Friday, November 03, 2006

The Molasses is Solidifying

So this is a short update on my ridiculous payroll situation ... by which I mean the fact that I arrived at Einstein on 9/11/06 (auspicious date I know), was not officially considered here (meaning that I was not officially allow to be paid for my time, but I was stil allowed to work) until 9/18/06 and as off 11/3/06, I have recieved a grand total of one paycheck. Today. Thats one paycheck in six weeks. Had I known that it would take me six weeks to get paid, I would not have taken six weeks off prior to starting here ... but this information was mysteriously non-existant.

Now this is truly no ones fault, or at least no one that I know, and everyone here is working hard to help me out and get me paid as fast as possible. This process is hopefully engednering a gigantic amount of I have gotten advances of some of my salary, which have barely covered my rent while I balloon my credit card bill to ridiculous proportions, thanks to moving expenses and a check that Einstein bounced that spontaneously left my bank account in the red.

So finally, today, I got paid. I even got the direct deposit working, so the money went directly into my bank account. It was miraculous, it was incredible. I danced the dance of joy. I grinned like an idiot at the payroll person told me how much was deposited in my account.

Then I stopped smiling. I was short about half the amount owed me. There mush be something wrong I say. No, you got this much, its all right here. But I have worked here for six weeks and should have earned more than that I say. Not according to our ... oh, wait, yes, I see.

This is good because I don't see and my heart is pounding like I am a blind mouse who accidently wandered into traffic.

She tells me that it is just a minor error, that they saw the total amount they owed me and thought that was the amount for a single paycheck and so charged me taxes on my salary as if I were earning 109,000 dollars a year.

Oh, is that all. A minor oversight. Who in their right mind believes that a post-doc earns 109,000$ a year. Do you even know what the taxes are on $109,000 a year. Its unbelievable, like 45 or 50%, which is about 20-25% more than I should be paying. I am exasperated, depressed, falling from my heights like a deflated Hindenberg, brought down my lack of helium rather than an explosion.

She asks, what about your wife, or do you have a child? Excuse me, I say. Well, in your tax documents it says you claim two dependents, I wasn't sure if you were married or had a child ... she trails off as blood runs out of my face and my fists gently begin a clench that will only end when my carpal bones are broken. I see, she says, okay we can fix that today but the payroll correction will have to wait until you can bring in a payroll stub. She says something else but I don't hear, at the same time dumbfounded and awestruck by the terrific institutional miasma that afflicts everyone in this place when it comes to financial matters.

I tune back in just in time to hear her say, "If you didn't have direct deposit we could do it right now, but since your direct deposit just activated you will have to wait until you recieve you check stub in the mail." She smiles. I wince and slowly walk down stairs.

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