“My socks may not match, but my feet are always warm.” Maureen McCullough
As someone who turned down raises twice in my history with my company (during which one year we all took a 5% pay cut due to cutbacks), I’ve never complained about what I’m paid. Especially in the last 18 months, I have been even more grateful to my job overall, even though it drives me bonkers at times. The goings-on with Covid definitely tried my patience. But I do love my schedule and the flexibility my job affords. Some of my co-workers are actually not a total pain in the ass. Besides, they seem to tolerate ME well, which is a feat of both bravery and foolishness on their part.
In the last couple of years, the company had to adjust to market pressure and give the lower-end employees two pay bumps, many of whom finally went to $15 an hour. I now have 17 years with my employer. Given the number of shenanigans and stress I’ve often doled out to my managers, HR, compliance, legal, and just about everyone, it is a miracle that I’m still there. I’m a complete goof but sometimes people forget my background or my contradictory ideas about safety, employment law, and general do-the-right-thing beliefs. I’ve been lucky to be both vocal and humorous, even while doing a very physical job. I’m definitely not my job, but it does afford me the chance to be fickle and fiendish.
I have a minority opinion about seniority – and always have. While we can earn different benefits based on longevity, I’ve always believed that anyone doing my job should earn exactly what I do, regardless of tenure. It’s not exactly a popular opinion, I realize. It’s caused some hilarious team meetings and awkward moments. Not awkward for me; rather, for them. All of us are expendable and are only as valuable as our output and knowledge.
In general, I’d rather have more satisfied co-workers than a slightly higher wage. Since most of them SEEM to be working for money, it follows that more money should lead to better morale. Except for the assholes. There is no pleasing some people, as anyone who has thrown a dinner party knows.
I didn’t know what kind of raise I might get on this paycheck. I would have been grateful for any raise. When I checked my online paystub and did the simple math, I realized that I should not be doing even simple math without a calculator and probably a helmet.
My raise? 10%. That’s substantially larger than any I’ve ever received. I know that the raise was based on complex calculations, probably using a dartboard and while drinking shots at Art’s Place on College. But whatever the reason, I am grateful.
“The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings.” Eric Hoffer
So, as for the administrators who authorized the raise, I guess I need to nod in their direction, as much as it pains me. I prefer to snark at them!
I would write more, but I need to go spend this 10% on something vital to my life: notecards and PopChips.
“I will find you and I will hug you.” – Possibly Liam Neeson
PS The picture is from this morning. I walked down the trail and listened to the birds. The squirrels scampered along the branches and knocked puffs of snow loose as they did so. It was as if I had the entire world to myself; no traffic, no passersby on the trail. Only the peeking sun, the flow of the creek, and my thoughts. It was sublime and beautiful.