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11/26/2005: "crunch time"

When I first took this position working under Bob and John, I was amazed at how generous they were. Not only did they acknowledge that I needed a certain income to maintain how my family lives, but they were giving me benefits to boot. For that I was truly grateful.

Unfortunately, some of that generosity is late in coming.

For the record, I don't blame anyone for these circumstances. Everyone involved has had their reasons for structuring things the way they are, it's just that they're either not happening as fast as I need it to, or working as well as anyone had supposed.

What it boils down to is I'm in a cash crunch. On my previous contract I was getting paid without having any tax taken off. That was pretty dangerous, and it's going to bite me in the ass come next March unless I can start saving soon. Regardless, we were above our comfort level for income, and didn't have much to worry about financially other than the upcoming tax bill next April.

Working under Bob, he had to structure my pay in a certain way to ensure that I would qualify for benefits. Effectively that meant that part of my pay would be as an employee, and the rest would be paid to my corporation for services rendered. My employee pay is quite a bit less than what I was getting on contract, and to boot tax is taken off as well. Bottom line is that on a weekly basis, my employee pay is only about 60% of what I was getting on contract.

This wouldn't be a problem, were it not for two issues. First, I now have added expenses. Cell phone (with lots of long distance), meals on the road, lots of gas... it adds up. The second issue is that the additional income that should be coming into my corporation hasn't materialized yet. And that is causing a problem.

Of course, there are the benefits. Or at least, there's supposed to be. While I've talked to the person in charge of benefits, and have been told that I should expect my benefit cards in the mail, they have yet to arrive. It's now been nearly two months that I've "been on benefits", but I can't schedule my much-needed dental cleaning and checkup until I have those cards. Meanwhile, Jannette and Isabelle both are overdue to go back for dental work as well, so there's three of us that really need that coverage, and would really like having the additoinal drug coverage as well, just in case.

Don't worry, I'm not staying silent on the issue. Bob has been made aware of my needs, and he will be reminded again, more frequently, and more pressingly, as required. I am not worried that I'm being screwed around - Bob is a family friend, has been working with my dad for years, and even attended my wedding. There is no benefit to screwing me over for him, and lots to lose.

He is, however, a man with many plates spinning at the same time. I'm a pretty small portion of one of the smaller plates he's got on the go, so the fact that he hasn't simply jumped to action on my behalf is both not surprising and understandable. However, I am being backed into a financial corner with Christmas coming all too soon... you'd better believe that I'm not going to quietly stay on his back burner much longer. I'll be nice about it, of course, but I have my needs, and he's agreed to meet them.

On the positive side, there are some sales pending for me, one of which is fairly substantial. Although they may not come before the holidays arrive, there should be some commission coming my way fairly soon. That will feel good. With meeting more and more clients and becoming more comfortable representing what I'm selling, more commissions should be on their way in short order. I expect January to be a real turning point.

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November 2005

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