Listen to a conversation between a student and a Department Secretary.
Hi. Miss Hendrix.
Hi Bret, how are you?
I'm fine except I have a question about my paycheck.
Sure. What's up?
Well it's already been several weeks into the semester and my paycheck was supposed to go directly into my bank account but there haven't been any deposits.
Yeah, I thought graduate teaching assistants will automatically put on the payroll at the beginning of the semester.
They are... Let's see... did you complete all the forms for payroll?
I filled in whatever they sent me, and... I returned it like, at the end of August.
Hum, well, you definitely should have been paid by now.
At least two pay periods have passed since then.
I asked the bank and they didn't know anything.
Who should I talk to about this, payroll?
I'm going to contact them for you.
There was a problem in processing some of the graduate students' payroll paper work, ‘cause their computer program crashed after all the information was processed, and some people’s information couldn’t be retrieved.
[very annoyed] Oh... but... why didn't anyone let me know?
I don't know how they work over there, ‘cause they couldn't even figure out whose information was missing.
And this isn't the first time: Seems like something like this happens every semester.
So... how do I find out if my information was lost?
I will contact them tomorrow morning to see if you're in the system, but you’re probably not.
Well, then, what will I need to do?
Sorry but you will need to fill out those forms again and then I will fax them over the payroll office.
[exasperated] And then what? ...well... what I really need to know is... how long till I get some money? I'm already a month behind on my bills and my tuition's due soon.
They'll get you into the system the same day they receive your paperwork, so if you do that tomorrow, you’ll get paid next Friday.
That's a long time from now. [frustrated] Will that paycheck include all the money I’m owed?
It should. I will double-check with the payroll department.
And another thing: Is there any way I could get paid sooner? I have been teaching all these weeks...
I know it's not fair but... I don't think they can do anything. All the checks are computed automatically in the system.
They can't just... write checks.
But... they are the ones that made a mistake... and... they never told me.
I understand how you feel . If I were you, I'd be upset too.
I'll tell you what. when I call them, I will explain the situation and ask if there is any way you can be paid sooner.
But I have to tell you that, based on past experiences, you shouldn't count on it.
[turning appreciative] I understand. Thanks. I know it's not your fault, and that you're doing everything you can.
Well, what I CAN do is make sure that your first check for the total amount the university owes you.
That'll be great! Thank you. I will be on campus about 10 tomorrow morning, and I will come by to see you then.