An open letter to any gullible sensitive folks who want to send me money.

I am disappointed in life and I deserve more. Please feel sorry for me and send me money.

Thirty years ago, I joined an organization in an entry level IT role at not quite minimum wage, but close. I was the lowest seniority guy so I got the crap shifts (can you believe it…me! I should be running the damn place!). I spent a few years working 4pm to midnight on some days and midnight to 8am others…oh I “had” to learn the business (eyeroll). The job had crappy benefits…they offered access to me to buy medical insurance (but I had to pay for it), and a 401K that I could contribute to for my retirement. They had tuition reimbursement but you had to make at least a B average! Seriously! They also had “convenient” (down a flight of stairs, sheesh!) vending machines that I could use to trade money for snacks and drinks. Coffee was $.25. Can of soda: $.35. Damn it nearly broke me. I had to live with my parents…in a region of the country that actually had a pretty low cost of living!

BUT like an idiot I worked hard despite these awful conditions and pay…and was promoted into a management position, day shift (damn it’s about time…I was ready for it like the day I started working there!). Met my wife at this job, had 3 kids…thankfully our double income helped us get our own place…but we struggled…sometimes we had to eat canned soup for dinner more than ONCE a week! Money for movies and entertainment was scarce. One time my tire was flat and no one gave me cash to help me! I ended up helping a friend do a freelance job on the weekend to make some extra money to pay for it. I was humiliated. My job should have paid me enough to handle this contingency. I recall pulling a muscle in my leg doing that job. It hurt for a couple of days.

After a few years another company came along and recruited me. A 30% raise (but I am worth at least 50% more), same pay for medical BS and the 401k stuff. This company barely contributed to my retirement — only like up to 5% match. I did have a chance to work with some cutting edge technology and options to learn and develop more skills, but it’s a shame they didn’t do more for me. (One good thing…the coffee was free).

Well after 3 years another company came along, offered up a 35% raise (I took it, because apparently I am a sucker and will work WAY under my value.) It took me 7 years to make 110% of my original starting pay (which is what they should have started me at to begin with! I should be making like 250% more now!) Yeah, yeah I was a company executive…but sometimes my bosses didn’t take my advice and made decisions that I didn’t agree with…and that would PISS me off. Sometimes those decisions appeared to be correct but I think they made it seem that way to put me down.

After a few more years, against my wishes…they sold the company. The new ownership kept me on for 3.5 years, offered me other opportunities but didn’t fix my pay, didn’t give me any new benefits. Gave me the option of staying on in another position when they consolidated my department to the other side of the country but at this point…I am like SCREW THEM! I get a severance package, but since the stock price is below the strike price of my stock options, I can’t take advantage of those, I just have to settle for the cash I was given. I am almost positive they somehow manipulated the stock market to screw me out of tens of thousands of dollars.

I took some temporary consulting gigs but those suck because I am not in charge and they don’t utilize my skills and my understanding of my true value and calling. So I finally take another job (they met my salary demand…but they made me travel every week! I have kids and a wife! Don’t they care?) To rub salt in the wound a few years later that company sells and I lose my job! Still get a severance, but how dare they!

So I spend 18 months out of work…crappy economy. I have to dip into my savings during this time. I had to sell my house in the gated community. I had 2 kids in college. I had to rent a condo on the water that was cheaper and had two less bedrooms than my house! I still cannot believe that the government didn’t give me assistance…we are back on soup a couple times a week and the upstairs neighbors occasionally made noise once or twice a week! What the hell?

Finally get a new job, I’ll be learning a new high demand skill since the bulk of my expertise is in systems that don’t have much demand anymore. However, they want me to work for less than half what I was making before! I can’t believe it! I mean I realize that I don’t know what the hell I am doing yet, and I realize even though my salary is way above the median salary range for the US…it’s a lot less than what I was making before and MY value is what I made before…why don’t people understand this?

Fast forward a few more years to today…yeah so what…I love what I am doing, I make a little more money. I have great wife, kids, and now grandkids…but I am still well under what I was…my bank account is still about $50k lighter than it was before my job loss. I will probably have to work an extra 18–24 months past when I expected to retire now.

So I need money. Send what you can. I just paid for a daughter’s wedding, another daughter will likely be getting married within the year. My wife is eyeballing a nice hi-rise waterfront condo. I need a 70” 4k TV and I had soup for lunch. Please stop this oppression.

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