Finding my cojones.
I know that some of you may find this hard to believe, but I sometimes have a hard time standing up for myself (usually in a work/professional capacity). That is why, even though my 45-hour workweek with the S's has slowly crept up to 50, I was still being paid the same amount of money (although they WERE really good about paying me for days off).
We are ending my first week as Part Time Nanny, and as I was leaving last night, I asked Mr. S how we were going to figure out my weekly pay. I assumed that we'd take my previous weekly salary and divide it by how many hours we ORIGINALLY agreed that I'd be working; based on this hourly rate, I would just keep track of my hours and be paid accordingly. Sounds like they had other plans, though. (DISCLAIMER: I honestly don't think that they were setting out to screw me. I think that were just unconsciously resorting to the method that worked out in their favor.)
Anyway, Mr. S told me that Mrs. S was just going to pay me half of my original weekly salary, as I was working half the hours. "So tomorrow, I'll have $x ready for you," he said. (I should say that, now that I'm part time, my hours--and my pay--are all under the table--no taxes being taken out, etc.)
Wait. $X? That was not half of my original weekly salary. That was half of what they were paying me AFTER taxes were taken out. Granted, in this particular case, it was only a lost of about $33--but a lost nonetheless. One that we certainly can't afford right now.
Plus--I realized once I got home and had time to think about it (because of course I didn't have the nerve to say anything to him last night), continuing to be paid just one base amount was only going to lead to trouble again. Sure, it worked out just fine if I worked 20, even 22 hours a week--but what if I ended up staying past my scheduled time a few nights (or even every night, which is what has been happening)? What if that 20-hour week became a 27 or 30 hour week--and I was still getting that same amount? PLUS, they weren't even calculating that base rate correctly, as it was NOT half of my origional weekly salary. I mean, if they weren't going to pay taxes on it, that's fine--but then that extra money should be going to ME, as the taxes were money that were coming out of MY pocket in the first place.
So anyway, I called Mrs S this afternoon (I'm off today) and basically told her that I'd feel more comfortable just using $Y as my hourly rate (I explained to her how I came up with that number) and then just paying me based on how many hours I worked each week. (Novel concept, eh?) She sounded a bit surprised and taken aback, but she said that that was fine with her. (She also alluded to the fact that, if things at the office continued as they have been, she wasn't even going to be working part time anymore--which means, of course, that they wouldn't need me at all.)
SO. This was a VERY long story to explain a pretty simple and straight-forward issue, but I'm so proud of myself that I wanted to revel in it a bit.
(PS--they still haven't paid me the $15 assessed on MY account when THEIR check bounced--but I'm going to have to let that one go. I'm choosing my battles, grasshoppas.)