“Can you step into my office for a minute?”

I was called into my manager’s office. Meetings like this feel like a walk in the graveyard. In the past few years, meetings of this ilk usually involved the expiration of a consulting contract or, in two cases, being laid off because of attrition (a pretty word for an ugly thing). I couldn’t understand why she needed to see me. My current contract is a roll-over (meaning there’s no hard expiration date), we’re short handed (especially since my colleague went mad) and I’ve been doing some of my best work ever for this place.

I sat down and it started the way it always starts: “I’m sorry, but…”

She’s sorry but although she’s been fighting with human resources for months, she simply cannot hire me on staff. The bean counters won’t allow it. The type of work I do, graphic design, is considered back-office. It’s work that COSTS the company money. In the current economic climate, they can only hire on people who MAKE money for the firm. (In investment banking parlance, “rainmakers.”) Sadly, this appears to be the new normal.

However. Although she can’t hire me, she likes having me around. She doesn’t want me to leave, so she performed a miracle. She got blood from a stone. To entice me to stay, they’ve increased my consulting fee a whopping 25%. That’s a significant jump for someone in my income bracket.

I know it’s gauche to discuss a salary increase. You don’t have to tell me. And I’m not fishing for congrats in my comments section. But for years, I’ve been posting about all the horrific things that have happened to my family and I during this recession. I feel somewhat at liberty to do a bit of boasting now that something nice has finally occurred.

Now I’m on my feet again
Better things are bound to happen
All my dues
surely must be paid

M. Ralphs

 
*     *     *
 
I stumbled across this beauty during an early-morning walk through Times Square. I chatted-up the driver and he said it was being delivered to the Museum of the City of New York. He mentioned the name of the sculptor. It was someone I’d heard of before, but I can’t remember it now. Can you tell what this sculpture is a reenactment of? If you ask me, they should leave them entombed in their cloth and plastic wrap embrace. It’s far more dramatic.
 

statue

 
 
*     *     *

10-Year Old Daughter played on a community traveling basketball team last winter/spring. She wasn’t the best player, but she had a lot of fun participating. I think it was more of a social outlet for her. A few of the girls on her team were extraordinarily talented. So much so, that they won the regional championship.

They recently completed two-day tryouts for the coming season and because her team walked away with trophies and had their pictures in the local paper, the turnout was extra heavy. Everyone wants to jump on board an already-proven winner. It’s  much easier that way.

We got the results yesterday and Daughter didn’t make the team. She’s not a bad player, but much superior players came out of the woodwork to join. Her best friend on the team from last year made the cut. Do you know the first thing she did? She called her friend to congratulated her. That’s an evolved level of grace under disappointment that I, myself, have yet to achieve. My heart is ripped asunder that she wasn’t picked. Growing up, I was never picked for anything, so I treated myself to a lovely flashback. (It’s called “projecting,” for all you armchair psychologists.) Frankly, I think she’s over it already. I’ll try to keep my senses and not say anything to the coach if I bump into him in the frozen food section. I’ll try to learn how to handle a setback from my daughter’s example. What a champ.

Dancing backstage at a Giants Stadium concert
 

dancingphoto

 
*     *     *

Here are the latest box scores:

A man visiting the Bronx Zoo jumped into the tiger’s den. He had a passion for cats and was motivated “to be one with the tiger.” Bachuta, an 11-year-old male Siberian tiger weighing 400 pounds, welcomed him by giving him a broken pelvis, broken right shoulder, broken rib, a collapsed lung, a broken right ankle and puncture wounds on his arms, legs and shoulder.

The man’s Facebook page is filled with tributes to nature and images of tigers and other wild animals. “Love the animals. Don’t trouble it, don’t harass them, don’t deprive them of their happiness.”

Tigers: 1
Delusional human: 0

A protestor in Lahore, Pakistan, died from inhaling fumes from the American flag he ignited.

Olde glory: 1
Jihadist: 0

29 thoughts on ““Can you step into my office for a minute?”

  1. Sometimes, you string together all the right words.Like evolved grace under pressure…I’ll resist the congrats.That statue? Looks as if it might replicate the chap who kissed the nurse when WW II ended.Sorry. Can’t resist! Well done, you and Ms Manager.

  2. Congratulations, not to you, to your manager for doing that she sounds cool.Also, congratulations to your ten year old for being that gracious. We can all learn from her.I’m just not going to say anything about Tiger man…

  3. That’s a significant jump for someone in any income bracket. I hope you’ll use it to increase your consumption of fresh fruit. That sculpture looks like Lurch groping Morticia Addams. She always secretly wanted him, don’t you think?

  4. – congra… nah. you know.- WWII dance. they should leave them wrapped at least for halloween. mummies and all that…- daughter is AWESOME! you can always suggest she play on the recreational team for the social side of things if she misses the game.- bus video? were you beamed up to the motherbus-ship?

  5. dinah: Sometimes I get lucky with my sentences. Other times I’ll massage it over and over and nothing works. Correct on the statue guess!Eryl: She’s one of the nicest people I’ve ever had the pleasure to work for. Don’t tell her but she didn’t need to give me a raise. I don’t want to work anywhere else.GB: That is SO FUNNY! Do you know to celebrate, Mrs. Wife and had dinner at an expensive steak house! Not kidding! You got the Addams Family down there?daisy: I only WISH I could beam myself! If I could, I wouldn’t spend half my life going back and forth on a fucking bus.

