Airing Dirty Laundry

for all the world wide web to see

Coming clean November 19, 2007

Filed under: blogging,NaBloPoMo,secrets — airingdirtylaundry @ 12:17 pm

I’ll admit it.  I’ve held back.

I started out on this blogging adventure not knowing how far I’d take it.  How much of myself I’d reveal.  No matter how much you tell about yourself, there’s always that little bit that you’re holding back–whether it’s some deep dark secret or just something from your day-to-day life that’s troubling you.

In a way I’m not myself on the internet.  I’m much more outgoing than I would ever be “in real life”.  I’m normally quiet and shy and reserved, especially around people I’ve never met before. I’m more apt to write what I think online than tell someone face-to-face.  I’m sure a lot of people feel that way.  The facelessness of the internet is almost comforting.  I can be really nice or I can be really mean and can choose not to deal with the repercussions either way.  Make a rude comment on someone’s blog and get 9billion nasty emails or comments in return?  Delete delete delete.  Not that I’ve ever been mean or rude to someone online (at least not intentionally–but the written word can always be interpreted the wrong way by the other party)–just trying to make a point.  In my case, instead of delete delete delete I’d probably cry cry cry.

Anyhow, back to the subject of this post, which I was very quick to stray from . . .

Something’s been on my mind a lot recently and it’s to the point that whenever I think about it I get a tightness in my chest.  And at other times, I blow it off–afraid to think about it too much. So I thought I’d lay it all out there for everyone to read, and maybe that would ease some of the tension.  Or maybe it will make it worse.  Or maybe I’m just writing all of this to fill in a NaBloPoMo obligation for the day and can only talk about my struggle to lose weight so much before it bores even me to tears. 

Mike’s having trouble at work.  Not trouble with the job, not trouble with a co-worker, not trouble getting there on time.  He’s having trouble getting paid. 

He took this job at the beginning of the year.  He’s working for a friend of his family (his father’s second wife’s step-daughter’s husband–draw THAT family tree, why dontcha?) that he’s known for years.  At first it was a dream job for Mike.  Casual dress vs. shirt and tie, 5 minute commute vs. the hour and a half that he had been driving, and working with a product that he understands with very little training.  It’s a small office, the people he works with are great, and all was well.

In March, there was a problem with their paychecks.  No big deal.  It got resolved, and everything was fine.  Sporadically throughout the summer, he wouldn’t get paid on time, maybe a day or two late, but he was led to believe that it was to be expected.  Small company, seasonal ups and downs, waiting for money to be collected from customers so that payroll could be met.  Not a big deal.  We sloughed it off, continued on with our lives. 

Until lately.  Mike is just getting paid (by wire transfer) today–hopefully.  This was his pay that was supposed to be from Friday the 9th–a week and a half late.  This Friday (a holiday for his company) is the next pay day, and he’s at the point where he’s not even expecting that money for at least another week.  Especially since we’ll be gone and he won’t even be there to fight for it.

And if he wouldn’t have fought for it this time, he STILL wouldn’t be getting paid.   If I have a tightness in MY chest, I can only imagine how he feels, going into work each day and having to fight to get compensated for it.

I’m not writing this as some kind of pity party.  It’s not like we’re in dire straits and are going to foreclose on the house or anything like that.  So far we’ve dealt with it.  No paycheck, transfer money from savings over to checking to cover pending payments and checks, and then transfer it back once the paycheck goes in.  It gets frustrating and I struggle with the idea that we’re transferring money from our savings account to cover his paycheck.  But twice in the past month–both times Mike was supposed to get paid–those paychecks bounced, and it was a mad scramble to transfer the money back over and pray that no checks or online payments went through in the meantime. 

Bounced.  Yes, you read it correctly.  His company is sending out checks that bounce.  And if they’re doing that with their employees, imagine what they’re doing with their vendors.  Oh, the stories I could tell you. 

So eventually, whether it’s next week or next month or next year, the time will come when Mike will be forced to find another job.  Whether it’s because he’s fed up over the whole situation (but if he leaves now, how will he get his last paycheck if he’s not there to fight for it?) or whether the company disolves.  Which is sad–the industry they’re in has so much potential.  I can’t help but to think that it’s pure mis-management.

I grew up learning to worry about money.  To watch every penny.  To be afraid to splurge on something.  We certainly weren’t poor by any standards, but we didn’t have a lot and were careful with what we did have.  I’ve gotten away from that feeling–Mike and I are DINKS (dual-income, no kids) and have so many things at our age that our parents didn’t.  And we’ve worked for those things and worked hard.  And in the end, they’re just things.

But now those old fears are coming back to the forefront.  What if he’s out of work and can’t find something else and we have to live off of our savings (which won’t last very long)?  What if we end up having to sue them for back pay and spend the money we do have on lawyers? What if we get to the point where can’t pay our mortgage?  What if . . .?  What if . . .?

And I’ve found that those old fears come back quickly and come back hard and permeate every fiber of my being.  I saved a used piece of aluminum foil yesterday, just like my grandmother does and I have always joked with her about it.

OK, enough for now.   I think I’ve worked myself into a total tizzy and need to calm down.  And I’m probably going to push the publish button and then go throw up.  Because THIS is a little TMI, a little bit too personal.  And if you someday want to refer back to this post and it’s not there any more, well then I’ve deleted it. 

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