My annual review at work came around a couple of weeks ago, and I asked for a raise. I’ve been busting my ass, taken on a tremendous responsibility, proven myself over and over again, and worked there for 8 years without one single raise.
I won’t get it. The reason is as simple as the fact that the corporation that owns my hospital is tightening its collective belt and any raises that are granted are going to be given to clinical personnel. I’m at the bottom of the totem pole. I’m a lowly peasant in the city employment caste system and simply don’t rate a raise, no matter what I do. I don’t even get acknowledgment. At our annual department breakfast, where staff get pins for time at the job (i.e., a one-year pin, 5-year pin, 10-year pin, etc.) and awards for employee of the year, I had to watch one employee get acknowledged because she put flowers and butterflies all over the place. Literally. She pinned butterflies and flowers and hearts on the wall, which made my maudlin supervisor happy. I tell this tale of woe because, I swear, if I didn’t have my writing, I don’t know what I’d do. I once had a career that’s now gone, but it’s been resurrected in the form of Dirt Road Books.
There are moments when I’m just filled with rage and resentment, but I’m trying to find my way to a more peaceful place. With the help of various tools, I’m working on myself, and I hope be a calmer me (a rageful me is not a pretty sight).
My writing helps me. It’s the thing I’ve always turned to, in one form or another, to feel as if I have a purpose. To feel I’m worth something. And DRB is a new chapter that I hope to write to my liking.
Don’t worry, I’m fine. It’s one of those things that happens when a wall hits me in the face. Eventually, the bricks fall away and I move on. This is just where I am right now. And, in the tradition of tortured artists, I remind myself that this why I write…write now.