  6. May I suggest leaving the coach inside the freezer cabinet next time you ‘bump into him’? Let’s call it a cooling off period, give him time to think things through.As for the statue, my money is on that famous Edith Shain moment, but will you give me 100 – 1 on it being the humanist and the tiger in drag?

  7. SW: In the mathematics of hiring, it is affordable to award a salary increase, However, the amount they’d pay for my medical/dental benefits, vacation days, sick days and countless other benefits far exceeds even this generous bump.sav: I love the flash of bright white light at the end. Like I become a supernova. Chef: The coach insulted my little girl’s abilities. That would call for some retribution, don’t you think? I do.Nutty + Furtheron: You’re correct that I didn’t ask for any congrats but do you know what? They’re nice to hear, just the same. Thank you.

  8. That’s lovely of your daughter–that’s the proper spirit of sport. It’s a meritocracy (or should be) and dealing with that when you’re not in the top flight is a test of moral fibre. Well done her.And don’t spend that money all at once! Well done. Do you think she was toying with you ever so slightly by starting with a choice of words that made it sound as though something terrible was about to be pronounced?

  9. looby: I don’t know where that kid gets her resolve from. Probably her mother. I’d have tantrumed and been traumatized for weeks. And, no, there was no dramatic build-up. She launched right into my salary discussion without toying with me, as I did you dear readers.

  10. You are allowed to gloat and a pat on the back, you got it because you are good at what you do and deserved it, modesty is over-rated my friend… and your daughter has learned something very valuable, she tried and she failed and she will be fine and better for it, it’s good to learn those lessons young when we are more resilient, there are always other teams and there is always next year, and don’t forget that a story about a certain guy who got cut from the varsity in 10th grade and went on to win a national title and six NBA championships… and her grace speaks volumes for her character, maybe her old mans as well.

  11. I like to give my boss the high hard one! but being self employed makes it difficult.Thank you for the e-mail, I have been lost in translation for a while and blogging had to be placed on the back burner but like a wicked groin rash I am back with a fury. talk soonCheers, Sausage…

  12. Beats me how your manager managed to get HR to agree to an increase yet couldn’t get them to take you onto staff. Well done though.I’m just sorry the Tiger didn’t finish that idiot off completely.As RA Heinlein wrote: “Stupidity cannot be cured. Stupidity is the only universal capital crime; the sentence is death. There is no appeal, and execution is carried out automatically and without pity.”

  13. kono: Gloating is nice and I like being appreciated, but the real satisfaction is in my budget at the end of the month. It helps a lot. I hope nobody takes advantage of my daughter’s good nature. There are some who equate kindness with weakness. SF: Welcome back. Hope you had a nice vacation. Tell your boss to go…oh…yes. Well, never mind that. Blogging is nice but sometimes, not blogging is even nicer. TSB: It would cost the company I work for a HELL of a lot more money to have me on staff than it does to award me this increase — as generous as it was. Staff expenses — especially healthcare — slaughter companies.

  14. I believe the statue under the wrapping is the iconic sailor and nurse kissing in Times Square when the end of WWII was announced.Congrats on the raise – good news in hard times.Your daughters are awesome human beings. You and Mrs. Wife are doing something right.

  15. Excellent news on your salary jump, and I think a congratulations is in order for both you (for being worth it) and your manager (for wringing it out of HR)!Huge kudoes to your daughter for having a very well developed sense of good sportsmanship. I am sure she will support her friend at every game and revel in their success as if she was still on the team.The tiger should have eaten the guy… then he really would “be one” with the tiger… on the inside! What a maroon.That little video could give one seizures, if one was so inclined! 😉

  16. Sharon: 100% correct on the statue. But don’t you think it’s a hell of a lot more interesting wrapped in this cocoon? Ponita: I didn’t want to come off as bragging about a pay raise, but it HAS been a while. Re: the tiger. My biggest fear was they were going to blame the tiger and put him down. But they didn’t thank god. You can’t punish a tiger for being a tiger. HIF: Ironically, we were just discussing a spring trip over breakfast. (Is that an irony or a coincidence?) We can afford something extra this year, but I think castles and pubs will have to wait. The Caribbean beacons.

  17. I LOVE it when there is a random unexpected raise involved….that goes a long way not only materially, but it’s good for the mental state.Glad to know that grace is being executed on a young person level.WWII statue, I say leave it wrapped

  18. Smashing post but don’t start a fashion for long posts- I can’t keep up.Always spread good news – nothing but downers takes its toll.What a graceful daughter. She will do well in the rollercoaster of life.So pleased for you.

  19. Carlae: It couldn’t have been a bigger shock to my system. Lord. Who expects a salary increase in this economic climate?! I’m accustomed to the opposite!Scarlet: Honestly, I think it’s mostly my bride’s doing. I’m away a work mostly and she’s home cracking the whip. I’m too soft. Those girls would walk all over me if I were in charge.Pat: That WAS a rather long post! I usually try to keep them brief, but I got a bit carried away. I forgot about the golden rule of good writing: edit! edit! edit!

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