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Payroll Pallava: “When they go low, I enter the basement. I am a simple woman.”

Keside Asionye

Brand Comms Exec, Pade.

May 30, 2024

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Payroll Palava is a monthly series that provides a safe space to explore the big, the bad, and the ugly of payroll from the perspective of real people, and the importance of embracing technology.

So, what’s your payroll story? Was it an error in pay? Was it delayed pay? Which was it?

Thank you very much for that lovely because honestly, I am not so sure what category to fit this into seeing I’ve still not been paid now.

Not been paid? I’ll need you to clarify that. How long has it been?

Honestly, I don’t remember but this has been since 2021 so going to three years? I’ve even changed jobs and moved locations since then. It was an affliction that I hope doesn’t arise a second time. I still have leftover PTSD. That was why I was looking forward to your Twitter space.

The Work Trauma one.

Ah? THREE YEARS? So what was the financial impact like on you? Feel free to give me instances. And we’ll definitely be expecting you on The Out of Office Pod.

The Out of Office Pod? What is that? Ohhh you mean your Twitter space?

Yes. That’s what it’s called. ‘TOOP’ for short.

Okay then. I’ll be there.

So for the the impact, it was crazy. Mentally, I already mentioned I still feel it to date and financially, it broke me. I’m the first child of my parents so you know how it can be with responsibilities and whatnot. I honestly have never been so frustrated. I had just finished serving around that time and felt super lucky to be working in a private organisation already because I was retained. I was excited about the experience and the stipend I was getting. It was pretty rough because I experienced a couple of other things there before this final one that broke my camel’s back.

I couldn’t buy stuff, couldn't help out at home, could barely even feed. It really was crazy.

I’d also like to be anonymous too btw. I don’t think I mentioned that.

Understandable honestly. Anonymous will you be. On the part of your job, how did that make you feel? I can already imagine but we need to hear it from you.

I was so burnt out. It started with promises of heaven and earth in the first month. Then it was three months before we knew it and I was still working because I felt that’s how jobs are and I’m lucky I even had one at all, you know. First-time martyr behaviour. So, I just kept suffering and smiling until eventually, I broke.

I stopped coming to work but I still worked from home. This was five months in. Pretty sure the quality of my work dropped. I wasn’t jumping on tasks as I used to and stuff.

So how was your employer or your HR managing all of this? Especially when you stopped going to work.

So, that was another problem. We did not have an HR person on the team. So I’d say they did a terrible job handling the situation. Just empty promises and whatnot.

Eventually, when I stopped coming I got calls and I told them point blank that I could barely even feed so I did not have the transport fare required to keep coming into work. And then of course, they apologised and did nothing.

That reminds me. In the early days when it started, they bought pizza on payday which was so silly because I don’t know what you expect pizza to do for us.

They knew you people were going to be hungry for a long time so they fed you your ‘last supper.’

You get? It was like how you feed animals before you lead them to the slaughter. It was a lot, man. A whole lot!

I’m so sorry you had to go through that. Would you say that it affected your job performance that month and your relationship with your employer in any way?

It affected now? It affected like mad.

So, I already told you that I changed jobs and moved to a different state. Yeah. Luckily they gave me a brand new laptop when I joined the company, so when I stopped coming and changed jobs and state, I did that with the laptop o.

So you travelled with the laptop?

Yes, my love.

Since they thought it wise to owe me for over eight months, I also thought it wise to move to another state with the laptop I was given. When they go low, I enter the basement.

I’m a simple woman.

At least as collateral now? How did they handle the situation?

The first time they called me (because they hadn’t in a while, even to apologise), I thought it was good news only to find out they wanted the laptop back. I laughed ehn.

I told them I was more than willing to give it back to them through dispatch as long as they paid me what they owed. They wanted to use explanation to take my life. There’s nothing they did not say.

I told them there was nothing I could do because even the money for dispatch, I did not have. So that completely soiled the relationship. I did not mind because I kuku didn’t want to be friends with the weapons fashioned against me.

Sigh. Is there anything they could have done differently to manage the situation?

Yes! I’d have loved it if they were transparent and let us know that the company we were all working to build was going through some things and even asked us for our advice and stuff. But they did not. I’d have said they treated us like we were kids but you should not even treat kids like that. They are not dumb.

So yeah. It was hurtful honestly. Like a proper breakup because I am someone who gets really attached to their work and how it contributes to the overall company growth. If I was properly carried along, who knows? I might have stayed.

Would you really have though? 👀

I guess we’ll never know.

Haha. So in hindsight, do you think that technology would have helped in any way?

Well, I can tell you that if I had access to Earned Wage Access by Pade, I would have withdrawn a lot in the first month and then disappeared so you people and them would have figured it out on your own.

But really, I think having access to data would have helped thin the flock. You know who does what and gets what and decide from there. I believe cutting salaries or even laying off people was way better than what they did to us because then you at least know where you stand and not just radio silence.

Okay. So, from your mention of #EWAbyPade that means you already know what Pade does. To buttress though, our platform manages the end-to-end employees’ cycle which very much includes payroll, reporting and performance. So, would you be willing to recommend us to your employer?

Well, my present employer already uses Pade. That’s how I know what I know. The other guys, we don’t talk anymore and I even think they shut down, sadly.

Okay. That’s cool. You know, this salary owing thing was a whole discussion on Twitter earlier this month. So, what would you say to employers and employees in these shoes we’ve just spoken about?

It happens. The startup life isn't easy. Everyone knows that. The problem is how it is handled or managed.

To the employers, please be transparent. You’ll be surprised how invested in the company most of your people are. So, be transparent, communicate and make better decisions.

For employees, save. Month on month, make sure you try to save something. If you can get a side hustle too, please do

That's about it! This was fun. Thank you so much again for your time.

Anytime, Pade!


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