May 16, 2010

Doesn't Deserve a Raise

This post was written to enter my husband into a contest. Please vote for us here.

My husband doesn’t deserve a raise. Or so we must assume. It’s not as though he’s trained 70-80% of his co-workers, both seasonal and permanent, including several of his supervisors. He wasn’t appointed the (unofficial) “Head trainer,” which, apparently, confers a great deal of responsibility but no actual upgrade in pay or official status. Nor is he known as the “go-to” guy when it comes to knowing what is and is not sold at his store, or where it might be found. He’s not the unofficial store directory that even the supervisors and managers rely on to find things.

He wasn’t tapped to do the job of a supervisor for nearly a year, when they didn’t have enough supervisors to go around and needed someone to run the closing crew night after night. He doesn’t greet every customer with a smile, and go out of his way to help them find what they’re looking for—even if it means crossing the store to do it. He doesn’t walk 5 to 7 miles a day and often out-maneuver people half his age. They don’t look up to him as an (unofficial) supervisor, go to him with questions regarding stuff inside and outside his ordinary job description, or rise to the occasion to make sure he can juggle his constantly shifting load of responsibility.

It’s not as though he’s been nominated several times for employee of the month, having missed it by a single vote on numerous occasions. It’s not as though he’s earned the respect of nearly every one of the supervisors and managers because he’s always willing to go that extra step to make sure a customer or fellow employee gets the assistance they need.

And it’s not as though he received the acclaim of his co-workers when he dislocated his arm and continued working while waiting for surgery, not only keeping up with many younger co-workers, but doing so with only one usable arm.

My husband doesn’t deserve a raise because he’ll continue to work his heart out day after day even for the pittance he’s being paid, despite knowing that he’ll never be more than a peon because they’re not longer promoting supervisors from within the company—because they know he’ll keep doing what he does best for the pay he’s getting now or what few cents they see fit to throw his direction.

He started working in retail in order to defeat his shyness, a social reticence that bordered on a phobia. Who has always pushed himself to do a little better, to be a little better person, day by day.

This is the man who, on his days off, has dinner waiting for me when I get home. Who pitches in and does the dishes and laundry without being asked. Who supports me in everything I do with very few reservations.
And no, despite all of this, I’m not saying he’s a perfect man. He is, however, a genuinely good man. Thoughtful, empathetic, and passionate about helping people in what small ways he can.

If it were in my power to give him a raise, I would. If it were in my power to make his employer give him a real raise rather than the pennies they threw to him this time, I would. But I can’t. So all I can do is put it out to the universe to pay him back a little for all he does.

I love him, and he deserves more than he gets. A whole lot more.


  1. Just want to say what a great blog you got here!
    I've been around for quite a lot of time, but finally decided to show my appreciation of your work!

    Thumbs up, and keep it going!



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