Monday, April 02, 2007

Payroll redux

Last Friday my payroll problems resumed. I awoke at an early hour, the usual 5:00am wake up call from hell. As I shuffled off the celestial movies and returned to my all too human cumber-body, I knew that today would be a make or break day. It was the road split in the center. It was payday. Two things could happen this day. One, I would get paid and all would be well with the universe. Two, I would not get paid, or get paid incorrectly, and the wrath of God and his righteous anger would split me asunder.

I decided to get right with him immediately. I figured if I did absolutely everything by the book that by the time I checked my bank account I would know the truth. HE would reward me with a flawless, perfectly resolved payroll resolution. Yes, that's it. I did everything the way I thought he would want me to. I even Daven for the deceased. I prayed ceaseless prayers for the meek and unfortunate, I meditated to Sai Baba for a good thirty to forty minutes, sans incense but with candles. I listened to my Deepak Chopra tapes and Marianne Williamson Cd's. I surrendered! There was no doubt that I had broken the curse of LAUSD and the BTS.

When I phoned the automated "Stellar Teller" system at my Aftra/Sag Federal Credit Union branch, I got the nice woman with the pleasing voice. I entered all the pertinent data and finally got to that mornings deposit. I waited, expectantly, for the wonderful information, with thoughts of zeroes bouncing in my head. "Hello, Mr. Forkush, you have...." Ah, here it is..."$800.00 deposited to your account".

Hmmm, let's see, 131 hours worked at $17.80 and hour works out to about...hmm...two thousand one hundred eleventy something. Eight hundred dollars...okay that's a...let's see...before taxes then deduct 403b and Cal Pers retirement and they deducted....ONE THOUSAND THREE HUNDRED DOLLARS BEFORE TAXES.

I was struck on the head by a brick falling from the proverbial ceiling. My face twitched violently and I coughed, rather heaved, a gasp of despair. "Wha Da Fug..."? I re-punched the numbers thinking there may have been multiple deposits. "$800.00 Mr. Forkush. Thank you. This has been a recording". My cat started to shit in the litter box and rip up the newspaper on the floor underneath it.

No. This can't be. Mustn't be. Shouldn't be. I prayed the prayer for the dead. I ate no fat, only lean. I surrounded the apartment with the Soundscapes channel from Time Warner Cable, the one with the gentle soporific sounds of the soul. All was well. I did "The Secret". I really believed. Didn't I? I did thought. Right?

As I began to experience the recent symptoms of anxiety that is grinding my life to a halt, I staggered to the kitchen to make coffee. My breathing became shallow, my heart rate escalated to tachycardia levels, the left side of my face became paralyzed and my legs weighed a ton. How can this be? Things can't get any worse. The stress can't get worse. I won't survive it. I am being crushed into pesto with no place to hide. Oh God, please help me, help me not to drink, or drug or....go completely insane, driven mad by intolerable panic anxiety symptoms that actually could be the early strains of a nuclear stroke or Myocardial Infarction.

Where's the Atavan. I need the Atavan. No, mustn't take it. Must get through this like all gentile people do. Gut it out, Tony. Take it like a man. Buck up old chum.

Thus began the day I will never forget. The day when the children of Cesar Chavez roamed the streets and the hills of Hollywood burned as a hundred disenfranchised employees of LAUSD and I sat in the rancid lobby of the Beaudry building waiting to get paid. As I sat in that lobby, I looked up and saw a trio of balloons wafting from the ceiling. On their front were the words "SEIU LOCAL 99: WE'RE ALWAYS THERE FOR YOU". I looked around. Not a single union rep ever showed up that ten hour day.

Next: "What's a Sonnet?"


Blogger Michael Pascoe said...

Who was accountable for this mistake? What happened when you called payroll? I don’t understand how mistakes like this happen. I too got a short paycheck this week. Are people that careless or are they that way on purpose? They want us to go through hell for that pittance they pay us. They act like they are giving us something. We earned it. And for less money than should be paying us.

At the pace that Corporate America is going at, we are going to become slaves. And then it still won’t be enough for them. They cut all kind of corners to increase their bottom dollar. And now our pets have to suffer. Why are they getting wheat from China? The warehouse for the wheat is in all places Kansas. Kansas! Don’t they grow wheat there? Why are they importing a product that we make here? No wonder our country is going to shit.

So. . . how’s life other than that?

I pray that some day life will reward you my friend. We don’t pray for the homeless or the less fortunate to get rewards. Hoping to have tranquility because of praying for others do not work. You do because it’s in our heart to do.

You are on the right track by listening to Deepak Chopra. Then how come the rewards do not come our way? I wish I knew. Why do others get rewards for shitting on people, but you and I who treat others with respect get to struggle so?

I wish I knew the answers to that question.

Your friend always,

Michael Pascoe

10:25 AM  
Blogger Tony Forkush said...

Read "The Interior Castle" by St.Teresa, of Avila. That will give you all you need to know about why the good suffer. Or "When bad things happen to good people".

Suffering is part of god, my friend. I hate to break the news to you. And it never stops. We need to cultivate it and live with it and treat it differently than we do from our ego.

I love you Michael

1:06 PM  

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