I have been working at a new location for a while where on the whole, I am incredibly happy, though there have been some recent changes implemented in the way we have to do our paperwork. It’s more annoying, more time consuming and results in us taking work home more often/staying late to complete paperwork. Yes, this is bad, but there’s nothing to be done about it. The organization’s sentiment is shut up and do it or go somewhere else. The general feeling among employees is that they wouldn’t mind quite as much if there were regular raises but payroll has been stagnant across the board for at least the past four years. Not cool. What I’d like to know is if pay has been held across the board or if the higher-ups have seen any increases. As it’s a non-profit, the IRS 990 information on their budget, income and some payroll information are public record. As far as I can tell, no one working for the organization is making six figures, which is comforting to know considering it’s basically charity work. Honestly though, who goes to work at a non-profit expecting the pay to go up and up and up? Just not realistic.
This brings me to my point: yes things are getting worse for us, but have you seen the job market? There’s no way to rebel when you have nowhere to go and that’s the sad truth of it. And yes, you really should stop complaining so much while you’re on the job. As I often quote from the movie Labyrinth when people say “It’s not fair!” “No it isn’t, but that’s the way it is.” And additionally, “You say that so often. I wonder what your basis for comparison is.” The fact is, job responsibilities aren’t static, and in our situation the changes being implemented are because of what our government is handing down to us. Don’t like? Get more involved in national and local elections. Write editorials. Blog about it. Just don’t sit around at work and force everyone to wallow in your daily gripe-fest because it makes everyone feel even worse about the situation and there still isn’t a solution. Whenever I find myself trapped in a group of people venting, I do my best to be the subject-changer or person to point out something that can be done. It helps shut down the negativity or at least gives them an idea of how to make a positive impact in some way. And don’t think it’s easy because by my nature, I am fairly pessimistic and at times border on existential nihilism (i.e. I don’t believe that life has any inherent meaning.) Most of the time, shit just happens with no rhyme or reason. Which for me, equates to the idea that life only has the meaning in it that one creates for oneself. No matter where you work, you are quite likely to have to deal with some sort of fuckery or another. If you find you truly can’t stand the current bullshit you’re being dealt, good luck finding another place whose nonsense you can stand. Truly. Just don’t make things more miserable than they have to be. Find solutions for things you can, and find ways to support each other and be thankful you can still cover your bills. I think I’ll bring in some cinnamon rolls next week to lighten the mood. Wish me luck friends.