So, after 8 years Mrs Mang found a new job. Better money, annual pay raise, same benefits, less stress. She gave her notice on Monday and has been met with post-Romney levels of freak out and butthurt. And finally, I get to add my 2c. This is to the principal of her 3 (soon to be ex) bosses. Welcome editorial before I send this.
By the time you read this, S**** will have departed for new opportunities. There's never a good time to deliver bad news, so I can appreciate that the prospect of losing a "valued" employee was a daunting one. Neither S**** nor I derive any pleasure from whatever difficulties that might arise for you. Nevertheless, it's important to recognize, as the Buddhists are wont to point out, that impermanence is the essence of our human condition. Nothing lasts forever whether its people, places, relationships, wealth, health or even nations - all are subject to the inexorable force of change. As such, S****'s time with you & *** was no exception. In 2004 right after we got married, taking the job with *** was the most appropriate course of action. In 2012 this was no longer the case. (Incidentally, S**** left her prior job because of the frankly, insane working conditions, not because of money. In fact, she took a substantial pay cut in order to escape that particular office and work for you, K** and, at that time, S**.)
In early 2007, another job opportunity opened up for her which also carried a better rate of pay. She discussed this offer with you but was met with considerable hostility and, oddly, the accusation that she was somehow disloyal. A disloyal person would have, surely, taken the money and run. This is not what she did however. Instead, she accepted a lesser counter-offer and stayed. Feeling genuine concern about the effects her leaving would have upon you and your practice, S**** chose to sacrifice easy security in favor of being 'the team player'.
Naturally, we were both dismayed that S****'s proven loyalty & dedication was rewarded with her hours being cut in, what I believe, to be a cowardly and backhanded manner. Instead of giving her fair consideration and consultation, she was palmed off to another rep (M***) like a piece of furniture. She was now the most qualified, experienced admin with the biggest workload and strangely enough, without meaningful compensation to show for it. Stranger still, was the expectation that somehow, she would perform all the same functions for the same money, in less time, with her attention split among three people.
S**** was hurt and disappointed by this development, as was I. However, she is a greatly patient and tolerant individual and accepted the situation stoically. In spite of her best intentions though, the demands placed upon her took a toll on her health. She worked at home, she worked on vacations. Go in early, stay late. She was even in the office checking things the week her daughter got married. It affected her physically and emotionally. As a married man, I hope you can relate to the concern I had for my wife and her well being.
Imagine our surprise then, returning from Italy in 2009, to be met with the indignity of being accused of 'talking too much to the other women', 'making too many mistakes' and 'not getting things done'. Most people think getting an office is a perk, but S**** got hers as punishment so that she could be isolated. (It should be noted that this change was handled in the same covert and thoughtless manner that resulted in her working for three planners.) Of course, she's human and makes mistakes, but I know that S**** is meticulous, rarely ever makes errors and when they do occur, she has always been able to correct them so that there has not been lasting or detrimental consequences. Bottom line - the cases went through, the clients were happy and you got paid.
We discussed this behaviour on many occasions and, most times, had to agree to disagree. I maintained, and still do, that the treatment meted out to her was unfair, unprofessional and predictably misogynist. To my frequent chagrin & frustration, she would always want to see the good in people and situations that I felt were not worthy of her time and attention. My constant refrain was that she deserved better. The great irony of it is I believe that neither, you, K** nor M*** would want your respective wives & daughters to be subject to these circumstances. I would hazard a guess that, if I were to show the same fundamental disrespect, there would be no end to the invective leveled at me. For all of your sakes, I sincerely hope your spouses and children are shown the common decency that I expect for my wife.
At this point, it should be apparent that S**** was never 'just about the money'. It was never just the dollar amount it was about all of the above and sheer apathy on the part of *** to take an interest in its people. That *** has lost some of its best administrators should be a cause for alarm and introspection though, I have a feeling it will not.
Since we're on the subject of money, if I may be so bold, I wish to make the following comments. It is my understanding that you informed S**** that "$7000 p/a wouldn't make a difference" in our lives. I am afraid that you are not in a position to know what would or would not make a difference to our lives. If you believe the sum to be so trivial, then can I assume that you would have been happy to raise her pay by the same amount?
Secondly, neither of us are in a position to dictate what other people's spouses should do. I do not answer to you, nor am I obliged to extend any sort of explanation. To clarify - I have a job. I am self employed and work in the field of healthcare. I am well trained, very experienced and have helped many people to heal, often in situations where conventional approaches have been less than satisfactory. I am solely responsible for every client I find and maintain. Every penny I make goes to the upkeep and well being of my family. Respectfully, my earnings are not your concern just as I have no knowledge or interest in your finances. I chose this career for the good it brings to the world, not because I thought I'd make a fast buck. If it was just about money, I'd go back to working in an office. The pettiness and inanity of office politics was, in part, what drove me to take a different path in the first place. Furthermore, it matters not in the slightest whether I am worth $1 or $100,000 a year. That is utterly immaterial to the fact that S**** deserved better for all the good will and effort she put in over the years. After all, it wasn't me signing her pay checks.
In closing, we all have our respective burdens to bear. Yours is finding a new assistant as S****'s is to get settled into a new job. You can blame her leaving on her, me, money, the women in the office etc. Hell, blame the President or Mercury being retrograde, it's of no odds to me. The truth is that she left because it was the most appropriate course of action for our life. I hope that you can understand and honour that, even though her actions may have inconvenienced you. It's not money, or spite or being 'under the influence of negativity in the office' it's simply this - negligence. Due care, attention and a sense of personal culpability would have yielded a much different outcome.
Best wishes for the future.
PS FYI. Some time back S**** wrote a letter outlining her concerns and grievances. You refused to believe she was even capable of writing such a letter. You were wrong. I had no hand in that as it was all her doing. People often underestimate her, it's not a mistake I make.