I was informed, today, that I received a $1,000 pay raise last week.
I learned this in an "Oh, hey, can I talk to you?" sort of way, almost as an afterthought. Radio called me over to his desk halfway through a "discussion" with Pacman about why I should live in Deep Ellum (he is for it, I am not so eager, particularly since I've already shelled out $75 for the apartment I want to live in, vs. not knowing where I'd live in Deep Ellum that would be as nice or as spacious or as quiet).
Once at Radio's desk, he wrote on a piece of paper, "This is your gross salary: $XX,XXX." Obviously, the X's were numbers - although to mathematicians, X is a number anyways - but the only person who needs to know how much I make is me. And the taxman. Oh, and the leasing company. And FAFSA, eventually, but that's the government, which is related to the taxman, so is that one person? Okay, multiple people need to know how much I make, but none of them read this blog.
The X's were also $1,000 more than I'd been informed I would be paid.
Thank you, G-Man. G-Man is not a government spook, by the way, but he is a friend and fellow Happy Hour attendee. The day after my "salary negotiations" - which were really just me accepting the number presented - Radio arrived at HH and the first words out of his mouth were, "Haven't you ever heard of a counter-offer?" Why did he ask that? Because the salary presented was much lower than what I'd made previously. 18.3% lower, in fact. I took the job, though, because an 18.3% pay cut is still better than the 75% pay cut I took by being on the dole from the Texas Workforce Commission.
I was taken aback by Radio's directness and brusque manner, and I think my face registered that. I defended myself by informing him that I'd been prepared for the offer of a contract position, but not for a salary. At this juncture, G-Man spoke up and pointed out that he has several currently unemployed friends who counter-offered in interviews and lost the job to someone who was willing to just take less money.
"Exactly," I continued. "I've had friends who've counter-offered in interviews, too, and in this economy, a counter-offer can cost you a job." I think Radio felt guilty, because I now make $1,000 more than I did the day I started the job. He told me he raised the salary last week, and made it retroactive to the day I started work.
After a brief freak-out earlier today (did I fill out my W-4 correctly? Ohmigod, ohmigod, ohmigod) and a bit of online research, I am very happy with my pay. Of course, insurance isn't being deducted from my salary, yet, because it won't go into effect until August 1, but that means I can save XXX over the next few weeks.
And I get the apartment with the view of Downtown. And Radio decided we should knock off from work early and go to the bar on the first floor for a beer. And I had dinner with a college friend and a couple of drinks afterwards. And I don't have to work Friday. And Friday Happy Hour has been rescheduled for Thursday to celebrate G-Man's birthday.
And life is good.