Is The Job Worth It?
Why do you love your job? Maybe you have amazing co-workers? The pay is great? Or do you love what you do? There are many ways to answer this question, but for some, that’s not enough. They know they deserved better, so now it comes down to, “Is this job worth my sanity?”
Recently, our pal, “Griselle” found herself in the same dilemma. She was at her job for over 10 years and absolutely loved it, but it soon went downhill when the company hired a new HR person. What used to be a friendly work environment quickly became an unfair, toxic one. Griselle couldn’t take it anymore, as she was being overworked and still underpaid, so of course, she went to HR.
Unfortunately, it didn’t get any better for her. Or did it? I’ll let you be the judge of that.
Meet The New HR Lady
Graduation is a huge achievement for any student and that day had finally come for Griselle, who just finished her university studies. She couldn’t wait to jump into the “real world” and luckily, the company where she did her internship, offered her a full-time position as their new office assistant. When she accepted the role, she didn’t think it would be a long-term gig, however in a blink of an eye, it was 10 years later and she was promoted to office manager to their most immense department. It’s funny how life works, huh?
Even though she still didn’t particularly like the pay, what was keeping her at the company was the work environment. She had created quite a few friendships amongst her team, had a remarkable reputation as being the most self-sufficient and skilled employee, and lastly had a respectable relationship with her boss, “Maryann.” In Griselle’s eyes, Maryann was hands down the best boss she’d ever had; she was very helpful and truly cared for her employees, yet still kept her professionalism intact, which Griselle admired. She knew just how rare bosses like her existed in the workforce, and preferred that over a higher compensation. Sometimes, money isn’t always everything and, Griselle quickly realized that, hence why she stayed this long. She chose her happiness over money, and had no regrets, until one year.
And unfortunately, it’s a year we all know too well, the year 2020. Just like the rest of the world at that time, her company was getting out of control.
First, the company hired a new HR lady, “Mona,” and she was honestly the worst. Right off the bat, she treated everyone who was below her work title unfairly, talking down to them, and making snotty remarks, and unnecessary changes to HR policies. One is, no one could use their PTO (paid time off) for doctor appointments during office hours. Unbelievable, right? But there wasn’t anything they could do about it. The CEO of the company trusted Mona for some reason and was no longer meeting with the staff, making her the only person in charge of making decisions for those same staff employees. Any complaints they had of her, would first have to be addressed to her, which sounded like a huge ordeal in itself. Griselle and her colleagues felt helpless, not even her awesome boss, Maryann, could help them.
This leads us to the next issue, Maryann was promoted to a different field, one where she actually wanted to work; so maybe not an issue for her, but definitely for Griselle. The person who was her replacement, “Madison”, was sweet, but was absolutely unqualified for the position. She lacked the experience needed for the role, so Griselle was constantly explaining to her how things were supposed to work and what needed to be done, ultimately causing more stress to Griselle’s workload. Not only was she doing her job and Madison’s, but as well as her co-workers, who couldn’t handle the tension and quit. No one was ever hired to replace them, which infuriated Griselle, especially because she couldn’t take any vacation time, because of how low staff they were. But enough was enough, when she found out she didn’t qualify for the 1K “appreciation” bonus to which some of her co-workers received. It didn’t make any sense why she didn’t receive it since she’d been working just as hard. So when the new year came around, she knew things had to change.
The BIG Question
When it was time for the annual reviews, Griselle decided she would negotiate better work conditions for herself, because even though she loved her job and team, she couldn’t keep overworking herself for so little pay. Unfortunately, Madison at the time was on medical leave, so the only person who could do her annual review was none other than Mona. Just her luck! But she wasn’t going to let that stop her from expressing her concerns and demands.
In the upcoming days, just before her meeting, she made a list of all the things she’d been putting up with and the reasons why she deserved a raise. She wasn’t asking for much, she would gladly accept 10 percent. At this point, it was more than being compensated for her work, it was also about feeling valued as an employee. After making her case to Mona and carefully explaining to her what she’d been enduring, she eventually asked the question.
Mona glanced up from her notes, smiled, and said, “Griselle, I appreciate everything you’ve been doing for the company and we value you as an employee, but your responsibilities and your abilities are not worth that much.”
That was not the response Griselle was hoping for. How could Mona appreciate everything she’d been doing yet didn’t feel that those exact responsibilities were good enough for an increase in pay, especially under the circumstances the company was in with the high employee turnover? And without any further consideration, her request was declined.
Her emotions almost got the best of her as she was livid, hurt, and in total awe, but she kept it together.
