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Another Raise -- What am I doing wrong?
Old 07-18-2007, 07:45 PM   #1
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Another Raise -- What am I doing wrong?

I have driven myself endlessly to be a marginal performer yet my dear b*ss came around today and gave me my second raise this year. Since starting with my current employer 19 months ago I've received 3 raises. My current pay is about 16% over what I started at. When I started, it was far more than I was worth.

I can assure you all that I am diligently not working as best I can yet I keep getting raises. It must be because anyone with an engineering degree must be in demand. I can't even fail when I try.

Honestly, some of it is interesting but it's time to fish or cut bait. I swear I won't do anything of value for the next week.
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Old 07-18-2007, 07:59 PM   #2
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I have driven myself endlessly to be a marginal performer yet my dear b*ss came around today and gave me my second raise this year. Since starting with my current employer 19 months ago I've received 3 raises. My current pay is about 16% over what I started at. When I started, it was far more than I was worth.

I can assure you all that I am diligently not working as best I can yet I keep getting raises. It must be because anyone with an engineering degree must be in demand. I can't even fail when I try.

Honestly, some of it is interesting but it's time to fish or cut bait. I swear I won't do anything of value for the next week.
Congratulations! Think of the extra money as an ER-accelerator.
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Old 07-18-2007, 08:08 PM   #3
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Congrats! Is your boss still hiring?
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Old 07-18-2007, 08:34 PM   #4
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Congrats! Is your boss still hiring?
They appear to be semi-desperate based on my experience. Unfortunately, it requires living in Houston.
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Old 07-18-2007, 09:47 PM   #5
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They appear to be semi-desperate based on my experience. Unfortunately, it requires living in Houston.
Been there, done that. Great place if you like rain, flooding, showers, sprinkles, storms, thunder, hurricanes and frogs in the pool.
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Old 07-18-2007, 10:01 PM   #6
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They appear to be semi-desperate based on my experience. Unfortunately, it requires living in Houston.
Ahh, so it's hazard pay then.
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Old 07-19-2007, 05:31 AM   #7
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Of course, the original post is somewhat TIC .

I used to be an "important" senior manager with an operating company but got shoved out in 2002. I was out of work for awhile, had a few short term things, became a contractor for about 60% of my final "other job" pay and then managed to get hired where I'm at now -- my last position and I know it.

I think they were desperate. My starting pay was above my "other job" plus bonus. I'm now safely higher although I don't know what the survivors are getting back at the old place. It has been 5 years.

The job I had was high stress and I was on call 24-7. My E&C job is near zero stress and sometimes fun to play with the simulations.

I discovered this forum in my "deperate time" and it has really been a help. I realize I'm now FI but personal reasons keep me trapped in Houston. I don't see much point in retiring when I must stay in town most of the time.
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Old 07-19-2007, 06:53 AM   #8
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The job I had was high stress and I was on call 24-7. My E&C job is near zero stress and sometimes fun to play with the simulations.
Ain't it great?

They keep trying to promote me to lead engineer up here in Cowtown, Alberta. More headaches, no extra pay. By being too lazy to get around to getting my P.E. license up here (they call it 'P Eng'--like the French, they always have to be a little different; can't be mistaken for an American, eh? ), I may be able to avoid the fate.

Quote:
Been there, done that. Great place if you like rain, flooding, showers, sprinkles, storms, thunder, hurricanes and frogs in the pool.
We had the occasional snake in the pool, too.

Rock on, 2B!

Ed, the comical engineer
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Old 07-19-2007, 08:52 AM   #9
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There was a humorous course put on by Bill Oncken called Managing Management Time that talked about the nature of higher level jobs adding the bad stuff to the job content.

They described it with the metaphor of putting the monkey on your back. You guys will apprecitate it!
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Old 07-19-2007, 09:20 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by 2B View Post
I have driven myself endlessly to be a marginal performer yet my dear b*ss came around today and gave me my second raise this year. Since starting with my current employer 19 months ago I've received 3 raises. My current pay is about 16% over what I started at. When I started, it was far more than I was worth.

