As promised, here is the theory as to what happened to result in my paychecks bouncing. This is not confirmed fact, but a theory based on the evidence that I have available to me
December 18: I start the contract-to-hire position. I'm informed that my pay schedule is weekly, one week behind
December 22: I submit my timecard. The contract house immediately submits the invoice, expecting to get paid the following week prior to my paydate.
December 25-29: Almost everyone (except for me) is out of the office on vacation.
December 29: I submit my timecard, and ask about my check. I'm informed that it was mailed to my house on December 28, and I should have it on Saturday, December 30.
December 30-January 3: No check. During this time, the person who is responsible for approving the invoices is trapped in Denver.
January 3: I finally get through to someone at the contract house, and they agree to bring me my checks the following day. They're thinking that they'll get paid for the outstanding wage invoices prior to the checks hitting their bank.
January 4: I get the paycheck for December 29 and the paycheck for January 5. I'm asked not to deposit the check for January 5 until the next day because "while it should still go through, I'm not sure the funds will be there." I deposit the December 29 check that evening, and tell my wife to deposit the other check in the morning.
January 5: I get my paystubs for both checks in E-mail. Looking at the bottom, I see that payroll for my December 29 check was not run until January 4. I submit my timecard.
January 8: Invoices are approved for payment on January 16.
January 11: Both checks hit the contract house's bank and bounce sky-high. I'm fed some bullshit story about how someone took all the money out of the payroll account via a fraudulent debit card. My bank tells my wife that they will not accept any checks for deposit until we deposit enough cash to bring the account current. I tell the contract house that I require full payment before I leave on January 12 in cash, as well as a letter from his bank stating that fraud was the reason for the lack of funds.
January 12: I submit my timecard. I receive an E-mail saying that I may not get funds until Monday because of how the bank is handling the fraudulent activity. (Monday was a bank holiday in the United States, so I still wouldn't get funds.) I'm offered a smaller payment on Saturday, but I know that if I accept any funds outside of the full amount, it puts me in a risky position legally. I print out all relevant E-mails from the contract house.
January 13: My E-mail account is suspended at the contract house.
January 15: I go into the office and clean out my desk. I talk to my supervisor at the place I was working at, and tell him exactly what's going on. He has the check for the contract house on his desk. He asks me to wait until the end of the day so he can get me taken care of. He cancels the check for the contract house, pays me my full contract rate directly for all of my time up to January 12, and deducts the amount from the amount paid to the contract house. I get an E-mail from the contract house saying that they have the payment for me and will be there before the end of the day. The funds and letter never show up (I would have had to refuse the funds anyway), but my E-mail account is taken off suspension. The excuse given was that his Active Directory server randomly reset my password.
January 16: I go into work a little late so that I can cash the check at the bank it was drawn on, then get a cab to take my wife over to our bank to deposit it.
January 19: I'm told that I'll be E-mailed a scan of the letter from his bank. As of five minutes ago, scan not received.
The end result of his taking a contract without having the funds to cover the first 30 days of payroll? A 46-point drop in my credit rating from checks bouncing. It is going to take me at least two years to recover from this...and there isn't a goddamn thing I can do about it.
Because I still have to have some association with these people for the next two weeks, I'm not going to post their names, but if you are a contract coder in the Dallas area and want to know who they are so you can avoid them, send me an E-mail and I'll give you names.
Now if I could ever get my stuff from Ritual...