Monday, October 16, 2017

How Much is Too Much?

I've been trying to decide whether and at what point I should cut my losses and quit this job. I'm so incredibly fed up, but at the same time it's really complicated. I do not dislike my work. Pretty much all of my coworkers are fabulous and I love them dearly. However, the job I was hired for and the job that I am now doing are RADICALLY different... and, of course, the pay has not changed. I know money isn't everything, but when you go from being something very much like a typical Receptionist/Secretary to something more like a Business Operations Manager... well, according to, for this area, the average secretarial salary is $30,186 and the average business & operations manager salary is $71,427.

That's a pretty huge difference. More than double.

The changes to my job have been gradual over the past few years and mostly due to changes in staff. Firstly, I report directly to our VP and within a few months of me starting here the VP retired and was replaced by another with rather different ideas about my position. Second, we were without a Director for nearly 2 years (it can be hard to get jobs approved and posted when you work for the state) and so the duties that would have belonged to that position were pretty much divvied up between the VP, the Assistant Director, and me. Next, we lost our Assistant Director, so his stuff was then, of course, shifted onto the VP and me.  And THEN they decided to save money by hiring for an 'area manager' instead of a new Assistant Director... and that position does not do all the higher-end business crap that the previous position did, so most of all that remains mine.

I went from answering phones and doing standard filing and billing to getting quotes, dealing with vendors, researching and arguing the finer points of certain state contracts with said vendors, researching tax law and the applicability of certain taxes to certain types of purchases we make, handling most of the department's HR junk, and the list goes on.

Again, I do not dislike my job. But I do dislike being taken advantage of. I do dislike having a boss who seems to have no concept (and no interest) in what or how much I do to keep this department running.

I was on the phone with our Purchasing department the other day trying to iron out some issues concerning a vendor that had gone off state contract and the lady said to me, "You know this is your boss's job, right?"

Yes. Yes, I do.

But, as I mentioned in my post on 3/29/17, I have crap self-esteem and tend to work very hard at going above and beyond because I want people to like me. Because I need external validation. And, while I don't get it from my actual boss, I DO get it from other folks in the department as well as folks that I interact with from other departments. And I need it. I know it's unhealthy. I know that my self-worth should not be determined by other people. But I can't help it. So, I work and I work and I work and I take on additional duties and I try not to complain. Because everybody likes working with someone who will go out of their way to help you, whether it's their job or not. Or, perhaps, everyone just likes taking advantage of someone like that. I don't know.

Anyway, I approached my boss about all this (and a 3-ring-binder report about myself, my duties, and how the position had changed since I started... he like facts and numbers) about 8 months ago and he acted like what I was saying was reasonable. Acted like he was interested in helping me out: changing my title, job description, etc.

A few months went by and I brought it up again. He said he was trying to figure out how to go about justifying the changes to the higher-ups so they would approve it... said my job description already sort of included just about everything I do. Of course, the state job descriptions are written VERY broadly and can include an awful lot of stuff depending on how you read them. So, I pulled the job description of the position most like mine in another department and researched their pay (if you work for the state and make over a certain amount, there is a webpage that lists your name, agency, title, and salary). I presented this to my boss. He thought it was 'something we could work with'.

A few more months went by and my boss mentioned something about being concerned about my stress level. He asked what, if anything, he could do to help. I said he could pay me more appropriately. The brief conversation that followed made it pretty apparent that that wasn't going to happen. I suppose he had just sort of been stringing me along to avoid any sort of confrontation.

I was flabbergasted.

And highly PISSED.

Part of me wants to push back all of my higher-level duties to him and say it's not my job. Part of me wants to quit and watch the world burn down around his ears since he obviously doesn't know (or care) what or how much I do.

And part of me thinks that I ought to just keep plugging along because I love my coworkers and I don't actually dislike my work. What if I left, got more money, and then had to spend every day working with a bunch of assholes? Would it be worth it for a little more financial security? On the other hand, are friendly coworkers worth breaking your back for pennies a day?

I feel a little bad that this is just a big, long post of nothing but me bitching about work... but since no one reads this blog anyway, I guess there's not actually anyone to feel bad for. But I'm good at feeling bad for no reason. It's kind of my thing.

Anyway, I've just come through a month of yuck because they've changed my meds around... perhaps I'll be less angry once I've been on this new one a little longer. Then again, I don't think being angry and depressed for a legitimate reason is something that you can be medicated for. Perhaps though, the medication will help my regular craziness enough that I can handle the real-life things that cause me to feel shitty. Or at least handle them a little better.

Or maybe I should play the lottery... that could solve some issues. :P


Lately, I've been reading a lot of Phillip Roth and Christopher Moore. Weird combination, I know. Good stuff though.

Don't really have a new favorite beer to hype... been drinking bourbon lately. Maker's Mark. Good stuff. But not as good as Woodford.


One for the boss. (Man, I love Jonathan Coulton)

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