekend...

sparcipx@sdf.lonestar.org
SDF Public Access UNIX System - http://sdf.lonestar.org