Originally Published: March 2, 2017 6:04 a.m.
Dear Annie: I have 38 years of experience in the health care industry. I love my job and co-workers. I’ve been at my present job for 11 years. “Good work ethics, dependability, loyalty and honesty” is my work mantra. My co-worker “Samantha” has been here for a little over two years. She is doing a great job. Our duties are comparable. I enjoy working with her and care for her very much.
But she is a very close friend of my employer’s and of my office manager’s, and some time ago, I learned that she is making the same hourly wage as I am. Her past experience was teaching preschool.
Needless to say, it has been hurtful; I feel slighted, and it has rattled my work confidence. Over the past 10 years, I have turned down three job offers that would have paid me a higher wage. My employer doesn’t know this or realize my loyalty to the office. Retirement is three or four years away for me, but in the meantime, I would like to be treated fairly, and I don’t know how to handle this situation. Could you please offer me a solution or some advice? — Undervalued
Dear Undervalued: Your experience speaks to the power of perspective. You went from being extremely satisfied to feeling cheated, not because of any change in your job or the way your employer treated you but because you gained knowledge about your co-worker’s salary. Still, I understand why you’re irritated.
If you haven’t gotten a raise in a while, now is the perfect time to request one. Highlight your dedication and work ethic to your manager just as you did in your letter. And if you don’t get the answer you’re looking for, make peace with the situation. Get back to your mantra. Keep your eyes on the horizon and that promising rainbow that is retirement. You’re fortunate to have a job you love enough to turn down higher-paying offers. Not many people can say that.
Dear Annie: So many people write to you about negativities in their lives. I wanted to write to you about a positive.
On Valentine’s Day, my wife and I celebrated our 47th wedding anniversary.
In the mid-1960s, I lost a son; then in January 1969, I lost my first wife. I found myself single, living in a rural area with five children. I was overwhelmed.
In late 1969, I went on a blind date with my current wife. I told her I had five children, and she said, “So?” This was unlike the one or two other dates I had gone on before; those women would not even let me drive them home when I mentioned my five children.
I drove home saying to myself, “I’m going to marry that woman!”
I feel blessed that my marriage has been full of love and respect. We made a vow to each other when we got married never to go to bed angry at each other. It was hard a few times, but we did it.
I am ready for another 47 years with her. I love her. — Larry G.
Dear Larry: Thank you very much for sharing your story. Life handed you some pretty sour lemons, and you made sweet lemonade. I am so happy for you and your wife and am sure that your son and first wife are smiling down from heaven.
What I love most about your letter is your gratitude. Having an attitude of gratitude has been scientifically proved to have many health benefits. A study from the University of California, Berkeley found that people who practice gratitude have stronger immune systems, lower blood pressure, fewer aches and pains,
and better nights’ sleep. Stay thankful.
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