Today is Monday, October 7th. We are scheduled to be paid on the 5th except when it falls on a weekend so today should be payday. Last month’s check didn’t come for my coworkers and then a week later they got half with the remainder arriving the following week. I wasn’t owed anything that time since I was so new but today I should get my paycheck.
My last student left at 4:50. I sat in my room and prepped for tomorrow. Moments later my coworker, Colin, came in and asked if I had been paid yet. After religiously checking my account all day I knew there was nothing in it but refreshed once more. Still nothing. We sat and talked about what to do for a few moments; some said we should have a sit in tomorrow morning. Show up to school and sit at the entrance until the wire transfer went through but we all hoped the payment would come. I said I’d go down at 5:30 and talk to the principal if I didn’t have the money by then. He left and went on to the next room.
The clock lazily ticked by as I sat at my computer creating an interactive Halloween presentation in Activ Inspire. Even though I don’t have a Smartboard I like using the software and telling the kids its magic when they drag their fingers along the white board. I just follow with my mouse.
Distracting myself for a few moments I wondered if this really would be the moment that I’d start looking for a new job. If we don’t get paid today and stage the sit in then the parents will all see; surely some will elect to find a new school. We would be sealing this school’s fate.
5:20. I checked again, still nothing. Nervously I realized my presentation was ready and wrote tomorrow’s morning sentence “I will come to school with my little yo yo.” I included 3 of their spelling words and had invited them all to bring in a yo yo given their words. Another coworker came in and we discussed how to get around the potential lack of a “letter of release” if shit does in fact hit the fan.
5:30. My bank account was still drearily low. I walked down the two flights of stairs to find my principal on the phone. Waiting outside her open door she asked if I needed her; I said yes and she invited me in while finishing her phone call. When she hung up I got right to the point.
“Are we getting paid today?”
“Maybe right now? The accountant is doing it”
Her accent seemed worse as she shakily responded to my inquiry. I said “thank you, good” and walked upstairs to Colin’s room. Entering he let me know that he got paid. I told him I hadn’t yet but quickly refreshed the app. I nearly screamed and danced when I saw the extra digits and commas! I did in fact get paid! Fencing tonight with Ben will be that much sweeter knowing I don’t have to start looking for a new job tomorrow.