Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A raise for the hive-covered hermit.

Well my little snowflakes….last night was my big dreaded board meeting. Dreaded why? Cuz yours truly was going to muster up the balls to ask for a raise. I’m the Treasurer of said board and my job is to make the board member’s – all men – jobs easy peasy. Payroll, taxes, ordering, budgeting, balancing, deal with the DNR, etc. That’s the job. I love it. Dare I say I do it well?

When I took the position in late 2008 – just two years ago – the board was literally borrowing money from other villages to pay its electric bills. We were in the red…like crimson blood Satan kind of red. It wasn’t pretty. I had to petition villages for a raise of our rates which would affect every resident and in these tougher than snot economic times…well…let’s just say that wasn’t exactly something I was really looking forward to. It had been asked for before – and denied – numerous times. No one could prove the raise was necessary. Until I put it in black and white and then they approved the raise. And today – just two years later – we have over 50k just in our checking account. We have 200k total at least.

Things are now in the black – like midnight, dark as Explosive Man’s poop black. (Yes I would know - remember I see his poop along with everyone else in this office.)

Even armed with this positive information, I’ve been nervous all week to ask for a raise. For no apparent reason…the relationship I have with these men is stellar. The fact that I fear asking them for a raise of money that isn’t even coming from their own pockets is MY issue. It’s amazing first of all that I am out of the house running a meeting – much less going there to plead for more money.

And Rambo is no help. He’s the Prez of this board so literally he has to abstain from voting on my raise of course. In his mind, I think he thinks that also means he can’t give me advice on how to broach the subject. Jesus.

Anywhoozle – I’m pretty sure there is a point to this rambling. Oh yes - the point is once again I worry myself sick for freaking nothing. I’m not kidding you. These men deliberated over ½ hour on giving our plant manager a 45 cent raise. 45 cents! And me? Well, I stood there and I told myself I would not ask meekly. I would not beg. I would not use words like “I think I deserve”….instead I would say “I have done this, I deserve this, I am worthy” etc.

Turns out I only needed two sentences. I said, “Speaking of raises, it’s my turn. I believe you know the work I do.” A board member stopped me and said, “How much do you want?” I said 5 more dollars an hour. That same board member said, “I make a motion to approve the raise.” Before I knew it another member seconded the motion. Before I could even turn my head Rambo said, “All in favor?” And all I heard were “Ayes”. Not a single nay.

In less than 60 seconds and two sentences uttered from my mouth it was done. I, of course, was stunned so even after the motion approved, I felt it necessary to let them know all I have done and do. Pretty much yah – just talking out loud to cover my shock. I just couldn’t believe it was already done.

It’s pretty safe to assume I wasted upwards of about 10 hours freaking out about these less than 60 seconds! What a freaking waste of time – even if they had said no! A. Waste. Of. My. Precious. Time. And. Energy.

When will I learn to have the faith in me others do? When will I learn I don’t need lists of my accomplishments when the accomplishments speak for themselves? When will I know it’s enough?

I was prepared for a speech. A list of things I’ve done. Reasons why I deserved this.

Unnecessary. Just like the worry and hives.

I spent most of the night in excruciating stomach pain as part of the aftermath of the worry. Again, for nothing.

This is the part of social anxiety I despise. Yes, I realize most people would be nervous about asking for a raise. But for me – it goes to another physical level. As I said – going to the meeting is hard on its own. I prepare myself all day to go to the meeting. And then adding into it asking for a raise – makes it almost unbearable. More than once I said to Rambo….”Can you do it for me? Maybe I shouldn’t even ask.” He would only say, “I guess you don’t want the raise that bad then huh?”

Jackhole. Yes I do. Don’t use reverse psychology on me. I hate him for knowing exactly what I need.

I can’t explain the nerves….that they are extraordinary compared to someone who has no social anxieties, who looks forward to leaving the house and talking to people. Like Rambo. I watch him. He’s excited. He hasn’t thought about going to the meeting but about 10 minutes before we leave. No prep. No worry. He likes these people and could sit and talk to them all night. He laughs. He doesn’t get hives. He doesn’t lay away with stomach pains later. He just holds my hand during the night as I get through them.

I am jealous. And though I can’t make him understand how terribly frightening a simple meeting is for me….he gets it enough to know I won’t go unless he holds my hand on the way to the car. He knows enough to use his reverse psychology on me. He knows enough to high five me when we get home. He knows enough to be proud of me as he sits in that meeting and hears other men praise my work.

He is a social butterfly. I am a social hermit.

It is who I am. I get that. I either have to accept and embrace it or live my life hating that part of me. There are nights like last night when I want to be Rambo…and not me.

