T Nation

Congratulations, Here's Your Pay Cut!

OP isn’t quite so replaceable as it might look. Without a doubt, someone else can do his job. But they won’t do it without a socialization period and climbing the learning curve, and there will be a period where the company will have to make do with someone acting in the position till it’s filled. These loss of efficiencies are big costs, and any competent manager would be aware of them.

That said OP, I’d say start shopping around. The dynamics of the “new career” doesn’t emphasize that old job for life paradigm anymore. You may very well find an offer better than the one you currently have, as opposed to thinking you’ll be working your way up again.Keep your job, at the end of the day some job is better than no job, but definitely start looking around. Let the fact that you know you’re probably on your way out allow you to bear the extra stresses at the company a bit better.
Good luck.

I say he should start his own company and pull all the good people out with him. Put the mother fuckers out of business. Just be sure when you finally do quit, do NOT sign anything.

Seego what’s the name of that chick in your avi? Damn.

[quote]Testy1 wrote:

[quote]challer1 wrote:

[quote]TheBodyGuard wrote:
you are replaceable. remember that when you consider your “power play”.[/quote]

x2.

“Raise or quit” is the worst move ever. Even if you do get your raise, the real problem is the amount of resentment you will incur should you get your raise - both from your new boss who has cut your pay as well as the multitude of underlings who also received pay cuts.[/quote]

Everyone is replaceable, however, not everyone is easily replaced. It’s becoming more and more apparent that even though there is high unemployment, there is truly a lack of qualified talent in some industries. I work in a city of 33,000 that has a huge unemployment problem, yet we are always looking for qualified people.
[/quote]

It hardly matters how important this person is - an employee who delivers ultimatums is unemployable.

Even if the OPs new boss does cave in, she will resent him for it for the rest of his time at the company and do everything she can to piss him off and undermine his authority. Overt power plays do not end well for the aggressor.

No one is too important. I don’t care how specialized you are or even if you are one of the greatest inventors of your time. See: Tesla & Edison

[quote]challer1 wrote:

[quote]Testy1 wrote:

[quote]challer1 wrote:

[quote]TheBodyGuard wrote:
you are replaceable. remember that when you consider your “power play”.[/quote]

x2.

“Raise or quit” is the worst move ever. Even if you do get your raise, the real problem is the amount of resentment you will incur should you get your raise - both from your new boss who has cut your pay as well as the multitude of underlings who also received pay cuts.[/quote]

Everyone is replaceable, however, not everyone is easily replaced. It’s becoming more and more apparent that even though there is high unemployment, there is truly a lack of qualified talent in some industries. I work in a city of 33,000 that has a huge unemployment problem, yet we are always looking for qualified people.
[/quote]

It hardly matters how important this person is - an employee who delivers ultimatums is unemployable.

Even if the OPs new boss does cave in, she will resent him for it for the rest of his time at the company and do everything she can to piss him off and undermine his authority. Overt power plays do not end well for the aggressor.

No one is too important. I don’t care how specialized you are or even if you are one of the greatest inventors of your time. See: Tesla & Edison[/quote]

Context much? I didn’t say he should give an ultimatum, just that not everyone is easily replaced. My advice was to move on.

And you can NEGOTIATE without it being an ultimatum. In my current job I was promised a review and probable raise after six months. A year came and went with no review. I asked to meet with the owner, and the conversation went something like “I like working here, but I was promised this, this and this. If something doesn’t happen I will be forced to look for something else”.
I already had something else lined up in case he told me to hit the bricks. A lot of employers will get away with what they can. That was 12 years ago BTW.

[quote]jaybvee wrote:
Might be time for a exit strategy; your supervisor’s MO of cutting it to the bone is probably in line with how she makes herself look good to her superiors.

IMO it was/is a mistake to come to rely on the bonus; it is what it was, a bonus. It sadly was up to the company & its current management to revoke/trim/do away with it.

In your 16 years I’m sure you’ve at least built up a network of business/industry/personal connections so that when you jump ship there will be some opportunities thrown your way, no? My other question is: is your field so specialized you have to move that far away? Nothing in a related field close by?

All in all like others have said, think of your family before doing anything. While most men live lives of quiet desperation at their jobs sometimes (raises hand) a job, any decent paying job is good to have right about now, despite the nest of snakes at the top of yours it seems.

