...Brought to you by frustration. Haven't seen a raise since we got 1% (or a bit less) in '07 -- yeah, it was a bit less, the recession slammed down -- and all but a very select few of my co-workers are in the exact same situation. (Most of the exceptions were artistes who had ironclad contracts and refused to consider such a thing as surrendering a scheduled raise. Funny coincidence, several of that crowd are no longer with us).
So, without a dime to spare for staff as prices climb, my employer's launched into a highly expensive makeover of the building. Now, we're in the business of selling sizzle, not steak, and the place has got to look the part; just as you don't go to a job interview in raggedy, out-at-the-knee jeans and T-shirt that's been through the wash too many times,* the edifice in the subbasements of which I toil must not, cannot, appear tatty or strapped for cash. I get that. If the money doesn't come in, it's sure as sunrise not gonna go out.
But it's still jarring to see. Add in a working situation where some folks seem to regard hostility just short of actionable as a real thrilling challenge and, well -- I genuinely regret never having earned a degree. I've seen how my siblings bounce from job to job to job, working at things with little or no connection to the disciplines in which they earned their M.A.s and it's quite obvious that the "stupid pieces of paper" I scoffed at really do open doors.
I wish I had that option. My job, turning gold into dross, is making me stupider and less patient every day I do it. Dammit, the laws about "hostile workplace" appear to have simply ensured a basal quantity of not-quite abuse and sniggering raillery just short of actionable -- exactly like the laws about cowflop and insect parts in ground meat have ensured you will indeed get just short of the Federally-mandated limit of each in every bite. Hey, Congress, another great success. Jerks.
* At least, that used to be done thing. These days, I suppose one simply has a quick delousing and perhaps one's tats freshened up for such occasions.