Some and/or none of you might remember that about 5 months ago I blogged that My Husband is Cool, because he had given me the world's most awesome gift. At the time I said I wasn't going to explain and ever since then I've been DYING to blog about this, but I made myself wait until the whole thing was over. If you make it through this whole long thing, you'll understand why.
Here's the background: I am a freelance Bookkeeper. I have 7 clients and I am a contractor for them all. I set my own hours and for all of them except one I have determined my own hourly rate.
I have been with one of my clients for a year and a half. I started as employee by answering a CraigsList ad and it was only after I started working there that things took off for me and I started picking up other clients. At that time I asked if she would switch me from employee to contractor but I didn't ask for a raise. She agreed.
Last year was a rough year for her (I even fucking blogged about her before) and for a while we weren't really sure how she was going to make it, but we all stuck it out and she pulled through, quite nicely, actually. She's fine now. During that time, though, I was checking my work email from home during all hours of the day and the week, and I was checking her bank balance at all hours, because I was worried about payroll going through and such. She knew all of this, because I would always email her about our bank balance whenever I checked it.
Her office was a minimum 30 minute drive from my house and she paid me the least amount of money (almost half) of what I make from everybody else. I had gotten pretty busy in the first part of this year, so much so that I was not only turning potential clients down, but I actually had to let one go because I just didn't have the time. I had thought, over the first 2-3 months of this year, that I really should drop her, because of the money and the inconvenience of getting there... but I liked her, and I was loyal to her, and I didn't want to leave her... because I liked her, and that's how I am. Loyal, to a fault. Apparently
So, I had been thinking "maybe after my 1 year anniversary she'll give me a raise; that will make it all worth it." Except, I had been working on the budget, which includes specific instructions to give "a minimum 4% COLA raise for all employees on their anniversary date" but did not include me... because I wasn't an employee. Okay, that's kind of annoying, I figure I'll just have to ask her fore more money; okay, I can do that. I'll wait until my anniversary date, which was mid-February.
In early February there's an email from her to our Office Manager, cc'ed to me (because I get cc'ed on all finance related matters, no matter what it is) saying "I'd like to give all the employees a bonus because they've been working so hard the last month. Can you please purchase 8 $100 gift cards from Amazon.com?" Now, I can add, being a Bookkeeper and all, and I know that there are 9 people on the payroll: 8 employees and 1 contractor: me. So I'm like WTF Boss Lady? (I said this to myself) and I know she's going to hand them out at the February staff meeting so I'll just hang on and see what happens.
Sure enough, at the February staff meeting, everybody got congratulated for working so hard and everybody got an envelope. She even makes a big deal to point out that the IT guy, although he doesn't work directly with the clients, still works really hard and should get a reward. Not me, though. No... I get fucking snubbed. In a very obvious way. People are looking at me and wondering what the deal was.
I. Was. Fucking. Pissed.
The meeting is over and I get up and leave the room, I go to my desk to turn off my computer and she comes up a few minutes later and says "I gave all the employees that because...." seriously.... she fucking trails off..... I say "it's cool" because the only other option there was "GO FUCK YOURSELF, BITCH" which is clearly not appropriate (damn) and she walks away. I shut down my computer and bolt the fuck out of there.
I was fuming. I go home and yell the whole story to hubs. I talk it over with a bunch of folks, and I decide not to make any rash decisions and I will calm down before I make my next move.
This was the gift I woke up to the next morning, which prompted the "my husband is awesome" post, and that I've been sitting on for the past 5 months, dying to share it with you all:
So, at that point, all of my loyalty is completely fucking gone. I felt like I'd been kicked in the ass. I was more hurt than angry, actually. I didn't want revenge, but I couldn't just let it go. I actually thought it over for a few months and I figured that I had 3 options:
1. Do nothing and carry on as I was;
2. Ask for more money and see what happens; or
Obviously #1 wasn't going to happen, I could never live with that. I vacillated between 2 and 3 for a while. If I asked for more money, she might say yes. Actually, she probably would have said yes, and then I would have to stay there, and did I really want to stay there? I had to figure that part out.
My answer came to me one day in a staff meeting. Oh, sorry.... they're called Company Meetings and you have to call them Company Meetings because Staff Meeting is incorrect. This is a PR firm that works with tech companies that I was working for, and I sat there listening to them talk about how to get their clients to use Twitter to increase their business and I was struck by 2 things:
1. The only purpose for this company being in business is to make money. That's all they do. I have a lot of nonprofit clients who do things like provide free counseling to kids in Juvie, or (illegally) promote Democracy in China and not only do they pay me what I'm worth, they actually do something worthwhile. I'm not interested in staying in a place that doesn't appreciate me, doesn't pay me what I'm worth AND serves no purpose other than to make money for themselves.
2. I was in this meeting Tweeting on my phone under the table about the irony of me tweeting on my phone under the table while around me people talked about how to use Twitter to maximize business profitability, and you know what? At the time I write this I have 1,727 Twitter followers. This company has 478. They could probably learn a few things from me about how to use Twitter to maximize your whateverthefuck. What the hell do they actually know about using Twitter, anyway?
So, I decided, I was going to leave. There was still the possibility that once I gave notice, she might suddenly realize how awesome I am and offer me more money? But.... no. Nothing. I quit. I trained my replacement. I left. And now that I've completely left? FINALLY I CAN BLOG ABOUT IT.
There's a slight possibility that she still might see this, especially since I'm fully intending to email this post to 2 of my former co-workers (Hi guys!! Try not to pass this on to anybody who might forward it to You Know Who) but at this point, fuck it. I didn't burn any bridges, I kept emotion out of it, I remained professional, my karma is intact, I think I handled it appropriately. At my very awkward final meeting, she gave me a hug and told me I could still use her as a reference. I won't, though.
She can go fuck herself. With hot pokers? Well. Maybe that's too much.....
1. I had a client I was very loyal to
2. She did not appreciate me and told me so in a very obvious and embarrassing manner
3. I quit