I’m facing yet another dental surgery next week. I have long since lost count of how many times I’ve been through this. And because my dental insurance has a maximum annual benefit of $1,000, I am paying most of the $3,000-plus cost out of pocket. I’ve planned for it, saved for it, budgeted for it, but it’s still going to be a hardship.
And now there’s this. For 15 years I have done work as a freelancer for a government contractor in Washington, D.C. They have a very strict pay schedule, issuing checks only on the 15th and 30th of the month. As I write this, it is November 22nd, and I have yet to receive the check that was supposed to have been mailed out to me on the 15th. I kinda need it.Now, it would be one thing if my concern that the check may have been lost in the mail was taken seriously by the company and if my 15 years of service counted for something. But apparently neither of those things is true. I’ve been made to feel like I’m being unreasonable, and they flat out refuse to pay me via direct deposit. I sense this last part may be something of a sore subject for them, because it seems to have prompted my contact in the accounting department to go into a state of radio silence. My last email got no response.
I’ve managed to calm myself down a bit, because I was really distracted earlier and having difficulty tending to the work I need to do for another client, but honestly, I’m furious. To say I feel under-appreciated would be, well, an under-statement.However, I am fond of saying that things tend to work out the way they’re supposed to. I’ve probably needed to move on from this company for a long time, but it’s been easier to stay. I can’t exactly describe it as staying in my comfort zone, because the work is tedious and demanding, but it’s something of a crutch I could depend on and I haven’t been as motivated to replace the income I earn from them as I probably should have been.
Well, that’s officially changed. If I’m not a priority for them, then they sure as hell aren’t a priority for me. Other than the work I do for them — and the hope that I will eventually get paid for it — they provide me with nothing — no benefits, no paid days off. They don’t even take withholding out of my check, meaning I have to figure out to pay the tax bills every year. (And I don’t have the benefit of Donald Trump’s accounting team to help me figure out how to avoid paying taxes.)
But, as the saying goes, this, too, shall pass. My problems are profoundly trivial compared to what others are facing this Thanksgiving week, and I’m not oblivious to that. Nor do I intend to overlook the many things for which I’m thankful, not the least among them the fact that my oldest son is home from Cuba after a year-long deployment, one that began on Thanksgiving Day last year.
So … Keep calm and … Gobble, gobble, y’all.