Thursday, June 30, 2005

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.)


jevanking™ said...

I think thats a wise decision. Not to mention, you aren't paying taxes. It's essentially half of what you were making.

Anna said...

Oh, my friend, this topic is just TOO FITTING for me right now, too.

#1. I am VERY happy and so Proud of you for standing up for yourself! WooHoo!!! And because I got here first, I get to be the first to say “You GO girl!”

#2. I need some cojones, myself. It’s a different situation- friends not work, guilt not money. I really don’t want to drive 30 hours this weekend to spend 36 hours with a couple of friends I’ll see at the end of the month anyway. Makes sense, no? Well, then you haven’t talked to my friend. (Be nice, she’s been my best friend since 8th grade) Sigh. I have to tell everyone I’m not going but I just don’t know how at this point. Sigh again.

But still very happy for YOU!!! :)

SparkyDiva said...

YOU GO GIRL! its one thing to borrow the cojones from the nearest man when you need them. its QUITE ANOTHER to have set of your own...

pretty lady + her own cojones =
pretty lady spending LOTS of nights alone :o)


Anna said...

OK, the first part of Sparky's comment seemed good.
The last part? Questionable to possibly not so good. What's this alone-ness?

Jen said...

I think she was making a sexual reference, Anna, to the fact that, with my own cojones, I wouldn't NEED a man.

And Anna--are you saying that you are NOT going to MN for the 4th now?? That's new.

LocuTus of Borg said...

Never understood that word cojones ... but great for you Jen!! You should stand up for yourself because no one else is going to. Really in the end, people respect you more for being assertive with them and telling them what your needs are.

Jen said...

Spanish for "balls," LoB. (The literal translation may be "testicles" or something; I got a D+ in Spanish and only because the prof felt sorry for me.)

keesh said...

I can attest to the fact that Jen has NO PROBLEM standing up for herself, but when it comes to money and employers it must be different, so I am proud of you but still upset with you. I will not disclose why I upset with Jen because I still love her and don't want to hurt her feelings, but she knows.....I am proud of you for this though, I know it has been bugging you.

Jen said...

I'm still not talking to you either, Kish.


Nik said...

Yeah Jen, glad you stood up for yourself and even if they want to be jerks about it, you at least spoke your mind (to an extent) and let them know that you aren't going to be taken advantage of. I know you love the family and all, but they need to be fair and realize that their children are well taken care of by you and if they can't appreciate that and pay you properly then to hell with them.
Kish/Jen, do tell!! lol

Anna said...

I'm not going to MN for the 4th. Tim & I will go somewhere closer and more relaxed with less driving.

And ALL my friends were SO nice and understanding and cool about it that I don't even deserve them. I thought they'd give me some crap but Nothin' but Love! They are the Bestestest!

What's up b/t Jen & Kish? Dramadramadrama!

Jen said...

I just had another $10 tacked onto my account from the Overdraw of 2005, so now I'm gonna have to say something to them. Having worked just part time this week, this is $25 that I could REALLY use right now. (I am so poor.) Especially after my Eye Doctor Fiasco yesterday.

Anna said...

Go get your $25!
The kid on Better Off Dead went nuts for $2 - For $25 you should be stalking these people! ;)

Renee said...

LOL Anna.

Jen, I'm so proud of you for standing up for yourself!!

Anna, I'm glad all your friends were so understanding and you got to have a guilt-free 4th :-)

Anna said...

We had a lovely weekend camping in the Upper Peninsula. We saw water falls, went to new places, experienced Makinac Island and had a great weekend :)
Good choice!