Need level headed advise.. I feel under appreciated.

TechJunkyTechJunky Member Posts: 881
Ok, so here is the long and short.

I am a Systems Administrator.

We have lost a few employees and I have had to take on their job roles along with my normal duties. I am now the onsite manager for the company as well as all other roles assigned.

We would be considered more of a outsourced IT department for most of our customers. When they have computer problems they contact us and we charge them $100hr with $50hr being the minimum of a call/onsite.

I have been raking in the owner so much cash... I also maintain their database for their ticketing system and point of sale system. So i can check my weekly sales. Anyhow, lets just say she is making about 1k a day off of me after she pays my daily pay, plus i do all the inhouse IT blah blah blah. If your an Admin you know where I am coming from.

I came on to this company because of the thought of a small company atmosphere and good employees moral. (This is Great!) However, I also took a substantial pay decrease... A good 20k decrease due to a better work environment. Now, I am doing more duties than I was previously when I was making 20k more for a different company.

I am making only 19hr without benefits, my wife has excellent bennies... But this is also something to account for because most employees making 19hr with bennies actually are making closer to 22-24hr.

Anyhow, now that I have a HUGE work load, i can maintain the load and it keeps me busy and the owner doesnt have a need to hire anyone else on. However, I feel I should be compensated for it, and plus if I didn't do it they dont have anyone else with the knowledge to do my duties... So I am very valuable at this point.

Since she doesnt have to pay 2 employees that she just let go, and I am now doing their duties and lets say at a low pay scale they were making 10hr. Thats 20hr she doesnt have to pay now. I know its really closer to 18hr per person, but anyhow.

So is asking for 25hr or I walk unreasonable? That's still only 52k a year.

Salary.com and cbsalary.com rate where I live at the low end at 60k, high end 111k.

My dad is an admin for a bigger company and he makes 85k a year, and has less experience/certifications than me. He also gets bennies. His company, since we do contract work has asked me a 4 times to come over to them. So I am not worried about not getting another job. I am just more upset that she hasnt paid me what I am worth yet.

Sorry for the LONG rant. Let's here your input.

Comments

  • TechJunkyTechJunky Member Posts: 881
    I have been there a year. I went from 18hr to 19hr...

    IMO thats pretty weak considering I told her when I came on that if I demonstrated my abilities that I wanted to be compensated for it.

    Lets just say every other non union shop I have worked for, my raises were pretty good. Again, I am not in it for the money per say... But I also am not giving my time/talent away for free. I would rather quit all together and be able to focus all my energy on school full time so when I get done with my engineering degree I could start out making the big bucks.

    I will defiantly approach her in a professional manner. There are a ton of System Admin positions open right now and I feel the timing is right. If it doesnt work out here I can either apply somewhere else or go to school.
  • networker050184networker050184 Mod Posts: 11,962 Mod
    I'd say start searching for something new while you still have a steady pay check. If you find something better than you can go and you won't have to rush. If you get a new offer tell your company and they might meet the offer to keep you there. Good luck in what ever you do.
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
  • blargoeblargoe Self-Described Huguenot NC, USAMember Posts: 4,171 ■■■■■■■■■□
    So is asking for 25hr or I walk unreasonable? That's still only 52k a year.

    Salary.com and cbsalary.com rate where I live at the low end at 60k, high end 111k.
    Whoa there big fella.

    First of all, don't ever present an ultimatum unless you have a fall back. Even then, it's usually not a good idea. If nothing, you need the support of the owner as a reference. It sounds like the experience you have gained over the past year is great, but you need the reference too. Asking for a 38% raise or else is not reasonable.

    Second, those internet salary surveys are bull ****. They take the average of everyone who has a title called system administrator and combine people who have worked for 6 months with people working 30 years and everyone in between. Your salary right now is a little on the low side but for a small company it isn't that low. I had an identical job to what you now hold for a couple of years, started as an intern at $10 and was hired on full time at $14/hr. I stayed with it as long as I could, being such a great work environment. And the breadth of experience I was getting to different types of businesses and levels of technology is a very big reason why I have been so successful now that I have moved on.

