Just Passing Through

My dear father moved up to better jobs all his life, uprooted my mother and four kids , I’m the eldest, and gave away the dog to a farm and we would drive to the new destination every couple of years.

When we arrived he’d tell us little kids that the moving truck would be here soon, he was going to his new office to check things out, and that any box with our name on it must be un-boxed and put away before he came home that evening.

As a mature adult I am still moved around the nation and world on a whim. Now it’s my husband’s. When I get a picture framed, he says “you’re not moving, you’re nesting!” What’s wrong with having something on a wall? I’m a woman and will not live in a man cave with dark blinds overlooking the back of mailboxes and a parking lot.

As it is, he flies to work every week and returns on the weekend so I am alone with our old dog, Zoe.

Today, a pass-through is a legal entity that is recognized by a client. Ours doesn’t like the fact that they did not recommend my husband to said client so they cannot demand an excessive percentage of his hourly rate. All they are supposed to do is cut a few checks per month for pay and expenses.

He was on a plane at a very early hour for work, I know because I had to awaken the dog and walk her, then make him oatmeal (regular, not quick, with cinnamon, maple syrup, vanilla then topped with blueberries). Yum.

As my husband was on a plane I had to call the pass-through to ask two questions. How do we bill for hours, and also how do we process expenses? Their answer? You cannot do that, as he does not work for us.

My real question is if my husband has been working for this client for two weeks as a volunteer with no compensation for his work or recompense for expenses we have advanced to two large for-profit companies, or has the pass-through check-writer developed carpal tunnel syndrome?

We created a company at the insistence of the two others. Our investment was the time and effort of two consultants. Priceless. Also $25 to open a bank account, that last week went down to $15 because of bank fees. We are personally lending our corporation money to pay multiple fees and me to do compliance filings with no income whatsoever, along with our personal taxes.

What is wrong with this picture? After we met over 16 years ago he had me give up most of my volunteer responsibilities so we could marry and move anywhere. He said that “anything worth doing is worth getting paid for.” Tell that to a feral cat living out of a dumpster out back of Wal-Mart.

I donated my bean bag training cat, Snowflake The Wonder Kitty, to my volunteer team (I was asked to allow filming of my volunteer training, with Snowflake showing the lack of muscular control an anesthetized feral has, by the prestigious San Francisco SPCA.) Now Snowflake #2 looks at me as I write and the organization for which I volunteered has adopted several of my policy recommendations and this week commended me for my service on their behalf.

It was always something to be dreaded and enjoyed. Up to ten hours and 200 cats, doing transport and training and managing volunteers. Emergency, taking back to surgery for new orders. Yes, I know what tapeworms look like, tiny grains of rice that wiggle. No freaking way is this cat ever going back into a trap, even for mackerel. Let’s treat him now.

Change the chart for Droncit. Back to ER (back of a SUV). They told me not to see my cats when I returned home. Strip in the garage and take a shower ASAP. Well, I had no w/d back then and pulled into a carport. I don’t think my neighbors wanted to see me naked so I was as careful as I could be and bagged my clothes and took the shower. After all, I was “Aunt Dee” so I got all the mange and ringworm cases. Not good for home.

I miss my volunteer days as I age and no-one will give me anything challenging any more. But I worked a full week for pay, usually, non-profits then volunteered on weekends and evenings. Did I say pay? Yes. I’m retired but my husband is working for free a couple thousand of miles away, because he doesn’t work there until they get a number to enter him into the system so he can be paid. Perhaps I should advise my partner in life and business to stop volunteering! Dee


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