Thanks, but no thanks

by Janie Jones

So they had an employee appreciation day at Stickittoyou U recently.  All employees were given $25 gift cards to a big box department store.  Very nice.  Thanks!

Then week or so later I got my paycheck.  It was smaller.  Not a bank breaking amount, about the amount it would cost to buy lunch at the average sit down restaurant, but enough less that I was a little concerned about where that money went.

So I pulled up my check stub, and what, What, WHAT?  They taxed the gift card.  Because they added it to my “net salary” by the time taxes were applied I actually lost money.  They taxed, as income, a gift card.  Which was not like a prepaid Visa or something.  I can’t use the gift card to pay bills, but yet it is considered income I have to pay taxes on, and then when I use it the store will charge me taxes on what I buy.

Thanks, but if given the option, I’d have passed on a gift that would ultimately cost me more money than it was worth.

Employee appreciation my ass.  I suppose it was well meaning, but it’s kind of hard to feel grateful when I make less than industry standard, less than I made before I spent 50K on an education, and the “appreciation” gift requires me to give up money out of my already puny paycheck.

And, when I went to complain to the HR person, I found out that the new Dean, who made the decision to bestow these “gifts” was warned that they would cause the recipients to be taxed, but in her wisdom still seemed to think people would prefer to be awarded a gift that caused a deduction in pay.

Thanks new Dean.  I hope you made lots of devoted fans out of your employees.  I know I am just pleased as punch.  I will think of you oh so fondly and be oh so grateful for my job when I can’t afford to buy lunch this week.

4 Comments to “Thanks, but no thanks”

  1. Sigh. There are no words, dear Janie. xx

    • Thanks. Hope you are well. Besides from a fit of pique, in general I’m doing okay. I had a couple of job interviews last week, and I have sent out a few more applications. Perhaps, just perhaps, I might find something better come my way soon.

  2. That’s dreadful. Did you find something new?

  3. *Sigh* I did not. I have been applying for any job I am even remotely qualified for and haven’t had an interview since last summer. I had to pick up a part time job to help make ends meet. Luckily, it’s for a friend’s business, so he’s paying well for my time, but it adds to the stress of life having to juggle a part time job with a day job.

    So much has happened in my professional life this year, and the majority of it has been demoralizing, so I stopped writing about it. It is probably not wise, but I have fallen into the habit of just trying to ignore how broke and frustrated my career has left me. I have started listening to books on tape at work so I can go through the motions with the animal work, but not really have to think about what I’m doing. Good or bad, at least it gets me through without feeling so cripplingly depressed.

    My job was grant funded, and the grant expired, so now I’m working on borrowed time. If my boss doesn’t get a new grant, I could be laid off sometime next spring/summer. When I first found out I thought I’d lose my job around the end of this year, so not being able to find a new job was very stressful. However, last month the boss told me she reallocated some funding from other sources and said she can keep me on another 4-6 months.

    This gives me a bit of breathing room, but it’s hard to be grateful when you really don’t like the job. That said, if my current boss can fund my position until August, and no other jobs are offered before then, I can get laid off, collect unemployment and go back for my masters degree next fall. It’s something I want to do anyway, but can’t justify quitting a job for, so if I get laid off due to lack of funding in my department then somehow it seems more of a reasonable thing to do. Plus, I could perhaps pick up more hours with my friend’s business while going to school, so I might not have to borrow so much money to get the degree. Well, we will see what the universe has in store for me, you know how the best laid plans of mice and men oft go awry….

    Happy holidays to you and yours!!!

    Hugs, Janie

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: