Friday, March 6, 2009

Haunted and Hacking

I've been AWOL from this blog for over a week for a variety of reasons. First, I've been sick. I think it's probably an upper respiratory virus (sore throat, congestion, hacking cough, yucky feeling) but I'm not positive. I have a doc appointment on Monday, so may receive some drugs then. In the meantime, I'm getting what rest I can and alternately chugging Robitussin and cough syrup with codeine (my husband's stash from a bronchitis episode). I've actually been sick a lot this winter, and I'm blaming my 18-month-old daughter who is in daycare. She gets a case of the sniffles, recovers in a few days, and her parents are sick for a week with sinus/bronchitis/bad cold. Thanks, sweetie.

The other reason is that I've been having to deal with my former church regarding the W-2 situation again, and I've been struggling with some angry emotions. I haven't felt like blogging about them until now.

I still do not have a corrected w-2 (or more appropriately, a W-2c) from my former treasurer. Two weeks ago, I e-mailed him and requested that he simply correct the original and we do the same with our copy. His wife (two-faced bitch who was my PPR chair) responded and said she'd let him know, that should be fine, etc. Last Saturday, Harry realized that we actually needed a W-2c (official corrected w-2 form). I sent B an e-mail and asked that he do this and mail it to us ASAP. I told him (once again) exactly what needed to be corrected. On WEDNESDAY I get an e-mail from him asking what boxes he needed to check (I had TOLD him this TWICE already). I immediately reply, telling him what I've told him the past two times ("check the __ and __ in box ___). I have heard nothing from him. I called the district secretary that same day and told her what was going on. She said to contact her if I haven't received anything by the middle of next week, and she'd make sure it happened. I thanked her and left it at that.

Here's what my thought process has been over the past few days:

-Am I being unreasonable? Do I have justification in being this upset? I think so (I'll give the reasons in a minute), but I would love to hear what you think. Here's why I'm upset:
*It is now March 6. My W-2 should have been in my mailbox no later than February 2, according to the IRS. I received it on February 11.
*One of the reasons why I received my W-2 so late was because B "didn't have my address." As I've said before, bull crap. I gave it to him before I left, and even if he had lost my address, both the current pastor and the district office had it all along. He just needed to ask...before the first week of February! He could have even found it by looking on the annual conference web site! Our clergy directory is accessible to anyone.
*There is no reason why my W-2 should have been incorrect in the first place. This is the THIRD year that I've received a W-2 from SJ, and the other two were identical...and had the correct information. B has been the treasurer for almost five years, so he's not new to this job.
*B is a fairly intelligent individual. He may be pushing 80, but there's nothing wrong with his brain. It shouldn't take THREE e-mails for him to establish what needs to be corrected with this W-2, especially since I spelled it out for him.
*As I've mentioned before, I have a history of this sort of behavior from B, so it's not new. With anyone else, I'd give them the benefit of the doubt, be concerned about health, etc, etc. With him and this congregation? Forget it. As far as I'm concerned, it's "guilty until proven innocent."

-I'm really tempted to report B to the district office, the annual conference, the IRS, and my denomination's financial accountability body. However, I don't want to damage the current pastor-who I think highly of and consider a friend-in any way, shape, or form. This is mostly between B and me, and has nothing to do with her.

-This brings back so many memories and emotions of my time at SJ...lots of anger and frustration, for example. What did I do to deserve this? As far as I'm concerned, nothing. I wasn't the perfect pastor, to be sure. I'm sure that they've been hurt by everything that happened. However, I just don't see any justification behind this sort of behavior...especially when it comes one year later!

-I feel so helpless. Beyond e-mailing B (no, I am not going to call him. I don't want to talk to him or his wife), e-mailing S (the current pastor), and reporting him to the agencies mentioned above, what can I do? I'm certainly not going to drive 200 miles and hold a gun to his head while he fills out the W-2c. I don't want to waste the gas or the time, and I don't own a gun, anyway.

As you can tell, I'm frustrated. Harry is even angrier than I am. He likes to do our taxes as early as possible. We're entitled to a nice refund this year, and are planning on spending some of it on home improvements. The rest is going into our savings account.


Pastor Joelle said...

This is ridicules and they could very well be breaking the law. What if you had kids in college - you need to have your taxes DONE by March 1 to get your FAFSA in. I don't know how your church body works but in my synod I'd call my bishop he'd be on their case. What bullshit.

I'm here! Now what? said...

Don't get caught up in their games. Report them.

Heidi said...

I realize this is an old post but for heaven's sake, REPORT them. What they are doing is wrong and if it damages the new pastor (don't see how it should) it is their (SJ congregation's) fault, not yours!