NOTE: The following post consists of what some might call "emo bullshit." If you don't like that kind of stuff, please skip this post. Thank you.
This week has been one of the worst weeks in recent history for me, but to put it into perspective, I'm going to have to go back to December and provide a blow-by-blow.
In the middle of December, I had three job offers on my plate. I chose the one that paid the most, and had the potential to dramatically increase my wages after six weeks of work. The catch was that it was a contract-to-hire position. The company I was going to be working for was using the contracting firm to essentially have an extended paid interview process. They wanted to make sure that I was not only a good coder, but a good fit for the company.
My first check was supposed to be December 29. The check was supposed to be dropped off at the office, but after an E-mail to the contract house, I was told that the check was mailed to my home on December 28, and I should have it on December 30. The check never came. During this period, I was contacted by a company in Utah asking for an interview. I had to go to Utah anyway to handle some stuff with my house, so I agreed to an interview.
I sent E-mail after E-mail to the contract house, and received no answer. I was really getting nervous, as the timing of my starting work and the way that Ritual handled my final check meant that I was receiving no unemployment benefits. On January 4, I was delivered my first check and my check for January 5. I was asked not to deposit the check for January 5 until the date it was written for to ensure the funds would be there. I still had not received any paystubs.
I depositied my first check on January 4, and my second check on January 5. By this point, I had accrued a small amount of late fees because of the one-week delay on my check, but I figured I'd handle them myself. After all, I was making about $600 a month more than I was at Ritual, so I should be able to afford a late fee or two once.
I received my paystubs last Friday. Both paystubs were dated January 4...which told me that he couldn't have sent my check back on December 28 as he stated.
On Monday, I was up in Utah handling a few things and also had my job interview with this other company. I flew back that night, got home, and relaxed.
On Tuesday, I was offered the job back in Utah, but the company would only cover $1,500 of my relocation costs. Since it cost nearly $4,000 to move down here, that was discouraging but still within the realm of possibility if I took out a loan.
Yesterday, I received a panicked phone call from my wife, telling me that both of my paychecks had bounced. As a result, my checking account, which until now had only ever dropped to a balance of $22, was over $1,600 overdrawn. I was furious...I had been here for nearly four weeks, and my "weekly" pay schedule had resulted in a major dent in my checking account. As of this morning, I had seven overdraft charges and three returned item charges. Also, my bank won't allow me to deposit any further checks until I deposit enough cash to bring my account back into the black.
Today, I was informed by the job back in Utah that I also would not be eligible for their insurance policy until after I had been employed for three months, which meant that I would have to pay nearly $4,000 back to Ritual for COBRA. Now, being $1,600 overdrawn on the bank account makes it impossible to get a loan in the first place, let alone the loan for almost $7,000 I'd have to get to move back to Utah and ensure there was no lapse in insurance so my wife's pre-existing conditions wouldn't have a 1-year waiting period.
About twenty minutes before I left the office, I received my invite up to Redmond to interview. I'll be up there on Thursday. Shortly after that, I received an E-mail saying that I wouldn't get paid until Monday.
On my way out the door, the people here were expressing sympathy with regards to me getting dicked around by the contract house. They want to talk about full-time employment come Monday.
This next week is going to be interesting. Either I'm going to be heading to Seattle in February, I'll be moving to Utah and be deep in debt for a few months, I'll be staying here, or I'll be unemployed kicking some contract house ass.
Regardless, now you know why I was asking for a lawyer.