Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Burn notice

Thanks to some kind of weird glitch in the Child Support Enforcement Bureau's program for collecting child support, I found out late last week they were going to collect double what I'm supposed to contribute. I have two jobs, so their computers, magical accounting gnomes or whoever, were going to draw money from both jobs.

Given that I live hand to mouth, pay everybody late and sweat the aftermath of every single dollar I spend like it's a beating waiting to happen, the imminent loss of over three hundred dollars from my monthly budget is horrifying. Good-bye hamburger. Hello roadkill.

So, I called Child Support... after the third call, second message and a collective waiting time that would have got me through the first act of Wagner's Ring Cycle, I spoke to a nice lady who explained that their fucking me wasn't personal. It wasn't even meant as being unfriendly. It was accidental, but mostly my fault. I should have mentioned that I'd gotten a second job. I explained to her I've had the second job for approximately 16 months longer than I've been a client of theirs.

They said they'd send a cancellation order. I explained I wasn't overly concerned about their end of things. I was willing to believe, but I was a little iffy about who they were dealing with on the other end. WVPBS and I have a tortured history concerning my pay and benefits. The discussions never really go anywhere and they tend to pass the buck fast.

So, then I contacted WVPBS and asked about the check. They don't handle it and aren't responsible for that sort of thing. It was all a big mystery. That's all taken care of through the State Auditor. Of course, once I asked the person I'd been told was in charge of checks about whether there was a deduction or not, it didn't take them long to find out how much was being deducted and by who.

I said this seemed all wrong. The newspaper told me before they started deducting money from my check this was going to happen. Shouldn't they have done the same thing? Shouldn't someone have mentioned it? They said, sure, but they didn't know who that someone was. They were pretty sure it wasn't them. Besides, they couldn't be expected to keep track of every outside deduction from an employees check, could they? WVPBS has about a hundred people working for them. That's a pretty big payroll.

This could even be seen as my fault since I didn't tell them... even though I didn't know this was going to happen until last week... when I got the notice from the Child Support Enforcement division.

So, then off to the state auditor's office and a brief conversation with a nervous sounding clerk who couldn't do a thing for me, except offer to switch me over to direct deposit. After declining, I was sent me to the voice mail of someone who may or may not be able to help me. In the meantime, I know I'm losing 53 dollars out of the check I should receive this week -not as bad as it could have been. Of course, I don't know if the auditor's office has received the cancellation order or if the remaining 270 dollars of the 320 I typically pay in support will come out in a couple of weeks.

At this point, I have to wait for a callback from the State Auditor's office, which may lead me all the way back to the Child Support Enforcement division for another round. I'm sort of counting on a second round --possibly a third. God, this shit seems endless.

To sort of close this, my wife sent me a note about a public information specialist position for a state agency. We talk a lot about money and our lack of funds. Both of us are having to consider new lines of work. The listing looked like it could be significantly more than I make talking to bass players for the Gazette. I've thought about it. The deadline is today. The application is still in my desk. The answer to not being able to beat them, may not be to join them.


Anonymous said...

My ex pays $50 a month for two kids - he has a dr who has diagnosed him as mentally ill (i.e. bipolar and he can't hold a job) you could also try that route! Of course, then all you'll get is an SSI check and whatever you can paid under the table.

primalscreamx said...

I'll pass.
What your ex is doing sucks. If the doctor is a crook. Report him.
I'm perfectly ok with paying what the court says is right. If I made more money, I should pay more. Unfortunately, I don't make more. I work two jobs because one doesn't cut it.