Merit Pay

I’m not a nice person, but I do work hard.  You’d think that I’d have had excellent pay.  In fact, when I went into teaching one of the men on our board remarked that I’d be making less.  Uh, no.  I was making the same, with potential to make more.  Why?  Because I wasn’t really getting paid what I should have, but there was no way to get my boss to pay me.  Why?  Because I was doing all the work anyway without the pay.  Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free.  So…  A lesson in not being paid.

Des Moines Public Library: $3.33 an hour when minimum pay was $3.35.  Yep.  I think when I left 5 years later, I was making $3.65. My boss said I was the best worker she’d ever had.  Thanks… I guess.

Farm Bureau: Started at $3.35.  Got something like a nickel raise most summers.  Funny, the daughters of “executives” who did less work (seriously) were getting quarter and 50 cent raises.  It’s not what you know…  BTW, one didn’t wear underwear and had lots of dudes visiting.  But she was just friendly.  I was fat and mean and wore underwear.  I DID NOT deserve more pay.

Farm Bureau: They were PISSED at me when I quit because the person I was training was making $1.00 more an hour than I.  Yep, she was entry level, I was experienced, yet I got less pay.  Daughter of an executive.  From what I hear, still there, still mediocre, and still be pandered to because of her dad.  You’d think if she were all that and a bag of chips she’d have a better job by now.  That said, she couldn’t stand poor kids so she stayed out of teaching.  Score one for the schools.

WHEDA: Governmental to a fault.  We were paid well-enough, but there were 10% governor appointees (republican governor, Tommy Thompson for those wanting to blame democrats.  Not that I doubt they had appointees…) within the organization (20/200).  We made $15-17K a year.  Appointees, doing NO work and being obvious about it, $60K.  Yep, life is fair.

Aforementioned non-profit, IDEMA:  $35K when I left in 1998 acting as editor (but never getting the pay of one), ad-hoc IT person, and various jack-of-all-trades.  Actually watched a colleague who didn’t do JACK after she got engaged get a 13% raise by laying claim to all the work done by me and another employee.  Took them a decade to finally fire her because they realized she WASN’T doing the work. Duh!

Anyone who says they believe in merit pay is getting it already.  Most likely, however, there are loads of people out there not getting paid what they are worth.  Some are merely plugging along not knowing (because you’re not to discuss pay), or they are at some point between the high and low pay for their job so they “can’t” make any more (cause it doesn’t matter how well you work), or some other BS that’s set forth by people making more than you.

Let’s strike a deal.  I’ll take merit pay the minute I have control over the parameters of my job that will effect it.  Otherwise, take your antiquated method of compensation and shove it.


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