Job: one year ago

I had a weird feeling today – that something significant happened a year ago on this date.

Since then my worklife has done a 180 and been kicked into high gear. Aside from the headaches I can say that I’m happy with my job. A little over year ago I wasn’t as happy with my job.

My then-boss had the staff on a “performance-based” pay structure. If our outside sales staff didn’t hit their numbers, the rest of us took dings on our paychecks. When then-boss would hand out paychecks, he’d say something like “Well Josh, looks like we didn’t hit our sales numbers this month. I know it hurts. Trust me, I’m feeling it too.”

I’d think: “Yeah right.”

This “performance-based” pay meant that your humble narrator was often shorted 33% of my monthly salary. Don’t get me wrong, this program swung both ways. If sales exceeded their quota, I would get a bonus on top of my salary. That happened once – to the tune of a few inconsequential dollars. All other checks that year took significant hickies.

I casually searched for other jobs but aside from paycheck theivery, I enjoyed my job. I rode my bicycle to work, my coworkers were my friends, I was learning and my job kept me busy.

Then one day now-boss and his wife came into the office and said “then-boss is no longer with the company.” I was given a promotion a week later and soon learned why then-boss was fired.

In that week when I didn’t have a direct manager, I wrote down questions, company procedures, to do lists, job descriptions and a poem about an deaf-mute butterfly who suffers from a gender identity crisis.

Most of my questions were for now-boss. The most important question was quickly answered: No more “peformance-based” pay. We put our sales staff on a commission-only pay structure, cut costs, moved production in-house, called on accounts receivable and pushed inside sales. Now I work for and manage the operations of a successful small business. Not bad for one year.

I miss working in Austin. What I miss most is riding my bike to and from work. You see a lot when you ride a bicycle.

I also miss being close to the house. I used to go home for lunch and escape for an hour. I used to be able to meet Elise for lunch. It’s harder for me to run errands during the day. I can’t run over to the bank. I don’t really like the commute to Marble Falls. I do it though because I have to. It’s a dangerous drive and that’s two hours of my day dedicated to driving. Driving, not cycling – polluting the air, costing me gas money and cutting into time when I could be writing about transgender butterflies.

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