Sunday, August 09, 2015

Economic lesson learned

A giant corporation (business + government) is messing with my household finances.

Nemesis works for one of the most popularly hated corporations. They owe her around a thousand dollars for some vacation time she took months ago. The mismanaging manager (who has since been promoted) neglected to do the final step to pay employees for vacation time which had already been approved. There are apparently 8 other employees in the same position- some owed much more.

When the mismanaging manager was promoted, and couldn't be reminded any more about the vacation pay, Nemesis went to a regional manager to beg for her money. He looked into the situation and said everything was in order, and he doesn't understand why she was never paid. Then while looking into the problem he discovered all the others who were also owed for vacation time (and numerous other employee-harming "oversights")

Seems like it would have then been a simple matter to pay the money that was owed.

But, no.

That was a couple of months ago, at least. The "process" is still ongoing, with phone calls to the head office (to speak one-on-one to the "Big Deals") scheduled next week, to get to the bottom of this problem. But still no estimate of when the money might be paid.

In the meantime, in the real world, bills go unpaid, and no one owed is concerned about the why of it. As much as I try to not get wrapped up in the drama of it all, I find myself irritated. Partly at Nemesis' choice of employer (but it could be worse, she keeps talking about applying at a "public" school), but mostly by people not keeping their end of a deal and starting a domino effect of problems.

But, avoiding corporations doesn't ensure there won't be a problem.

I have mostly avoided corporations for employment, I have almost exclusively worked for small, family businesses. That has it's own dangers.

Years ago, the business I was working for hit hard times. I loaned the owners some money to get over some bumps and then I allowed them to fall behind paying me for my hours worked. Eventually they got 6 weeks behind on my paycheck, and I said I couldn't keep working without pay, so they started trying to catch up. They would pay me out of the register for each day at the end of the day, and would write checks every week or so to catch up on the back pay. I kept careful track of where I stood. When they claimed we were caught up, I am certain they still owed me for a full week of pay. I showed them all the records I had kept, but they disagreed. I never got the money.

(Year later that same business was intimately involved in the complete and utter trainwreck that almost destroyed me, and they tried really hard to destroy my reputation along with my financial life.)

But it isn't only me.

A few years back, Nemesis was working "home health" for a woman. She allowed the woman to owe her for a few weeks' pay. She never got that, either. If I had known what was going on at the time I would have shared my experience with allowing employers to fall behind. Not that I would have been listened to.

If you allow yourself to be owed money, you are best off to consider it a loan and never expect to be repaid. If you can't afford that, don't let anyone owe you- especially not your employer.


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