Ask Joey: Show me the money

Joey Garcia

I manage a boutique part time. Since I took over, sales are up, and the owner took her first vacation in six years and I did not need to call her. I recently learned that the college students who work for me earn more money than I do. I am 32 years old, have more experience, a fashion-merchandising degree and a better work ethic than anyone here. Why would my boss do this? How do I get a raise?

Ask for a raise, but don’t mention what the other employees earn. Comparing yourself to them is a distraction. Focus instead on the benefits you bring to the business. Tell your boss how much you enjoy your career. Let her know you can see yourself working at the shop for years to come. If she suspects you know about the wage difference, she may offer an explanation. Listen and counter with your request for a raise. But before making a pitch for a fatter paycheck, think back to the day of your interview. Did you appear so desperate for work that you would take any wage? And while employed, did you hope for recognition? If you hungered for your boss’ affirmation and an automatic reward, you may believe that asking for appropriate compensation is egotistical. It’s not; it’s self-care. A simpler path is to value yourself enough to ask for what you want and deserve.

After scoring a raise, encourage your boss to open store finances to you. Sound crazy? In the book, The One-Minute Entrepreneur authors Ken Blanchard, Don Hutson and Ethan Willis write: “Smart managers realize that when people understand the business realities of how their company makes money, they are much more apt to roll up their sleeves and help out. When this happens everyone feels a sense of ownership, because they begin to realize how their efforts impact the company’s bottom line.” The authors point out that most business owners don’t share true financial data with employees who need to know because business owners are “more concerned with looking successful than getting help to be successful.” By being and staying informed you will be able to help your boss earn more revenue and ensure that your paycheck only contains positive surprises in the future.

I am dating a man who has been married four times. He is not religious so he does not care—except he does see himself as failing in those relationships. He has gone to therapy and says he is not the same man he was. I believe him, but I worry about being his fifth ex-wife. I have never been married, but I have had two long-term relationships. I have only known my boyfriend for six months, but things are serious, and I think he will ask me to marry him.

Honey, you do not have my permission to wed. Not because your boyfriend has been to the altar four times, but because you have only known him for six months. Two years of being immersed in each other’s lives in thrilling and mundane ways will show you the truth of his character and yours. If you are a self-aware person, then 24 months together is plenty of time to discern whether you are in love with love (not him), if you are in love with being partnered (and anyone will do for a while), or if you are in love with your own idealized image of him (and not him, at all). Two years is also enough time, if you are conscious, to see his habits and determine whether he has truly changed (it’s possible) or not (also possible). It takes self-discipline not to rush ahead, but you are worth such care, right?

Meditation of the week
“The church is the great lost and found department,” wrote Robert Short, a Christian minister. Joey agrees and adds, “The ones who think they are found, are often the most lost.” Why else would a political candidate attack a president’s faith as phony?

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