So on Friday I got my W-2... I looked at it and unlike most people I was aghast.
I know that when I've looked at W-2s in the past, I've thought to myself, "Damn! I made all that? Where the hell did it all go?" This year, that was not the sentiment. I looked down at the total I made, and nearly wept... "That's all I made? Normally I'd ask where it all went, but I know where that measly little pittance went."
And the more I thought about it the more upset I got. You see, part of my job is driving around all day. So I have to track my mileage. But the office doesn't pay me for that. They expect me to write it off on my taxes... Well, being that I am a single person, and I have very few tax liabilities, I don't pay in all that much, and as far as the mileage goes, I can't get back what I don't pay in. And when I totaled it up using last year's figures for how much a mile is worth, well, I figure I'm giving away a LARGE part of my annual salary every year. (We're talking the equivalent of about three months pay.)
The more worrying matter is that on the same day as all this happened, I found myself in a situation where I was being asked to put myself in harm's way. I was being asked to do a supervised visit with a dad and his son. This seems perfectly normal and all until I came to find out that the dad had called the foster placement and threatened to kidnap his child and threatened physical violence against the foster placement... Yeah. So this guy wants to abduct his kid, and seems to have no problem with issuing a beat down to someone standing in his way.
I was not pleased with this scenario.
The office offered to give me someone to assist with the visit. But the person that they offered me was someone who has only been doing this job for about two weeks. Umm... I'm sorry. No. If we're going to do this at all, (which I wanted it on record that I felt was totally stupid, and in need of serious reconsideration,) at least give me someone who I know has proven the ability to handle themselves in threatening situations... Not some kid who is still wet behind the ears.
When you have to process all of this on the same day, it makes you reconsider a lot. I mean I know this is not an industry you get into for the sake of making money. This business is about fixing families because you care about people and want to better their lives. Yeah... So I have vacation this week. I'll be in Alabama visiting family from Thursday through Monday. And while I'm vacationing, I'll be contemplating the utter folly of my pay rate for the tasks I am asked to achieve.
It isn't appealing, no matter how you slice it. I'm making some calls, thinking too much, and contemplating some tough decisions ahead.