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Young-Guy Framer
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First off, let me start by saying I have a great boss and love working for him. He's taught me a ton, and I'm extremely grateful for that. However, for the last couple of months, I've felt that I'm underpaid. Recently, it's gotten to the point where I'm actually distracted at work, thinking I should be making more. I love my job, and money is the last thing I want to be thinking about during work.

Today after work, I spoke to my boss about this. To say the least, he's being reluctant to give me a raise. 9 months ago, I was hired at $13/hour. I was essentially a labourer and cut guy. Today, thanks mostly to boss's teaching, I have enough knowledge, speed, and ability that my boss is comfortable leaving the jobsite on a daily basis, leaving me in charge of whatever we are doing. Granted, there are some parts of the the house that he still needs to be there for, but for much of the house, I am able to effectively get work done and answer every question our other employee has regarding whatever we are doing.

I looked up postings for other companies looking to hire someone of my ability and experience. Wages in our area range from $16-20/hour. Currently, I'm being paid $14/hour. When I brought this up with my boss, he said he doesn't give raises more than one dollar every six months (two bucks a year). I told him that I thought I should be paid according to ability rather than time spent working for him. I then proceeded to list reasons why I think I'm worth at least $16, none of which my boss objected to. I also asked if he knew any $14/hour workers who could do what I do, to which he had no answer to. His concern seems to be, if I get a $3 increase this year, I'm going to expect a $3 increase next year and so on. I told him once again that I expect to be paid based on ability. If I'm good enough to deserve another 3 dollars next year, I feel I should get it. If I don't progress enough? Tough chit for me, I don't deserve a raise simply for putting in time. Furthermore, it was revealed to me that our "new guy" (who requires constant direction from me) makes only a dollar less per hour than me, which I find slightly offensive, considering how much more work I get done than him, and how many more tasks I'm expected to perform.

We went back and forth for a bit before our builder showed up. I told my boss that we'll talk later, and let him go to discuss what he had to about the house we're currently framing. That's pretty much where we stand now. I'd really appreciate anyone willing to give a 3rd party opinion on the subject. I'm still a fairly young kid (21) who tends to have his arrogant head up his :censored: sometimes, so I'd love to hear some insight from a someone with more experience than me.

PS. I hope I'm not violating any pricing policies on the site by giving exact figures of wages. If I'm out of line here, please let me know so I can edit the post.
 

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thehockeydman said:
First off, let me start by saying I have a great boss and love working for him. He's taught me a ton, and I'm extremely grateful for that. However, for the last couple of months, I've felt that I'm underpaid. Recently, it's gotten to the point where I'm actually distracted at work, thinking I should be making more. I love my job, and money is the last thing I want to be thinking about during work.

Today after work, I spoke to my boss about this. To say the least, he's being reluctant to give me a raise. 9 months ago, I was hired at $13/hour. I was essentially a labourer and cut guy. Today, thanks mostly to boss's teaching, I have enough knowledge, speed, and ability that my boss is comfortable leaving the jobsite on a daily basis, leaving me in charge of whatever we are doing. Granted, there are some parts of the the house that he still needs to be there for, but for much of the house, I am able to effectively get work done and answer every question our other employee has regarding whatever we are doing.

I looked up postings for other companies looking to hire someone of my ability and experience. Wages in our area range from $16-20/hour. Currently, I'm being paid $14/hour. When I brought this up with my boss, he said he doesn't give raises more than one dollar every six months (two bucks a year). I told him that I thought I should be paid according to ability rather than time spent working for him. I then proceeded to list reasons why I think I'm worth at least $16, none of which my boss objected to. I also asked if he knew any $14/hour workers who could do what I do, to which he had no answer to. His concern seems to be, if I get a $3 increase this year, I'm going to expect a $3 increase next year and so on. I told him once again that I expect to be paid based on ability. If I'm good enough to deserve another 3 dollars next year, I feel I should get it. If I don't progress enough? Tough chit for me, I don't deserve a raise simply for putting in time. Furthermore, it was revealed to me that our "new guy" (who requires constant direction from me) makes only a dollar less per hour than me, which I find slightly offensive, considering how much more work I get done than him, and how many more tasks I'm expected to perform.

We went back and forth for a bit before our builder showed up. I told my boss that we'll talk later, and let him go to discuss what he had to about the house we're currently framing. That's pretty much where we stand now. I'd really appreciate anyone willing to give a 3rd party opinion on the subject. I'm still a fairly young kid (21) who tends to have his arrogant head up his :censored: sometimes, so I'd love to hear some insight from a someone with more experience than me.

