4 April 2008

Another Charming and Amusing Vignette From the Comedy of Errors That is My Life

What was I thinking? That is what I asked myself at the end. In the beginning I asked "why not? Sounds good!" and went with it.

The place where I work has two very busy periods during which we, the workers, are asked to volunteer for overtime, or perhaps the night shift. Last August-September I was strapped for cash and in need of a serious infusion, so I took both. The night shift, I should add, pays an extra 60 or 70 cents an hour. Unfortunately, I became seriously ill with bronchitis, which caused me to tire easily even after the sickness had passed, and was unable to take as much overtime as I had hoped. Even so, I did a fair amount and managed to earn about a thousand bucks extra. Pretty good, right?

Now it's tax time. Normally I get back about $1600 from the government, and over the years I have begun to include that as part of the budget. This year, however, I found the extra money I had earned was just enough to squeeze me into another tax bracket, and as a result I will only be getting about $600 back. In short, the government took every single penny I had earned in overtime and night shift premiums.

So I put in the extra hours for nothing, right? Not exactly. You see, I live in rent geared to income housing. That means my rent is based on my earnings. My gross earnings. Since I earned more, my rent has gone up. Even better, Puff gets money through the baby bonus program. The money she receives is based on my gross earnings. My earnings went up, so the bonus money went down. So I gave up time with my family and sleep for a net loss. I am worse off for having done the night shift and overtime, and I would have more money in my pocket if I had just stayed home.

So, back to my original question: What was I thinking? Sometimes I think I must be a chump to believe that honesty, dedication and hard work would pay off in this lifetime.

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