Posted by: guinness222 | May 23, 2007

It’s been a while, …I apologize.

Yeah, the old blogging got away from me for a while. But I’m back.
I reached a bit of a “pressure point” where a lot of things began to close in on me at the same time. Sort of like trying to put ten pounds in a five pound box, know, so something had to give while I resolved the rest, and my blog took the hit this time.
I still love the work I do (My wife says get a hobby as well as I tend to “stop by” the office on Saturday and Sunday for something or another.)But the “compensation package” needed adjustment so that occupied a great deal of what’s left of my grey matter getting adjusted. I really was intent about it so I endeavored to cover all the bases at the same time. A) I secured another job, same field and all different company, for more money, but not the total I wanted (should say ‘had to have’ since my “hurricane” insurance premium went from $2400 to $5400 this year!). The new “job” being secured, I set about opening discussions with a VERY serious backer who has an open checkbook and is really bugging me to set up my own firm and he’ll guarantee to underwrite it for a minimum of three years, no strings attached! “You say the word we’ll open an office tomorrow morning.” Then no “request for a raise” would be complete with out seriously dealing with your own current employer. (Did I say that by now I was reaching stress point Alpha? That’s the place where three hours of solid sleep a night is all you get, eating is a non-essential part of your life, and one day runs into another and it’s like the old cartoon of Mickey Mouse as the Socerer’s Apprentice trying to empty the water and getting farther behind.)
The last thing I had to do was plead my case. Sooooo, I did what I do best, I sat down and wrote an entire case for myself, about eight full pages, single spaced, (yes and even spell-checked). I pointed out, in as non arrogant fashion as I personally could muster, that it had been a full year to the day since I took the position with the company, had not whinned about anything they threw at me, had performed at a peak level, and was now in the position of deciding whether I would re-new MY contract with them for another year. (It’s a job dummy, not a personal contract for services!)
Well that’s where I’ve drawn the “line in the sand”! It is a personal contract as far as I’m concerned. It finally dawned on me that the old joke I’ve told for years that the word “JOB” is an anacronym for JUST OVER BROKE, is really true. Does your employer REALLY want you to get a head, make lots of money, live a much more comfortable life, etc.,etc,? Hell NO, you might decide to change things and ask for more money or something. Well at 62 years young I said “what the hell, give it a shot, you got another job in your pocket, a backer for your own business, and it’s only three more years to full Social Security Retirement and an extra $2,000 a month and unlimited earnings with no penalty or reduction from the Social Security. Shit I could always just bag groceries and live on peanut butter and crackers for three years if all hell breaks loose!
So I penned the final copy, told my firm I would “re-new my contract” for a 27% salary increase, a 100% re-imbursement of my “Crackberry” expenses monthly, and a full time Administrative Assisstant within three months at my new office. I dropped off the letter to my boss with a recommendation that immediate reading might be very appropriate as I was a serious person when it comes to this kind of thing.
Six days later I get an e-mail telling me that we will “schedule your review for a week from Friday”. Not to be to “obnoxious” I stopped by her office and said “You know next Friday will be fine if you like, but I must remind you that will in fact be the end of the two week period since I’ve given you my letter , which by the way will also serve as my two week notice in the event we can’t come to terms. I just noted that would be cutting herself very short, in fact leaving absolutely no time to transition my accounts to a new Manager,but…whatever day she wanted was fine, but also noting every second of discussion was an absolute waste of time, and falling on deaf ears if they were not at or above my terms for re-newal. Not a threat, just simply the facts, as I already had other offers in hand and that could be started without so much as a ripple on the pond.
The next morning I recieved a call wanting to know if we could move the time up to “tomorrow” instead of Friday. “Certainly, what time would you like?” was the reply. Anyway long story short the next day I’m sitting in her office and we start with the typical “Well I’ve been looking over the work you’ve done for the past year and I wanted to discuss a few shortfalls I’ve noticed with you.”
“That’s fine, but lets deal with the bottom line so we don’t wste your time or mine.”
“Excuse me?”
“I’m not here to discuss my work of the past year, unless it pertains to the work in the next year, which of course may be a totally moot point if my salary and other requirements are not met, do understand?”
” Um,…ah, yes, but..”
“Excuse me this time. Either you are going to meet my terms or not, and here is a compensation survey done nationally and by region for my position as a ‘portfolio’ manager of properties. As you can see on page three this firm, as well as most other local firms are approximately 47% below the regional average, and the national average. And this survey is only three days old. Part of what I have tried to give you is a very complete package, as up to date as possible, for all the prevailing factors to help you make your decision. So I guess the larger question that must be answered first is are you going to meet my requests to at least the minimum amounts I requested or not? If you are we can continue, if not then I will be leaving and going to my favorite Pub for a cold Guinness and to let my clients know that you will be contacting them shortly with notice of a new manager for them so please take me off thier “speed dial” as I will begin work Monday for a new firm, and my decision not to re-new my contract with you was for specific reasons which if they want I would be very happy to expand upon.”
“Yes, yes, we are going to meet you request for everything, the 27% salary increase, the telephone costs, and the Assisstant in two months, OK?”
“That’s wonderful, and I expect it to begin today, is that correct?”
“Yes, yes,(pulling form out of drawer) In fact I’ll fill it out right now and take it over to payroll, is that satisfactory?”
“That’s fine,I’ll just go to get a bottle of water and be back and we can discuss whatever you’d like……

And so it went. Of course I told my key accounts what was happening in advance, personally told them to do absolutely nothing as the firm had to come to it’s own conclusion as to my value to them. I told several of my associates who wished me well and told me to call them when I got settled at the new job as this firm would never pay that much, and reminder me of the $75 Christmas bonus, and several of them who had been told profitability was down and they were going to be unable to give any raises this year.
Long story short when I emerged from my bosses office after an hour it was 5p.m., but to the last man everyone was hanging out, peeking over thier cubicles as I opened the door.
“I’ll see you guys tomorrow! Good night!”

Now I see a little light in the office, I’ve given them hope, put the firm on notice a bit, and brought in a whole new thought process. “You don’t ‘work’ for anyone but yourself, and if you work hard you can make it happen for you too,…stand up and be your own boss for a change, not “just an employee”.


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