PS. I hope I'm not violating any pricing policies on the site by giving exact figures of wages. If I'm out of line here, please let me know so I can edit the post.
You have every right to ask for a raise based upon the skill set you have acquired. But if you are serious about jumping up it is also going to require a lot more responsibility as you eats **** if stuff goes wrong on site.
 

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Young-Guy Framer
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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
You have every right to ask for a raise based upon the skill set you have acquired. But if you are serious about jumping up it is also going to require a lot more responsibility as you eats **** if stuff goes wrong on site.
I want the responsibility. Boss mentioned to me that every now and then, he'll catch something I did wrong an not mention it to me. I told him I want him to mention it to me. I told him I didn't become a good hockey player by having coaches who let imperfections go un-noticed. If I :censored:ed up on the rink, I heard about it loud and clear. I told the boss that I'm not a sensitive guy and if he needs to scream at me, by all means do it (FYI, my boss isn't really a screamer). Bottom line is I want to be the single best damn framer in my province. And if that means getting my butt kicked everytime I make even the smallest of mistakes, bring it on.
 

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Young-Guy Framer
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
You already sound like a disgruntled employee & your boss is aware of it.

To show you that you are not worthy of a raise your boss may start picking apart your work which will further infuriate you.

Look for another job while he is still a good reference.
This certainly wasn't what I was hoping to hear. I should've mentioned that I'm generally extremely happy, motivated, and hard working at work. I have only one issue with my job, which is my current wage. I don't consider myself a disgruntled employee, and would say I have a fantastic relationship with my boss, money aside. I'd hate to leave, since my boss appears to be one of the few framers left in our area who takes pride in his work. I've yet to come across a crew that does better work.

Nonetheless, I appreciate the advice and will take it into consideration.
 

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This goes on all the time, everywhere. Don't be bitter about your situation, though. This is business and it get's confusing at times, esp. when you like a job. Sometimes it's just time to move on. You do that by lining things up (on your own time), careful consideration, and then doing it. There's always a risk, just like there's a risk for him by not increasing your wage. (Frankly, if you're as good as you seem, he's screwing up and it's not for you to teach him.) So when the time comes, you thank them for the time and experience, etc. and go from there.

I got into this business full time when I was in my late 30's. I knew how to do a lot of things since I was young, since my grandfather was into rental property and I helped fix units on the weekends from very young. One day in my 30's I got out of the white collar b.s. world and took a job with a remodel contractor to test myself and "learn what I didn't know". Turned out I learned some things, but also knew a lot and could get things done. He did a similar thing by starting me very low and said "there's always room to move up". Then reality gets in the way. I could do what 2 guys could, then he started asking me to pick up the other guy, etc. (for no $$), then watch him (for no $$) ....basically wanted a manager for worker wages. So we had our talk, he thought he was generous with a $1 bump...and here I am on my own. Turned out great.

Good luck for if/when it happens. It's a good thing, and congrats also at the work to invested to put yourself in this position...and at such a youthful age. Nice job. :thumbup:

BTW, your boss is not blind enough to think you leaving is not a possibility. He's just doing what he does. It usually works out without too much hard feelings.
 

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Punching above his weight
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I haven't bought a beer in Canada in a few years so I don't really know what the exchange rate is like these days, but I know that at 9 months in I was making $14 an hour US. Within a year or two I was at 18.
If you like where your company is taking you and you feel like your boss treats you fairly I might stick around until Christmas time and have this talk again at the New Year. October is not really the best time to be looking for new employment since we all slow down when it cools off. Work your ass off for $14/hr for the next couple months if you have a good working environment(trust me, that's worth the difference between 14 and 16) then revisit it in the new year. Once you've got a year under your belt that will mean something to your boss if he values time logged. It should also mean something to him if he can send you and a helper to a site with no supervision and you get him paid. I would think that would certainly be worth $16 US, if not more.

Good luck man. Sucks fighting for what you're worth.

Edit: Me no spell good.
 

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Be careful!

You already sound like a disgruntled employee & your boss is aware of it.

To show you that you are not worthy of a raise your boss may start picking apart your work which will further infuriate you.

Look for another job while he is still a good reference.
"The grass always looks greener on the other side"

You can ask the question, but you only know one side of the story and you are telling only your side. There are many things that are as important as the quality and quantity of your work such as your ability to work with others, personality, ability to complete a job that has special circumstances, ability to learn and grow.

