Wednesday, August 15, 2012


There are only 17 days until college football starts, but who is counting? The Olympics were a good distraction. I loved every minute of them. Anyway, hope things are well with you guys.

Today is the first day of school for the Gammichia family. And in perfect Gammichia fashion, my son hasn't left his room for the last 3 days because of his summer reading and math. I told a 13-year-old that he had to read three books and complete 30 math lessons, but he had ALLLLL summer to do it. All he heard was, "You can do it later."

Well, three days ago was LATER. He holed himself up in his room and never came out. He finished his math this morning. He is getting to be more and more like his daddy every day.

I want to talk about something that happened to me yesterday. Our house has weird plumbing. We have city water and city sewers, so everything drains to the city’s sewage system. We must have old, narrow pipes under the house because we get back-ups all the time. We live on a corner, so one side drains to one street and the other side of the house drains to another street. We have lived in our house for nearly nine years. I would say it was within a month of moving in that we had to have our pipes drained the first time. After that, we have had to have our pipes drained more than17 times. One time, it was a couple toys that my daughter flushed. Another time it was big roots cramping the pipe outside of the house. One time it was a whole roll of toilet paper that my second son shoved down there. It is comical.

On the kitchen and laundry side, it is always the type of food we are putting down the disposal. They say that rice is a big culprit, so now we hardly use the disposal because we are afraid of the food coming back up. We have had the company come and put a scope down all the tubes. We had someone on the roof putting stuff down the thingy on the roof. We have done it all. It is definitely better, but it still happens at least yearly. Guess who was back at our house yesterday.

In the past, we have always had this one huge company come out and help us. They have always been good, but sometimes I like the single employee company. I wanted to see if anything would be different. I know this gal from town. She is a police officer and she does plumbing on her days off. She came to our house and did her thing. When I asked how much it was going to be, she said, “I usually charge $225, but if you make the check out to me [not my company], I will only charge you $175.”

I hate this. Okay, listen. I don't know why I am like this, but I am. I am a stickler about rules. I kind of think I might be in the minority on this one, but I don't cheat. I don't cheat to win games. I don't cheat people out of money and I don't cheat on my taxes. I don’t think it is worth it. It is not worth winning the game. It isn't worth the couple of extra bucks and it sure isn't worth losing my license or the IRS finding out. If I come in on the weekend and a patient pays with cash, it goes into the safe, not in my pocket. This gal who is doing my plumbing is saying that she is not going to pay her taxes on this job and asking me to just help her out doing it.

I think I got it from my mom. She was always very honest when it came to money. Also, Bible says that if God gives us small things and we are honest with them, He will trust us with the big stuff. I pitched this blog idea to my assistant (she agrees with me most of time, hence why I tell her my ideas) and she disagreed with me. "So?" As much as I tried to tell her why I this way I feel, she doesn’t think it is a big deal.

You can try to justify it all you want, but to me, it is STEALING. You might not be stealing from a person, but you are stealing from an institution (the government). When I pay my taxes, I see the good in it. Do I wish it was less? Heck yes. But I think of the awesome roads I drive on. I think of the policemen that protect and serve my family. The firefighters. The Armed Forces that protect my country and my freedom. My taxes go to help someone who might be down on their luck and can't find a job. I don't think it is just the man bringing me down.

I don't know. Cheating is cheating. The government, the grocery store, the person who forgot their change, my patients. To me, it is all the same. Am I being too much of a goody two-shoes? Do you feel the same way I do? Do you take cash on the weekends? (Trust me, I am not judging. It is hard for me to put the cash in the safe. No one is going to know. It really is more trouble to put it all in the records.) Tell me what you think. Maybe you can sway me, but I don't think so.

By the way, I wrote the check for the lesser amount. Am I aiding and abetting?

Hope you are having a great Wednesday.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I see the ethical quandary here. I had trouble like this at Hair Cuttery when the stylist wanted me to pay her cash and not check into the computer system when I came in the door. I told her she was stealing from the employer who paid the rent/electricity/etc and she rationalized the whole thing. I refused.

However, whenever I hire someone to do work at my house - plantation shutters, lawn work, handyman work, painting, etc, I always pay cash. And often the cash price is discounted or at minimum they don't charge tax. I figure I'm paying enough taxes as a W-2 employee to make up the difference. And most of the people are super hard working blue collar types trying to feed a family. I'd rather pay straight to them.

Maybe I'm the one rationalizing now, but the government takes and takes and takes (and regulates, regulates, regulates) and how much do they keep for the bureaucracy versus putting back into roads/schools/etc? If a guy busting his arse painting my house can keep a little bit more for himself and his family, that feels more "right" to me than worrying about the government squeezing enough taxes out of him.


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