Keep smiling; it’ll make them wonder what you’ve been up to, & all the best. Keep us posted.[/quote]

This is what I was hoping to find posted…

had a National Lampoon’s, Christmas Vacation flashback when reading the original post lulz

OP, You obviously have the skill + experience to move on, whether it will involve relocating or whatever is another question, or you could accept the situation and stay. Point being is that there is always a possibility that a sacrifice has to be made, some are lucky and never have to make any big ones, just the way the cookie crumbles…

[quote]theuofh wrote:

[quote]challer1 wrote:

[quote]TheBodyGuard wrote:
you are replaceable. remember that when you consider your “power play”.[/quote]

x2.

“Raise or quit” is the worst move ever. Even if you do get your raise, the real problem is the amount of resentment you will incur should you get your raise - both from your new boss who has cut your pay as well as the multitude of underlings who also received pay cuts.[/quote]

I think its a little more complicated than that.

Given OPs time with the company and being in an R&D branch, he’s probably not as easily replaceable as the company would like.

Also, given that one guy just took off and the OP is unhappy with the situation, the company risksa bunch of employees leaving which would be no good. After the first wave of people pissed off, they face the second rush when the first wave of resignations finds new jobs and start asking if their old buddies and colleagues want to come work with them.

The economy might be bad, but the job situation is definitely slanted towards the lower end of the spectrum in towards of education and experience levels. Depending on the industry, OP may be alright putting the ultimatum down.

[/quote]

worst post in thread.

remove those rose colored classes and stomp them to pieces right now.

now!

[quote]Testy1 wrote:

[quote]challer1 wrote:

[quote]Testy1 wrote:

[quote]challer1 wrote:

[quote]TheBodyGuard wrote:
you are replaceable. remember that when you consider your “power play”.[/quote]

x2.

“Raise or quit” is the worst move ever. Even if you do get your raise, the real problem is the amount of resentment you will incur should you get your raise - both from your new boss who has cut your pay as well as the multitude of underlings who also received pay cuts.[/quote]

Everyone is replaceable, however, not everyone is easily replaced. It’s becoming more and more apparent that even though there is high unemployment, there is truly a lack of qualified talent in some industries. I work in a city of 33,000 that has a huge unemployment problem, yet we are always looking for qualified people.
[/quote]

It hardly matters how important this person is - an employee who delivers ultimatums is unemployable.

Even if the OPs new boss does cave in, she will resent him for it for the rest of his time at the company and do everything she can to piss him off and undermine his authority. Overt power plays do not end well for the aggressor.

No one is too important. I don’t care how specialized you are or even if you are one of the greatest inventors of your time. See: Tesla & Edison[/quote]

Context much? I didn’t say he should give an ultimatum, just that not everyone is easily replaced. My advice was to move on.

And you can NEGOTIATE without it being an ultimatum. In my current job I was promised a review and probable raise after six months. A year came and went with no review. I asked to meet with the owner, and the conversation went something like “I like working here, but I was promised this, this and this. If something doesn’t happen I will be forced to look for something else”.
I already had something else lined up in case he told me to hit the bricks. A lot of employers will get away with what they can. That was 12 years ago BTW.[/quote]

Agreed here.

My previous employer owns a small business in production and I pretty much became the bitch there. When we started looking around it turns out he was underpaying us all by about 30%.

Late last year I complained, brought forward my case about how much I’ve added to the company and that I’m not happy with the promises of ‘substantial increases’ when they were nothing even close. I was doing the job of 4 people, which I wouldn’t mind if I was being paid for it.

I was told that because of the recession the company was struggling and he’d like to give me more, but he can’t afford it. Then he went and bought a 2nd house.

So, I’d already had a business on the side, unrelated to that one. From 3 employees last year he lost one in September 2010, and me my co-worker (now business partner) left by May this year.

Now he’s a one man band and I’m slowly working through taking away every single client he has.

Quitting and working for my self, so far, has been the best thing I’ve ever done, it’s a shame it took that for him to realize what he’s actually lost - if he’s realized anything at all.

I would definitely line up another job and move on, I think once you get to where you are you may end up despising your job if things continue they way they are.

[quote]TheBodyGuard wrote:

[quote]theuofh wrote:

[quote]challer1 wrote:

[quote]TheBodyGuard wrote:
you are replaceable. remember that when you consider your “power play”.[/quote]

x2.