Holding back her tears, she calmly said, “Thank you for your input, Mona, but I cannot keep working in these conditions. It’s not worth it.”
Mona rolled her eyes and replied, “Then you can quit, but I will be sorry to see you go.”
She thought by intimidating Griselle, she would back down, but little did she know, Griselle was one step ahead of her.
Petty Mode Activated
As Griselle had worked for the company for over a decade, she made quite a name for herself, not only within the company but also with their competitors. In the last couple of years, she had been offered numerous job opportunities with better pay, but always refused as she loved her current position. However, due to the recent events in 2020, she started taking interviews, just weighing out her options.
In one particular interview just before her meeting with Mona, was with a company that offered her a 60 percent pay raise doing the same exact job as she did currently. This was the perfect opportunity for her, but before she put in her resignation, she wanted to reciprocate the same mistreatment she felt by Mona when she made her exit.
So do you remember how Griselle took no time off in 2020?
Well, by January 2021, she had over two months’ worth of paid leave available. So, before she set forth with quitting, she confirmed with another HR lady that she was, in fact, able to take her vacation days whenever she wanted. So here’s where the real pettiness comes in.
Taking Mona’s suggestion, she decided to quit. She put in her “two months” notice just as she got her two months vacation time approved. This gave her only one day to work to which she could clean her office and say her goodbyes to her fellow team, before leaving for good. It was bittersweet, because she didn’t want to leave them in a bad position, but knew in the end, it was better for her. Again, choosing her happiness over everything else. And they completely understood where she was coming from as they would’ve done the exact same in her position. She left that day, thinking that was the last time she’d have to deal with Mona, but unfortunately, it didn’t last long.
The CEO Finally Made An Appearance
After two months of vacation, Griselle started working at her new job but still kept in touch with a lot of her former co-workers, as they were her friends outside of work. They would regularly inform her of any office gossip, and oh boy, were things getting worse. It seemed by her quitting caused a domino effect amongst her co-workers as many no longer were putting up with Mona’s nonsense and decided to quit. With those increasing numbers, it caught the CEO’s attention, especially after he realized, Griselle was one of those employees.
He knew Griselle very well, as he had spoken to her on numerous occasions and knew how an excellent employee she was; so for her to quit out of the blue, he knew he had to get answers. He first contacted Maryann, who by no means, held anything back. She revealed how devastated Griselle was when she didn’t receive the 1K appreciation bonus as many others did, and how disrespectful Mona was towards everyone and basically told Griselle to quit.
He couldn’t believe what he was hearing. Was Mona the issue? How many others felt the same about her? He then began his own investigation, interviewing other employees from different departments and listening to their horrific, yet similar stories about her. He further looked in “the appreciation bonus” which turned out, Mona only gave it to her work buddies and a very generous amount to herself.
This was not looking good for Mona and the CEO knew he had to do something about it before it got any worse. After reviewing everything, he decided to fire Mona.
And like how all office gossip goes, the news spread fast. Everyone was beyond ecstatic, even Griselle who was later told in the day. Now, neither of them have to put up with Mona and her entitled tactics, however, again, this was not the end of her.
The Return of Mona
Within a week or two later, Grisell’s new boss, “Scott” walked into her office and said, “Good morning, Griselle! You know Jen from HR is retiring soon, right? We did interviews to replace her, and one of the candidates is Mona. She seems competent but asks for quite a lot of money. You both worked together, right? What is she like? Do you think she deserves to be paid more than we initially offered?”
By Griselle’s reaction once she heard “Mona”, her boss could tell something was wrong as her eyes almost popped out of her head. The whole reason why she left the company in the first place was because of Mona, and she wasn’t going to have history repeat itself. Not if she had anything to say about it.
She spoke up, “Boss, do you have a few minutes?”
As he nodded, she continued, “Great. Let me tell you a story.”
After sharing her honest opinion about Mona, her boss chucked and said, “Ok good to know. I think we will tell her that she is not the right fit for us. Thanks, Griselle!”
As soon as he left, Griselle sent an email to her friend, “Nani” from HR, who was in charge of replying to candidates. She told her what was going down and to keep her informed if there were any updates on Mona’s hiring process.
A few hours later, she got an email notification from Nani. Turns out, she copied Griselle to her response to Mona.
It read, “Dear Mona, thank you for your interest in working for our company. After careful consideration, we regret to inform you that in our opinion, your responsibilities and your abilities are not worth that much…”
The exact same words Mona said to Griselle when she declined her pay raise request. She finally got a taste of her own medicine. And that was the last she ever heard of Mona, thankfully.