On Salary

It's the reason I get out of bed in the morning and the reason I have a bed to get out from. But what if my salary is too low? I don't mean too low to afford life's essentials like ice cream and 2gb monthly mobile data. I mean it's too low compared to the cash value of my mind, body and C.V..

My boss said I'm underpaid for the work that I do. Not in a jokey sucks-to-be-paid-less-than-me kind of way, but in a this-is-your-six-month-review kind of way. He said I was employed in an admin role, but doing the work of an analyst. How fantastic, I thought, when he went on to say my salary will be increased, so I don't run off with a more attractive and charismatic company.

I saw one of these companies on the sly, and they asked me to rate my communication skills out of 10. I didn't give them an answer on the spot but later emailed them to say I'm at least an 11, erring towards 12.

According to the marketplace, my raise should be a dollop of 30%. Sadly though, it turns out all medium sized companies have a policy whereby any raise this big has to be approved by Santa who, as we all know, is notoriously slippery. But I've been assured that the board of directors are taking regular trips to the North Pole to follow up. They can say with 99% confidence it will be sorted by the end of next month or by the end of 2021, at the absolute latest.

But what if my salary is too low? I don't live extravagantly, nor do I enjoy spending money. I thought I didn't care about money, but maybe it would be nice to have a car. I could get to work 5 minutes slower than I do on my bike, enjoying the relaxing traffic (mood) lights on the way in. Or I could buy some technology or some holidays or a wife. The possibilities are endless. The only guarantee is that I will be 30% happier. Plus, the extra thousands will bring me over the threshold to pay back the interest my student loan has accumulated since cob today.

The worst case scenario is that I put my extra money aside for a rainy day, then end up buying a fucking conservatory in 30 years. I'd rather cover my apartment in gold coated wallpaper, then pay a stripper to strip it all off again. How depressing would it be to slave my life for bullshit, only to die slowly in a state-of-the-art conservatory? How depressing would it be to get all angsty over waiting for a raise, just to fund another layer of glazing?

Eight months into this job and my contract is still like an asexual man in a brothel. There's nothing rising. Yet, I'm being asked if I can project manage this, and put my neck on the line for that. At this point I don't know if should Dress for the job I want, when I'm getting Less for the job I don't even know I want. If only I could get salary to write shit like that. Let's please raise a hashtag to post-work society.

It makes me so mad that I'm being fucked over by my employer. But I'm not-so-secretly enjoying that my growing responsibilities are undermined by the word Trainee in my job title. Through my outraged red face I manage to quip daily that I'm just a trainee, as if to remind the office that I'm being fucked. I'll go up to a random colleague spouting the catchphrase, I'm just a trainee with my tongue firmly in my cheek, to emphasise what a joke it is. The subtext is that I'm worth so much more than that. I yell in their face so they know how much I'm worth. I tell them my value in cash like I'm a vendor selling milk.

What are responsibilities anyway? The ones at the top blame the ones at the bottom and the ones at the bottom blame them straight back. Climb the ladder to get power, delegate the power, then point the finger at any rung away from yours when everything goes wrong. My new job title is going to be Shift the Blame Executive and I'll aspire towards Shift the Blame Manager then I'll retire towards Too old to shift the blame effectively.

It turns out the benefits of being underpaid feed my superiority complex. I have a postgraduate degree and I could walk into any job I wanted right now. Except I couldn't. Except I like complaining that I'm hard done by. I couldn't try to strive for better if I tried. I don't want to challenge myself. I don't want to fail then improve, or ever leave my comfort zone.

All the thirty-and forty-something wankers have hit their ceiling. I'll apologise to them when I use their heads as stepping stones, on my way to becoming a corporate God, or whatever the fuck they never managed to achieve.

Bit of a long one, sorry.

Read my other posts, they're shorter.