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to think this is an abhorrent attitude?

(101 Posts)
faithinthesound Mon 13-Feb-17 23:02:21

The person in my company who is in charge of payroll had a bit of a bish up in November, and a handful of people were overpaid. It's... well, frankly, it sucks for the people affected, but these things happen, right? We're all only human.

There have been letters go up in our staffroom detailing what happened and making it clear that the money has to be paid back. In all of the cases that I've been made aware of, we're talking about less than $100.

So most people are saying "wow, that sucks, I'm really upset about it" and things along those lines. But they're doing things like, negotiating with the company about spreading the repayment over more than one pay, or rejigging their budgets to get it done. Basically, acknowledging that it's a suboptimal situation, but recognizing what has to happen, and taking steps to do it.

There's at least one person who is taking the opposite stance. A selection of gems heard straight from her mouth:
"Well, how much does the company make in a day? More than enough to cover this!"
"It's the company's fault, why should I suffer!"
"The company screwed up, they should take the hit, not me!"

I interjected here. I said, "If you're walking down the street, and you trip over a wallet full of cash, yes, the person who owns it should have been more careful, it is their mistake... but it still doesn't belong to you.

"I don't care!" she responded. "I don't care that it isn't mine. They screwed up, and I don't see why I should have to give it back."

Well, there's no arguing with stupid and selfish, so I was going to leave it. Until she said this.

"I don't even care if the company goes under." And "I'm going to fight it."

I said "Go ahead. Take it to small claims court. You don't have a legal leg to stand on."

And if the company goes under, it's not just her who loses her job, it's EVERYONE. All the people taking steps to fix the mistake, all the people who weren't even affected by the mistake, everyone. Everyone's out a job if the company goes under... but you don't care about any of that?

"Nope."

Am I being unreasonable to think she's revolting? Don't get me wrong, I'm fully on board that the situation sucks but that doesn't change the facts... right?

For the record, I wasn't one of the ones overpaid, but if I had been I would have given it back without hesitation - it wouldn't have been my money, you know? That's right and fair, I think.

I already disliked this girl for other reasons, but now she's really made my blood boil!

Sparklingbrook Mon 13-Feb-17 23:08:39

They should just take it out of next month's pay.

That is a weird attitude.

Iwasjustabouttosaythat Mon 13-Feb-17 23:14:29

Sounds a bit annoying but maybe it's really hard for her for some reason. Maybe she lives pay to pay, spent that money without thinking, and is going to have a hard time getting by without now?

Or maybe she's just a jerk. I wouldn't get that upset about it though. Just roll your eyes and move on. It's her problem.

faithinthesound Mon 13-Feb-17 23:17:58

I mean it's annoying and hard for my friends, too, but they're not throwing tanties and effing and blinding all over the place - they're making the best of a bad situation.

I think she IS just a jerk!

OrangeJulius Mon 13-Feb-17 23:19:25

I've had this happen to me, I was overpaid over the course of several months. It is pretty horrible to be told you have to give back money you thought was yours (in my case hundreds of pounds), so while she's being unreasonable maybe it's just angry ranting and she will calm down.

Not sure why you are revolted by her indifference to the company's future, I suspect lots of people aren't emotionally invested in their employer. Her complaint is not going to make the company go under.

lottieandmia Mon 13-Feb-17 23:20:01

Well clearly YANBU - the money should rightly be recovered.

WorraLiberty Mon 13-Feb-17 23:20:12

She just sounds wound up and a bit petulant.

She should really just look at it as an interest free 100 dollar loan, and arrange monthly repayments.

foodtime Mon 13-Feb-17 23:21:14

Why do you care so much?

I can never understand this over the top loyalty some people have to someone else's business.

If they need to cut costs you would be gone without a second thought.

I own a large business and would think it was odd for someone to get into an argument defending it.

Then again if it was under £100 I would quietly let people keep the money.

omnishamblesssssssssssssss Mon 13-Feb-17 23:21:21

Let it wash over you. Don't give her any thought

LittleBoat Mon 13-Feb-17 23:23:10

I was was once overpaid - paid twice by mistake. And was told to keep it!

I haven't ever lost a wink of sleep over it.

Would have given it back though if asked.

Sgtmajormummy Tue 14-Feb-17 00:01:33

She sounds like she spent the excess and is now worrying how to cover her expenses with the shortfall.
But not showing herself in the best light.

I had a situation in one job where I asked for my salary to be paid at a fixed amount and any excess in December. I started in the middle of high season so it wasn't a big sacrifice (working too many hours to even spend the money!). When times got hard my colleagues were sick with worry and I did feel sorry for them. Budgeting in your 20s, or at any age, can be difficult.

Sympathetic and non-committal is the best reaction IMO.

needmymouthsewnup Tue 14-Feb-17 00:55:17

I find it odd that people don't realise at the time if they've been overpaid. Do you not know how much you are supposed to get each month? It happened to me when I went back to the same company after mat leave, but only part time - they obviously hadn't changed my info in the system and paid me a full-time salary. I realised immediately, told them straight away and although it was a bit annoying that they wouldn't take it back, but instead docked it from my next month's salary, it at least meant that that I could budget accordingly and not spend it. I appreciate if it's a smaller amount, it would be harder to notice, but I'm still surprised it wasn't noticed at the time...

But OP, YANBU, she sounds like a drama queen and is enjoying 'the injustice' of it all.

faithinthesound Tue 14-Feb-17 01:02:05

I think the reason I'm so upset about it, is because she's shown that she's a completely selfish person who doesn't care about anyone but herself. We've spent the last... I think like, three months, putting so much attention into the team, and teamwork, and team building, you know? There's been this huge emphasis on working together and being a "family" (as much as unrelated employees ever can be). I know most of us have been really buying into it and the work has improved and the working environment has improved as a result of this initiative. So to have her just... throwing everyone under the bus like that, after all we've done, feels like a personal betrayal that far overshadows any company loyalty haha.

