On late paychecks and their impact on scientific research

I have mentioned before the fact that some of my last paychecks have come in late. Combine this with a young man still trying to figure out how to live on his own and you get a bit of a mess. Fortunately, my worst offense regarding my financial life is that I don't save as much as I could save, but I can say with pride that I have zero debt, I know how to cook my own food, can ride a bike between my home and my work every day, am comfortable spending time on cheap activities like reading and writing, and know where I can eat out on the cheap if the situation calls for it.

However, since late May I've had the first warning that my youthful health is not perfect: a rather big cavity in the back of my mouth. This led me to locate a decent dentist who warned me that my oral health was on the verge of declining if I didn't take precautions. A few painful sessions later, the cavity was gone and replaced with some ceramic-like thing that works like a charm after a few weeks of awkward use.

When that one was gone, we started planning how to get rid of other three minor cavities; or rather, how I would pay for them. I'm not poor, but not exactly rich enough to pay for a whole series of dentist visits and treatment on a single go. We agreed on a plan that allowed my health to slowly recover between sessions and my wallet to recover between paychecks.

That was when the paychecks, for some reason unknown to me, started getting late. Not getting money for my work is bad, but if I get it I think it's not that bad. What really sucks is that:

  1. It's been rather constant for the past 3 or 4 months
  2. I still don't know why we're getting paid late (and HR is, of course, quitely ignoring our requests to find out)
  3. It screws my budgeting (I used to have an automated system that would pay most of my bills the same day that my paycheck arrived. Not anymore)
  4. It gives me a bit of anxious feelings twice a month
  5. It sets back my dental treatment

What does this all mean to you, dear e2? The bad news is that my upcoming writeup Beers of Mexico will be delayed (turns out, no bar or brewery has taken the offer of sponsoring my research). The good news is that its method will have more time to be perfected.

So far, I've come up with these rules:

  • A hard limit of one beer brand per night
  • No more than two consecutive nights of research
  • Whenever possible, I'll conduct my research on the same location so I can eliminate environmental effects
  • I'll try to keep my side dishes' variety to a minimum

Let this be a lesson: late paychecks hinder scientific research

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