I am very grateful I’m in a place in my life now that allows me to force myself to fight the fears. I’m grateful I have the desire to fight the anxieties and not let them rule my life anymore. I’m grateful my girls see that I leave the house and I volunteer and I help the community.

I have to focus on that. Many years ago had I been approached to take this job…even though I know I would have excelled at it – the answer would have been unequivocally no. Just no. And I’d have run into Rambo’s arms for refuge.

My goal now is walk beside him instead. For now, this social anxiety that sometimes freezes me solid – can kiss my $5 an hour - raise getting - hive covered ass.


Amy W. said...

I think that is so awesome. For me, asking for a raise was unthinkable...but I hinted to my boss about 2 months ago I was going to start looking for another job bc I need more money and a place to advance. I was hoping that would prompt him into offering me a raise. Still nothing. But you have concrete evidence that you have made a huge difference and that is awesome.

I am proud of you!

Justawallflower said...

Wow. Thats about all I can say. Wow!

Angela said...

Congratulations!!! So very proud of you. :)

Stephanie said...

Way to go...That is pretty damn impressive!

Read said...

You go girl!!! I'm so very proud of you! I'm not sure I'd have it in me at all even give the same evidence, but I'd like to think I'd be able to handle it just as well as you did, hives and all! (it's good to know I'm not the only one who gets them from stress or anxiety)

Jen from Oregon said...

Congrats! you deserve it!!!

Jacquie said...

I am so proud of you Draz! That is a very impressive raise and you deserve it!

Karen Butler Ogle said...

COngrats, Drazil. Pat yourself on the back and then do something to celebrate.

Jen said...

That's awesome!! Good for you!! Now, can you please come down to AZ next month and talk to my boss about a raise for me?? pleaseandthankyou!

Tina said...

Goooooooooooo You. ;) the more you push out that comfort zone the easier stuff gets. Keep on pushing!


Dizzy Girl said...

I'm NOT trying to downplay your social anxiety by any means- but asking for a raise for any of us is HARD. Like, super hard. I make myself sick with worry too, when I even think about asking for one. And it takes me months to work up the courage. I don't know if I would've had the guts to ask a group of men for one.

But you did it! HOORAYYYYY!!!! Yet again- you overcame. It was hard and you paid a price afterwards (with a stomach ache), but you showed your anxiety that it was not the boss of you. I love you for that- and that's why I consider you one of my bloggy besties.

Congrats on the raise. I am proud of you and love you and can't wait to hear what you and Rambo decide to do to celebrate said raise. :)



Ice Queen said...

Have I told you lately how much I think you rock? Because you seriously do. Congrats on your raise and your ever growing set of cahonies. *applauds madly and passes the Calamine*

Katie J said...

Congratulations! They are blessed to have you!

amandakiska said...

Woo Hoo! I am not at all surprised!

Scuttleboose said...

Congrats on the raise, girl! :) Now, breathe :)

Ms. Chunky Chick said...

Not surprised at all and I am so proud that you are finally getting all that you deserve! Whoot you sexy ass biznitch whoot

Kristin said...

GOOD FOR YOU, Draz!! Congratulations, I'm so glad you are being recognized for your excellent work, and compensated accordingly. Rock on with your bad self.

LDswims said...

Congratulations on the raise! I'm so very proud of you for putting yourself out on the ledge and taking the risk! And what an awesome experience, I don't think they could have downplayed it any more than they did! Hopefully that helps calm your nerves next times you have a request that you are scared to make.

Love you. Now go enjoy that raise!

Lyla said...

Go you! For being a good model for your girls, for facing your own fears, and for getting the raise that you deserved.

JourneyBeyondSurvival said...


to the


Look at Yeeeeeeeeeeew!

Cindylew said...

Congrats pop tart...so so proud of you.

Band-Babe said...

Of course they gave you a raise! Have I mentioned how alike we are? Maybe we get better and better about this? I think so. Big squeeze... YOU ARE FABULOUS.

Barbara said...

SUPER.. okay can you go with me to negotiate my next raise??

The CilleyGirl said...

I can smack Satan's balls upside his head and I have no problem loudly telling little old ladies in public that they've got a bad odor problem going on "down there." (not that I ever have, mind you -- I just wouldn't have a problem doing it should the occasion arise) But I get hives just thinking about thinking about asking for a raise. It takes a whole 'nother special kind of chutzpah for that. Well done!!

Joey said...

WOO HOO!!! Some of that anxiety probably helped you to craft your speech and talk yourself into a confident walkin-tall attitude that day. They could probably sense that it would be no good to deliberate over it. AND they know you kick ass and deserve it!