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  • Heidi Lancaster

Pushing That Button

Welcome to the first of many payroll blogs from the Fox Valley Chapter! I am Laurice Montgomery, Chapter President, and I have been in the payroll industry for over 30 years.

When I first got handed payroll, it was because I was doing the financial books for a small company. I thought, just as many co-workers still do, “How hard could it be, we just push a button to get time over to the payroll system side and away we go.” I know now how absolutely clueless I was in the infancy of my payroll career. I wish payroll was that easy! Now I take up my shield in defense of what and how we as Payroll Professionals are managing while processing payroll, and all the complexities we encounter. I applaud and staunchly support all my fellow Payroll Professionals. We cannot be faint of heart, nor can we be easily offended. No one can easily back us up if we are sick or on vacation. (YES! I do take vacations but as a gazillion of us do – I make sure it is not around year end nor pay processing week. LOLOLOL – see I do care for my employees…if they only knew how much).

Payroll is a constant teaching moment to not only the employees we serve, but to also our top corporate executives who have no clue on their 1st paycheck in January, that all their social security taxes start fresh. I have learned to laugh, learned new creative ways to curb my swearing, and I have learned that we are a special and brilliant profession. I have become a storyteller of some absurd and outrageous moments that only my payroll peeps would ever understand.

Which brings me to one of my favorite stories; “All you do is push a button”. I was working at a manufacturing plant and one of the top engineers, who - until he uttered that sentence - I truly admired. He seemed to have this creative thinking and that dry sense of humor all engineers seem to inherit. One pay period, his check was wrong – or so he believed. We did not reimburse him enough for his safety shoe benefit. I brought the handbook section up on my screen and showed him that we only reimburse $100.00. I looked at his paycheck and that was what we processed. Lets just say he was not pleasant and he started berating me about how he was an Executive, and needed to be reimbursed for his receipt amount. “How dare you treat me like the others?! All you do is push a button!” It was then that I got HR Management involved and told him to leave my office. I actually gently closed my office door after he left. Proceeded, of course to use my inside-my-head toddler voice to share with him what I was really thinking. Those of you who know me can only imagine how colorful and creative my imaginary toddler got. At the end of the day, HR supported me in the handbook rules they created and I was never able to look at him the same. We are the “police” of the Handbook.

We are a resilient profession and I know we do not “just push a button”. I hope you all have a wonderful month and know that we at the Fox Valley Chapter will be your support whether it is in payroll, mentally, and or just need a person to vent to.

There will be more stories and we will spotlight some of our amazing chapter members and their experiences in upcoming blogs. Until then - tata for now!



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