Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Awkward Conversation

I knew when I was coming here I'd be taking a pay cut--the tradeoff being, of course, beautiful scenery, steady work, men in breeches, benefits, etc--but when I opened my packet o' info for my health insurance, I was surprised at just how much they wanted to take out of my paycheck so I could go to the doctor once a year and have him tell me that everything was fine (but I should really think about losing some weight). Enough money that I haven't turned the paperwork back in yet, because I'm thinking about using a private provider and so I'm doing some research.

One of my colleagues, who is a single woman of about sixtyand who also started about two weeks ago, and I were talking about this today in the kitchy. Just then my boss's boss, the lady in charge of the whole costume center, came in to make some popcorn, so I tried to change the subject. I didn't want her to think I was complaining about the cost of the insurance and, by extension, my paycheque. But my BB had overheard us and she said, "wait a second, you can't afford the health insurance?" Errr...this was rapidly getting awkward because she was the person who signed off on my salary, but luckily my colleage jumped in to explain: "It's just hard when you're a single person and you're paying for everything yourself, rent, bills, car." And I helpfully pointed out that I don't have a car because I can't afford it, and my colleague said she didn't either, and we both weren't likely to get one soon. And my BB said she needed to know these things so she could talk about it to the person in charge, just for information's sake. I think she was honestly surprised that the money in question is a serious commitment for someone like me. Not such a huge commitment that it's health insurance or food, but enough of a commitment that it's health insurance or shoes. And believe me, I need some new sneakers. They are stinky and worse--they are starting to not support my feet anymore, so I'm limping. Again.

Anyway, I hope that she doesn't think that I'm complaining about my salary. I'm not. After that we moved on to abusing the government for not taking care of its citizens--I tried to stay apolitical, but, oh, it was hard! I love working here and I love Williamsburg and I knew when I came here that money would be tight. But I'm not going out to lunch every day like I was in Chicago, and I'm not seeing a show every weekend like I was in London, so it evens out in the end. But I do wish I had a few extra dollars to put in the bank against a rainy day. I did spend $20 yesterday on the supplies for a new sundress...which is well cheaper than it would have been in the store. Now I just need to put it together.

1 comment:

Samantha said...

I highly doubt your BB thought you were complaining about your paycheck. But a lot of people take for granted insurance deductions and such when they are used to having a fairly comfortable income. It is helpful for them to here about this. While I doubt it'll bump you'll salary up, it may cause them to look into other health care providers and insurance companies. Sadly, it's these sorts of concerns that are often left as kitchen gossip because employees aren't always sure how to voice their concerns, or worry that it's not really a valid concern.

But trust me...it's nice to be able to go into an appointment, pay the small co-pay, have them find something and need to set up a biopsy, only to find nothing wrong, then get the bill later for $41 while noting that insurance covered the other $953...