“Raise or quit” is the worst move ever. Even if you do get your raise, the real problem is the amount of resentment you will incur should you get your raise - both from your new boss who has cut your pay as well as the multitude of underlings who also received pay cuts.[/quote]

I think its a little more complicated than that.

Given OPs time with the company and being in an R&D branch, he’s probably not as easily replaceable as the company would like.

Also, given that one guy just took off and the OP is unhappy with the situation, the company risksa bunch of employees leaving which would be no good. After the first wave of people pissed off, they face the second rush when the first wave of resignations finds new jobs and start asking if their old buddies and colleagues want to come work with them.

The economy might be bad, but the job situation is definitely slanted towards the lower end of the spectrum in towards of education and experience levels. Depending on the industry, OP may be alright putting the ultimatum down.

[/quote]

worst post in thread.

remove those rose colored classes and stomp them to pieces right now.

now!
[/quote]

I’d still have a plan B in store in case the proverbial shit hit the fan, and a 30k paycut does sound like the company is in hard times, but the time value of 30k over however many years the OP has until retirement I think warrants some action.

[quote]on edge wrote:
Thoughts?
[/quote]

Yes. If you are a driven person, never work for someone else except to aquire skills and connections.

  1. Polish resume. This job is disrespecting you and your co-workers.
  2. Line up several other jobs. Tell no one. Despite the disrespect, you still need income.
  3. Power play, try to get back your old pay rate PLUS a raise. If they offer you the old pay, tell them to suck a fat one. The fact that they pulled this stunt means you either take a raise or you leave.
  4. Either go to a new job or get more money from your current job.
  5. ???
  6. Profit! Literally!

Thank you for all your thoughtful responses. I really appreciate it.

If I do a power play I will do it with a lot of planning and patience. The basics of it would be to get a job lined up then give notice. My current employer will be shocked and most likely try to retain me. If They do, I will demand that R&D report to the President and not the VP of sales. I’d also want a long term contract that would not be greedy by any standards but it would assure my family would never have to move.

A few of you mentioned that I shouldn’t give ultimatums as it will breed resentment. I think it will be all right in this case. I would only do this if they attempt to keep me so conditions will be in order. You also have to understand the dynamics of the 4 owners. They fight. The votes on issues have typically gone 2:2. The president has slightly more weight to his vote so decision making has been his call. Recently one of the brothers swung his vote and that’s why it’s all fucked up with the VP of Sales now calling the shots.

This is getting long again, sorry. The reason the brother flipped his vote is because, like the outgoing head of R&D, the Plant Manager is also retiring (and also 100 percent because of the VP of Sales). This brother has been asked to go down and run the plant. He’s scarred about his ability to run the plant and he’s not sure I’m up to the task in R&D. He basically feels safer with R&D under the watchful eye of the woman.

So, I need a couple of years for him to see that everything is ok and he can start relaxing. I also need a couple years management experience under my belt. My wife is only interested in moving to Southern California and I can’t make enough money there unless I get a management position. I’d have to move back east and work for one of our competitors to get a non-management job that will pay me enough. That’s only something I would do if I lost my current job and had to scramble.

[quote]Jewbacca wrote:

[quote]on edge wrote:
Thoughts?
[/quote]

Yes. If you are a driven person, never work for someone else except to aquire skills and connections.[/quote]

Hey that is what I said.

After today, I now see that I am fucked. There’s only two rational explanations to explain what she’s doing. Either she’s bat-shit crazy or she has an agenda to fire me and bring in her own person. She’s a control freak obsessed with obtaining more and more power in the company. If she brings in her own hire, he will be inclined to do exactly as she says and she will have complete control of R&D.

[quote]on edge wrote:
After today, I now see that I am fucked. There’s only two rational explanations to explain what she’s doing. Either she’s bat-shit crazy or she has an agenda to fire me and bring in her own person. She’s a control freak obsessed with obtaining more and more power in the company. If she brings in her own hire, he will be inclined to do exactly as she says and she will have complete control of R&D.[/quote]

Again do you have a degree are you marketable? Have you networked?

Another thing that sucks about all this is she was somewhat of a friend and she brought me into the company 16 years ago. Excluding the last month the last 16 years have been great and I would like to feel grateful to her for that. Faced with a job search, possible unemployment and having to move my family across the country it’s impossible to have any warm feelings toward her.

