Sunday, 1 April 2007

Still alive and kickin'!!!!!

Gosh it's been a while hasn't it? I'm really sorry cos I know some of you stop in really regularly to check on what disasters have befallen me lately but I've had so many things taking my focus elsewhere this week. I'll elaborate but before I do, thank you to those of you (you know who you are) who've emailed me to see how I'm doing. I really appreciate the support - it's so cool to know that there are so many people who care even though I've never even met some of you!

Well, we'll start with the whole job thing which has been the biggest distraction this week. As predicted, I didn't get paid on Friday when I was supposed to and upon ringing their payroll lady she didn't even read the email and invoice I sent her! Then when she did read it she questioned the hourly rate as the business manager who I had my meeting with a couple of weeks ago hadn't even mentioned it to her (and I suspect wasn't ever planning to) so she would not pay the invoice as the business manager was on a day off and she would have to authorise it. So I ring said business manager on her mobile to ask if she could ring the office and authorise my invoice so I could be paid like everybody else. She said she was off sick and was handing it over to the accountant to deal with as she was in charge of the financial restructuring of the company (and in charge of shafting too it would seem!). SO ring the accountant and she very kindly asks for "my version of events" as she's spoken to the business mananger and I get the impression she's been given what seems to have been not a nearly detailed enough explanation of said business manager's f*#k up. The accountant's take on the situation is that the business manager wouldn't have made and had no authority to make any kind of deal with me (even though that's exactly what we had the meeting for and business manager (BM for short and she knew beforehand that I wanted to meet to negotiate a new pay structure). So from the company's point of view they are not going to honour any arrangements made with the BM as she supposedly didn't have the authority to make any arrangements (wish someone had told me that!). This is in spite of the BM knowing in advance that I was going to be asking for an hourly rate payscale, that she agreed to a meeting with me, herself, the owner of the company and the new inhouse typist they hired so we could discuss that (although the owner only popped in for a minute to say hello, giving me the impression he knew what was going on, was happy enough and left us to sort it out), even though at the meeting she seemed very happy with my quoted prices and said she would just get the owner to sign off and email me the contract and that she confirmed that she did want me to continue working from the next day forward with the workload they asked me to cover. I'm sorry but to me it all sounded like the meeting was a formality to put numbers on the table so they would know exactly how much per hour I was asking for. It didn't strike me as a meeting where I was dropping some kind of bombshell on them that they hadn't expected. Regular readers know that I got worried a week later when the BM had not apparently even shown the owner the figures I had given her, and when I queried whether the hourly rate arrangement would stand from the day following our meeting she had said yes, but that if there was "a problem" we'd need to use the old piece rate scale - the difference is more than double the amount per week and if she had said that originally then I would have refused to work for them until it was all ironed out. So I subbed an invoice early because sure enough she came back to me on Monday, before invoices were supposed to be submitted, and said they would not be able to offer anything but the old piece rates, I guess so I would submit an invoice for the old rates for the whole fortnight which does not cut the grass with me! So now it seems I'm in for a dogfight over the money because the company are now saying that any arrangement I made doesn't count because it was verbal and not written, and that the person I met with had no authority to make any such arrangements. The accountant even had the balls to suggest that I should have waited for a written invoice BEFORE I did any more work from them. She even tried to get me to resubmit an invoice for the fortnight at the old piece rates and then said we could haggle over the rest after they paid the lower priced invoice. Apparently that would mean that I would have waived my right to argue the higher priced invoice as I would have supplied a more recent invoice and that would be the one that counts legally. The old invoice would then be superceded and they wouldn't have to pay it. From what I've read about small business law so far this week I think I'm in the right - it seems that at the worst they've knowingly grossly abused the situation to benefit themselves and at best they've misrepresented themselves and been deceptive about the whole process. The accountant tried to say that obviously it was all just a miscommunication problem and that they just wouldn't be paying me the hourly rate part of the invoice. I have a phone call to make tomorrow to the Small Claims Tribunal to see if this situation is covered by them. Apparently because I offered to work six days per week for the first month to gauge workload - which is what the company wanted and the BM agreed to - I may even be able to claim for lost income for that one month period as well. We'll see. It would be good if that happened although I have no idea how long it takes, because we're going to have to really scratch and scrape while this mess is sorted out and I still don't really have much in the way of paying work. The upside is that one of the doctors I rang on Friday to ask for a reference from was really lovely and they have all been told some really oversimplified story about how I quit with no warning when the company wouldn't agree to my pay request. They neglected to mention to the doctors how they wanted me to work for less than $7 an hour but I made sure they understood how it went down and two of the doctors have offered to write me amazingly glowing references because they're not happy about it all either. So who knows where that will lead.....

