Finances

Called on the Carpet

The other day I was scanning a customer’s items at work when one of my managers approached me.

“You’re due for your break now, aren’t you?” she asked.

“Whenever!” I chirped.

“Would you mind coming to the office before you clock out for it? We have something to discuss with you,” my manager asked.

“Um, sure.” I watched her block off my line, intrigued. The last time I had been called into the office had been to share that we did indeed have contactless payment options on our registers. My register had spit out an unusual slip so I had showed it to them and asked questions about that being a possible reason.

The faces of my two main managers were serious when I knocked on the door. “Have a seat.” They positioned a chair in the “hot spot” –an area directly between their two desks.

I frowned at the unexpected gesture. We aren’t normally invited to sit down in the office; we’re usually too busy.¬†Had they discovered that I was looking for another job? I wondered. Glancing at the looks on their faces I reasoned that the conversation was not going to be a pleasant one as I waited for my managers to explain what was going on.

“First off, we want to thank you for all of the hard work you put in,” my manager began. “We really appreciate everything that you do.” She paused to give the other manager a look.

I began making a list of jobs I could apply for fast and quick in my head. Conversations that begin like that usually don’t end well. Something very¬†not good had happened, I was certain. I didn’t know what it was, but the odds of me getting the axe were growing stronger the more my managers talked. Serious talk, on payday no less? I was fired. I didn’t know what I’d done, but I was definitely fired I realized.

I nodded politely, compiling my lists in my head, berating myself for allowing myself the luxury of running my bank account lower than normal while calculating the financial changes I’d have to make until I scored another job. The gears in my head were spinning so fast I’m surprised that I didn’t create a breeze.

Finally my boss dropped the bombshell. “…as a result, we’ve been discussing your performance with the owners for several weeks, and we’ve finally gotten permission to give you a fifty-cent raise. I’ll turn in the paperwork for it on Monday.”

I blinked. I had to replay her words in my head three times for the information to click. I looked between the two managers in surprise, certain I’d misheard.

They were both smiling.

I tossed my mental lists aside and smiled. “Thank you,” I responded quietly. “I hadn’t been expecting that.”

I was bemused as we finished up the conversation. I shook both of their hands formally in gratitude at the unexpected windfall and left to take my break.

That fifty cents doesn’t seem like much but it’s an extra $12.50 on a normal week before taxes. I can do a lot with $12.50. If I pick up extra shifts when people call in and hustle on this blog, I can make it when the kid moves out. It might be tighter than I like, but I can make it.

I’ll even be able to invest a little.

Let this be a lesson, folks. When times seem rough, when you don’t see any light at the end of the tunnel, something positive is invariably around the bend. With this pay increase I no longer need to worry about actively searching for a full-time position. I can use the time instead to focus on this website and my studies.

Life is good.

Have you received any positive news lately? Please share your stories in the comments below.

 

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