Better Pay = Better Work?

I recently had a conversation with an interesting group of people about what was making their work lives harder and lamer than they needed to be.  No opportunity for advancement, No staff training, and No recognition for a job well done were mentioned right away.

Oh Yeah!  Immaboutta lay some First World Problems on ya!
Oh Yeah! I”m about to lay some First World Problems all ovah y’all!  🙂

“What about No salary increases?”, I asked.  The room went silent, until a woman who makes more than twice my salary said, “But that doesn’t affect how you do your job!”

"Now go away, you filthy beggar!  Shoo!"
“Now go away, you filthy beggar! Shoo!”

I was flabbergasted.  People who don’t have to worry about money don’t seem to understand what it’s like for those who do.  Now…I’m not saying that just because you’ve been in a job for X years you should automatically get a pay bump.  But…if you’ve been in a job for X years, have done an awesome job of it, are doing the same level of work as your higher-paid counterparts, and your company/organization can afford it, then dammit…you should.  Because being underpaid/undervalued does affect how you do your job.

Here’s how:

Morale:  There are few things more disheartening than finding out you’re the lowest-paid plebe in your department…even though you’re putting in the same amount of work at the same skill level as everyone else.  For a few years you’ll probably try to move up through extra hard work and dedication, but without monetary compensation, you’ll probably start looking for a new job that’s more rewarding.  And if your staff has a bunch of people who are feeling the same way, whether good or bad, that mentality will take over the whole workplace.  Unhappy workers don’t deliver the same quality of work as those who feel satisfied with their work environments.

low morale can lead to terrible reading Dilbert.  :/
low morale can lead to terrible things…like reading Dilbert. :/

Stress:  Once you realize you’re stuck in a dead-end job with no hope of anything better coming your way, you’re gonna get stressed.  Searching for a new job is a pain in the ass and having to come in to your soul-sucking job day after day after day after…(you get the idea) until you can leave will make you pissed and cranky.  Being poor in itself is another stressor.  If you’re constantly worrying about how you’re going to keep the heat on that month (while your coworker brags about her new Manolo Blahniks) your probably going to have a hard time focusing on your work.   Stress can also make you more likely to flip out at your coworkers or nearby inanimate objects.

Office space flip out
Of COURSE there’s gonna be an Office Space reference!

Health and Nutrition:  Your income guides what food/health choices you make, too.  If you can’t afford to go to the doctor, you’ll probably end up staying home for a couple of extra days to use what sick leave you have, rather than get the antibiotics that could make you feel better (and get you back to work) in a much shorter time.  If you can’t afford fresh produce (that will spoil quickly), you might opt instead for frozen TV Dinners and Ramen Noodles…considerably less healthy options that can leave you more susceptible to illness and fatigue.

Hell...Hot Dogs are $2.99 for a 24 pack at Aldi! Veggies are for suckers!
Hell…Hot Dogs are $2.99 for a 24 pack at Aldi! Veggies are for suckers!

Increased Alcohol Consumption:  I mean…well…that’s what works for me.  😉  And fortunately the nice peeps at Za’s offer $1 off wine at Happy Hour…which means I can meet up with a fave gal pal after work for some $3 house Cab.  Not shabby for a young (hopeful) up-and-comer.  Someday.  *Sigh*

Trust me. It helps.
They even have a sweet outdoor fireplace! 🙂 So cozy!


2 thoughts on “Better Pay = Better Work?”

  1. you have hit every single nail on the head. 😦 it’s so incredibly frustrating and I particularly hate it when you have friends who make a LOT more money then you do, have the same sort of lifestyle (no children, no serious health issues, no EXTREME massive debt) and they are constantly broke. I’m like “um, really? I’ll take some of your very OBVIOUSLY disposable income.”

    Thanks for posting this. I’m glad I’m not the only person I know in this situation.

  2. Yep…people don’t understand… I thought I knew broke, and was empathetic to the best of my ability, but I found out after divorcing my husband of many years just what broke was…and it wasn’t/isn’t pretty. It sucks in so many ways, and sucks the life out of you. I’m really hoping I can get rich someday soon so that I can be way more helpful to other poor people now. 😉 No, I don’t have a plan for how that’s going to happen; just putting it out there in the universe. LOL

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