Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Pay Day

Many, many years ago, back through the mists of time, pay day used to be a happy, joyous occasion. One received one’s payslip from one’s employer with a sense of joy and excited satisfaction. Sure there’d be bills to pay but the balance left over was yours and yours alone.

A liquid asset. Money left over. Spare cash.

Spare cash?

Such a term now seems utterly absurd. As fantastic a concept as immortality or power over every living thing on the planet (both items on my birthday present list if anybody is interested).

With the advent of online banking I now have the ability to move my cash around electronically the minute it wafts insignificantly into my bank account. Enter a couple of passwords, click a few links and my e-money is shunted around, divided up and attributed to various standing orders and holding accounts to cover all the household bills for the month ahead.

Click click. Slice slice. The cake gets divided up.

And approximately 10 minutes into the pay day experience it soon becomes apparent that I have no spare cash available at all. No money left over. No cake. No cake at all. Because the cake in fact has all gone.

My “liquid” assets are as dry as a rattlesnake’s arse in the Gobi desert.

I quite literally do not ever see a single penny of my hard earned wages. They pass through my e-fingers without ever making an impression.

And so it makes me wonder why the Bank of England doesn’t just save itself some money (ha!) and stop printing it altogether; just have records of money electronically on a database somewhere (to be left on a train for someone to nick – now that would be a great heist). And instead of my employer paying me directly it can just send my wages – pro rata – straight to my various creditors via the internet. Just cut me out of the loop altogether. I am merely the middle man after all. I am no longer working for me; I am working for Tesco, for my mortgage lender, for Severn Trent, for Eon, for the local authority and for the Asian guy down the road in whose corner shop I buy chocolate buttons every Saturday afternoon as a treat for my family (may have to make do with dry biscuits this week, kids).

Pay day?

Ha! For whom exactly?

Certainly not for me.


27 comments:

French Fancy said...

I used to be the most popular person at the end of the month as I walked around dispensing payslips with a benevolent type of air around me. Those were the days when I even got a little brown envelope too.

You've got what money can't buy - two gorgeous boys and a lovely wife - well I guess some cultures could buy the wife and also some unscrupulous people could buy themselves children - but you've got the real deal.

How to lighten the tone of my comment? - um, how lovely to have weekly buttons - although when I was a chocolate eater I preferred chewy or crunchy things.

Steve said...

FF: true, true and in terms of home life I am rich beyond comparison. It's the daily going to work to earn not quite enough money that gets me down.

French Fancy said...

But when you are a published author it could all change, Steve.

English Rider said...

Disposable Income? I hear flushing.

lunarossa said...

Hi Steve, At least you've got a "cake" to divide, that's more than a lot of people have got! What I resent is not as much paying for Tesco, Eon, my bulding society etc - from which I get goods or services - as paying taxes, as they seem to get higher and higher and the benefits less and less. Ciao. A.

Steve said...

FF: I'm still dreaming the dream...! ;-)

English Rider: yup. Life is shit, then you die.

Lunarossa: good point - it's one thing to be paying for something, another thing entirely to be paying for nothing.

libby said...

Oh I'm glad I'm not the only one who remembers (fondly) the little brown envelope.....some to my mom for keep, some for busfare to work and the rest was mine! I miss those days....I wrote a list recently of everything that needs paying each month and the length of the list was just frightening...

Gina said...

Well, at least you do get paid regularly.

I got a cheque last week for some work I did last March! Not great eh?

But it is rather depressing I agree :o(

The Dotterel said...

Bleeeeeeuuuuurggghhhhhh!

Sorry... I just spat cider all over FF's comment. I couldn't help it. The bit where she says ...when you're a published author it could all change.

I'm sorry.

Mark said...

It's that Micawber principle again...

"Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen pounds nineteen and six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery."

Well, not quite misery, but annoying I guess.

Steve said...

Libby: what gets me is that each month stuff crops up that wasn't on the original list...

Gina: the regularity of my "not enough wages" is probably the best and most comforting thing about it. Better than nowt.

The Dotterel: I'm still trashing the dream.

Mark: did Micawber work for Warwick District Council?

Alienne said...

But despite all that, I still tear my payslip open every month and look at the figure at the bottom. Even though I know exactly what it is going to be!! And there was consternation around the office last month when the payslips were late - even though we knew the money was there in our accounts because we too have internet banking (HR had run out of payslips so the print run was late).

Vicky said...

and we don't have a savings account anymore it is a "slavings" account.

Owen said...

Trust our mutual friend English Rider to bring up flushing...
:-)

Umm, do they even have rattlesnakes in the Gobi Desert ???

Maybe you could dress up in drag and go hold up the fish and chips shop guy while he's distracted by your legs in fishnet stockings ?

All kidding aside, the economy seems to be coming back a bit, perhaps there could be some other sources of income to be found, as you had previously writtent about, doing webmastering for someone ?

Good luck Steve, I hope things will improve...

Steve said...

Alienne: so true. My fellow employees also get paranoid when the payslips don't arrive whereas I couldn't give a damn about a bit of white paper - it's the electric money in the bank account that counts.

Vicky: yes and bonds take on a whole new meaning too.

Owen: the bottom of the old web mastering business seems to have dropped out unfortunately and I can't even get myself an early morning cleaning job at the moment - seems I'm over qualified. As for the chippy - I doubt his takings are worth having!

Gypsy said...

I am old enough to remember the days when you got paid in cash. I would divide all my pay into envelopes marked with what they were for and then I would put anything over into my purse.

As time went on and employers went to paying by cheque or straight into your bank account I remember feeling so ripped off. It's like you haven't been paid at all.

It is hard when you are struggling from week to week and you are just praying that there won't be any unexpected large expenditures you have no way of paying.

Nota Bene said...

Painfully, painfully spot on...

Steve said...

Gypsy: I've never had the priviledge of being paid in cash (well apart from the occasional "cash in hand" jobs of course) - it's always been been deposited invisibly into my bank account. I can remember my dad (literally) bringing home a wage though when I was a kid.

Nota Bene: ...and that's before I start buying Easter eggs and the like...!

KAZ said...

OOh - not good.
I just hope you don't eat those chocolate buttons yourself.
Bet you do!

Steve said...

Kaz: no, I'll still share them out... but it may have to be one packet between the four of us from now on...!

Clippy Mat said...

Steve:
when your book is published you'll be rolling in choccie buttons.
:-)

Steve said...

Clippy Mat: isn't there a saying about being paid in buttons...?!

missbehaving said...

That's just how my husband feels.
I actually get to touch wads of cash before they are deposited in the bank, and vapourised.

What is Eon?

Clippy Mat said...

Steve;
perhaps. But NOT choccie buttons.
;-)

Steve said...

MissBehaving: is an electricity and gas supplier - one of several who all try and outdo each other to get custom. Same meat different gravy. All competition for British Gas which can't be bad.

Clippy Mat: alas!

HRH Elizabeth Regina said...

My goodness you must be practically in ball and chains.Don't be silly,you have never had is so good.In England there is no such thing as poverty.You still have a cake to divide.As an employer I think you lower classes are paid more than enough if in fact too much.

Steve said...

HRH: you can talk, you sponging bitch.