informally working

Not that the work that I am doing is informal. But  in practice everything I do here regarding getting paid is pretty old school. I know what you’re about to say (not that!), but trust me, even if I did have a bank account here, it would still be pretty old school.

Case in point. A lot of my employers pay me in cash and would even if I did have an account. I guess that’s cool. But really I am actually gringa enough (surprise) to prefer NOT to pick up anything in person, be it cash or check or paperwork or whatever, over paying marginally higher tax rates or whatever trouble my employers save through paying me in cash.

Also weird because of questionable bookkeeping. No bank means no 3rd party involved to document anything.

Also weird because it turns out one of my schools, Hamer Sharp owned by Patty Hamer, is apparently having trouble paying me. I had to demand a check from January yesterday, and my coordinator paid me part of it in cash out of her own purse in small bills. Another sum she owed me, from work I did in February, she paid by endorsing another employee’s paycheck over to me. Uh… I guess that explains where my missing check from January went?

I haven’t tried to cash the endorsed check yet. Mind you, my coordinator endorsed it, not the nominee.

Pf. I think Hamer Sharp has PriceWaterhouseCoopers as a client, too. So I am assuming somebody’s getting paid.

I really want out of working with Hamer Sharp– mainly because I don’t work with bullshitters– but I am taking this anecdote as a hint that if I bow out I will lose the wages for the three weeks that would fall between my last day and the previous pay period. In other words, I need to get more fed up in order to actually risk that, I guess.

There’s also my students to think of. No wait, they would completely understand.

P.S. The reason I am posting this is because I have heard of especially the last paycheck bind happening to lots of other people here. Not just foreigners and not just English teachers.


5 responses to “informally working

  1. Sometimes getting paid is really cool (like getting tips when waitressing) but I prefer to be paid more formally via bank, etc. It’s just less of a hassle and the money feels somehow more official. But hey, you have a paid job here in D.F. while I do much more informal work online haha

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  3. Yeah, this Hamer Sharp franchise thing is a big ripoff. The one in Lindavista treats its employees (well, not really employeess) like slaves, and there’s a lot of backstabbing. The biggest problem is the owner, David Carranza, knows nothing of business or management. He uses business principles from 30 year old business textbooks from the U.S. These same principles and processes (like bleeding your employees and ripping them off) proved disastrous and brought huge old-school powerhouses like Sears, IBM, and Montgomery Wards to their knees. Well-placed sources say that he has been making frequent, almost daily trips to see Patty Hamer down there in Galeria… maybe to buy her out.

    • Just to update the situation and to respond to your comment, I haven’t had any problems with payment since I made it clear that that was unacceptable, and I have since met Paty, who seems pretty straightforward and direct at least.

      Regarding books, we have used Market Leader in all the classes I’ve taught, so never a problem with that, although I don’t really like the strict timetables they ask us to keep, which don’t allow much room for additional materials.

      I am still not happy about the fact that I was ever paid late, which is a good enough reason to try to replace my classes with them with classes from other clients/schools. However, I don’t want my opinion of them to go on record as wholly negative because I think my students have largely benefitted from the courses they’ve received through Hamer Sharp.

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