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Sometimes the squeaky wheel DOES get a bit of grease!

February 9th, 2011 at 05:46 pm

Some surprising twists in the miserable saga of my job, and my attempts to get respect/money/power there.

I wasn't going to tell anyone about my concerns over the new creative director, nor about the ridiculing of my appearance that very bad day a week or two ago. But my direct supervisor, a nice though seemingly ineffectual in the getting-me-stuff department kind of guy, set a meeting last Friday to get up to date on things, and I let it all hang out. I nearly cried a couple times but kept it to a voice quaver. I didn't tell him I was looking for a job, but when he said (again) that he just didn't think there was any money for raises, I mentioned that my ex-supervisor had told me that when she gave her notice (last year when the financials were MUCH worse at my job) the first thing they said was "Would more money change your mind?" I told my current supe that I didn't want to play hardball, but that it frustrated me because I felt that if I threatened to quit they would come up with more money to keep me, whereas if I played nice there were no raises to be had.

I also told him my concerns about our department being headed up by a man who seemingly either disliked me specifically or thought proofreading was a load of bollocks. I also told him about the insults I'd endured recently.

My supe was nice but basically told me A) He didn't think he could get me a raise or promotion, B) He didn't think the creative director meant anything by it and that he thought he did respect me and my work, and C) Wait three months, because a big shake-up on one of our major projects would probably result either in less stressful work for me OR even more responsibility with a strong case to be made for a promotion at that time.

I kind of said uh-huh, OK, and I must not have been very convincing, because my supe set up a lunch meeting for today. Free lunch is always nice though it wasn't going to change my mind or anything. Inwardly I thought, OK, if I'm still stuck here in three months at least there's a chance something will change, but I'm going to keep looking for another job.

I was home sick on Monday. Then yesterday, the mean creative director sticks his head around the side of my cubicle and says it's music to his ears hearing me type on my computer. I look at him like "what's the gag?" and he goes on to say he's glad to have me back in the office and he's glad I'm feeling better. He's even smiling! So that was weird, but I thought hey, at least my supe must have let him in a bit on how he was coming across to me. That's the first real sign of anything but irritation or utter indifference I've ever gotten from him, and even if it was put on, it was nice to hear. (Actually it was a bit humorous too, since it was so out of left field.)

So today was the lunch meeting with my supe. As soon as we sat down he hit me with some amazing news:

He and the creative director basically wrangled me a $1000 bonus that's going to show up in my next paycheck!

He said he spoke with creative director guy and basically told him I'd been doing a ton of extra work and was feeling really underappreciated and undervalued, so they got me a bonus since they couldn't get me a raise!

I did some quick math, and this bonus plus the $250 I got last month for being part of a team that did some award-winning work means that I basically got a 2.5% raise this year!

I know it's a one-time deal and not a real raise, but I'm counting it as progress on my annual goal. It took a lot of resolve to talk to my supe, because I'm shy, and awkward, and tend to stay away from confrontation these days. And getting some respect from my creative director wasn't on my list of goals, but it sure is good! Whether it's phony or real, either way, he is having to put some effort into his relations with me (as he should), so I feel a lot better. And I don't have to worry that he'll come out with any more personal remarks, because I bet you anything my supe found a way to bring that up!

Whatever I clear from the bonus (I'm estimating $600) is going straight to the lawyer fund. We're on track to have that completely built up to where we want it by July, if not sooner!

I wanted to let you all know about this right away, because you were so supportive on my earlier posts and helped me feel like I wasn't just overreacting. And now there has been some vindication! Big Grin

12 Responses to “Sometimes the squeaky wheel DOES get a bit of grease!”

  1. ThriftoRama Says:

    Well, those are positive developments. But I would still be wary of your immediate supervisor. Maybe he had a change of heart, or maybe he's just playing nice because HIS boss told him too. But, I'm suspicious by nature. Not good, I know.

  2. mjrube94 Says:

    That's great. Certainly better than nothing! And if it makes work a bit more bearable, then all the better.

  3. frugaltexan75 Says:

    I'm glad to hear that things may be looking up for you at work. Hopefully the CD guy will stick with the new attitude!

  4. LuckyRobin Says:

    Oh, I'm so happy for you. Your work situation has sounded unbearable. I'm curious, unless it's a private thing, but what is the lawyer fund for? It's just you talk about it a lot.

  5. My English Castle Says:

    Hooray! It does make things better, doesn't it!

  6. Thrifty Ray Says:

    I believe this shows that they value you- in this economy where no raises are being doled out...$1000 is a nice bonus! And hopefully, the CD will continue on this more positive path...

  7. ceejay74 Says:

    Thanks guys! I'm still going to keep an eye on the job market out there, but at least this clears up some of the frustration and resentment I was feeling. I knew all along I just needed a token of appreciation, something that made me feel all this extra work wasn't for nothing!

    Oh and Robyn, the lawyer fund is for a two-pronged effort to solidify and protect my family, since we have an unusual structure that wouldn't be protected by law if anything bad happened. 1) We're doing estate planning; wills, medical directives, possibly a trust, etc. 2) We're going to attempt to have the third parent adopt the child of the other two people. We're waiting to see if AS gets pregnant this year before we put that one in motion, since if there are two kids we can try and get it all done in one court case.

    I'm trying to get $9000 put together, which is my lawyer's upper estimate of what the two efforts will cost. (He said he will try to do it at a lower cost, but it's hard to tell how much of his time it will take.)

  8. ceejay74 Says:

    Oh, and Thriftorama, it was actually my direct supervisor who told HIS boss (creative director) to play nice. I'm hopeful that he's doing it because he thinks it's a good idea, since he doesn't have to do what my supe tells him to. But time will tell whether he can keep it up or not.

  9. kashi Says:

    Hooray! Good for you! It takes guts to talk to a supervisor like that. I am the same way...I hate confrontation. Sometimes you just have to stick up for yourself, though, and if it doesn't work, quit if you can! (of course, I'm unemployed now, but not working for jerks got rid of my migraines in a snap!)

  10. LuckyRobin Says:

    Oh, okay. I thought it might have something to do with that.

  11. HouseHopeful Says:

    Wow, that is awesome news! Sounds like you'll have a better working environment now that the creative director is aware of how his actions and words come across. And of course, the bonus is REALLY nice! Congrats!

  12. ndchic Says:

    Awesome news on the bonus! Also, the creative director sounds like a real jerk. I hope he is nice from now on. It sounds very unprofessional to comment on one's attire unless it isn't suitable for the office, like wearing a very short skirt or something like that.

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