Another thing that's taken me away from the blogworld this week has been the opening of the shop. Cass and I (now that I don't have a day job anymore) are working Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at the shop, usually from about 9.00-9.30am until 2.30pm when we have to go pick up kidlets. It's been lots of fun and I've learned how to use a computerised cash register system which is something I've never done before. I've also been picking and packing orders and talking to customers about products and designing classes. The classes will start after Easter and will cater from scrapping virgins who have never even picked up a photo tab before, right through to more advanced classes. We're in wonderful company with Ngaire Bartlam and Ali Stafford also teaching at the shop in the coming month or two. We have an online chat in the live chatroom at the Cyberscraps website on Tuesday with Marah Johnson herself (v.exciting!!!) so I've got to write myself some serious sticky notes so I won't forget! Come and join in if you've got any time free! We're still fine tuning some of the classes to work out demand for what kind of classes and on what days and Cass and I really want to get it right because while we get paid for teaching classes we're working voluntarily in the shop at the moment but how nice would it be to have the shop so successful that our nice lady boss could offer us even a base amount each week to work in the store. I'd be happy enough with that as it doesn't really feel like work and I'd rather be working in the shop than typing any day. Don't get me wrong, I do like to type but when there's no work there has to be something else to replace that lost income.

On the home front the kids have been better this week although Caeligh has left a path of destruction through the house, from broken wine glasses and plates right through to shaking a bottle of liquid paper all over my bedroom floor yesterday (I wish I didn't have to wee so I'd never have to leave her alone, even for THIRTY SECONDS!!!!!). I'm starting to wonder if I shouldn't handcuff her to me so I can see her at all times!!! lol Cricket is over for the season and I don't work on Saturday mornings anymore so this weekend has been quite relaxing really. We took the kids to the park this morning for a play and when we came home I made Douglas the breakfast of fatty boombahs - bacon, scrambled eggs with real butter and cream, mushrooms sauteed in butter and hot buttered toast. Yep it was a heart attack on a plate and oh baby was it good!!!! We don't eat that kind of stuff very often anymore - maybe once every couple of months we'll have a big breakfast like that - but we used to have it almost every weekend years ago. Can't imagine how chubby I'd be now if we were still doing that!!!! Speaking of chubby I was at the docs this week to get a prescription for the pill. I'm basically someone who doesn't like to be inconvenienced so I take my pill continuously for three or four months at a time because I honestly just can't be bothered with periods any more. Painful, time consuming, etc etc. I ran out about three weeks ago and I put on 4kg in that three weeks!!!!! I was horrified and shocked almost beyond words (very little shocks me so much I shut up!!!! lol). The doctor said it would probably be just fluid retention from the fluctuating hormones. I just laughed at her, surely it couldn't be that simple but four days in and all but 1kg of that 4kg is gone!!! Who would have thought......

Cass and I went into the city last night and ran amok for a while. It was so much fun, even the getting ready part. We swapped clothes, shoes, jewellery and make up. We ended up at an two different Irish pubs (as Irish as commercialised themed pubs get these days anyway....), went to the Casino (twice - I didn't play anything the first time as I have this weird thing about not wanting to set fire to my money and watch it disappear with nothing to show for it y'know??? but I did put $10 in a pokie machine the second time and doubled my money so I was a happy camper - and yes I took it out right away!!!!), we stopped in at Hungry Jacks for a late night (or very early morning as it turned out) burger and then got the bus home. While we did have a few drinks there wasn't the desire to get completely hammered, like there is when you first hit 18 and go out with your friends (sorry maybe it was just me!!!! lol) and although we didn't get home until 2.30am I got up at 8.00am and felt great. Its something we'll have to do more often, just rejoining the normal world for an evening is a great restorative when your head is buried in the washing pile or nappy bucket all day every day.

I'm going to go off to type now. I know I said there was no work but a one off batch of typing for a cardiologist has come up. It's not much money at all because it's piece rate stuff but hey it's money and God provides when we need it and it will get us through for a few more days (He doesn't always promise it will be as much as we would like!!!). Hopefully the dermatology doctor will have something for me towards the end of this week as well and that will see us through to Doug's next payday the week after. For someone who is only new to their faith I'm steadfastly sure we're going to be okay - I don't even know why because an accountant looking at my finances wouldn't think so!!! lol But we will be and I know it for sure and that's a nice feeling to have.

Thanks again to all who've come by and said hi or looked to catch up. Now that I'm not working from home as much I will be able to spend lots of time at the shop and the internet connection is going in there this afternoon so I'll be able to blog a bit here and there while I'm at the shop. Hey I can take pictures and show you all the new things we get in and the off the page and class stuff we're doing. That'll be cool!!!! I hope you all have a fabbo week and I know it's my turn to do the blogsurf thing this week and catch up with quite a lot of you!

Cya chickies, Lu

1 comment:

jilly said...

Lu, I'm so glad you're okay - had me worried - this ol' ticker can't handle the stress!
Don't let the d*ckheads get you down either girl - stand up for what you KNOW is right!

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