The Unpromotion

I have long been told to be weary of hard work, as often hard work is rewarded with nothing more than additional hard work. This is very often the case with people who tell you that ‘hard work is its own reward’, and never the case with people who actually appreciate your hard work by paying you fairly for it. The people who pay you fairly for your hard work don’t abuse it.

Because it’s fucking expensive.

This knowledge is a good way to understand whether your employer understands capitalism or is just an asshole. This part of economics is actually pretty easy to understand, it’s all about incentives. Motivating people with money is our society’s way of saying “we like what you do and want you to do more of it.” It’s so simple that I don’t understand why people don’t fucking get it. Like my employer.

I came back to the US and was immediately contacted by my former employer, who is an ESL director and friend of my family. He said he needed warm bodies at my school and gave me my old job back, at a raise no less. Well, something of a raise. It still isn’t enough with which to live comfortably in the DC metro area. Because I don’t want to give too much away, let’s call the amount x$ per hour. Now, x$ is +2$ more than I was getting last time I was here. So, there is that. Unfortunately, however, the hours are pretty thin. I didn’t mind at first, as this gave me plenty of time to try and look for another job.  It kind of seemed like an ideal, non stressful situation at first. And everyone seemed to like me here.

Then, someone got shit canned. Someone on the admin said of things was on the take from the company coffers, and word got around real fast. The school had to move to get rid of him, and could I help pick up some of the slack? Mind you, I had never done that kind of work before. But everyone was confident that I could work it out easily. And you know , it was more money.

Kinda. It was more money only inasmuch as it was more hours. But the hourly rate was actually x-4$ per hour. Not much of an incentive to keep doing it. Particularly because this job doesn’t really need me. For the most part, there are other people in the office who could be doing it, if only they wanted to. For much of the first months of my doing this job, they were doing it in tandem to show me the ropes. Far more often, I still need either their permission or expertise to do part of it. So my day often consists of waiting at a desk for someone to be with me while I do five minutes of work. The frustration comes in with the fact that I, a) am waiting for hours at a time, and b) can’t get any work on anything else done while I am there.

It’s pretty torturous, particularly as my boss is not terribly busy and has a goldfish’s attention span. I once waited an hour and a half to get him to sign off on something. While waiting for him to do this, I sat through him recounting an anecdote about two dude’s banging in the men’s room. He was then walked away, came back a little later, and recounted the same butt-fucking story to someone else.

My time may not be worth too much, but you paid me to sit around and listen to your butt-fucking story, twice.

Sigh.

You know who else doesn’t get it? Me. I don’t get it. Because I know I am worth more than this, and still I stay at this job.

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