I think it’s time to let you all know what’s been going on with me. I’ve been going through a rough patch, yes, I know I told you all before. But it’s a little more rough than you would expect.
About two weeks ago I was working hard, planning my job fair for the newspaper. We have a large turnover because of “personality conflicts” with the management. I usually work about 50 hours a week, but that week I worked over 60 hours because I wanted my event to be on point, just like I want everything that I am involved with to be.
The day for the job fair came and just as I imagined everything went extremely well. I was so proud of myself and the staff and everyone was pleased with how smoothly things ran. I hosted the event and when it was all done all I wanted to do was sleep.
My publisher called me into her office and congralulated me on my event. She slipped me a $100 bill and told me to get myself something nice. She also told me that she would be treating the entire staff to dinner that evening at Houston’s (a nice restaurant on the water) to celebrate our success.
I was extremely pleased that my work was recognized but I was really looking forward to my paycheck the next day when my publisher, who had promised me a raise said that she would “surprise me” and give me just what I deserved.
The next day I worked hard, filling in for our missing receptionist as well as handling my own workload. At the end of the day when my paycheck was handed to me I was shocked. My publisher had set my salary at $21K a year.
My eyes began to blur. $21K. Didn’t I work my butt off for two months for this raise? I hadn’t even seen my sons for 3 days straight because I was working overtime for the paper. Don’t I operate in the most professional of work manner, motivating those around me to excel? Didn’t my hard work and dedication mean anything to her?
I guess not. I guess she didn’t really care when I told her that I don’t get support from my children’s father for living expenses. There’s no way anyone can live decently in Miami on $21K with two kids. Am I destined to live the same life I grew up in? Will my kids have to grow up in the projects like I did, dodging bullets on the way from school?
I waited until the boys had eaten dinner to give her a call at home. She had given me her phone number and told me to call if I ever needed to talk.
“Hello. Did I call you at a bad time?”
“No. What’s up?”
“I just want to know if you have been dissappointed with my work. Am I not performing up to your expectations?”
“Why are you asking me this?”
“Because I just got my paycheck and you said you would surprise me, but I wasn’t expecting this. I can’t live on this pay?”
“Well, you know what? You just got here and I can’t be paying you all kinds of money like that. Besides, I just gave you a hundred dollars in your hand! If that’s not enough for you then you have to do what you have to do! You’re very aggressive and sometime’s that a good thing, but right now you’re going overboard! And you know what if you want more, you can just kiss my ass!”
She hangs up.
I sit there stunned, looking at the phone in my hand.
Kiss my ass.
Kiss my ass.
I pour out my heart for you. I implement structure into your business and take on so many different jobs, just because you promised me i would get what I deserved. I work so many hours to make you look professional and you pay me a slave wage and tell me to kiss your ass.
It took me the whole weekend to decide what I was going to do.
On Monday I called in sick. My lil sister said that was a punk move. But I had a plan. I faxed my resume out to everyone I could think of and went and re-visited those companies that I had made contacts with before to give them an updated copy of my resume. Which, by the way, is OFF-THE-CHAIN with all of the experience that I gained working at the newspaper. My stock has gone up.
By Tuesday I called in again, because I had already set up three interviews for the week.
I went back to work on Wednesday morning. I was nervous. I hate negative confrontations. But I smiled and went to my office. I blinked twice. Someone had been rifling through all of my files and my computer’s hard drive had been completely torn out. What the…?
The publisher was not in yet, so I asked the office manager what had happened and she said she didn’t know. I reminded her that I had an orientation to give that morning to a new employee and she told me to just recreate the information on another computer. What?
I got through the orientation as best as I could without my files that were stored on my computer. I was handling personnel all by myself until I could find a decent assistant. After I set the new employee up at her station I went to my office and sat down, wondering what I was going to do without my computer, which I called The Lifeline. All of my projects were stored on there.
The office manager came back to my office and asked me to hurry up and go through the fat stack of applicants from the job fair and decide who I wanted to call back. I had to finish grading the tests from all of the applicants and then sort through them to refer the outstanding applicants to the publisher.
THEN, she wanted me to draft a letter to all of the applicants thanking them for coming to our fair. I told her that I had already written the letter and if they had not taken apart my computer, then they would have it. She just told me to write it over again and to hurry up because I had receptionist duties for five hours that day. What the…?
I walked outside. I called Mimi from my cell phone and I talked to her for a minute. As usual she didn’t tell me what to do. She just told me that I had to stick by whatever decision I made and roll on.
I hung up with her, took a deep breath and walked back inside. I could not give one more minute of my professionalism to such an organization that does not care about me, my family or my hard work.
I asked for a resignation form, filled it out and left.
I cried in the car on the way home. How could I tell my mama that I had quit my job? I have two kids. I felt like a loser.
I couldn’t help but wonder how all this could happen. I did the right thing. I served the Lord. I worked hard to excel beyond my company’s expectations because I loved working hard. If I did the right thing all this time, how could I be so unnappreciated and disrespected?
Maybe there is just something about me. Maybe this whole dream of changing the world and uplifting millions will remain that, just a dream. Maybe I just suck.
After my pity party, I got up and went at it, applying for jobs non-stop. I’m not completely broke but I’m almost there. My kids won’t go hungry though. We’ll be alright.
Some people say my standards are too high. They say my expectations are off base. But I know what I am worth and I know it is NOT $21K. I am valuable. I am ambitious. I can do anything and I can make any company better just by my presence.
Someone will be lucky to have me.
Until I find that place. I’m sitting here. Unemployed. Living with my mama. With my two kids.
Ya’ll know what? I am scared.
But I know me. And I have faith. And I have skills.
Like I said before. Adversity propels you to make a decision. You can sit there in misery because you don’t think you deserve better, or you can take a chance and go for what you deserve. I choose not to wonder what would have happened if I had given my all.
I’m going to go for mine right now.
Let’s see what happens.
No one ever got what where they wanted to be without taking a risk.