austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

And they all look away, look away

So, the good news: we'll have health, vision, dental, life, and disability insurance starting from May. Also, I'll have a 401(k) plan with 50% matching, which is a new money thing to help me feel like my unpreparedness for retirement is my own fault. But coming as bunny_hugger's job most likely evaporates that's a great reassurance.

The bad news: this is because my company is being sold. Monday started with the big announcement that we've been acquired by a Group. I don't want to make too many presumptions but have you ever heard of anything good being done by a Group? They have divisions, lots of divisions, across the United States and Canada and, like, I enjoy working for a sleepy backwater nothing company. I feel every sort of apprehension at working for somebody with divisions and a listing on the stock exchange.

The official word is that nobody's pay or position changes at least not right away. And my boss says the company has very good retention, keeping something like 96% of staff. One out of 25 people leaving sounds like a pretty good record for a complete changeover in management, although I notice I'm one person and there's like 25 people at the company. So far the big effect has been now we're getting lost of Microsoft Teams meetings where people in different cities read PowerPoint slides showing Venn diagrams done as jigsaw puzzle pieces to us. And a lot of them; I missed one this morning because I didn't know about it, but there's another tomorrow and then one two weeks from now about our benefits, and then they also want a ``one-on-one'' with me next week.

I talked with my boss, first confirming three different ways that he was all right and not, like, in failing health or anything. He insisted this was something that made sense given their infinitely deeper pockets and geographic spread doing this kind of thing across two countries. And that it had been a string of off-and-on talks going back to 2014, not anything rushed into. All right. He also said that my own vaguely-defined-position was recorded and would be recorded as a full-time position and so I get the benefits mentioned above. Also that they're very comfortable with remote workers so that my job should not particularly change, other than using a lot more Microsoft Teams and I imagine me being more annoyed at Microsoft Teams. He's also really excited for the work I've been doing, saying that it's at the center of a lot of the stuff they're excited about.

And then the news that will have me kicking myself for months if not years to come. He was not aware how long it's been since I got a raise. I have never[*] gotten a raise. He agreed that a higher pay rate is reasonable but said that it's now out of his hands, but he gave me the name of the person to discuss this with. Which has me kicking myself since if I had discussed this before the buyout was announced --- like, two weeks ago --- there's a great chance he'd have given me one. I mean, he'd have known it wouldn't be his money then. But I was still screwing up my courage.

My brother says that I am very under-paid, and believe him. He did a quick bit of digging around for comparable jobs and found the median pay at about twice what I have. So, I'm hoping that I'll be able to get advice about talking it out, and see how to get into the ranks of Suspiciously Wealthy Furries. My brother does point out that the company has, like, training programs available, and enough of a reputation that I could apply somewhere else and refer them and have anyone know who I'm talking about. But, jeez, who wants to work for a place that has a reputation? If a company has a reputation, that's because it pays people to give it a reputation. And a company pays people to give it a reputation because it needs to block whatever people would otherwise be saying about it. What kind of employer can that be?

[*] The then-secretary bumped up my pay a couple thousand dollars in late 2011, but I gave that back when I switched to being a remote employee with vague hours and vaguer responsibilities back in 2012, and I now realize that there's an excellent chance my boss didn't know he was cutting my pay when we made the remote-work deal.

Trivia: A late 1997 survey of brokers indicated they expected an annual return of average 34 percent for the following decade. This would have resulted in 2007 of a Dow Jones at 151,000, and the stock market capitalization reaching 1500 percent of national income. Source: Devil Take the Hindmost, Edward Chancellor.

Currently Reading: America's Women: 400 Years of Dolls, Drudges, Helpmates, and Heroines, Gail Collins.

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