Raises Are Not For Everyone!

It’s been a while since I posted, for that I’m sorry. In the most sarcastic sense, I know the universe revolves exclusively around me and that roughly 6 billion people wait for the next installment of TheRealGill! Seriously though, I’ve been working my day job, and doing a lot at work with Experience Points.

I work as a System’s Administrator for Southeastern Louisiana University, and I’m a state employee. For those that are unaware, Louisiana’s educational system has been hit with budget cut after budget cut over the last several years. As a result there hasn’t been a raise in the aforementioned several years. Fortunately for me, my lifestyle and economical situation is stable enough to be sustained by my paltry wage. Headlines roll in suggesting that the tide is turning and I begin to hear, “When are we gonna get raises?” from several people. I only wish I was invincible enough to say “You don’t deserve a raise,” to some people’s faces.

One of the big problems with a large organization is that quality control kinda goes out the window over time. Someone gets hired on to do a job in 1990, and they are fantastic, or at least adequate. But by the year 2000 they are still doing that job like they did in 1990, despite the fact that life, technology, and practices may have moved on. They’ve grown complacent, stagnant, and no longer warrant an increase in pay. It doesn’t matter to me that when 2014 rolls around they’ve got seniority, that they’ve played bridge with the big-boss, that they can call the department head of HR and talk about their kid’s 4H Club assignment. That has nothing to do with their job. If anything, seniority only fuels their pomposity. I understand that ‘institutional knowledge’ is important and necessary to handle inter-departmental politics and situations, but all the institutional knowledge in the world shouldn’t grant people the freedom to be beyond inefficient at their job.

Some people need a steady raise. The guy that mows the lawn on campus, or blows the leaves off of buildings’ roofs will be hard pressed to do their jobs better. Much like a custodian, these occupations are somewhat locked in their ability to grow and be more efficient. How exactly can the mower cut grass better? Is a janitor better if they use fewer bags? These types of jobs warrant semi-steady (low-increase) raises. On the opposite side of things, positions that enable employees to excel at their own pace probably shouldn’t receive blanket raises. Why would they? People cry ‘Cost of Living Increase!’ all day long, but I believe that improving your business processes and increasing your knowledge and capabilities concerning your job, and being rewarded for it, is sufficient enough to excuse away from blanket raises. Obviously, evaluations, proper management, gaming the system, blah blah blah… There are ways to cheat on both ends.

Your thoughts?

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