NPD Chronicles: Fighting for Fair Pay

Before I left on vacation, I put in a request to my boss for a raise.
Back in January, S, who was the Assistant to the Director, left, and he decided to not hire a replacement for her and instead stick the rest of us with her work. Well, he has met some resistance, but he has managed to give us all more to do. Due to that, and also just being sick of dealing with him, I felt justified in asking for more money. Not because more money would make me stay, but because I figured I could earn a little more while I look for a new job.

I'm a realist when it comes to this old man. There is no such thing as pessimism when it comes to him, he will always let you down. You should always expect the worst from him, and since that is what he will give you, you can at least console yourself by the fact that you were right. Knowing this, I proceeded to send him a request for an increase via e-mail. Since he is also senile and forgetful, having things in writing is a much better option when dealing with him.

I sent this email out, with no hope or expectation of a good result. I sent it towards the end of the day, before I went home. The following day, he proceeded to ignore me all day, even though I knew for a fact he had read my message. At the end of the day I went into his office to ask him if he had a chance to read my email, and of course, he acted like he didn't know what I was talking about. I had to refresh his memory. Then he tells me he had, but couldn't give me an answer then. I told him I understood, I just wanted to make sure he received it, since he didn't acknowledge the message at all. I then asked him if we could schedule a time to meet and discuss it. Of course his cowardly self doesn't want to. He tells me things are too busy, and we won't be able to discuss it until after the 20th of the month, which is when I leave for vacation. Fine. I drop the subject, since pushing him isn't going to get me anywhere.

When I return from vacation, I find a lovely response to my salary request, basically saying no. As expected, very condescending, he even did the math for me as to the percentage I requested, as if to point out what a ridiculous amount it was. Trust me, it wasn't. Unlike other times, I am strangely at peace with his stupidity. I am done, I'm leaving this place. I haven't found another job yet, but it has been my plan for the longest to begin looking as soon as I got back from vacation, and his response is only going to motivate me to get out of here faster.

While I was on vacation, M, who was supposed to help cover for me, had some kind of a breakdown, due to stress and didn't come in the last week of my vacation. I was gone for 9 days. 9 days! She couldn't handle him alone for 9 days. Actually, since her breakdown occurred on the first week I was gone, she technically couldn't even handle him for 5. She left early, sent him a doctor's note that she was too stressed and didn't return except for half a day the Thursday before the Holiday. I mean, I'm not surprised by his decision to not give me a raise, since I know he's a cheap bastard. But not even a little speck of common sense? I mean, really, for someone who claims he's so smart and likes to take credit for every single good thing about this place, he really shows no common sense at all. M isn't dependable right now because she deals with stress differently, it physically affects her. Also, she's leaving, she's moving out of the country at the end of the year and she told him this during her breakdown. He's always said J isn't dependable unless he's on her about the things she does. Me, he's said I have a bad attitude, but he has never said I'm not dependable, because that is not the case. I can claim the bad attitude, because yes, when it comes to him, I do have it, and bad. But that's not the case with my fellow co-workers. Some of them are always like "you're the best!" when I help them out with someone. I mean, that might be a stretch, but hey, I try. I give what I am given. And since my boss is an asshole, that's what he gets from me. So, he can count on me for stuff, yet he's going to deny my raise? Fine. Like, I said, I'm not even upset, just surprised that he thinks that he can do without us all, and shit won't hit the fan. Esta loco.

In his response, he says we can discuss his denial of my request further next week. I have no desire to have that conversation, I won't be pursuing it. I'm just applying to jobs left and right, and that's all I'm working on. Today, he asks me to meet with him about payroll issues and the irony of all ironies is that I spent most of that meeting vouching for other people to get raises. I pushed him on 3 raises to some of the most hard-working, underpaid women in the agency. And when he hesitated, I would gently remind him of why he should give it to them, how important their work is, etc. Why do I have to do that for him to recognize the good people? Among the people who got raises were some shitty, lazy employees, but for the hardworking Latina women, I have to sit there and practically beg him? Idiot. That pisses me off. I can deal with my stuff because I already know I'm getting the hell out of here. But to see him be like that with other people, women specifically, women he knows won't stand up to him or defend themselves, that really gets me going. Because who is going to speak up for them? Me, apparently. And the fact that I was sitting there, convincing him to give them raises, while he denied me mine a few days ago, did not go unnoticed by him. At the end of our meeting he's like "Do you see what I'm doing here? There's a plan to increase people's salary, it's just going to take time.". My response? "Umm, ok." He then tells me we can talk about my "situation" next week. "Ok", I say, and leave his office. I'm not having that conversation with him. I will schedule it and then call off if I need to. But I got his message loud and clear, I have no desire to listen to his B.S. excuses of why he can't grant me an increase right now. I know what he's doing, I'm on to him. I'm due for my annual increase in August, so he's going to try to group it then, and thus cutting the actual increase by what I was going to get normally anyway.

So I'm hitting the job market hard right now. Applying to stuff I'm not even crazy about doing. I won't be picky any longer. If I have to get a job in carajo-land, so be it. I just need my mental health back. I need to not wake up with "Dammit, I have to go to work" being the first thought in my mind. I need to not dread turning onto the street our building is at, even on the weekends. I need to not feel my stomach sink when I hear him come in the door in the mornings. I need to not have to work on keeping my face neutral when he's talking to me, for fear of my disdain for him showing through. I will miss the people I work with (some) and the work that I do, but with him here, this place is as attractive as getting a fork stuck in your eye. No, thank you.

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