Friday, February 1, 2008

Been Working So Hard, I'm Punchin' My Card

What a week! What a week it has been!

On Sunday, I told you about how much I was dreading this week. As I wrote that post Sunday night, I secretly hoped that I would air my concerns and, by some grace of God, my week would go smoothly. Not the case.

With Monday came the stress of doing what I never thought I'd have to do as a sales assistant: asking for a raise. Yes, on Monday I asked for a raise... kind of. The associated publisher give me the news a week ago that I'd be assisting one more sales rep, he was the one I had to talk to. First, I called his assistant and got on his calendar for a short afternoon meeting. After that, I prepped. I spoke to my boss (this is Facebook friend boss, remember my other boss is still in Aruba, ignoring my e-mails, but we'll get to that in a hot minute) about what I should say. I wrote down an outline. I practiced my conversation with a coworker in the magazine library.

Then, I went in to his office. My face was flushed but cheeks were bright red and I was sweating. I looked pretty attractive. My voice was shaky as I told him how flattered I was to be given this responsibility, told him my concerns about assisting three people, and quickly mentioned that I wanted to be compensated accordingly. I didn't exactly ask for a raise. Instead I said, "I want to be sure I'm compensated accordingly, whether it's a raise we discuss now or in the future, or ensuring that I am not given a hard time when filing for overtime."

I didn't get the raise. I knew I wasn't going to get the raise. But I still had to ask. I had to let him know that I wouldn't be "sold" or taken advantage of because I have a "can-do" attitude and generally say "yes" when asked to complete a task. It was uncomfortable and awkward, but I did it and I'm glad I did. I have been promised that I will not be given trouble when filing for overtime and for now, that's good enough for me. Now, the bosses know that I mean business.

So, I got through Monday and asking for a raise...kind of. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday are all a blur. My brain is also mush. I have been carrying the workload of my vacationing boss, who has time to forward me e-mail from her clients but does not have the time to even open the e-mails I am sending her with important questions. I know this because unopened e-mails on her Blackberry remain unopened on her Outlook, which I am required to check. It must be nice sipping margarita's on the beach with your doctor husband imagining your assistant suffering back in her cubicle. My boss's clients have sent me mean e-mails demanding that we move their ad to a better position or asking me dumb questions and then imply that I'm incompetent when I provide them with a completely acceptable answer that they do not understand. All the while, I must play the "dumb assistant" role because at the end of the day (or should I say, at the end of her vacation?) that gives my boss a scapegoat when something goes wrong and she must fix it.

Today is Friday. Thank God. And tonight, I gotta cut loose. Footloose.


Yvonne said...

i am proud of you for asking for a raise. that is not easy--no matter your experience. you may have felt silly doing it but i am sure you got more respect because of it.

alex said...

WG1 -

your post really motivated to ask what i've wanted to ask for for a while -- a promotion. the other day i did and was disappointed when i wasn't immediately granted my coveted position. however, the other day i just received a promotion! my boss had been thinking it over and thinks i'm ready! ask and you shall receive. thanks for the motivation!