Life Could Always Be Worse

ClosingSweetbayStores

Today I received my first paycheck of 2013. It reflects my company’s merger, which includes a different health insurance plan and a new 401k company, PLUS the new tax changes.

Suffice to say, I was nervous checking my account this morning. After perusing my statement, I blew out a sigh of relief. I was only missing $90! I’d expected much more.

Then I did the math.

You see, $90 a paycheck translates to $2,340 a year. That’s $2,340 less than last year, simply because this year is this year!

My bosses response: “Obama.” My response: “Shuddup.” (I work with many Republicans.) Then, as the numbers began to race around in my head and I began to feel worse, my boss tried to make me feel better: “Well, if it’s any consolation,” she said looking sad, “I’m losing $200 a paycheck.”

That did not make me feel any better.

I used to look forward to our company’s annual pay increase. If approved, the small increase shows up in your check around March. Now, we’re all just hoping to get something that brings back some of what we’ve lost. There’s no way I could have accounted for this kind of issue when I was a kid, living in the Battle Creek projects, dreaming about one day being where I am now. (Yes, I dreamed about entering the middle class. This seemed like a lot back then.)

Immediately after my pity party, I read about Sweetbay Supermarkets. They’re closing 33 stores in Florida. That translates to 1,200 jobs locally, which translates to 1,200 people who’d kill for my $100 paycut. God always sends perspective.

So yeah, today I’m a little bit more broke AND a little bit more grateful to be employed. I mean, it could always be worse.

2013 is starting off with a dud…but I’ll feel better if they turn one of those soon-to-be empty Sweetbay Stores into a CB2 or Trader Joes.