Anyway, I agree with Mika that I am my own worst enemy when it comes to work and negotiations. So how did this happen? Is it simply because I'm conditioned as a female to be satisfied with the knowledge that an employer appreciates me whether they're willing to pay me for a job well done or not? Do I feel so lucky to have a job that I'm willing to accept whatever I'm dealt?
Evidently, it goes deeper than that. I never learned how to successfully advocate for myself in a way that left me feeling satisfied. I avoid conflict. Rather than speak up, I take what's offered, convince myself that it was the best I could do and dive into the job or situation. Like Mika writes in her book, I figured that eventually my employer would see how valuable I was and the money would follow. At home and in relationships, I toil and give in silence until I explode or act out because no one seems to recognize all that I do for them. I know. Such a martyr. Fat lot of good it does me.
Case in point: I went above and beyond in all my jobs. In my last job, I even went so far as to do a little breaking and entering on behalf of my employer. Did that get me a raise? Hardly. When it came time to make budget cuts, not only did I not get a raise, my boss eliminated my position and I was out of a job.
Anyway, I'm in awe of women (and men) who are comfortable or at least able to know what their value is and to not only expect it, but to respectfully and successfully demand it. I would love to be like that.
In my defense, weak though it is, I come by these issues honestly. Take for example:
I spoke to my mother on Sunday and during the conversation, I asked if Dad had a good father's day. She replied that he had though they hadn't really done anything special. But then, wait, she mentioned, they did go to the Big Boy for dinner.
That sounds good. I could go for some Big Boy. Tartar sauce on cheeseburgers with some extra on the side for dipping my french fries. Mmmmmm.
Well, turns out so could Mom because when they arrived at the restaurant, they were seated all the way back and then servers walked back and forth and ignored them. Finally, they got so angry that they decided to leave. As they left, Dad informed the manager who was tending the cash register about the shoddy service and the insult of being seated in the back of the restaurant when there were plenty of empty seats near the front of the restaurant.
The manager apologized and offered them a free meal, but Dad declined. He was too angry to stay.
So you never got your meal?
No. We ended up going to KFC. But I was really looking forward to a fish sandwich.
And did either of you stop anyone as they walked by you and ask them to get your server?
Well, no, but your father did wave around my menu.
Flashy, but not so effective. So you settled for KFC after neither of you spoke up and then when you did and the manager offered you free meals, but you left to prove a point?
Yes. And besides with such terrible service, my fish sandwich would have probably been cold by the time I got it anyway.
Chloe walked into the kitchen to see me doubled over laughing. I related the story to her and she suggested that Grandpa was waving around Grandma's menu because she'd already decided on a fish sandwich and he was still waffling between the Big Boy and the Swiss Miss.
Chloe is ever so helpful. She also made me call my mother back and apologize for laughing at her frustration. That was rude of me. I'm also not supposed to be blogging about this so if you know my parents please don't tell them I wrote about this or I'll be grounded.
Passive aggression - nature or nurture?
Listen, people of the internets. I'm counting on you. If and (dare I say it?) when I
Do you know your value? Do you Are you good at negotiations? If so, can you handle mine for me?