Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Plight of an Underpaid Worker

Yes, I am aware that many people feel underpaid. To some, they will never be happy with their pay. Others will complain but never actually attempt to change their situation and have a sense of complacency or fear of "at least some work is better than nothing." Others still are smart, educated, multilingual, and are making horrible entry level money for companies that supposedly offer room for advancement, but actually keep their employees at nearly poverty wages with goals that are ridiculous yet linked to your advancement opportunities.

I have not been paid this little since I was 18 years old. I'm bilingual and have lots of technical training for my job. Since I'm the only one in my store that speaks Spanish, I have actually lost sales that should have been mine because I swapped with someone to translate and give technical support.  Not making my numbers costs me money. I refuse to deny someone basic customer service, There is no room for advancement in my place of work. The manager has a difficulty managing his life outside of work making our chances at career success dismal at best.

Why do I stay? I don't have anywhere else to go right now. Nepotism runs rampant on the island and a good chunk of career opportunity is directly tied to whomever you may be related to, drink and party with, or brown-nosed the week before. Instead, I get stuck at a dead end job that was supposed to be a good career opportunity simply because it's better than nothing. I struggle daily with the decision to just call it quits and, like the unfortunate many of my generation, and move home. Multiple incomes are what it takes now. Gone are the days when a single income could carry a middle class family. Maybe more roommates and give up my illusion of privacy. It's sad. And worse, I am not alone. Statistically, more and more people in my generation have degrees and no jobs. The ratio of cost of living to payrate is far worse  than it has been for previous generations. The cost of college is higher. The jobs don't pay.

There is a bottleneck in the sciences for people scrambling for the same decent positions.

There's a lack of funding that makes it so teaching isn't a viable source of income.

Trade positions pay horrid wages but expect experience. No one will give the experience.

What's a woman to do? At this point, I'm scared of my option. Going back to school to incur more debt for something that isn't a guarantee is ridiculous. The odds aren't even worth that wager. It's sad when more education doesn't mean more opportunities. At my age, it means less opportunity. I will continue the search. I will not loose hope. I will not let everything go to waste. I refuse to believe that as the workforce gets older, they will keep the younger from moving up and attaining great positions.  There is a way and I will overcome. I may not end up the scientist I dreamed of working for National Geographic. I may not play around the world.  But I will try to find the balance. I will not be deterred.

Zen moment....

1 comment:

Maritza said...

I know just how you feel. And it's a damn shame the gov't does nothing to help it's own. But yet other countries get what rightfully belongs to us.