Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Raising The Bar

With limited access to the Internet, I neglected to write about my raise.

Yep. That's right. Jammy got a raise. And how did this raise come about? Through a bit of careful maneuvering and a bit o' luck.

For the last few months, I've been thinking about asking for a raise. I got one after my first year: a fifty-cent an hour raise. Whoopee, right? At least their heart was in the right place.

However, in the last year and a half, my responsibilities have increased about three-fold, and no raise, no mention of a raise... but continued mention of how my responsibilities will continue to increase.

Jammy don't play that. But Jammy also doesn't know how to get what she wants all the time, either.

So... I've been thinking and thinking about how to approach Chris for a raise, and the opportunity just sort of fell into my lap.

Rob quit. He got a job with more perks and more pay, so he put in his notice and skedaddled. Problem? We have no one to replace him, and no promise of replacing him until about 6-8 months down the line. This means his job responsibilities have to be taken over by someone (or someones) else. Who will those people be?

The logical choice for taking over his client responsibilities is Chris. She's a VP, and already has a relationship with each of his clients. However, Rob also had some writing responsibilities. He wrote for our twice-weekly email promo flash, and for our monthly newsletter. Dennis had just unburdened himself with those tasks, and had no desire to take them back.

Chris and Dennis went out of the office to talk about what to do in Rob's absence. When they came back, Chris told me I would have a meeting with her and Dennis to talk about what the outcome of the meeting was. From the way she worded it, it sounded as if I had no part in the matter, other than to offer some ideas and to also be aware of what was going on.


As always, Chris lacks a bit in the communication department.

So, on Thursday morning, I went into a closed door meeting with Dennis and Chris. I knew something was up when they both sat on the opposite side of the table than I (normally Chris sits on the same side as me, and we both face Dennis). When Dennis opened his mouth and asked me if I was happy, I knew this meeting was about how my job was about to change.

Overall, Dennis is pleased with my work and my attitude. However, he did say that once in awhile I drop the ball when it comes to proofreading and periodically I don't sound as cheerful as I could when answering the phone. He then stated that he was merely nitpicking; overall, my work performance was very good.

Both Chris and Dennis asked me the question I most dread and hate answering: What are your goals, and where do you see yourself going in the company? That question is difficult to answer for a myriad of reasons. One, we're a small company; there's not a whole lot of room for growth. The positions only grow as the company grows... and while Dennis swears we're growing, we also recently lost a bunch of clients and sponsors (just natural attrition, not because we pissed anyone off). Secondly, I am not a goal-oriented person (much to Todd's chagrin). I have no goals, other than to be able to support myself in my old age. I want to have goals. I understand the importance of goals. But making and achieving goals? Too much work.

Lastly, I don't know if I see myself here for the long-term. From a practical standpoint, I probably will be here for awhile. Finding good paying jobs in Reno that I'm qualified for is difficult. Most jobs here are for receptionists, warehouse workers, etc. Marketing jobs only come around once every few months, and most of them are at an executive level; a level I am not ready go for. However, when I think of the day-to-day, I just don't see this as a job I want to keep forever.

I don't even know how I deflected that question... but I did, and I did it successfully, because I was able to get Dennis to talk instead, and completely forget that he asked me a question. He asked me if I would like to make more money, and I said "Of course!" He said I have the potential to earn up to $15,000-$20,000 more per year. Chris interjected that would only be if I was willing to work 10-hour days.

Let me just go off a bit here... Chris has this weird and uncompromising notion that if someone doesn't put in 10 hour days, they don't deserve a pay raise. She has brought this to my attention before. This isn't the first time I've heard this crap from her. What I wish I had said (and didn't) was the fact that Rob, who was salaried and making big bucks, only worked a 6-hour day, when all was said and done. He didn't come in until 9 am, took a two-hour lunch almost every day (unless he ate with the boss), and left at 5 pm most days. Sure, he traveled once in awhile, but maybe 4 times a year. Still, Chris just feels that I don't deserve more money because I work 8.5 hours a day, instead of 10.

But, both Dennis and Chris went on to list my new additional responsibilities... and no mention of a pay raise. I interjected that while I had received a fifty-cent an hour raise two years ago, since then my responsibilities had increased, and were apparently increasing again, and I'd like my pay to reflect that. Not that I mind taking on extra work; however, I believe I've proved myself worthy of a raise.

Dennis agreed.

When all was said and done, I was given a $2 an hour raise, and of course, a buttload of new responsibilities. Dennis said he'd like to review all of this in 6-8 months and see where we stand.

Believe me, when we have that meeting, I am not going to forget to point out that I get more accomplished in 8.5 hours than Rob ever did in 6... I am going to keep my hours if its the last thing I do!

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