Monday, November 16, 2009

How to Shred a Paycheck

Ten years ago, I was the very tired mother of a darling, rambunctious one year old boy and a beautiful three year old spitfire. I was working full time in a chaotic, county funded mental health clinic. 'Nuff said.
One bright sunny September day, all was right with the world. Birds were singing, the sky was clear, it was payday and my husband and I were going to be leaving for a child free weekend at a bed and breakfast - oh the joy! Alas, as soon as I stepped over the office threshold that day, everything went awry. The appointments ran late, patients were perturbed, the payroll did not come when expected, the computers revolted and calamity was waiting around every corner. The paychecks were finally delivered by late afternoon - much to everyone's relief. Especially mine. Soon, blessedly, it was the end of the day. Now, just to be clear, part of my job was to collect every bit of paper with any of our clients' personal information - however small- and shred it before leaving the office. It. Was. Mandatory. Absolutely. Mandatory. So, I scurried frantically, gathering up anything I could find for the daily shredding. Mission accomplished, I went back to my desk to straighten it up. My pay check was not on my desk where I had left it. I looked under the desk. I looked under the calendar on my desk. I looked in my trash can. I looked in my purse. I looked under my keyboard. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. When it finally dawned on me what might have happened - I thought I might be sick. Sure enough, rummaging through the paper strips in the shredder revealed some short pink strips and tell-tale clear plastic from the window on the envelope. I sat with them in my hands and cried. I felt so very stupid. I did call the payroll office and pled my case. Once the HR representative stopped laughing, she came up with a solution to replace my check. It seemed downright tragic at the time, but laughable now.
That weekend away turned out to be wonderful, even with it's less than fun beginning! I resolved to be more careful in the future - a resolution I've broken many times in the past decade (as recently as last evening, as a matter of fact).
(I accidentally wore my shirt inside out and backwards to youth group last evening. But it was under a cardigan - if that makes it any better)


Deborah said...

That was a good story and I think everyone will misplace or maybe shred a paycheck atleast once. This is a true story, about one hour ago, I started to look for my paycheck and guess what, I can't find it... weird...hopefully, I didn't through it out! It will show up! I hope :)

Kylie said...

This is the exact reason I got direct deposit. This is something I could have seen myself doing at some point. At least if I would throw away/shred/whatever my check, I can ask for a new statement because the money is already in the bank.