When 50 Grand becomes too much to handle…

“Fortune sides with him who dares.”
― Virgil

This happened a few years ago before I moved to Dubai and left my amazing job.

I sat in a small, congested, dim lighted conference room and waited for John who I previously referred to as JFK because of his initials. I had some major man crush on this tall nerdy HR Assistant Manager who I had a few interactions with during the lengthy hiring process which I went under, after being unemployed for almost 2 months.

So after enduring the huge fish bone pierced in my throat for about a week, waiting desperately for John to call me for results, I finally received a call Tuesday afternoon. It plucked my agony and shortly – caused me an aftershock.

He slid an envelope on the table which had my offer letter and a bunch of official documents. I didn’t open it until I was left alone to read my contract.

I like what I’m hearing John. Tell me more…

To make you understand how it shocked me, I need to re-tell my laborious work history.

Two years prior to this event, I was only earning 12,000 pesos. I know this sounds private but let’s be blunt about the details just for today. I studied Spanish because rumors say that it will increase my salary for 5,000 pesos more which isn’t that bad. I mean with all my regular expenses and credit card bills that time, that was already huge for me. But I had to sacrifice my current income to pay the school fees [although if I perform well, my company promised to reimburse my tuition] and I had to commit myself in studying for a bout a year or so – depending on how I can easily adopt to the language.

I got additional 5,000 pesos after a year from my company. Considering that my country is famous for stripping too much from its people’s income through taxes, I most likely took home 2,500 in addition to my basic salary – which is good enough.

Friends said that if I took a risk and break it off with my current company who I have been employed for almost seven years, I will make more money. But I was loyal that time which is why after leaving them for a year, [ I had some worthless affair with a semi-government owned office] I reconciled with them again and they took me back because I was one of their best employees. I was happy going back because that company fed and raised me well. In fact, I almost planned to retire there. But they don’t have retirement benefits. So leave it.

But one day Katie [one of my best girls who I have braved the bad weathers with for seven glorious years in that company including the years of my comeback] resigned from work. All of a sudden. In a snap. She was more feisty than anyone of us. She has more balls to leave and see if something better is out there. She was like Lina of City of Embers who escaped the underground city and found a passage on the surface of the earth. The first one to witness the sunrise. Damn. That was solid. The rest of us were just absolute wuss. Non-believers. It was too impossible to double our salary. It’s not going to happen. It seldom happens. It can’t possibly happen.

Katie left and never came back.

She phoned me to meet her for coffee one day. Her new company offered her 50 grand. Fifty thousand freaking pesos. I was dumbstruck. All these years, we were earning 12 – which to be honest (and no offense) makes us feel like we’re laborers in a shoe factory with no bachelors degree whatsoever.

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So there I was seated nervously in the conference room staring at John, back to my own reality. After eight months of re-thinking the possibility and channeling my inner optimist, I decided to quit my job too. Just forget the 17,000 pesos. Besides with all the taxes and other deductions cut from my salary to pay for a premium health card for my parents, I wouldn’t say I’m really getting what I know I deserved. And since I got rejected at Katie’s company (which was a little heartbreaking), I had to wait for 2 more anxious months, sending applications here and there hoping to rub a fraction of Katie’s great fortune on my poor sweating ass. I prayed big. So big that you will find me visiting Padre Pio’s church every week. I was jobless and I don’t want to settle for anything less. So I kept waiting. Until I found myself in a series of interviews with John.

I don’t know how much this new company has to offer but it would roughly be the same amount as Katie’s. I want to jump over John and grab the envelope from his hands just to get over it.  He continued blabbing about the company. As soon as he left the room to give me some privacy, I opened the envelope. I had to fill in some forms and sign a few company policies.

I finally read the offer.

When I came out of the conference room, I was speechless. I was a new born person. I obviously forgot about the entire man crush I had with John. I don’t remember if we shook hands or if he ever told me about my first day of training or if he ever gave me instructions on how to acquire an office badge. Everything was a blur. I was a walking blank space for the entire day.

I rang Katie. “Dude, they gave me 60 grand.”

Katie went nuts.

I continued. “And a signing bonus of 40 grand if I complete the training with no absences.”


Daily Prompt: Fifty

Photo Credit: abcnews.go, cambio.com, listal.com, addictedtoeddie.blogspot.com, reddit.com

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