Thursday, July 21, 2011

All Work and No Raise... Makes A Very Angry Employee

Chris received his one year review a few days ago. Since then I’ve been stewing. I’ve also been debating whether I should air this out on here or not. But, I’ve always used this space to do just that…get the thoughts out of my head and try to make some sense of it all.

When he started this job last summer, we were grateful for the opportunity. There was a long stretch of unemployment which led to a long stretch of financial strain and a long period of general how the hell are we going to continue to put food on the table. This job was the answer to a lot of prayers.

Since then, he has worked his ass off. Averaging eighty hours a week of blood, sweat and tears to bring the business into a profitable state. In the beginning, there were a lot of promises made by his boss and an overall feeling of optimism. Although he was working from sun up to sun down six to seven days a week, we remained grateful for the opportunity. We remained hopeful of reaping the benefits.

Over the past few months, things have changed. I know he is burning out. There’s only so long you can maintain that pace. But, he is relentless in his pursuit. Yet, the boss has become incessantly more nagging and demeaning.

Hour after hour his inbox fills with messages full of criticism, scolding and mean-spirited berating leaving him feeling there is nothing he can do to win this man’s approval. He takes it in stride and continues to strive.

The year-end review has been the last straw. After 365 days of continuous exertion, he was told he did not deserve a raise.

This is after taking the company from the red to well into the black in his first six months. This is after bringing in new high dollar accounts, fully training a new team, cutting operational cost, and heading up an entirely new marketing division. He is one man wearing many hats…operations, human resources, accounting, marketing, sales…he does it all.

Only to be told he doesn’t deserve a raise! The boss only gave subjectional reasons and refused to look at his performance objectionally. Seriously, if he just compared a profit and loss statement from last year to this year there is no way he could justify not increasing his salary.

It’s not like he makes a ton already, either. We have maintained a ridiculously tight budget in order to support our family of five. Now we are back to stressing about how to do it all for a family of six with no more income but no less work.

Chris is now beginning to look for a new job at a new place. Which sucks, because he loves what he does, is good at it and shouldn’t have to start all over again. We finally thought he was where he would be for the next ten years or more. Eventually taking over the entire business. But, all those promises seem so empty now.

After all the work that he’s poured into making the business a success, it would be heart breaking to walk away from it all. But how do you continue to work for someone who believes you have no worth?

The next few weeks will be hard as he continues to grin and bear it. Maintaining faith as we look for the answers will be harder.