[quote]Derek542 wrote:

[quote]on edge wrote:
After today, I now see that I am fucked. There’s only two rational explanations to explain what she’s doing. Either she’s bat-shit crazy or she has an agenda to fire me and bring in her own person. She’s a control freak obsessed with obtaining more and more power in the company. If she brings in her own hire, he will be inclined to do exactly as she says and she will have complete control of R&D.[/quote]

Again do you have a degree are you marketable? Have you networked?[/quote]

There’s a handfull of competitors back East who would pay me well. There is only a few though so it could be a 2-3 year stretch before I had an opportunity with one.

I did a phone interview with one of those competitors 8 years ago. The company was offering 90K plus “good bonus”. After the phone interview they asked me to fly there for an in person interview. I ended up calling back and telling them I decided to stay with my current employer. I was probably only making 65 or 70K at that time.

I do have a degree but outside of my specific expertise I’m probably mostly marketable to companies that would pay me around 65-75 grand and that’s not really enough in the areas they are in. I need to get a management job or something in my niche.

I’ve got a new question related to all this. How do you people who have stressful jobs deal without bringing it home?

I’ve decided on a plan, and that plan is to stay put for two years to get management experience then take my services elsewhere. At this point I’m shelving the plan I mentioned of getting a job offer then using it as leverage with my current employer. I’m holding too much of a grudge to even consider that.

The problem is, having this plan isn’t bringing me clarity. I’m still lying awake most of each night seething. Two years of this and my health is going to be shot. I’m also having a hard time imagining I can keep my mouth shut for two years. I’m going to get fired because I’m going to end up speaking my mind.

So, those of you with high stress jobs, do you just get used to it or are their tricks to compartmentalize and keep it out of your home life?

[quote]on edge wrote:
I’ve got a new question related to all this. How do you people who have stressful jobs deal without bringing it home?

I’ve decided on a plan, and that plan is to stay put for two years to get management experience then take my services elsewhere. At this point I’m shelving the plan I mentioned of getting a job offer then using it as leverage with my current employer. I’m holding too much of a grudge to even consider that.

The problem is, having this plan isn’t bringing me clarity. I’m still lying awake most of each night seething. Two years of this and my health is going to be shot. I’m also having a hard time imagining I can keep my mouth shut for two years. I’m going to get fired because I’m going to end up speaking my mind.

So, those of you with high stress jobs, do you just get used to it or are their tricks to compartmentalize and keep it out of your home life?
[/quote]

Edge - There is no easy answer. Power plays, competitors, relocation, counter-offers, are all difficult and can go wrong at any point. I have been in a mfg. environment where the VP/Plant Mgr. screamed and cussed us 5 days a week. I have been in a mfg. env. that is top down, dumb assed decision after another with seemingly no connection between decision maker to floor personnel. THIS WHOLE DEAL HINGES ON YOU.

You asked how we deal or compartmentalize these situations. Like I said it depends on YOU. Some people find this easy. Some folks like me keep a lot in the open and talk about it with wife and kids when I get home - I just don’t hide it well. Recently, I have been absolutely fed up and convinced I needed to get out of this job. At the same time, work had affected my health and lifting, etc. I felt as though I wasn’t winning at anything. I needed a reboot of life so to speak. I didn’t know how to do that. UNTIL I helped bury a 29 year old Christian cancer victim with a 25 year old wife. THIS WAS MY REBOOT.

Nonetheless, it helped me gain some much needed perspective. I built from the foundation of his funeral and service to make a list of positive things at my current employment/life situation and changed my perspective.

So, what I am saying is even though things won’t be like they were (in this economy most things aren’t) can you still be a faithful family man? Can you life faithfully to the principles that drive you in this current situation and serve your superiors faithfully while giving the family the support they need?

While situations might not be great and we can easily say F them on the web, what we need and what our families need can be worlds apart. While leaving may be the best thing or remaining might be the best thing, I would recommend really soul searching this FIRST.

I see you have pretty much decided to stay for professional development. I hope there is some good personal development too. It isn’t easy but most often necessary. I hear all the guys saying F them and move on but I am willing to bet none of them have 16 years doing anything consistently. Either way, I look forward to hearing how this develops. Hang in there. Be faithful. Do what’s right. Always.

Take care,

Ed

You post a lot in SAMA right? The answer there is often “the hardest move is the right one”. You shouldn’t be getting paid under market value just because the perception is that you are too loyal to quit (which, if their goal is to cut as many expenses as possible, is probably their reasoning). That is the opposite of how they should be rewarding loyalty.

Is it possible to find a similar job without moving?