Monday, August 29, 2016

time to think up a Plan B

With my birthday coming up this Wednesday, August 31, my contract with the Golden Goose is also up. Our company's bureaucracy is molasses-slow when it comes to doing just about anything important, and despite the fact that my boss had told all relevant parties about my upcoming renewal months ago—and had, at the same time, made his request for a raise to bring me back up to the originally promised W4-million-a-month salary—no one has gotten back to our office about my new contract.

The boss tells me it's likely there'll be resistance to giving me a raise, which isn't surprising: companies like the one I work for are notoriously sleazy and stingy, treating their workers as replaceable cogs instead of thinking about their true worth. I was angry at having been dicked over, last year, right before signing my contract: W4 mil had been the agreed-upon sum, then the company pulled a fast one and said it would offer only W3.5 million. This level of pay was only slightly better than what I'd been getting as a university prof, but I signed the Golden Goose's contract for two reasons: (1) I didn't have my F-4 visa at the time, and (2) there was no better option. Things are different now, though: with my F-4 visa in hand, I'm free to walk if I want to.

I asked my boss, "Who, finally, is in charge of determining my salary?" He said the CEO was, but the CEO normally doesn't like to tell the HR department what to do. HR normally follows a by-the-book policy when it comes to determining raises; there's apparently a rigid "step" system in place, a bit like government work in the US. I was apparently hired at a higher rate than most others would have been, i.e., getting me the W3.5 mil salary to start with was already a difficult achievement, according to my boss. Asking for even more, now, only a year later, is what's causing the resistance. The problem, though, is that my boss is the one who had promised me the W4-mil salary, so he's backed himself into a corner. If he can't persuade the Powers That Be to give me, at long last, my promised salary, then he knows I'm very likely going to walk.

But not right away. I've thought about this, and if my company decides to dick me over a second time, I'll ask for a three- or six-month contract—the time I'll need to get my affairs in order and apply for university-prof work. That way, there will be minimal ripples in my budget. A second option is to see what sort of offer the company comes up with in the next 48 hours. If the offer is 3.8 or 3.9 million won a month, I'll run the numbers through my Google spreadsheet, and if I'm still on track to be debt-free by 2018, I'll stick with the company. I won't be happy about it, but stability does count for something, and I've spent the years since Mom's death just uprooting myself again and again and again.

So! That's where things stand, job-wise. We'll know more by Wednesday evening. My buddy Tom is treating me to a galmaegi-sal (grilled pork) birthday dinner. I'll either be happily recounting the tale of re-signing my contract with a raise, or I'll be ranting about what fuckers these bureaucrats are, and how I'm planning to leave. The boss is telling me not to sweat it; we'll soon see what sort of rabbit he can pull out of his ass.

ADDENDUM: I ran the numbers for 3.8 million won a month. It doesn't significantly affect my unsinkable budget, which is unsinkable for a reason. Going below that, though, will be a deal-breaker, and I'll likely end up on a three-month contract, looking for better work.


hahnak said...

im sorry your boss isnt pushing harder since hes the one who made the promise. sheesh, why did he promise in the first place?

hope they come through, though, with the promised raise.

happy birthday, kevin!

Kevin Kim said...

Thanks, Hahna!

Charles said...

I am familiar with being promised something that does not materialize. You just suck it up while you have to, and then when something better comes along you drop 'em like a hot potato.

Also, I really wish you would stop calling your budget "unsinkable." It makes me nervous. It's like you're daring life to throw you a nasty curveball.

Kevin Kim said...


Be happy I'm not calling my budget the ultimate power in the universe.

Charles said...

Now that would really be testing fate. As it is, you're just at "Titanic" levels right now.

Kevin Kim said...

I find your lack of faith disturbing.

Charles said...

Don't try to frighten me with your sorcerer's ways!

Bratfink said...

In case I'm busy puking into a trash can on Wednesday, let me say Happy Birthday to you now. I hope your grilled pork is fantastic. [I LOVE pork!]

Just enjoy your day. xoxox