So, if you've been paying attention, you already know that I was affiliated with a pretend Internet production company for a while. I say pretend because in 2 years, it is still not incorporated or legally licensed in any way that makes it a legal corporate entity. Tax/payroll fraud is a possibility, but I digress, as I believe this move was never made in an effort to dodge those taxes and to avoid having to be compliant with labor law.
That's not what we're here to discuss today; today, it's all about satisfaction.
I got my first job, part-time retail at The Wall (now FYE) in Springfield Mall in 1998. I was seasonal and when the holidays were over, I was let go. Then I jumped into full-time work as a temp office worker and that went on through 2002, when a position I'd been with for 2 years hired me. In 2004, I added the part-time 2nd job at the bookstore. For the past decade, I've worked 2 jobs to support myself and it's never been easy but it's always been worth it.
Getting a paycheck on payday is a great feeling. It lifts the worries and anxieties of paying bills, keeping the car in service, keeping a roof over your head, and keeping food in the fridge. It's also a matter of pide; I worked for this, I earned this, it's mine. Saving up for something big also brings a feeling of accomplishment, a surge in self-worth; I wanted this, I saved for this, I deserve this, it's mine.
Last summer, the CEO of this company that I'd been kinda-sorta-working-for-but-not-officially-but-work-harder-and-maybe-we'll-see-if-you're-good, told me that he wanted my wife and I to go and work several conventions in the coming month. He told us we'd be paid for our time but told me it was my responsibility to purchase her plane ticket to the US, that I'd be reimbursed in 10 business days. I've worked for companies with this policy before, so after getting his authorization twice in writing, I spent $700 on the ticket.
My wife flew to the US and over the course of that month, the CEO cancelled each convention we were to work and told us instead to concentrate on making more short videos for his site. That was June. As of today, in November, I'm still owed $400 of my own money. The promises of repayment started in June, lasted through July and August, when I was told I should deny the money in return for that big ol' employment contract; the carrot on the stick in front of my face for 2 years. No contract, no reimbursement.
In September we all stopped producing content until we were paid. Some 'employees' were owed several thousand in back wages for content that had been posted and was earning revenue for the 'company'. I got a few small payments but I'm still owed $400. I worked for that money, I earned it, it was mine. Others are owed more than I am, it's true, and others are in worse circumstance than I am, very true, but the thing that angers me the most is the fact that this money was mine and now it's gone.
I'm told *IF* the CEO decides not to sue me (ah yes, you see he's decided to sue most of the 'employees' for the expenses of employing them and because he wants a "Court of the Law" as he calls it to confirm that their videos weren't good quality) then I will be paid at some mysterious time after he's done with his legal proceedings, which are about as likely to happen as the TARDIS turning up on my front lawn tomorrow. In effect, I'm never getting my money back.
There will be more information about this whole situation because frankly, there's a lot to say and a lot we think people should know. I know one thing though, I know the price of my own satisfaction, and that's $400.
I still work 2 jobs...got to save up for college next autumn. I have few expenses right now and that allows me to put nearly all of my pay towards that goal, which is why there's no donation button on my site and I'm not telling my PayPal address. If you're so inclined, help the victims of this situation who are in dire need.
Not lying though, if Santa gave me $400, I'd never make fun of Elf on the Shelf again...