One of the most important abilities I like about an employee is one who can get along with everyone, an employee who likes everyone, an employee who is liked by everyone, who is willing to work and help everyone, and especially, an employee who knows how to properly negotiate everything with everyone.

I don't mind an employee asking for a raise and I have no problem with not giving the raise because I have a thousand things I like to consider I usually will give a raise only when I think the time is right. It is easy for an employer to give a raise and very difficult to take the money back when the employer makes a mistake. Therefore, I might want to keep evaluating an employee for several more months before giving the raise he asks for.

Bottom line is! Be patient and wait it out for a while because it is not good to rush your boss because he may just need time.
 

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Young-Guy Framer
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks a lot for the advice guys. Just got off the phone with the boss. He says he's willing to bump me up to $15 right now, but isn't comfortable going any higher as that's already faster than his wage increase schedule. He said he hoped that wouldn't cause me to look for work elsewhere. While I let him know that I'm still not happy at $15, I told him that I also value loyalty. I know that I wouldn't be half the framer I am today without him taking the time to teach me (and no doubt, in some cases early on, losing money on me). So I'll be sticking around and will keep working for him.

I also said that I'm able to see this issue as strictly business, and I hope he is able to do the same. While I still feel I'm worth more than I'm paid, I gave him my word that in no way will it affect my attitude or performance at work. I also told him that I expect the same out of him and his attitude towards me. My boss seemed pretty happy to hear this, and I believe it'll work out. He said that he'll start paying more attention to my progress, and will continue to try and advance my knowledge.

So in the end, while my wage is still an unresolved issue to a point (though now to a lesser degree), for the time being I will keep learning under a great framer, I will keep loving my job, and we'll keep putting up some of the best houses in the province together (something that's worth a lot more to me than $1/hour).

Again, thanks to everyone for the advice.
 

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Punching above his weight
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Solid, man.

Kick as much ass as you can possibly kick until New Year's(buy a bigger hammer if you have to) then revisit the idea of $16. If you can be at $16/hr at the end of a year, while being the on site supervision, you're looking good. I would take that in a heartbeat at 21.
 

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From a Boss's perspective:

I hired you when you knew next to nothing (9 months ago)

You worked hard and improved a lot (due to his/my great teaching and patience)

I bumped you up a buck an hour in the first 6 months

I OCCASIONALLY leave you for a couple hours while I run an errand.

You complain that after only 9 months here, your need for money is so great that it is affecting your work.



I think it may be time to move on and experience some hard knocks. I think the boss has held up his end so far. Getting two substantial raises after 9 months of on the job training is very rare indeed. He really values you to do that for you. I am not so sure that you value him the same way.
 

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stacker of sticks
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I worked for 6 years from 5 to 7 bucks an hour, then paid $35000 to a trade school to teach me. Then I got out and was making 15 an hour. It sounds like you're still green to me. I'm not sure of your abilities, or pay rate in you're area, but around here guys with 15 years experience are making 22 to 30 an hour.
Slow down and learn something.
 

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Chief outhouse engineer
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At nine months you have only been a breath of fresh air. After three years, the boss will know if he can trust you to safely get a job done on your own or supervising others. At this point he has no idea if you will stick around all winter or not.

You need to cool your jets and keep your head down. I have found that the guys who think they are the next superman are the biggest pain. The guys who show up, shut up and put up are the ones that get fast tracked on money and responsibility. Constantly badgering for a raise is quickly going to get you less money cause he will call the other guys when things are slow.
 

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GC/carpenter
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Problem is you may not find another teacher to finish teaching you what you don't know. Trust me, you don't know a lot at only nine months. Sounds to me like you have yourself a golden opportunity, but your ego is getting in your way.
 

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Some great advice above. I seem to have overlooked the very short time you spent there and in this line of work. Add to that the great opportunity to learn how to do it right, and that you have lots of hours/week. Sounds like a winner for now.

Great comment about blowing one's own horn too much too early.
 

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From a Boss's perspective:

I hired you when you knew next to nothing (9 months ago)

You worked hard and improved a lot (due to his/my great teaching and patience)

I bumped you up a buck an hour in the first 6 months

I OCCASIONALLY leave you for a couple hours while I run an errand.

You complain that after only 9 months here, your need for money is so great that it is affecting your work



I think it may be time to move on and experience some hard knocks. I think the boss has held up his end so far. Getting two substantial raises after 9 months of on the job training is very rare indeed. He really values you to do that for you. I am not so sure that you value him the same way.
Absolutely, as a employer couldn't agree more
 

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Young-Guy Framer
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks a lot for the feedback guys. I especially appreciate hearing what some of you had to say from a boss's perspective.

