“Give an entire paycheck to someone who needs it more than me”.

It’s interesting how when things come to fruition, they look totally different than you imagined it. I’m not sure what I was expecting when I set this goal. Because I mean, you can’t literally give a paycheck to someone. They wouldn’t be able to cash it, they might even get flagged for it and taken away to jail, which is probably the last thing anyone needs. Speaking of which, how are you even supposed to know who to give it to? Do I really want to give a week or more worth of work away to a guy who’s going to go get a ton of booze, get plastered, then do it all over again in next week?

In my head, I guess that’s exactly what I pictured: me, having saved enough money to be living quite comfortably, getting a paycheck in the mail, slapping my signature on it, then finding the nearest hobo, putting it in their hand, then walking away. Dramatic, sure, but probably not very helpful for the aforementioned reasons.

This particular goal came into sight about five weeks ago when I got a substantial belated graduation gift. It afforded me a lot of breathing room financially so I started tossing around the idea of throwing the coming week’s pay at an unfortunate soul. Maybe it was coincidence or maybe it was fate, but a few days later I was released from Target under substantially-sketchy terms, and almost instantly the idea evaporated. No telling how long the next job hunt was going to last and making rent on time is just as important as life goals.

Throughout the next few weeks, as I patiently waited on my final check to arrive, I couldn’t get the thought of it out of my head. To be honest, there was a fairly strong sense of guilt which made me consider why I’d even set the goal in the first place. Was it to force myself to be charitable? Was it symbolic, putting in two weeks of work without knowing where it was going? Was it something that would eventually be easy to accomplish that would look good on the list? I’m still not exactly sure. What I do know is that having every intention of making it happen one day only to do an about face the next felt wrong. Once my comfort was at stake, I instantly reverted back to focusing on me. If I was still employed and went through with it, would I really have accomplished anything? Does giving really mean anything if it’s easy (possibly tax-advantageous) to do?

Luckily I had a few weeks to think about it. They finally called not too long ago and asked me to come pick up the check. Apparently they’d tried to send it prior but it kept getting sent back. Turns out they hadn’t even put a stamp on the thing. That should give you a nice picture of how sketchy they were: unwilling to spend 44 cents on an ex-employee.

So yesterday I promptly put it in the bank. Today it cleared and I went ahead and donated it to a good cause. The Hadassah House and their All Things New campaign helps rehabilitate women and children rescued from domestic sex trafficking so they can go on to lead normal, healthy lives. This way I can be sure it’s going to someone who needs it way more than I ever will.

Maybe it was because I didn’t want to accept money from dirtbag managers. Maybe it was because in my mind, I’d already given that money away. Whatever it was, it definitely felt right.

One down, a hundred to go.

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