the joys of bureaucracy

My last day of work for the state was technically 12/31.  There were a few payments the agency would owe me.

  • salary for December - this was paid on Jan ~2nd.  No problems as it’s an automatic function

  • pay for standby duty - this was paid on 9th, as is typical.  It takes human intervention.

  • pay for comp time - just kidding, Texas state employees forfeit comp time at time of separation;  that would have been useful information beforehand.  Luckily I only lost 2 days pay on it

  • pay for accrued FLSA - this was paid on Feb ~9th

  • pay for** unused vacation time** - was quoted as being 40-70 days from separation.  The times might seem weird, but line up with that ~9th payday the state has for some things.

I had put a dated task on my calendar to watch for that vacation pay by day 70;  no joy.   So I called the agency’s local HR:  “yeah, that was direct deposited on the 2nd.”  Umm, no it wasn’t.  They gave me Payroll’s number in Austin, who told me it was queued up and would direct deposit on the 10th-11th.

I set another dated task for the twelfth to check on the depostit;  no joy.  I called district HR who said they understood why it hadn’t deposited yet – payroll had sent HR (in El Paso) a paper check.   Yay.

To make matters even more amusing, Payroll advised that the state purges direct deposit info 60 days after separation, and cannot reinstate direct deposit for non-employees.

To summarize:  the state slow-walked the payment so long that their own systems purged the payment info and sent a paper check to  an office 800mi away.  

The good news is I’m going to get to learn how effective General Delivery.  Luckily the closest Postmaster was friendly and helpful.  The state will route the check to my mail forwarder, who will send that (and a couple other things) to me @ General Delivery.  I’ll let you know how it turns out.