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Thursday, February 15, 2007

This morning I got a phone call from the Boss. ďI couldnít just sit here and let this go any longer,Ē he told me. It had to be something major, right? And probably something bad?

It seems Julie has been visiting him at The Kennel, but she left in a huff early today, telling him that she thought both she and I were underpaid, and that I was very unhappy and sometimes didnít have enough money to buy groceries. He wanted to know if I thought I was underpaid. I didnít have to answer now, he said. He told me to think about it, and do some research into what people who do what I do are paid. (And if I didnít feel comfortable looking into it, he would ask his brother, who runs a larger business in a different state.)

Uncomfortable hardly described how I felt during this conversation. I was squirming almost from the second I picked up the phone, and oh so relieved when he finally hung up. He told me that Julie would probably call me to talk about this, once she gets back home and settled. I think he wanted me to tell her that Iím not unhappy, but he wouldnít come out and say that. Itís just a feeling I got from the way he was talking about it.

And to be honest, Iím not unhappy. I have been. I was for a long, long time, but he never asked me about my mood then, when I really was woefully underpaid. He gave me a big raise last month, the biggest single increase Iíve had since I started working for him over twenty years ago. Before that, Julie and I were being paid the same hourly rate. I thought she knew I was getting a raise, but maybe not.

I told the Boss I wouldnít be unhappy if her pay rate were the same as mine. He thinks Iím more valuable than she is, and maybe I am, but only because sheís there to take up the slack. And she works far fewer hours than I do. Iím paid on the basis of a 40-hour week. She got paid for four and a half hours for all of last week.

I donít know exactly what to do, but I donít have time to do a lot of research right now anyway. Iím too busy trying to finish the Big Project. I kind of like having that as an excuse not to answer his questions right away. I wouldnít mind a raise, but Iím not up for rocking the boat when things seem to be sailing along so well, for once.

11 February 2007

The secret life of clouds.

Julie got the idea that I was unhappy from me, but I think she might have been projecting a little of her own problems into the discussion with the Boss today. For the first time in many years, I have a little extra money in the bank, so I donít have to worry about paying bills on time. I donít know how long this will last, but I canít claim to be struggling right now. Relatively speaking, anyway. I know what it feels like to be at the end of the money, and I think I can get the Boss to agree that Iíll never have to be in that position again. For now, thatís all the security I need.

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One year ago: Judgment
"Some people simply donít know how not to be difficult, or donít care. I can tell you I didnít like that about this person, and she knew it. But I never wanted to cut her out of my life, because she had so much to offer."

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