A little over a year into my job at my current company back in January, I have a yearly meeting with my manager to discuss the progress I’ve made and to talk about what’s next. This is the meeting where we are supposed to discuss a potential pay raise but it’s the last topic of a predefined agenda.
So we spend a couple hours talking about how work has been for me. I started there as a junior developer with very little experience in the field but was quickly able to jump into a project with a fairly large codebase to help out the only other developer working on the project. Before long they’re so happy with me that they actually put me in charge of the application, which means my responsibilities evolve toward a whole lot more communication with the client and everything else that comes along with being in charge, including a lot of stress. I also salvaged another application initially developed by another company but that was so bugged it should’ve just been sent to the pits and rewritten from scratch. I was also asked to develop a couple POCs that were satisfactorily delivered.

Anyway, after almost two hours of going over my accomplishments and getting praises from my manager, we finally get to the part where we’re supposed to discuss a pay raise. He immediately cuts me off by saying the subject is not on the table due to the current crisis and our company struggling to make ends meet. I tell him I understand how hard it must be for them but also explain that I know for a fact other companies in the field are still making financial efforts to reward employees they’re happy with. He responds by saying that he’s aware of that, but he also “knows” that those same companies are laying off people that don’t deserve to be laid off despite the fact that they’re receiving government aid to stay afloat.
In the weeks following that meeting, I find out our company is doing the exact same thing my manager was condemning (laying off good people, taking massive advantage of government aid) and all the while not giving anybody a raise.
In any case, I really felt like that meeting was huge waste of time. What’s the point of going over everything I’ve done, congratulating me for my great work and even promising to give me even more responsibility if you don’t want to reward me for any of it? Do you honestly think I’m working hard so I can get a pat on the back or brownie points from you? I’ve got a family to take care of and I am trying to make their lives a little better each day by putting in hard work. But if hard work and climbing the latter of responsibility does not help me achieve that, what’s the point??

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    "But if hard work and climbing the latter of responsibility does not help me achieve that, what’s the point?"

    - Learning this very lesson.
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