Weird Situation

Hi Core77 people. I recently find myself in a weird compensation situation. I was promoted about 7 months ago where I work, this promotion came with a lot more responsibility and a slight pay raise. At the time I stated that the raise didn’t align with the promotion, but I wanted the experience so I took it with an agreement that in 6 months my performance would be evaluated. At the time of the promotion I stated what range I would like to be in and I was told at the 6 month assessment that would be a possibility.

The quirk, I have not had an evaluation and my boss has just resigned, would it be inappropriate to discuss this with him before he leaves? In addition I will likely be picking up some of his responsibility in the interim until we find his replacement.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

Yes, definitely have the conversation. Did you get anything in writing by chance? If not, see if he can communicate your agreement to his superior.

Thanks Yo, foolishly enough I did not get this in writing as I trust my boss and we have a good working relationship, but with him leaving I had concerns that who I will report to in the interim is not necessarily plugged in to our day to day.

I’ll take your advice and talk to him. Thanks again.

He’ll understand your concerns, probably.
One can only help people, who talk…

That happened to me once, almost exactly as you described it. Someone posted this the other day, but I’m going to repost it here.

and advise you to say:

Really watch it though if you haven’t seen it before, it’s hilarious, but not in a tell you boss off and get fired way, more in a very well presented important message to fellow designers way.

You’re probably worth the raise you are supposed to be getting about now, so confidently and respectfully go ask for it.

That was a good watch, even though I don’t do freelance anymore.

So, update, the day before my boss left I talked to him about it, he said that he had already let my interim manager know about our agreement. Sure enough I’m picking up some of his responsibilities, mostly the ones that my interim boss, a Sales Director, is “above” doing. I know that I won’t make any headway with him, he’s the kind of boss you actually have to schedule time with. The day after my boss left this guy met with me for about ten minutes and told me that my boss leaving was a good opportunity for me and that I should step it up, my boss was also a close confidant and a personal mentor…some nerve.

Upper management kind of freaked when my old boss left, he was the Creative Director, and he shield me and my team from lots of sales driven bullshit. So, I went to the HR director a week or two later to give her a heads up on the agreement; she was unaware. I told her that I was starting to get more work piled on me and that since the company has not even made good on the agreement based on my prior workload that I was feeling compelled to pack it up myself, she understood.

So that’s where I’m at, I currently manage a team of 5 designers, next week I am planning to go back to HR and request a demotion to Senior Designer and they can let someone else deal with this crap. Has anyone ever done this, is that inadvisable?

You don’t have anything in writing till now? Be aware I am not american, but over
here that would complicate the situation a little.

“The HR was unaware of the situation.”
Till now you get luke warm talk from everyone but no real result. Can’t you commit your
new boss to solve the situation?

Walking up to the HR girl and giving her the “or else…” talk won’t lead anywhere. I wouldn’t
expect her to have the rights and competence to change anything. HR doesn’t give anybody
a raise, they just administer the raises.

Or is it different with your company?


It complicates things here too, but like I said I trusted my old boss and I had no idea he was going to leave, it was a shock to a lot of people, still, my fault.

No, my team is under him temporarily and so he won’t care and will most likely put me off so that he doesn’t have to deal with it, but I’m going to bring it up to him anyway.

It didn’t go down like that, I brought it up in a meeting I had with her and it was confidential. I didn’t put it as “or else”, I put it as this was an agreement by a director of the company and I took this position based on it, if the company won’t make good on that commitment then I don’t have any other choice, I can’t work somewhere that doesn’t honor commitments to their employees. Just because my old boss isn’t here doesn’t mean he wasn’t a representative of the leadership and I think he would back it up if they contact him.

They do only administer the raises, but I wanted it on record with her.

Put that way it sounds much more reasonable. They should make good on your
agreement within some weeks. Most employers play fair as they are clearly interested
in attracting the best talent for their money.

keep us updated on this one.


Apparently not at my company, it is a revolving door for young talent, the average age is like 40+, and we have lots of tenured people with no degrees who came up from production level positions. I should just leave myself…

So I meet weekly with the president of the company, after my last update I brought it up to him casually to see if he had heard anything because ultimately he and the board would have the final say, he hadn’t heard anything about it, suggested that I talk to my interim boss.

My interim boss travels extensively, I had to wait about two more weeks until he was back in the office and schedule time to talk to him. I met with him on several items and I saved the one about my agreement for last. He acknowledged that my boss had mentioned something about it to him, but not a number, so I gave him one. I could tell that there had not been any progress on this because the HR Director and the President hadn’t heard about it from him. He said he would “take a look at it” and see if we can “figure something out”. The next day he left for China for 3 more weeks…

I’m going to go back to HR again at the end of the week to get on record that he and I had talked about it and to find out if there is any movement on it, and if not I will submit documentation for my immediate demotion to Senior Designer if nothing is done within 1 week. I have been patient, professional, fair, and honest in how I’ve dealt with this and I am dismayed that this is how my company treats its management. It is already proving difficult for them to replace the Creative Director, and the same will apply to trying to find a replacement for the Design Manager, we have experience in a very niche industry within design and relevant talent is not easy to find, not to mention our company learning curve is huge. I would’ve expected better than this…

Talk to the HR director today, and sure enough my interim boss had not mentioned anything about it before he left for China. No surprise there. I told her I felt my current pay is fair for that of a senior designer and if no action is taken I would submit the relevant documentation to demote myself. She understood. So, I’ll give it week, after that, back to designing.