Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Idealists, Stay Home!

I moved to Israel and met up with other Americans who moved around the same time. They were all gung ho zionists. "Yeah! Let's change Israel! Let's bring some American know how. Let's help make Israel a little better."

They're all gone now and I'm still here.

My dad owned a business. I remember as a little kid being told, "you never mess with people's paychecks. No matter how tight it is, you pay your employees first."I'm pretty sure he heard it from his dad.

I work 2 teaching jobs and I do freelance editing and writing and I can't make it here. But there are people living in tents in the park, so I still have room to fall. I feel bad for my kids though.

And Israel thinks that employees who work 2 or more jobs should pay 50% payroll tax on their secondary incomes because, "hey, if you're working more than one job you must be making plenty of money."

And to be fair, they give you the option of resetting your tax rate on your secondary incomes. Let me tell ya' how that worked.

First, you have to wait to receive a paycheck from your employers - a paycheck that had 50% taken out.

Then, you gather all your assorted documents, go to the tax office, take a number, fill out a form, wait, wait, meet with someone, and if everything is in order, you get your tax reset and pay the normal tax rate going forward. At some point you'll supposedly get that overtax you paid back - I've been here 4 years; any day now.

And you only lost half a day, which is a nice break from the 2 jobs and kids - so that seems ok.

It's really my own fault. I I never went and got a proper education and became a scientist, which sucks. So every time I take a freelance project that is big enough to put me on staff, I have to go back to the tax office and do it all over again.

And don't tell me you can do it online or fax it in - been there done that. When I lost 50% off the second month I went back to in-person.

So I got my first paycheck on this large freelance job that put me on staff. I went this morning to the tax office. They are on protest.

Not strike. Striking would be illegal. So the doors are open and the lights are on and a woman in the middle of the front door entryway, like a smiling tree on a hot dry middle eastern morning, nodding "no, we're on protest. ""not a strike, no, protest." "no you can't come in." "no, no one will see you."

Which was certainly a quicker trip then usual.

And when I came home and checked online, the system is on protest too, it actually says that on the screen. Someone took a break from protesting to add their protest that is not a strike, to the website.  The operating system has joined their struggle. I imagine Olympians bowing their heads and raising their fists.

I have 2 weeks to get this fixed or I lose 50% off the next paycheck too. I wonder whats going to happen.

Did I mention that I have had one time paychecks that 50% was removed, but because the job did not require a second paycheck, I can apply in March of next year to get that money back. It's June now, still haven't seen last years. A little frustrating, but wait, here's the kicker:

One of my teaching gigs is for the public school system. During the year teachers conduct the Bagrut tests at other schools, to remove bias, cheating etc. The education dept. pays that day of work separately from a teacher's regular paycheck and guess what bam! - 50%

This reminds me of the story of the appliance discount - what a hoot. I'll tell it next time.

Didn't your dad ever teach you not to mess with people's paychecks? It's no wonder the ones who come for idealism are the first to leave.

#dontmesswithpaychecks #protestnotstrike #arghh

1 comment:

Rafi G. said...

but at least they are not striking