Tuesday, December 13, 2011

I’m Norma Fucking Rae: Sticking It to the Man

I’ve known since July that I needed to find a new job. That my boss withheld my monthly commissions for the first half of the year was one hint. Him suggesting I go on COBRA immediately if I was potentially considering a relocation to Atlanta was another. Ignoring the fact that his COBRA proposal was both preposterous and illegal, the overall tone of the office has also become somber and sad. But I plugged away because sometimes the devil plays nice and oftentimes it is easier to stay put than to make a change. But in the last few days, additional inequity has surfaced.

“I just learned that, though I have been here the longest and have the highest level of education of any of my coworkers, including my boss, I got the lowest year-end bonus.”

“I’m not surprised,” Leslie said.

And to be honest, I wasn’t either. Somehow, it made perfect sense that someone with no college degree got a bonus 250% higher than mine and the guy who has only been here six years and can’t find his way out of a paper bag got a bonus 500% higher than mine. Yes, it would make sense that the only employee who is actually bringing in new clients and thus making the boss more money would be rewarded the least. Realizing there is no reasoning with a corrupt man, I finally started job hunting.

Friday night, drained from the events of the week, I got on the road for a quick weekend in DC. Somewhere in Delaware my mother rang.

“Are you okay?” my mom asked.

“Yeah, why wouldn’t I be?”

“Dad told me everything.”

“Oh, that. I’m fine.”

“PJ, you really should just screw him. You’re a smart, resourceful woman and he is clearly threatened by you. ”

It was perhaps the first time my mother ever genuinely built me up. This after years of being told my hair looks better straight, that I shouldn’t eat dessert, and that I should spend more time on the treadmill. It took someone else throwing the punches for my mom to truly mother me.

“I’ll be fine. I have a nice chunk of change on hand if things implode. But my goal is to keep my head down until I have a new opportunity lined up. Then I’ll tell him to fuck himself.”

“And Dad and I can help if you get stuck.”

It’s always nice to know you have a soft place to land. Leslie has outright said I can come live with her indefinitely. And my friend Samantha just moved into a gorgeous two-bedroom condo in Beverly Hills and offered the same. In a time dominated by economic turmoil and troubling unemployment numbers, it’s comforting to know I have the support of friends and family if things go haywire.

I got home from DC Sunday night and Monday morning I mustered the energy and courage to show up to work. The mere thought of being there for much longer left my shoulders tense and my head throbbing. Tuesday morning, I did it all over again. Except this time I considered bringing along a sippy cup of vodka to ease the pain. Then, just shy of noon, I received an email from a tech company I had applied to. The regional hiring manager had seen my resume and now wants to interview me.

Realistically speaking, I know that this is just the first hurdle of many. Even if I make it to the end of the interviewing process with an offer, it may not be an offer I am comfortable accepting. I am fully capable of being realistic and reasonable at a time when one can easily get distracted by excitement. So after one quick squeal and a samba shimmy in my chair, I closed the email and went back to work. Because if I’m really going to stick it to the man, I have to keep my plan to myself.

9 comments:

Breeza said...

Good luck!

Bathwater said...

I would put together a legal case for discrimination!

j said...

Good luck!

off2fish said...

Tawanda!

Howie said...

we're rooting for you paige

jcristg said...

what a shitty situation, but how happy i am to see your family stepping it up with the support. (i am, obviously pulling for a move to the ATL. closer to meeeee)

jcristg said...

(assuming you want to be IRL friends with a girl that does not proofread and catch her missing comma.)

mysterygirl! said...

Congrats on the interview! The best revenge is remaining fabulous. Also: stealing their entire client base. :)

xo

bindu priya said...

http://lifegoesonithink.blogspot.in/2011/11/ur-so-not-4-me.html