Turn Turn Turnaround

Every dog has his day, and karma catches up to everyone eventually, good or bad. In my improbably improbable existence, my luck seems to be bad more often than good, but a lot of times that has to do with my outlook on life and the things I focus on. It's the old glass half-empty versus the glass half-full.

I thought 2010 was going to be my year, even though I think that every year. Will a new year bring a new girlfriend? My first house? One year brought a new job in the ashes of an old one. It was sad to be let go along with so many other good people, but with good timing and good friends I more than landed on my feet, and it ended up being the push I needed to get into a much better situation. It's not that I didn't love my old job, but the workload had increased exponentially over the years and one individual took advantage of my speed and good nature. I'm wary of elaborating, even in this anonymous setting, but it was nice to start over with people who were fair, who both appreciated and recognized the work I did without taking credit for it themselves.

So 2010 didn't bring a new girlfriend, only a new female friend who inexplicably lost interest after a few e-mails. Maybe I didn't try hard enough and didn't make the sale right away, even though I thought I'd made a good first impression. Maybe I tried too hard. For whatever reason, it was not to be, and it nagged at me for about a month before I accepted that I'd never know why, and should still be happy with a casual new online friend. 2010 also didn't bring me a new house, although I casually looked at a few, and it's gone by so fast that parade and feast season are right around the corner. Soon free time will be a luxury I'll give up until October. 2010 is bringing my dad's 80th birthday, and I'm thinking a Yankee Stadium tour might be an awesome gift, in addition to or instead of going to a game. So except for that one disappointment, this year isn't shaping up too badly.

You never know when things are going to turn around. When my boss asked me to close the door to his office on Thursday, there was definitely that sense of apprehension even though he rarely has anything bad to say. But it definitely brought me back to two-and-a-half years ago at my old company, when my supervisor there called me in to tell me I was being let go. I kind of had a feeling what this meeting was about though, since this is review time. Sure enough, he handed me a slip of paper with my annual salary increase on it, telling me in the process how much he and all the VPs above him recognize and appreciate the work I put in. In fact, they appreciated it so much that I got the largest raise of my life. I stared in disbelief at the number while my boss beamed.

After I shook his hand, thanked him, and got back to my office, I did some math and realized it was a 20% increase. Of course, since everyone gets different raises each year and some people don't get raises at all, such things are always confidential. I sat in my office with the cheesiest grin, and it killed me that I couldn't share my news with anybody. I thought about how the increase was almost as much as my entire salary at the first job I got out of college, and that didn't help the grin. I did some more math to figure out how much of an increase it would be in my weekly paycheck after taxes, and that definitely helped bring me back down to reality. I'm pretty much happy with any increase until I divide by 52. And of course, the more I make, the harder it becomes to find a new job that would start me at a comparable salary. I've been fortunate in my career that, both times I've changed jobs, I've gotten more money in the process.

At this point, one of my friends stopped by with some news from our old company. Unfortunately, more layoffs struck, claiming a few people we knew including one very nice lady close to retirement who'd been there over 20 years. It's always rough to hear stories like that. But it seemed that karma had finally caught up to one individual who never did any actual work, who presented the work of others as his own and made his own hours. I can't say I take pleasure in the misfortune of others, and I do feel bad that he has a wife and young daughter who will be affected by this. But he survived so many cuts in which honest, hardworking people disappeared instead. It never seemed fair, so I do take some pleasure in the scales finally balancing out. He had a good run, all things considered, and I wish him luck. I wish that, wherever he goes next, he learns to survive on his own merits, though I doubt he'll change tactics. And of course, I wish I never have to work with(or for) that guy again. One of my friends joked about the guy coming to my current company next, which isn't even funny, because all my current bosses are awesome. I do realize that my experiences with them are tinted by my one bad experience, but they're great people on their own nonetheless.

Man, Thursday was such a great day. I got cake, and I got icing. Will my lucky streak continue? Have I said too much in my post, even though I didn't mention my real name, the names of any of these companies, or the individuals? I didn't write anything specific, and I didn't write anything false. Just to be safe, I think I'll hit the casinos again this weekend, while my luck seems to have shifted. I know how this particular pendulum works....


Blogger kevbayer said...

Congrats on your raise!

2/19/2010 9:55 AM  
Blogger b13 said...

Excellent news!

2/19/2010 11:45 AM  

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