I have a job in the payroll industry. The thing I like about the job is that I can know stuff that not everyone else knows, and teach others the "rules". I love rules. There are lots of rules in payroll.
The thing I don't like about payroll is that it is a group project. Constantly I need to rely on other people to tell me things. To give me the right information in a way that is clear and understandable so I can help them. You'd think that this would be an easy thing, but it's not. I do my best to let people know what I need from them and how I need it to be presented, but everyone has their own mind, and I can't force anyone to do anything (this could be one of my biggest frustrations in life - that I can't force anyone to do anything. Control freak much? ;) ). Anyway, with payroll, there is much waiting on people and trying to nag people in a not so nagging way. Also, everyone does not like rules like I do.
It has been a roller-coaster payroll week for me. Mondays are always, always hard. They are heavy payroll days, with a cut-off deadline early in the day, and me the only person in this department. Since the day before Monday is the weekend, the information I require comes to me at the last minute. There is much rushing and tension on Monday mornings, and it has started to creep backward to Sundays. In some cases, I feel that I'm being set up to fail - as was the case this past Monday - and that makes me bitter.
Mondays are the gut-wrenching anticipation part of the roller coaster, that you feel as it slowly slowly is cranked up the steep track. Going down the other side - having everything completed by the deadline, and out of your hair for another week - is a sweet, sweet feeling. There are little hills to climb and little drops down too. Always, up and down, up and down with payroll. But in my life, Mondays are the giant hill.
Yesterday I had a new payroll high. One of my clients called me to ask my advice. Not to make me change anything, not to ask me to complete an extra task, not to argue with me. I knew all of their options, almost off the top of my head. This is big, because when I started in this position a year ago, I knew almost nothing about payroll. I have studied any and all free material I can get my hands on. I figured out all I needed to present to my client (without the use of the internet, I might add, because our internet was down most of the day), and I presented. And because of me, the client was able to reexamine their situation and come up with a plan considering all of the scenarios that might play out. From the change in tone of the conversations we had, I feel like I helped to make a difficult situation a little calmer and lighter for all involved. This is an amazing feeling, and it came right at a time when I really really needed it.
Today is back to being slowly drug up the track (kinda feels like being drug on the ground behind a horse), but I am a little more bold, strong, positive because of yesterday, and for that I am grateful. It's going to get me through another day of payroll.