Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Last Week's Annoyances, Revisited

This week I was determined to avoid the irritation I felt at myself last week when I passed on the opportunity to seek a meeting to ask for an increase in pay. So, early on Monday morning, I took the bull by the horns, so to speak. I sent an e-mail to the person I needed to speak to, the company controller, and asked her if she would have time to meet with me sometime that day or even later in the week. Shortly thereafter, I received a reply that said to come by her office at 2:00 p.m. That left a few hours for me to fine-tune my plan of attack, and also to get good and nervous. After all, I had never done anything like this before.

Two o'clock rolled around and I headed up front. I really hadn't been kidding when I asked in my initial e-mail if she could spare "a few minutes" for me: I was back at my desk by 2:05. It didn't take very long to lay out my case. I told her that I had been there long enough to prove that I was a damned good proofreader, which is my primary responsibility. I also told her about the responsibilities I've taken on in the graphics department, and that I felt I was doing well with that also, especially since it was something I didn't have much prior experience with. She said she would pull my file and review it with my direct supervisor, and that she would get back with me as soon as possible. I figured that would probably be a few days, and I was okay with that. At that point, I was just glad to have taken some action and put it in their hands.

We have a ten-minute afternoon break at 2:30. Bare moments after I returned to my desk after break, my boss asked if she could see me for a moment, and then she proceeded into the company president's office, where the president and the controller were waiting for us. The president jokingly accused me of trying to "extort" more money from him. He then went on to say that they felt I was doing an excellent job, and that he was willing to offer another dollar per hour. He did say that getting a raise now might preclude getting a raise in November, at my one-year review, and I told him I understood and that I was fine with that. After all, that's two months away (if they get to it on time, which history says they will not), which means at least eight paychecks at the higher rate. Besides, he said might, not will, so in the meantime I just have to prove that I'm worth still more than the new rate I'm earning.

When he first offered an extra dollar per hour, I have to admit that I was slightly disappointed. It wasn't as much as I was hoping for--I had been planning to ask for two dollars before consultations with co-workers who have been there longer than I have advised that the company's preferred method of asking for a raise dictated that I should make the request and state the reasons, then let them decide on the amount. So that's what I did, and once I had a chance to think about it, I knew that I really have no room to complain. After all, I haven't yet been there for a full year; this is my second raise, and I'm now making two more dollars per hour than when I hired on. That's a four thousand dollar per year increase, give or take, which isn't too shabby. Compare that to my last job, where I got one raise in three years and had virtually no chance to go up any higher. The place I work now does strive to be pretty employee-friendly, as I've said before, and I just have to trust them to value my work and to be fair with me. I also have to continue to prove to them that I'm worth more than they're paying me, which I plan to do. I've already volunteered to work overtime tomorrow and each day next week to re-create some graphics files that were lost in a recent server meltdown.

So all's well that ends well in that regard. In a similar vein, my iPod decided over the weekend to start working again. After it refused to recognize several new songs or to create any new playlists, I cleared its hard drive, hoping it just needed a new start. Then it wouldn't transfer any songs, and I was totally prepared to take it in for an exchange. I had Brandi locate the sales receipt and the warranty paperwork, and I had everything prepared. On a whim, I decided on Saturday to give it one last shot, and it finally worked. It took forever to transfer all the songs again (my library is over 2,700 songs), but they're finally all on there. I didn't do anything different, so I don't know what the problem was or why it suddenly went away. I'm just glad it works again. I'm keeping that paperwork handy, though. If I have any more trouble with it, I'm definitely not messing around with it for several days again; I'll just take it back and get a new one. Problem solved.

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