The More things Stay the Same…

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011 | Work

…in which I talk about vast, sweeping, slow moving change.

There have been some immense changes in my life recently, surrounded and accompanied by many small changes. The least of which, is I’m wearing a better class of shirt. The thing is, when you get a raise, a significant raise, a raise that is years overdue, you kind of feel like you should put forth a bit of a deserving image. That has lead to me buying a few new shirts and just trying to look, overall, a bit more professional.

Oh, did I not mention? After years of fighting and justifying, I’ve been rewarded by a new job title, a new paycheck, and a bit of rediscovered self confidence. We don’t so much get promotions around campus, but rather we get “reclassified.” This is kind of like a promotion in reverse. Over the years you will be asked to do more and more without any real compensation… it’s just that additional tasks and duties slowly become a regular, routine part of your job. After a while, it gets to the point that your job is no longer what you were originally supposed to do, and technically, you’re now doing a job equivalent to someone higher up the food chain than you. At that time, the university looks at your original job description, compares it to what you’re actually doing, and raises you up to meet your new duties.

Over the past year, my new boss, Mike, has been working to get me classified up to where other people with my duties and responsibilities live. Unfortunately, we’d been shot down at almost every attempt with, most often, semantic arguments. I don’t “write applications,” I “develop code.” I don’t “configure and maintain” servers, I “build and secure” them. Same duties, wrong verbiage. That was what was holding me back. Time and time again, we submitted revised requests, and each time they came back with semantic issues.

Last month, however, our Associate Dean got a call from Human Resources, informing her that the request had gone through and that I would get my reclassification. She didn’t believe it, but she passed the good news on to Mike. He didn’t believe her, but the next day he passed the good news on to me, and I didn’t believe him. Even staring at the memo, it seemed unreal to me. Heck, even now, I am incredulous. The first, modified paycheck, will come next month, so until I see it, I really won’t believe it.

Along with this reclassification, came a new title (well, a new number after my title) and a significant pay raise. In my mind, I have passed a new milestone in my employment. Admittedly, I’ve never been a career oriented individual, and I have no need for vast riches, but I want to be happy, secure, and be able to afford the relatively modest lifestyle of my choosing. But with this raise, we will finally pay off the remainder of our credit cards and have a bit extra to put back every month.

We’ll be able to rest more easily knowing that we’re not living check-to-check and we’ll actually have a viable savings account for emergencies, and maybe, someday, Ansel’s education.

That, and a bit of money for nicer shirts.

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