Tuesday, July 1, 2008


So, I may or may not have mentioned that I failed to ask my employer about my pay rate for the new job. Frankly, at the time it didn't much matter because this was the only job opening I found in the position I needed and I couldn't get a moment alone with him to ask not in front of the patients. Today, I finally got that opportunity and I found out.

The pay is not unreasonable, the fact is, I'm not doing much work, but I'm also not working enough hours to overcome that. In fact, this job will pay me less than $10,000 dollars a year, which is an especially big problem when you consider that just my rent and car payments/insurance add up to approximately $6,500 and that I'll be paying entirely out of pocket for health insurance (which last year cost around $8,000 for a year). What all this is adding up to is negative numbers.

And me resuming my teaching job.

This is not ideal, but it's also not the end of the world. Where I'm having the most trouble (besides all the groveling I just did to try and get my old job back, fingers crossed) is with this new job. The person I'm replacing is leaving mid-July, and they hired me under the belief that I'd be working most of the year. In reality, in light of the pay, I'm only going to be able to work for about a month, regardless of whether I get my old teaching job back or not, because that's when my paychecks stop and I'll need a job that pays more money.

So do I tell them now? My moral compass says yes, though my logical/fiscally concerned side says no. The moral side is winning right now. They should have the right to hire and train someone well, someone who will work for the entire year, someone who will be able to stay for a while. I don't think I can live with myself and go to work each morning if I know that I'm going to be handing in my 2 weeks notice, in um, like 3 weeks. It just doesn't jive with me. I know it's not a very wise decision financially, but I just think I can't live with myself otherwise.

I don't know when I'll hear back from my old job, but I'm likely going to speak with my new boss tomorrow. Is that a stupid decision? Probably, but in the end, I have to be able to live with myself and I know that my conscience won't let me live with this if I am not honest about it.

It's really sad because I really enjoyed what I was doing. Really it was a great first day. And it seems like probably a great last one too.


Greta Perry said...

Never leave something until you have something else/

Anonymous said...

Don't say anything yet. Maybe after a couple of weeks you can talk to him about needing more money and he'll like you enough to give you a raise. It's possible. Especially in New Orleans these days. It's an employees' market. Use that. Explain the cost of gas from NOLA to Kenner alone!!!

Anonymous said...

I would wait until you knew about your old job. You could be stuck without anything and then that would really suck. It is possible that if they see how wonderful you are at the new place, that they would be willing to pay a bit more!

Overflowing Brain said...

I appreciate the advice, but unless they're going to triple my pay (which they shouldn't and won't), I'm going to need a different job. A few dollars more an hour won't even come close.

I'm kicking myself right now. Repeatedly and rather hard.

Anonymous said...

I totally understand about needing money, and health insurance etc., but you did mention earlier that you need this job as a stepping stone to get into grad school. So... are you giving up your dreams to pay the rent? :( Just make sure you've thought everything through before you make any permanent decisions.

And re: the insurance. What sort of insurance does Slappy have, and can he add you to it at a lower cost than what you are paying individually? Or, could you save money by adding him to your policy and pocketing the difference? I know that you need good coverage because of your overflowing brain, and you're probably hard to cover, but sometimes pre-existing conditions can't be excluded when someone joins a policy due to birth, marriage, or adoption. Hopefully there's a way to get you both covered, but save a teensy bit of money, too.

Anna in IL

Overflowing Brain said...

Hey Anna-

I did leave that out. No, I won't have to give up the dream, I'll just use these next few weeks and a few nights a week when school starts again to volunteer for the hours I need. I don't have to be employed at one of these places, I just need to be spending hours in them getting hands-on experience. Thankfully I have another place I can volunteer at and will likely also be able to get a letter of recommendation from (seems like I probably won't get the best letter from this employer, what with, quitting a month in).

As far as the health insurance, you hit the nail on the head. I'm impossible to insure and Slappy's insurance might take me, but it will cover nothing. I can go to the school's health center and only outside of there if referred, which means I can go to none of my current physicians. I don't know what the cost would be, but I know the out of pocket expenses would be outrageous.

Thank goodness for the 12 month pay schedule I got myself on. I have until the end of August to get it all sorted out.

CoastingThroughTheSouth said...

$10K is not pay. That seems simply disrespectful to someone with a college degree (not that it isn't to someone without one either). Remember though, that employers do NOT care what amount of money you "need"; all they care about is what you are worth. Unless you are only working 2 hours a day, I would argue that you are worth more. If you are going to return to teaching, maybe you can arrange something where you finish out the summer. I know that didn't make sense as a unit piece, and I appologize for brain dumping, but I just thought I'd sahre my view.

Overflowing Brain said...

That's part of the problem- today I only worked for 5 hours in a job that definitely does not require a college degree. It's a great job for someone in school full time or someone who doesn't have to pay for a car, a house, health insurance, etc.

I'm sure that I could probably guilt them into a few dollars more per hour, but in the end, unless they magically extend their hours each day, there's just no way it's going to work.

kim-d said...

My moral compass on this is right in line with yours. On this, I'm probably REALLY giving away my age, and also the work ethic I was raised with which, admittedly, does not always sync up with TODAY'S working world. There are times that you have to do what you know to be right when it comes to your employment, even if it's not the most fiscally smart thing. I know without a doubt the company I work for would love nothing better than to get rid of me; I've been there a long time and they could replace me with a brand new young monkey for lots less money, vacation time, etc. Even knowing this, I would still never do anything other than the "right" thing as I was taught if I were going to leave my job--a minimum of two weeks' notice, etc. A few dollars isn't worth being just as bad as some of these companies can be. Does that sound really weird and up-on-my-high-horse-ish? I'll never be accused of being holier than thou, but there are some things that one has to do just because it's the right thing. Cause if ya don't--someday, someway it'll come back and bite ya in the ass. And you, my dear can't take that chance. YIKES.

Anonymous said...

I've made that mistake before (grovelling to the old job and all). Fortunately, I kept the new and the old, so didn't have your dilemma.

Personally, I'd tell them... But I don't know if it would be the most sensible option.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't say anything yet no matter how honest you want to be.I'd wait til you talk to your old boss. just my 2 cents

Anonymous said...

I can see your point. If it were me, I think I'd tell the guy asap that it isn't going to work out long-term. Perhaps you could work through the summer, which would be something. And, even if your old job has already been filled, I can't imagine that a bright young math teacher with experience couldn't find a job in New Orleans.