I can assure you all that I am diligently not working as best I can yet I keep getting raises. It must be because anyone with an engineering degree must be in demand. I can't even fail when I try.

Honestly, some of it is interesting but it's time to fish or cut bait. I swear I won't do anything of value for the next week.
Maybe those $20 cigars you keep sharing with your boss over Scotch are helping??

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Old 07-19-2007, 05:26 PM   #11
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Ain't it great?

By being too lazy to get around to getting my P.E. license up here (they call it 'P Eng'--like the French, they always have to be a little different; can't be mistaken for an American, eh? ), I may be able to avoid the fate.

Ed,

The NAFTA agreement "forced" Ricardo Perry-ez to have the Texas PE statute amended so Canuks and Mexicanos can get their PE transferred instantly. It's far easier than someone coming from one of the other 49 states. Does Canadakastan have the same courtesy?

Why in the h*** are you in Cow Town, Alberta? I wouldn't mind being there July 5. I was in Cody on July 4 one time and enjoyed the show. I was told all the cowboys headed up your way for a big rodeo the next day. Other than that, I'd be more careful about who I hung out with. Some of those people actually like to speak french.

My prior employer was Belgium owned and the "leadership" was french speaking. I had a Belgium boss that looked at me when one of my peers was having a conversation in french and said how terrible his french was. I said his french is much better than mine. He said that I don't pretend I can speak french so it was ok.

My german is much better than my french but that sucks too.
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Old 07-19-2007, 11:21 PM   #12
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I have driven myself endlessly to be a marginal performer yet my dear b*ss came around today and gave me my second raise this year. Since starting with my current employer 19 months ago I've received 3 raises. My current pay is about 16% over what I started at. When I started, it was far more than I was worth.
Have you tried messing up more often?
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Old 07-20-2007, 02:29 AM   #13
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Quoth 2B:
Quote:
The NAFTA agreement "forced" Ricardo Perry-ez to have the Texas PE statute amended so Canuks and Mexicanos can get their PE transferred instantly. It's far easier than someone coming from one of the other 49 states. Does Canadakastan have the same courtesy?
Sort of. Basically, I have to take an ethics test and provide proof of licensure back home. No biggie.

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Why in the h*** are you in Cow Town, Alberta? I wouldn't mind being there July 5. I was in Cody on July 4 one time and enjoyed the show. I was told all the cowboys headed up your way for a big rodeo the next day. Other than that, I'd be more careful about who I hung out with. Some of those people actually like to speak french.
We just finished up the Calgary Stampede. Ten days of cowboy stuff all over town. Very big rodeo, I understand.

'Why' I got here is a long story. The end result is that I made my way up here during a crucial time in the tar sands business, just as it was exploding.

'Why' I stay here is easy.
1) I make more money than I ever have before.
2) I like the people I am working for--this has not been common for me, and the older I get, the less BS I will put up with.
3) Even though I am working away from home, the trip is an easy commute; only about an hour in the air, one hop. If I were working in Houston, it would take me over 8 hours to get home, with more than one stop. Here, I can get home every weekend without killing myself. No chance of getting DW to move back to Houston, BTW.
4) I am respected here. I am told I have a small reputation in the oil sands business. Cool.
5) Prospects abound. I am toying with several ideas for interesting work. There is also a serious shortage of skilled talent if all I want to do is work for someone else.
6) I like the place. Except for the bums in the street. I have come to enjoy -40 degree winters.

I'm glad you are happy where you are.

Cheers,

Gypsy
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Old 07-20-2007, 08:36 AM   #14
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Quoth 2B:
Sort of. Basically, I have to take an ethics test and provide proof of licensure back home. No biggie.
I'm glad it's not a one way street like so much of NAFTA seems to be. I can see where the ethics test is a real problem for you.


