I… uh… one year… uh… money?
Asking for a raise is quite possibly the most awkward thing in the world.
Yesterday was my one year anniversary at my job. I felt that it was an appropriate time for a raise. (Well actually, I felt when they gave me more responsibility it was appropriate for them to give me a raise. Apparently that never crossed their mind and I’m too much of a wussy to mention it. Hence postponing the awful discussion until my one year.)
Throughout the first part of the morning, I tried to ignore it. (Denial, I think they call it.) Maybe if I forgot it was January 14, I wouldn’t have to ask. Maybe somehow the payroll system would just know. Maybe my boss would walk into my office and say “Well done this year! You’re indispensable. You’re awesome. You’re what this company has always needed. I’m giving you a raise!” That didn’t happen… My boss didn’t even know it was my one year. Our payroll system is ancient and has yet to learn ESP. And while I was filling out numerous piles of paperwork, I was absolutely unable to ignore the date. “Subscribed and sworn to before me this 14 day of January, 2009.” I even considered writing the wrong date… maybe I had a chance of convincing God it wasn’t actually THE DAY.
I then tried the next reasonable thing: Bargaining. “Okay God, if you have my boss walk into my office, you know, just because, and you present the opportunity, then I will absolutely ask for a raise.” No? You’re not going to make that happen. That’s not reasonable? “Okay. can you make my boss walk past my office with a smile on his face so that I know he’s in a good mood?” Still no? Ugh! “Okay fine, last offer. If at the end of the day when I’m walking out of the office, you make sure that my boss is in his office, not on the phone, and all other employees are gone, I’ll ask for a raise.” (Here is where I skip Anger and go straight to Depression.) The clock ticks. I’m grumpy. My stomach churns. My heartbeat hits a rate that often leads to the use of a defibrillator. I question my ability to stand up without passing out. I drink some water to avoid cotton mouth but instantly regret that decision, as now I’ll have something to throw up.
It’s 4:58. Everyone has either left or walked outside for a smoke break. My boss is in his office, not on the phone. (Now Acceptance.) Ohmygosh. Ohmygosh. I pack up my stuff and start walking to the door. I see him in his office and walk in. Wait, what? Ahh. I know there is no turning back now. As much as I’d love to just walk away, I know that’s entirely inappropriate. So, ohmygosh, I sit down.
I’m awful at public speaking. Seriously. I’m one of those people who makes the “public” feel awkward. And in this situation, yes, my boss is considered “public”. So I sit down and say my piece. I would love to be able to say “And you know, it actually went over really well. I gained the courage to ask in a confident manner.” But I’d be a complete liar. It did not go well. I was nervous and cotton-mouthed and didn’t make a whole lot of sense. If there happened to be a camera in that room, I may honestly die of embarassment.
But it’s over. I asked. I survived. Not sure how much, but some sort of raise will take effect. And I can now dread the coming of January 14, 2010.