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Things that make you go hmm...

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Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of liberty.

A Raise in Time is a Place in Line
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Gas a year ago in Texas was about $2.65 per Gallon
Gas in Texas now is about $3.20 per gallon

Various media sources are telling us that it will be $4.00 per gallon or higher by spring.

Four dollars per gallon! Most people don't realise that we were paying a little over a dollar a gallon just a few years ago. The fuel providers tell us that this is due to the price per barrel of oil. Yet they are posting continuously higher and higher profitiablity to their stock holders.

The price per barrel of oil isn't all that much higher than it has been in the past. We have seen prices from $15 to over $100 per barrel, but never seen the gas prices we are seeing now. The average compensation of the average oil worker hasn't really changed all that much. Yet the profit margins of the various fuel producers has changed significantly.

The fuel price is now affecting the whole economy. Food costs have almost doubled. Clothing costs have doubled to tripled. Appliances, even refurb's have increased in price dramatically. All since the increase in fuel costs!

The only thing that doesnt seem to go up is my salary. Somehow, when I took my current position, at ~$20K below what I had previousely been making, I was able to tighten my belt and continue to operate. I minimized my expenses as much as I could. However, the cost of living appears to be rising at an alarming rate. I find myself falling behind. A few years ago, I had a little discretional money to invest with, today I am debating on whether I can afford a $0.99 hamburger.

The team of professionals I work with are some of the best IT engineers in the world. Many have been Microsoft employees in the past and others have worked in government sectors and for other large firms. We are very good at what we do, and our customers are usually very pleased with the outcome. Yet, last time I looked at an industry salary chart, we were in the lower/middle, when we should be closer to the top.

We talked with our human resources, they said spring. Wait until spring, and we will make adjustments to salaries. What adjustments? Up or down? How much are we talking? Is it enough to get me to stop talking with recruiters from other firms?

Why does it seem that it is easier for a company to allow a person to leave and then hire a new recruit at a higher salary than it is to just give the current staff a raise to the now standard levels - with bumps for merit and time with the company?

Instead, they lose staff that has a long standing established pattern of excellence, strong work ethics, and team orientation. They get to go through a series of new employees to try and find one that meets those same criteria - let alone will mesh with the existing team. They lose productivity due to training and customer familiarity.

Spring? I should wait until spring? Recruiters for agencies and other firms contact me several times a month. They throw salary numbers at me that are 30K higher than where I am currently salaried. Spring? That is 6 months away. If I wait for 6 months, when I could have the increase from another firm now, I will lose $15K in income. What could possibly motivate me to throw away $15,000? The team? The corpoate environment? Company loyalty?

I have a very large household to support. Mine is the primary income to that household. There are currently 12 persons in my home, and others that come to visit on a regular basis. I have 7 children from the same wife. A disabled friend recently moved in temporarily, but has since had his housing funding pulled from him - so he is stuck with me for a while, probably several years.

So can I afford to give up $15K in income in order to wait for an ambiguous raise of an unstated amount in the spring? Probably not.

So like others before me, instead of giving an increase that reflects the skill level, knowledge, work ethic and commitment in an already proven role, the company will undoubtedly make several new hires attempting to find a replacement of equivelant skills. Between training, firing for various reasons, and re-hiring, training, recruiter commissions, and then the base salary of the replacements, I suspect the expense will greatly exceed the the $20K increase that I would stay for. Yet, I don't really anticipate the spring increase to be that much, but it is what I really need.

So the employer says, "give us some time", and I say , "get in line"...

Money may not be everything, but it beats being broke. If the cost of living exceeds the income, then it is time to adjust one of them. Time waits for no man, and I certainly cannot wait for an ambiguous ethereal income.