Well, my day just opened up in a way I was not at all expecting. As some of you know, when I am not wrangling kids or writing about my crappy sewing skills, I am the assistant editor of a local magazine. It is a job I do part-time, from home, and it nets me just enough money to pay for daycare for my little one and some extra for fabric and high-fat, low-fiber snacks. It keeps my mind nimble and gives me a socially acceptable way to correct other people's grammar.
It has drawbacks, of course, one being that I have to be available one day each month to proof the issue when it comes back from the designers. The problem with this is that though there may be a target date and time for this event to occur, it never quite works out that way. Perhaps we miss deadline by a day, or are even early, and this will cause the proof to come back off schedule. But no matter when it arrives, I have to be ready to sit down with it for 5 or 6 hours and find every mistake possible. And every month, without fail, I have managed to do this. I have hired extra babysitters and involved friends and had my husband take off work, and I have NEVER missed a proof day.
And, I'm just going to go ahead and say this, because it's MY BLOG, dammit: I am the best writer they have, and likely the best editor they have ever had. They are constantly thanking me for my excellent work and for my "dedication" to the magazine. They luurrrrve me.
When I started working for them, the terms of my contract were that I would be paid monthly, and that checks would go out on the 1st of each month. About halfway through the year, as the recession really started to take its toll, they told me and all the other staff that paychecks would have to start going out on the 15th instead. Ad payments were coming in more slowly, and so they were finding they had more money in the coffers mid-month than at the beginning. I understood that, and had no problem with it.
Occasionally, I would find that checks weren't mailed until the 17th, and since our mail system here is slow, that would mean an extra 4 or 5 days without daycare money, but still I was patient and understanding. Until today.
This morning I checked our bank account to discover that we had only $94 to our name. Today is payday for David, but he neglected to tell me that his first paycheck from his new job would come in the mail and not through direct deposit. I had a $54 check from Cafe Press (thanks y'all!) that I could deposit, and that would ensure today's daycare payment woudn't bounce, but then we'd be pretty much shit out of luck for the weekend until his check arrived. But none of this should have been an issue because I should have been paid by now.
So, one week after checks were to have been mailed, I emailed my bosses to say, Hey, guys, what's up? Gee, you know, my check still isn't here, so maybe it got lost in the mail. Do you think you could put a stop on that and cut me another and I'll come pick it up today? Thanks!
Turns out they haven't cut any checks yet for this month and aren't planning to until maybe next week IF money comes through. ("Sorry for the delay!")
Now, I'm not pissed that they haven't sent my money. That is annoying, yes, and inconvenient, sure. BUT TO NOT TELL ME? Were they hoping I just wouldn't notice? That I'm so flush with cash I wouldn't mind waiting an extra week or two? Does my "dedication" not warrant even a brief email?
I actually have a lot of patience, and I try very, very hard to be understanding and accommodating, but when I'm treated with that kind of disregard, it makes me want to throw things.
But, I'm always telling my 3-year-old, "It's okay to be mad, but it's not okay to throw forks at your sister." So, I'm not going to throw things.
I'm going on a mini-strike.
For the next few days, I'm not working. I'm going to sew. I'm going to write crazy humor articles for Quilter's Home and research other mags that accept humor pieces (Did you know that Smithsonian magazine has a humor page? And that apparently they pay, like, $1500 for one piece? And that everything I've read in there so far sucks? THAT is work I should be doing right now.)
One of the things I have been wanting to write about here is that I have a personal goal for this year, one which I haven't really mentioned to anyone out loud. I want to try to quit this job by the end of the year. I want to pursue my own writing and try to find out if I can match the monthly income I am making from the editing work through freelancing. If I can even get 2/3 of what I currently make, that would still work. I have enjoyed the editing work, and I think it has been good experience. But I also think that, within the next 12 months, the Bitchy Stitcher should become a free agent.
But, if I don't get paid, it could happen a lot sooner than that.