Friday, February 27, 2009

It's Crass to Discuss Money

California passed its budget. Of course, some of the provisions go up before the voters in a special election in May, I believe. So far no official word about much of anything.

We still have two furlough days a month, although the union has negotiated to change it to one furlough day and not everyone on the same day, so the state won't save money on utilities by closing buildings. Supposedly the argument is that that way the state doesn't have to pay overtime to cover some essential services. I am thinking there are not that many; they lose more by staggering the furloughs than by paying overtime. I am even skeptical that they should have to pay overtime. Just stagger furloughs on essential services. But "wiser heads" than I.....

Most everyone I talk to would way rather see furloughs than lay-offs. Sadly, the union doesn't seem to actually represent the rank and file.

Unofficial word on the lay-offs from Parks is that Parks has so many vacancies that we will be able to "absorb" the lay-offs and not have to actually let anyone go. We are hoping! Rumor is that some departments refused to give out surplus letters as directed, but may yet. Hoping not for the sake of my children who recently entered state service.

I got my first furloughed paycheck. Not as bad a hit as I had feared. Partly because I offset it by reducing my already pathetically meager 457K deduction to $25. Why I even left that, I am not sure. It is so painful to get the quarterly report and see that I have substantially less in my account than I put in - between the fee and the market losses. Theoretically, I think this is probably a great time to invest, because the surviving stocks will be valuable some day. Practically, when money is already so tight, it is hard to stick it away and watch it dwindle.

Besides, late this month, my first mission deduction goes out of my checking account. I am only contributing 1/4 the cost. It is a small amount to put to Andrew's mission, but a biggish amount to give up. Thank you so much to the couple of you that I know are committed to making contributions! I know it is a sacrifice. Blessings on you!

I am grateful for my job, but the breaks are too short!!!

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