Friday, April 18, 2008

My seemingly annual not-getting-paid months

This is exactly like last year.

Last year, for about 4 months, I was deprived of my usual source of income. And that stretched me thin. I lost the ability to procure food, restock fridge, and gain body mass.

Basically, I was starved. Literally. And it's because of the universal law of delayed paperwork in the theory of bureaucracy.

I ate carrots and hummus for my main meal (sometimes the only meal) for a couple of weeks. I started buying and cooking food in small proportions. There was one period of time when all I ate for the day almost every day was a couple of spoonful of rice, some carrots and some pieces of chicken. And four or five cups of tea (one teabag reused five times) to make myself feel full. Oh yes I was starving.

But that did not stop me from continuing with my usual daily activities. Going to class. Doing assignments and homework. Sitting for exams. Working out. Kendo. Basketball. Sepak takraw.

Oh I love physical activities. No hunger did not stop me.

Side effects? Sudden reduction of body mass. I lost 10 kilograms (that's roughly 22 pounds) in less than 5 days.

Oh how so healthy. Not.

Until the paperwork came through and I got my munny. After that food consumption returned to normal again. And I gained about half the weight I lost.

That was last year.


This year it happens again. Paperwork has been keeping me from getting my pay. I haven't been paid for about two months. Paperwork was filed since March. It's mid-April and I see nothing happening to my bank account.

I called the Office of the Treasurer a couple times at different times of the day. Took two days and a multitude of tries before someone actually picked up. And I got redirected to some other number. I called that number and got redirected again to another number. I called the new number and someone picked up, but she wasn't the person I needed to talk to. I was advised to call some other time.

Ah the fun of dealing with bureaucracy.

I waited roughly 20 minutes before calling again. This time I heard a sleepy voice of a man at the other end of the line. I asked about my paycheck. He asked me to hold.

I heard the usual sound of keyboards clacking.

He told me I'm not in the system yet. I asked how could that be. He asked me to hold, again.

I heard the usual sound of papers being rummaged through.

He told me he found my paperwork and it's actually there with him. I asked him if he could now process it and he said yes. I asked how long would that take.

He said two weeks.

Another fortnight of waiting.

Of counting saved coins.

Of skipping lunches and/or dinners.

Of praying. That somehow everything would be better once this is over.

I hope nobody else has to through this.


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