Over a Year

It’s been over a year in the new position and for the most part I love it. The disconcerting thing is the money is dramatically short, and rapidly getting shorter as inflation ravages us. I’d forgotten and/or been less directly affected by it in the seventies and very beginning of the eighties. That and specific things over the years inflated more or less than the overall rate. So housing is insane. I believe rent would be $700-odd now versus 1982, had housing not been encouraged by the government to become less affordable under the banner of affordable and fair housing. I made almost as much in a bindery in shipping, in constant dollars, as I do now in a more advanced position in a more productive environment. Another comparison, entry level tech support in 1994, at more money than I’d ever made per hour but for which the employer was apologetic, is over $2 an hour more than I make now. Then I got a 6% raise after a year. Last time anything like that happened! That’s over $3 more than I make now, solidly into manager pay. Education being ridiculously inflated doesn’t affect me, but it does my kids.

So I’m in the weird position of loving what I do, mostly, and the people, mostly, and eating into savings, such as they are, and looking at a cliff where the money we have won’t be enough. We’re having trouble keeping a particular manager position filled. The latest departure went to pay that would be a 71% increase for me, probably not far off from that for him. It’s disconcerting to know I’m near the top of the pay range for my position, because they hired me with so much relevant background, experience, and time with the company. I may have to figure out how to package my skills and throw applications at the wall to see what happens. A surprising amount of the work is detective work. It’s akin to genealogy. Not something I’d have thought of promoting as a skill, or making a job around, in the past. On the other hand, in my tech support heyday we always said it wasn’t about knowing, but about knowing how to find out the answers.

I’m still trying to figure out the whole side gig thing. With the kids getting old enough to have jobs or business interests, I’m including them in my thinking. We’ll lose tax benefits of having kids as they age out, and benefits of having a sufficiently low income. I figure next year if we can come up with something that we might not have pursued because it would disrupt the cart, we’ll just go for it. Or help one or more kids go for any such ideas they may have that seem viable.

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