With regards to Warren, needing money had nothing to do with wanting the raise. I actually started my own company while in university as a business student, and did fairly well for myself. Though I'm no millionaire, I did make enough to buy myself a nice truck (2008 Chevy) and I have some money in the bank. I got into framing because I didn't see myself enjoying the white collar gig full time for the rest of my life (though I still run my business on the side).

I'm an extremely competitive person by nature, and as I result, love to measure myself. On the job, it drives me to see how fast I can sheet a floor, build walls, fill in trusses, etc while still creating quality work that I can stand back an be proud of. This same competitive drive associates my wage with how much I am worth as a framer.

Though I feel this trait has served me well for the most part in life, it has gotten me in trouble at times. Perhaps I'm out of line right now, perhaps not.

I still feel I'm worth more than I'm getting paid. That being said, my main takeaway from today's experience is that my focus moving forward needs to be on becoming the absolute best framer I can possibly become. For now, I guess that means finding a new way to define my overall worth as a framer, since I can no longer count on my wage to be it.
 

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Thanks a lot for the feedback guys. I especially appreciate hearing what some of you had to say from a boss's perspective.

With regards to Warren, needing money had nothing to do with wanting the raise. I actually started my own company while in university as a business student, and did fairly well for myself. Though I'm no millionaire, I did make enough to buy myself a nice truck (2008 Chevy) and I have some money in the bank. I got into framing because I didn't see myself enjoying the white collar gig full time for the rest of my life (though I still run my business on the side).

I'm an extremely competitive person by nature, and as I result, love to measure myself. On the job, it drives me to see how fast I can sheet a floor, build walls, fill in trusses, etc while still creating quality work that I can stand back an be proud of. This same competitive drive associates my wage with how much I am worth as a framer.

Though I feel this trait has served me well for the most part in life, it has gotten me in trouble at times. Perhaps I'm out of line right now, perhaps not.

I still feel I'm worth more than I'm getting paid. That being said, my main takeaway from today's experience is that my focus moving forward needs to be on becoming the absolute best framer I can possibly become. For now, I guess that means finding a new way to define my overall worth as a framer, since I can no longer count on my wage to be it.

You said that your thinking about being underpaid was affecting your work. I was there also many years ago. I started with a big crew at 18 and was paid $4.50 an hour. About a buck more than minimum wage. Within two years, I was running a framing crew with little supervision on some easy peasy condos. I had guys under me who were paid slightly more. While it bothered me, it never affected my work. I ended up becoming a part owner of the company eventually, and stuck around for 9 years.

You gotta pay your dues, no matter what. No way that in 9 months you have paid many dues yet. I have seen hundreds of guys come and go. You seem to have all the attributes that will make you a great framer. Don't let your ego get in the way.
 

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I also said that I'm able to see this issue as strictly business, and I hope he is able to do the same. While I still feel I'm worth more than I'm paid, I gave him my word that in no way will it affect my attitude or performance at work. I also told him that I expect the same out of him and his attitude towards me. .
For your boss it is strictly business. I doubt a 9 month employee talking to me like he was the boss would last too long. Best of luck to you, just don't over estimate your value.
 

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Young-Guy Framer
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
You said that your thinking about being underpaid was affecting your work. I was there also many years ago. I started with a big crew at 18 and was paid $4.50 an hour. About a buck more than minimum wage. Within two years, I was running a framing crew with little supervision on some easy peasy condos. I had guys under me who were paid slightly more. While it bothered me, it never affected my work. I ended up becoming a part owner of the company eventually, and stuck around for 9 years.

You gotta pay your dues, no matter what. No way that in 9 months you have paid many dues yet. I have seen hundreds of guys come and go. You seem to have all the attributes that will make you a great framer. Don't let your ego get in the way.
Sorry for the confusion. When I said I was distracted at work, I meant on a daily basis the thought of my wage would cross my mind. The fact that something other than work was bugging me regularly during... well... work... was bothering me. That being said, I would never let something like that actually affect the quality of my work. As far as I'm concerned, my work is a reflection of myself. And that's worth a heck of a lot more to me than my wage.

As I said above, when I spoke to my boss on the phone, I promised him that even though I feel I'm worth more than he's paying me, I will never let it affect my work. If money was more important to me than my work, I wouldn't be framing right now.

Thank you again for taking the time give me your advice. It's nice that some guys who have actually accomplished something in the industry are willing to try to set a pig-headed, hyped-up, all-gains-no-brains young guy down the right path :thumbsup:.
 
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