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Boss has been at the [out of state] office since last Friday, which means that they’re printing the physical checks for our weekly AP run there. And….this is really silly, but I do miss doing that part. Printing, folding, envelope stuffing. It’s an easy, pleasant, meditative task that mentally marks the end of my week.

Silly because accounts payable is definitely the most basic and data-entry-oriented part of my job, but dammit, I like having the harder stuff punctuated with pleasingly tactile admin work!

I did a lot of secretarial stuff in high school. I was very good at it, I liked it, and I got a lot of praise for it. It’s a bit nostalgic.



America really is a whole other country



I love doing payroll, I love the way you just have to [ presses button marked “payroll” and the machine automatically transfers the appropriate amounts electronically and emails out payslips and notifies the tax office ]



“Oh you guys have to press a button?”



Usually you do, because that way you can be sure stuff like reimbursable expenses for the month (if they were filed already) are in the system and you have the ability to delay pushing the button for a few hours if there are some last-minute changes to be made (not ideal, but happens).

Having a button also makes to possible to gather around one desk every month as a team and chant “press the button, press the button” at whomever is responsible for that action currently. And then go for drinks or smth.



This post wasn’t about payroll but yes

Current job is more involved than some systems I’ve seen because the accounting module sucks and was clearly just pasted on top of an otherwise mostly-functional industry-specific ERP.

Takes me 1-3 hours.



This is a very weird conversation to me, because among my meatspace social group the ones who get paid electronically are like “it’s a nightmare, they won’t let me log in to see my pay statements, I’m just supposed to trust that they sent me the right amount, it took me two months of complaining and escalating to superiors to even get a *tax form* out of them (and then my taxes were late)”, and the ones who get paper are like “yeah, it’s fine, it was a bit annoying at first having to go to the bank every fortnight but then I learned how to use mobile cheque deposit”.

(I know that you guys are taking the perspective of the one sending out the payments rather than the one receiving them, but still.)



Current company issues physical paystubs as backup for the direct deposit amount, and my side business uses QuickBooks payroll, which lets you log in to see your paycheck.

Even when I worked for the state, I got a physical pay stub.

And the job after that had an (admittedly painful to use) portal that you could log in to to see your statements.



I think with the most recent tale of woe (two days ago, friend who works for a mid-tier Canadian grocery chain), in *theory* she was supposed to be able to log in to see her pay statements, but the portal wouldn’t accept her login credentials and nobody would fix it.

(It may be worth noting that out of the dozens of jobs various friends have had over the twelve years I’ve been here, *very* few even *tried* to obey labour laws. I think that at the moment, I’m the only person I know IRL (not counting coworkers, of course) who actually gets meal breaks.)



The solution to employers making it difficult to get pay statements is not…keep on using physical cheques in the year of our lord 2019.



You tagged it #wtf America but I think @brin-bellway is canadian



Huh. Interesting. I didn’t know Canada still used cheques like that. Ive heard a Canadian talking about how they never carry cash and just use their card everywhere, which I can’t get away with even in London so I thought Canada would be even further along than us with that kinda stuff.



Yep, I’m in Canada, and as such so are my meatspace social groups.

I’m not so sure that “widespread use of electronic paycheques” and “being able to make all consumer purchases with a card” are sufficiently similar things that any society with one can be assumed to have the other.

Whether you can get away with not carrying cash here depends on your lifestyle and risk tolerance. I work in fast food, and every once in a while the card-reader part of the system will break or glitch, and usually at least two people per outage will have to leave because without a card reader they can’t pay. A while back someone had her credit card declined and didn’t have anything else on her, and ended up abandoning the food we’d already made. (The assistant manager told me I might as well keep it, and I brought it home and fed it to Mom. (It was not a food I personally like.))

((Although to be fair, I think part of the problem in that last case was that she was embarrassed by the decline and fled. She was holding a smartphone in her other hand, and given twenty seconds to think over the options we might have been able to arrange some smartphone-mediated payment method. It would have been worth a shot, at least.))

We don’t have pennies here anymore and instead round cash (and only cash) transactions to the nearest 5c, which (perhaps unintentionally) actually gives you an *incentive* to use cash in some edge cases. Like, if you buy something that’s 52c and give them two quarters, you’ve gotten almost a 4% discount, better than what you’d get from credit-card cashback. I often pay cash when buying from my own workplace for this reason.

(before you ask “since when does *anything* these days cost only 52c”: the employee discount is quite large, and some of our items are quite small)

Note that while I routinely *receive* cheques (just got one today, in fact), I literally never *write* them. I don’t even own any.

I won a small scholarship a while ago and they wanted a void cheque in order to send me the money (it was *not* the kind where the money goes directly to the school), and I went to the bank and asked about it. The teller told me that a: cheques are extremely expensive for the lower-tier account that I have (like $50 a pack, I think she said?), and b: there’s no need for a void cheque to literally be a cheque these days, here, have a pre-authorized debit form. (The scholarship people accepted it, and so did the bank I later opened a savings account with that wanted to see a cheque in order to do cross-bank account linking.)



Ah ok, ‘occasionally receive cheques but never write them’ is closer to my experience too, although I don’t know anyone who gets paid for their job by cheque.

I also got a cheque for a scholarship type thing so it is still around very occasionally here.

(see also this other branch)


#conversational aglets #adventures in human capitalism #our home and cherished land #adventures in University Land #in which Brin has a job #long post #this probably deserves some other warning tag but I am not sure what

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