I had the best day at work today! Everything worked out exactly as planned!
Okay, this is my life we are talking about, so you know the above statement is next to impossible.
I got up early, ate breakfast, packed my lunch and headed to work. I sang in the car to try and whittle down my nerves. I got to my first day on the job and walked around the whole place to get the feel of where things were. Because of my manager brain, I noticed a few red flags: the cleaning towels were filthy, and there was only one sanitizer bucket in the whole place. The cooked chicken was sitting in a pan out in the open, uncovered. The glass case where the pastries were kept didn’t close, so there were huge gaps where bugs and warm air could get in. The owner didn’t ask me to fill out any paperwork or get a copy of my driver’s license or social. That’s fine Hed, not everything is going to be perfect. Eventually you can make suggestions to make this place look great!
The owners left for the day, and I was left with my trainer, who was very nice and knowledgeable. During my down time I cleaned the hell out of things, because I hate standing around and I hate not being busy. Around time for her break she started making a sandwich. “Oh, hey, do we get a discount here by chance?”, I ask her. “No. We used to get 50%, but we bought so much that they got rid of it. We do get a free sandwich during our shift though”.
“That’s pretty cool”, I tell her. “Did they tell you about payday?” she asks me. Now, I know I’ll be paid eventually, so usually when I get a job I wait a few days to ask about paydays, benefits and such. It’s just what I do. “No, not yet”.
“Well, we get paid every other Friday, and we get paid under the table”.
“Yeah, they didn’t tell you that, did they? We get paid in cash. It’s cool on one hand because you know exactly what your pay is going to be every week, but it sucks because you can’t apply for aid or anything if you need it”.
“But what about income tax?”, I ask her. “I haven’t done my income taxes for two years. You don’t get anything. No pay stubs, nothing. It’s like we never even existed. Actually that’s why we hire so many people-there is a lot of turnover because the owners don’t tell you until payday. Some stay, some leave”. I was floored.
Here’s the thing: if you, my lovely readers, get paid on the sly, that’s all well and good. No judgment here, folks. But I don’t swing that way. I want a record of my earnings. I want to work at a legitimate business where everything is on the up and up. There are a million bazillion reasons why I have a problem with this.
Firstly, this means more than likely the owners have no workman’s comp insurance. If I slip and crack my skull open, there is no record that I am an employee and it is out of their hands. Second, I have no paystubs to show a potential landlord or car dealership should I choose to rent a place/buy a car. Third, I like my refund at the end of the year, and I like to pay into my social security for when I retire. Lastly, as a manager, what does it say about my character if I worked at a place like this and then one day tried to get another job? A lot of management places ask for a copy of your salary history to make sure that what you say you have made in the past is true. How would it look to a potential employer if I tell them, “well, I worked at this place for a year but it was under the table”? Plus it just opens up a giant can of worms after that. If the owners aren’t willing to pay their employees properly, what other corners are they cutting? What if there is a dispute one day with my hours and what they pay me? There will literally be no record of it.
I feel like a total douchebag loser. I’m unbelievably disappointed. For once in over a year I was able to puff out my chest and play rock star, and now I have to tell everyone that I don’t have a job anymore. Including all of you. You know I’ve been talking about baby steps but when one letdown happens it’s MONUMENTAL to me. It’s not like I’m at the top of my game and I have something bad happen, I have nothing and still bad things happen. It usually strengthens my resolve to give up.
If you’ve just started reading my blog (hi new followers! Love you!), you may not know that I happen to have a fear of what others think, and I’m constantly worried about it (working on it, by the way). So I tell everyone I have a job and get congrats and kudos from everyone, and now…this. The only difference now I guess is that I now know that I can get a job, and I will get a job. I didn’t feel that way a few months back. I need to dust my shoulders off and find another one (sigh) that will be reputable and legal!