Friday, December 02, 2011

Wrong, Toby. This is an orientation, not a bore-ientation.

Dressember Day 2: Payroll Hell

So, today has not been great. It's been a catalogue of disasters, really. I'm still feeling quite unwell with this flu, but I had to go into work to investigate why I had been underpaid by around £1000 this month. Four hours of phone calls to DWP, our payroll and HMRC and I got to the bottom of the problem - due to a temp job I had for about three weeks in 2008, I've been on a cumulative tax code and with my recent move into the civil service, the tax office put me on a basic rate. They thought I had two jobs, and had no way of calculating my earnings. This meant that this month, well over two thirds of my payslip went to a PAYE payment. What was left wasn't even enough to cover my rent. Sigh. I got it sorted out in the end - HMRC have given me a new tax code based on my one job (the one job I've held since November 2008) they've communicated it to my employer, and my wages will be recalculated and I'll be paid the shortfall next week. I've obtained proof that the temp job ended in 2008, and I'll eventually be refunded the tax I've overpaid since then - which is a bit of a silver lining, admittedly! Still, it was a very stressful day and not helped by the fact that I had to sort all of this out over the phone. I suck at being an adult, I think.

Luckily, I got a sizeable tax rebate earlier this week (dating from 2006!) and it will clear in the next few days, so this will bring me to my delayed payday. So, it could be worse but it was still all very upsetting. If I hadn't been able to get to the bottom of the problem the next month could have been pretty difficult.

Nic and my colleagues were amazing, though. My manager got straight on the phone to our deputy director to call in help if payroll were unwilling to help. My old manager had his coat on and was halfway out the door to go to the bank to lend me money, before I reassured him I'd be okay for a bit. They gave me the morning to sort everything out, and let me leave early to pick up the P45 from the former employer. One of them surprised me with a bar of my favourite chocolate to cheer me up, which made me cry, then it made him cry, then it made another colleague cry. It's been an emotional day. I complain about my job a lot, I know, but my colleagues were wonderful today and I'm so grateful. Also, while I could have done without the stress, I have to say that the people I dealt with at HMRC were nothing less than kind, sensitive and helpful. It all calmed me down considerably.

I had planned to be spending this evening with Louise and Peter but owing to my flu and the general stress of the day, I've come home instead for a very relaxing evening and a big glass of wine.

I DID wear a dress, though!
Friday 2nd December 2011
Fever Theodora dress and Irregular Choice Hermia shoes

This is one of a very small number of dresses that I paid full price for. For someone with such a large wardrobe, I am a bit of a cheapskate and the vast majority of my dresses and shoes were bought on sale, or cheap on ebay. That said, I fell in love with this one when I saw it in Lilac Rose a few years ago and couldn't leave it behind. It's been worth every penny - in the colder weather this is a wardrobe staple. It's made of lovely soft, silky jersey so it's unbelievably comfortable - which was good today, when I was feeling yucky. The bright colour is so cheering, and it all feels very slinky. I love that it has sleeves, as well! I decided to wear it today with my Hermia wedges from Irregular Choice, but a button came off one of them shortly after this photo was taken and I had to rush back to change them. Like I said, it's been one of those days. They'll be fixable, though I think.

Anyway - that's me for this evening. Pyjamas and wine are calling me. See you tomorrow, my dears!