Wednesday, December 12, 2012


Oh dear lord, I broke down and CRIED in front of my boss today. :(

The official posting of the temp job I've been doing since October is going to happen right after the holidays, and in the meantime my boss and the head of HR have been going back and forth in e-mails niggling over details of the job description, including the pay. I know this because I'm in charge of opening ALL of my boss's mail and deleting stuff that's junk/spam. (Not because I'm nosy or anything! Ha!) One thing that he managed was getting the job title itself bumped up from "Admin ASSISTANT" to "Admin ASSOCIATE," which has a higher pay range. I thought this was very nice of him, I think on my behalf.

So today, the HR person sends my boss her final version of the description for his approval. Her suggested pay per month... "$2600+". Thud. OK, so there was the "+." And it did say "negotiable." And it's more than I'm making now as a $12-an-hour temp. But still. After all the health care and SS and other taxes taken out, I'd be bringing home maybe $2200 a month. I can survive on @$1500 a month. But I've been merely "surviving" for the past several years. I was ready to move FORWARD financially. To save $1000 a month (for a house in 10 years, to pay off student loans). AND to be able to buy things and go places, like a normal person.

I printed out the job description and just stared at it and thought about it for a few minutes with a really heavy heart, tearing up a little but finally getting myself under control. Then I decided to go talk to my boss about it immediately instead of brooding.

After apologizing for reading his mail (which he kindly told me I was SUPPOSED to be reading!), I blurted out: "I thought I was doing a good job here. And I like it here so much, I like everybody here. But, but..." Here's where the tears started: "I just can't work for $2600 a month. I know it's more than I'm making now, but I have a Master's Degree and I'm in my 40s and a kid out of high school could be making this salary... I don't want to be a temp any more. But I just can't stay here for $2600 a month. I really thought you guys liked me, and I really wanted to stay, but I just can't..." [waaaaaaaaaah!]

I mean, I wasn't yelling or BAWLING or anything, but the tears were certainly, embarrassingly flowing copiously.

My boss looked bemused:
"Stephanie, do you know what I was doing right now when you asked to talk to me?"
[sniff-sniff] "No."
"I just replied to that e-mail, saying that we needed to START the pay range at $3100 and negotiate up from there. Did you read that sent mail?"
[sniff] "No. I mean, I'm not THAT nosy. I don't read your SENT mail...Really? Not $2600?" [sniff]

Oh my god, how nice he was. We chatted a bit more about the posting, etc., while I dried my tears. And then at the end he added:

"You know what's interesting, I've been reading a book about this very thing: How people can often, and shouldn't, ASSUME that they're not wanted, that something is intended personally against them, when there are usually many other factors involved."
ME: "Maybe I should read more things like that instead of Tennessee Williams."
HIM: [laughing] "I can lend you this one."

Oh, the kindness of strangers! :)

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