But I'm probably just being dramatic lol.

lalalalyra Tue 14-Feb-17 01:03:39

She might not have it to give back. I had an agreement with the bank years ago that they'd allow me a set level of overdraft on a decreasing level. So each month when my pay went in I kept a set amount and the rest went to to paying off the overdraft (previous place I worked went bust - turned up 2 days before pay day to find everything shut so finances were totally fucked for a while). I was living on the very, very basic minimum. Trying to find £100 out of my pay, even over a few months would have been a nightmare.

faithinthesound Tue 14-Feb-17 01:05:32

It happened right in the period where we were all doing extra hours because Christmas, so they weren't standard pays, if that makes sense. We're paid fortnightly.

faithinthesound Tue 14-Feb-17 01:07:18

She's going to have to give it back. The company is asking for it back. The money doesn't belong to her.

lalalalyra Tue 14-Feb-17 01:12:48

She will have to pay it back, but she doesn't have to be happy about it. Especially as you say it was at a time when wages weren't a set amount. She's quite probably spent it over Christmas and New Year and is now having to juggle things because of something not in her control. If her budget is tight that could be really difficult.

Doesn't mean she should be threatening small claims and the likes, but it could be a real problem for her.

anothermalteserplease Tue 14-Feb-17 01:17:13

I can understand her being annoyed but she probably shouldn't be so vocal about it.
Payroll is a stressful job. It's crap pay for a lot of responsibility. I hated doing payroll work as when you cock up you can really impact on people's lives.

faithinthesound Tue 14-Feb-17 01:24:25

Oh, she absolutely doesn't have to be happy about it! No one's happy with it. It's the "eff this and eff that and I'm going to fight it" attitude that I'm upset with. Everyone else is taking it on the chin, even those for whom it's difficult.

TinselTwins Tue 14-Feb-17 01:31:17

You think she's "revolting"? wow! that's, erm, strong! and you say she's over-reacting.

She's reacting to something that could have catastrophic effects on her life, being sort by "just" $100 can be the difference between making a payment and not.

You, on the otherhand, are reacting really strongly to her reaction even though it has no bearing on your life. If she fights it and loses - how does that affect you? If she fights it and doesn't have to pay it back somehow, well, a company that goes under for the sake of $100 was going to go under anyway, so it still makes no odds to you.

I don't see why you think its so noble of your friends to be so cool about it. It's not okay, and a fuss should be made, and systems put in place to improve payrol.

TinselTwins Tue 14-Feb-17 01:32:47

She's actually the very person who will make things better for you and everyone else you work with by not quietly letting this slide.

AbernathysFringe Tue 14-Feb-17 01:59:10

'Team-building' and 'family' atmosphere at some old office job. Cringe. Very Michael Scott. Most people in the UK take that kind of thing with an eye-rolling cynicism dont' they? The company cares about money as demonstrated by their calling the mispaid money back in. The employee also cares about money - that's why she's there, tolerating all the Americanised 'initiatives'.

lalalalyra Tue 14-Feb-17 02:08:50

I also think the wallet in the street comparison is not really a fair one. It's not the same as having the money and believing it was yours and then having to give it back.

More like someone giving you £20 for your birthday, which you duly spend on something nice and then 3 months later they tell you they only meant to give you £10 so can they have the extra £10 back.

bloodyteenagers Tue 14-Feb-17 02:34:54

It happened to me. I was doing overtime and something didn't look right. It's fine I was told. The following month, same.
Third month a few of us now saying erm is this right? Oh it's fine. So of course I spent the money.
Then just before fourth month - oopsie we've made a mistake and over paid. They wanted every penny back that month from everyone. Oh I was extremely vocal. Then they wanted it back at 100 a month - I was more vocal. What shouldn't I pay for that month, a bill, starve what?
I don't discuss my outgoings with colleagues so they wouldn't have known I was struggling. They didn't realise that 100 was a major deal.
Beucase I was so vocal it did everyone else a huge favour. Those mistakes were written off and payroll have been extremely careful since. Prior to this they were it seems always making errors and demanding the whole thing back in one go.
If that makes me stupid, selfish and revolting then so be it.

EmeraldScorn Tue 14-Feb-17 03:13:37

The money didn't come out of your pocket so I don't know why you're annoyed and your explanation about "team building" is silly in my opinion.

Most people work to get paid, end of - I have zero loyalty to the company I work for because they have none towards me; They aren't doing me a favour out of the goodness of their greedy capitalist hearts come payday every month, I work for them therefore I expect to be paid in exchange for the skills I bring to their business.

I don't think of my colleagues/employers as "family", I see the entire connection as a necessity so as I can keep a roof over my head and feed myself every day.

If I was overpaid I'd return the payment if I was asked to do so but there have been far too many times where I've been underpaid month on month due to yet another fuck up on someone else's part and I can assure you the bosses were not too quick to rectify the matter, I have had to chase down the money that I had earned and was entitled to.

Their mistakes at times have left me short of money - Perhaps your work colleague fears being in a similar predicament having to hand over the full amount in one go.

You don't know what her home situation is like, perhaps her partner isn't earning as much as your other colleague's partners and can't help her to make up this month's shortfall or maybe she's on her own with bigger outlays etc, you can't judge her reluctance to pay the money back based on the circumstances of other people.

Personally as a gesture of goodwill they should let those who were overpaid keep it in recognition of their hard work etc.

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