To work or not to work, but will ever I get paid?

While I search for that elusive holy grail of the perfect full-time, flex-hours, well-paid, work from home job that is both interesting and challenging, but does not have me tearing my hair out or staying up 3 nights a week, I have managed to pick up some part time work and a few freelance projects. But I am beginning to wonder if I will ever actually get paid.

While I was warned not to expect US salaries, I was not warned about “+90” or schools who don’t make payroll.

In the end, my husband actually received the first “real?” job offer: part time teaching at a local school back in December. Since a friend arranged the job, and it was only a couple of hours a week (plus prep time), he never bothered to ask about the salary, or pay schedule/process, since it would barely be enough for pizza each week anyway.

Jan slipped by and in Feb he realized he still had not been paid. He called the friend, who assured him it was being taken care of. In March still nothing, but this time he was told by the friend in mid-March that the “reason” he had never been paid was because he had to fill out a form”. By this time it was nearly Purim and he was leaving the next day for the US until after the 1st of April so no pay came in April either. They finally paid in May and promptly laid him off.  If they were looking for volunteers they should have said so.

So my questions now are, when and what will I ever get paid? One “professional” job interview was with “non-profit” organization. During the interview I was asked if I had any problem “receiving my whole salary on the books”. I indicated that I was interviewing and looking for a real job, clarifying that that meant full time with benefits and taxes paid.

After accepting the job my supervisor indicated that the bookkeeper had all the financial information. The bookkeeper shook her head when I asked about the various “keren”s and shrugged when I asked about the new pension laws, simply saying “We don’t have it here.”. When I asked my supervisor, he said he thought that by reporting the income, it was considered a “real” job & blamed the lack of any benefits on the fact that they depend on donations for their budget.

Even non-profit organizations in America, who also depend on donated budget funds, do pay benefits. It’s a known cost of doing business: an employee costs a company an average of 2 times the salary itself in benefits, taxes and administrative overhead. These are known costs and any “real” organization, for profit or not, should be required to pay legal minimums.

The next interview I went for was for a job at a new local regional council facility that was being remodeled. Everything was going great, and they even asked me what hours would be best for me: mornings, afternoons or evenings. Then the kicker: the benefits are good, but the pay is minimal, as in minimum wage, literallly. Let’s see, after paying for housing every month, the two of us would be living on what I received as “sal klita” for one person. If I freelance at night and work all day, we could probably afford to eat too—as long as we can wait 90 days to pay the tab at the grocery store.

What worries me more is the fact that many regional councils do not pay their employees at all, and this does not seem to bother anyone. So after working 40+ hours a week, I’ll come home with….nothing??