I'm not happy where I am but DW is trapped in Houston until her parents solve our mobility issue. My in-laws are in assisted living/nursing care and DW drew the short straw. We're finally (after several years) getting to the point we can travel but Houston is home base for her until their funerals. At that point our goal is to be gone.

For enough money I could become a migrant engineer. I'm surprised it would be better after taxes and travel costs. There are several Canadians in my department that moved south within the last two years. If things were so good, I would think they would have stayed home.

I've personally have also never made more money than I am now and I'll repeat that I used to be one of those senior, do nothing "fat cat" managers everyone hates -- including me. The demand for anything that resembles technical skills in Houston is off the chart. I get multiple calls every month from recuiters. I haven't seen it like this since the late 70's.

All the over-50's I talk with about retirement refer to the current boom as their path to retirement. They all hope it lasts long enough for them to get ready for it.
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Old 07-20-2007, 09:56 AM   #15
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Rent the video Office Space. The cube rat character decides to go to work, but not do any work, and, as a result gets promotions, etc. Recommended.
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Old 07-20-2007, 11:25 AM   #16
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For enough money I could become a migrant engineer. I'm surprised it would be better after taxes and travel costs. There are several Canadians in my department that moved south within the last two years. If things were so good, I would think they would have stayed home.
A friend moved from Toronto to Dallas. He said that, after taxes, his lifestyle was about double in the combination of higher takehome pay and lower costs for buying stuff. Now they were professional shoppers. Bought their diningroom furniture from a catalog. Flea market every Satuday. Buying the onsale wine at the Bargain Barn.

Also more upward mobility in his job. So he won both ways.
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Old 07-20-2007, 02:25 PM   #17
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Been there, done that. Great place if you like rain, flooding, showers, sprinkles, storms, thunder, hurricanes and frogs in the pool.
What's you beef



But no earthquakes!!! And snow is so rare that when it happens the city shuts down...
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Old 07-29-2007, 01:21 PM   #18
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For enough money I could become a migrant engineer. I'm surprised it would be better after taxes and travel costs. There are several Canadians in my department that moved south within the last two years. If things were so good, I would think they would have stayed home.
and

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A friend moved from Toronto to Dallas. He said that, after taxes, his lifestyle was about double in the combination of higher takehome pay and lower costs for buying stuff.
Whoa! I didn't say it was low cost. It just happens to be most convenient for me.

Alberta has the lowest taxes of all the provinces. I pay full Canadian taxes at the highest Alberta rate because I am out-of-province. I know I would pay a lot lower taxes in Houston (we lived there for years), but the air conditioning bills might make up for it. I could keep more if I became a Permanent Resident and formed a company. As near as I can tell, I pay about 50% more income tax up here.

I have travel costs, too, but they would be at least as high no matter where I worked. (Working in my home town is not on the program. At my age, I am choosy who I work for.)

The loonie is about 97 cents to the USD these days--about par. In USD I gross about $90/h. $30/h is tax-free, the equivalent of per-diem. I save some of that because I live like a student. I am told my rates are low by $10-$20/h. Maybe later. That is the only "upward mobility" I will ever see, unless I become president of my own company.

If I went staff, I could make $120k (~$60/h), I am told, but couldn't use a personal company. There are no benefits to me going staff up here. I can't get health insurance that will cover my family in the states. Not many experienced people up here go staff. For comparison, last year I turned down $120k (no per diem, no relocation) to be a lead engineer in Houston.

Everything is expensive up here. A particular bottle of wine costs me $12 here. The same bottle costs me $6 in Bellingham. Eating out is about the same. I have a special arrangement for housing. No car (yet). Shopping is poor, too. We have a better selection in Bellingham (pop. ~ 65,000) that in Calgary (pop. 1,000,000). Now I know why the parking lots at the malls in Bellingham are always full of British Colombia license plates. Often I buy stuff when I am home instead of trying to find it in Calgary.

Ed in Canadistan,
still taking a job away from a Canadian!
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