***Steps on soap box***
Dear State of Arizona,
I am a faithful employee of yours. I have worked for you in a few agencies for a total of 7 years now. I worked at Child Support and put up with those women who had many children and many options as to who the fathers might be. I never complained as we tested all those men. I've worked for the Department of Emergency and Medical Affairs at the National Guard base in Phoenix. And although I enjoyed looking at the boys in the army uniforms and giggling as they took their hats off and opened doors for me, I hated working in that room alone, with no windows trying to sort out and organize their filing system. I still never complained. I now work for your Medicaid department. It's a great job, we help needy people get health care. Arizona's Medicaid agency is one of the best Medicaid providers in the entire United States. I left this agency to pursue working at my church, but came back because I believe it's such a good agency to work for. This job too, has it's faults. However, I don't complain. I really enjoy my job, enjoy working for the government. Today, I am choosing to complain to you because what you've done is just...well wrong.
Back in January, all agencies began receiving e-mails from the main agency representing the state (ADOA). Our state has partnered with Mayo Clinic to provide information about health, wellness, etc. In the e-mails, you asked your faithful employees to fill out a health assessment from Mayo Clinic online. If we filled out the health assessment and our names were drawn we would win $100 in gift cards. I took your survey to humor you. Imagine my surprise when I received an email saying that I was one of the people throughout the entire state that won the said gift cards. Hooray! Go me! I was excited and felt appreciated for my job even though my name was randomly drawn. I've received my gift cards and they have been well spent. Thank you, State of Arizona.
Today, as I glanced at my paystub, I began to get very perplexed as to why my paycheck was $26.39 less than it normally is. Every week, I work a straight 40 hours, if I need to take time off, I have PLENTY of time to take off. So, I shouldn't be missing anything out of my paycheck. But today, I am. Why is that, State of Arizona? After doing some research (during work time mind you), I've discovered that anyone who won those gift cards were going to be taxed. It's a federal law that any gifts an employee receives on behalf of the state is to be taxed. Okay, I understand that, I guess. However, the lady on the phone that I complained to said they were aware those gift cards were going to be taxed but didn't think it was going to affect people's paycheck to where it's noticeable and it was decided not that this information didn't need to be shared.
Well, State of Arizona, $26 dollars may not seem like a lot to you, but to me it's:
- A half of tank of gas.
- Barely enough to buy milk, cereal, bread...you know the staples in the house.
- Part of my tuition payment.
- Barely enough for school supplies each semester to obtain my education.
- Half of my cable/internet bill.
- An oil change.
- 1/3 of my cell phone payment.
- 1/3 of my credit card payments.
- The cost of my water bill.
So, see...$26 could of done that. And I can do without the $26 for this paycheck. However, I will NOT be participating in your your stupid little survey's anymore. If we were forewarned before we took the survey, I wouldn't of took it in the first place. How are you going to tax gift cards that I won? You managed to annoy me today, so thank you. You've just lost "I enjoy working for the state" points. Well done.
***Steps off soap box***