Thursday, July 05, 2007


I got called into the Site Manager's office today. But before things got underway to the matter at hand, I noticed over his shoulder that he was forwarding the release that the Corporation Board, fearing the pressure brought to be by a looming proxy battle from a major investor, had canned the CEO.

That's been three years in the making.

But what the Site Manager really wanted to talk about was what he thought was some sort of mis-understanding in that the Training Team has been trying to schedule meetings and I have been refusing to attend.

"There's no mis-understanding. As I said a month ago, until there is a change in my status; a change in salary, a change in my job description, I simply cannot commit to being part of the training process."

It is apparently a secret but the bonuses we all received last week are actually some sort of backdoor scheme to get some of us raises. For some, the bonus is a one-off. For others, it is in lew of raises that have been requested but, because they were sitting on the CEO's desk when he had to clear out, may be delayed.

In my case, the $200 is representative of the increase to each biweekly paycheck. Another $200 a week means roughly $5,000 a year, not quite a 15% increase in my salary. It initially sounds impressive but, in fact, if bonuses and annual reviews and salary increases had continued, it's still somewhat less than what I should be making four years later.

Here's another catch. It's not yet an increase in salary. In an effort to get money in our pockets and prevent even greater staffing hemorrhage the Site Manager did some creating bookkeeping to get the money out as "bonuses." He also said that if the raises don't go through by the end of July, that paycheck will have both weeks as another "bonus."

But what if the salary increases don't go through at the end of July? What if Corporate decides to deny his request for salary increases?

I made it very clear that, no matter how much Management wants to move forward on their new training plan, I simply cannot. . . will not. . . commit to anything unless I have that salary increase in a written statement or in my paycheck. The Site Manager made a lot of noises about how confident he was that it will happen but refused to put it in writing.

I told them that if I started working on this and it turned out that the raises had been denied, I'd simply go back to my cube to take calls. That would be unfair to the other people working on the project so I'm simply not going down that path in the first place. When the raise is a fact, then things will be different.

He tried one last manipulative ploy in saying that I couldn't say that he didn't give me a chance to signon, implying that if my holding out causes them to drop me from their plans altogether then I'll have only myself to blame. (I'm not sure he understood my smile of recognition at his tactics when he laid out this ultimatum.)

"Let me make this plain. . . You've been working hard on this for six months now. I've been working at this for four years. And I have been burned numerous times. I cannot commit emotional capital to something based only on your word because, ultimately, it's not really your decision and your word doesn't mean anything. That decision will be made at corporate and I've been burned by them, too. I want this to happen but I'm not going out on limbs anymore."

He again tried the "they've been holding up their plans because of you" ploy but I was having none of it. I shrugged.

"If that's the way it's going to be, then so be it. You know my conditions and my conscience is clear."

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