Friday, March 28, 2008

Our Tax Dollars (Inefficiently) at Work

It's Friday, and I should be relieved that it's the weekend after 3 days of substituting for crayon-eating kindergarteners. Bless their little hearts; they are cute but they have way too much energy for me.

Instead of being excited about the weekend, I am perturbed about the gross inefficiencies of the Los Angeles Unified School District. These people just can't seem to do anything right.

As I'm leaving for the weekend, the school office casually mentions, "Oh, you may not get paid this month for your time because we're not sure what fund we should take it out of."

I was a little shocked that they were just getting around to putting in our hours because they had known for weeks that we were coming AND we had been working there for the past three days. How is it that they only realize that they don't know how to bill us an hour before the cut-off time? I tried to explain to the lady that it is highly unprofessional to have three days pay held back and her response was, "Well, you shouldn't be cutting yourself so close."

That was just the icing on the cake for me. Somehow, it ends up being MY fault for wanting to receive MY money in the pay period that I earned it. WTF?

It's not that I need the money. It's just that I am routinely receiving portions of my paycheck late because people are not doing their jobs right. Last month, I had to wait an extra 2 weeks to receive 2 days of pay because someone "forgot" to enter in my days. Right now, I just looked at which schools have put in my time for this month and I am missing 5 days (3 from the school I just mentioned)! That is a full week of pay that I'll have to wait to get paid for.

The funny thing about it is that this happens so often that they have to have a whole different pay cycle called the "off-cycle" pay. The "off-cycle" pay is an entire pay cycle devoted to paying the days that were not entered in correctly the first time. That means that they have to waste time and tax-payer money just to go back and fix what they couldn't get right the first time. How inefficient is that?

This is just one of many examples of how our tax dollars are being wasted at a time when they are threatening to lay-off teachers and cut back government services. Why is it that the first thing they look to cut is teacher's jobs? Why can't they re-evaluate the complicated bureaucratic system that eats up a good portion of the budget? What about the $35 million they had to spend to repair the payroll system that ended up causing more problems than it solved? What about that lady that is always looking at cute kitty pictures and shopping online when I'm trying to get some paperwork processed? Surely they can find a better way to solve the budget crisis than by laying off teachers.

Now that there is talk of recession and the economy is suffering, shouldn't we be pushing our government to tighten the belt and start making wise decisions about our money. What we need are a few good frugal men and women in politics. I'd like to see them get in there and apply those penny-pinching efficiency strategies in some of those government offices. It'd be awesome to have a coupon-clipping president! Any bloggers interested in running for office? I'll totally vote for you! :)

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Gabe & Dawn Foster said...

WOW! I just had to write you. I was google searching for blogs about Thai living and I came across yours. My husband and I are moving to Thailand this summer (SriRacha, southeast of Bangkok). I have loved reading your Thailand blog, but more than that, I love your debt free blog. My husband and I have been working on completely paying off our debt (about $4,000 left to go). And we are serious about it just like you. I ABSOLUTELY LOVE to see people making the decision to get their finances in order, especially at a young age (we are 23 and you are 26, right?). Anyways, It was just so exciting and encouraging to come across your blog. If their is any advice you can give us about Thailand, or any cost of living information (please!), it will be very appreciated. And I am also going to be looking into getting certified to teach English. I already have my bachelors degree. So any information you can give me on that will also be very appreciated. Thanks, thanks, thanks! Oh, check out our blog if you get a chance,


Gabe & Dawn Foster said...

Sorry about the typos in my last comment. I should have proofed it first. Yikes!

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