    Could you have gotten the exposure you are getting now elsewhere as quickly as you have gotten it with this company? Probably not. Are you being paid enough? Probably not. I am just saying, the nature of your current job is, a benefit in itself, a critical building block in your career.

    I would have a talk with the owner though, approach it from a positive angle but room for some improvement. Is she at least paying for your certs and/or training?

    How many total years as a system admin do you have under your belt?
    IT guy since 12/00

    Recent: 11/2019 - RHCSA (RHEL 7); 2/2019 - Updated VCP to 6.5 (just a few days before VMware discontinued the re-cert policy...)
    Working on: RHCE/Ansible
    Future: Probably continued Red Hat Immersion, Possibly VCAP Design, or maybe a completely different path. Depends on job demands...
  • sprkymrksprkymrk Member Posts: 4,884 ■■■□□□□□□□
    TechJunky wrote:
    We would be considered more of a outsourced IT department for most of our customers. When they have computer problems they contact us and we charge them $100hr with $50hr being the minimum of a call/onsite.

    I have been raking in the owner so much cash... I also maintain their database for their ticketing system and point of sale system. So i can check my weekly sales. Anyhow, lets just say she is making about 1k a day off of me after she pays my daily pay, plus i do all the inhouse IT blah blah blah. If your an Admin you know where I am coming from.

    In many cases "in-house" IT is a necessary overhead that costs the company money, and for them it is always a struggle to get raises or budgets. In your case, if you are actually a source of revenue for the company you should be compensated accordingly (but you already knew this). Assuming you work 8-10 hours a day, I am not sure how you figured you produce $1000 a day at $100 bucks an hour if you also handle the internal IT duties of 3 people, but I'll take your word for it. I know how "fractions of an hour" work sometimes with billable hours. Or did you also do sales? I just noticed that.

    TechJunky wrote:
    But this is also something to account for because most employees making 19hr with bennies actually are making closer to 22-24hr.

    Actually depending on the benefits I have seen figures much higher, up to 50% of your wage. So someone with your salary plus benefits might be closer to $30 an hour. Insurance, paid holidays/vacation, sick days, retirement, etc.

    TechJunky wrote:
    So is asking for 25hr or I walk unreasonable? That's still only 52k a year.
    I would think that's very reasonable. Another angle you could take is that you'd like to make that $25 an hour for in-house work (since you are doing the work of 3) and you want $35 an hour for your out source work. She can always make up for that by charging the customers a little more.

    A couple of things to keep in mind though - she is responsible for the liability if you screw something up. If you mess up something major on a customer's network she is the one who pays, her insurance goes up and her reputation goes down. She covers all the overhead costs of running a business too. In other words, she assumes all the risk for your actions. So temper your negotiations with that in perspective, and you should come up with a balanced and level headed plan. Finally, be ready to actually use your fall back plan with your dad's company, because sometimes these things have a way of causing resentment in the boss and it may make the working relationship hard. Good luck.
    All things are possible, only believe.
  • TechnowizTechnowiz Member Posts: 211
    How much you are making for your employer shouldn't really factor in. It will for them in determining the upper limit of what they can afford to pay a worker but that doesn't mean it is what they should pay. They are looking for the best value for what they are buying (your labor) just like you are looking to get the best deal for your labor. For example, even if they clear 100k+ in a year from your work why should they pay you 52k if they can find someone else to do the same thing for 30k? I'm not saying they can but that is how a business should approach compensation. On the other hand if you are worth 52k to another company that is willing to pay you that why would you accept a salary of 30k?

    If you agree to work for X dollars and she agreed to pay you X dollars, what she brings in from the work you do is irrelevant. You have no more expectation of a higher wage on that basis than she would have to reclaim some of your wages if she lost money instead of made money.

    Ultimately it is the market that determines the value of your skillset. If you are really worth what you are thinking then you should be able to get a job offer in that range. If you can't then you might be overestimating your market value.

    If she couldn't get someone else to do what you do for the same wage then I would definitely bring up the issue of a raise. If she refuses and you go to work somewhere that is paying you more and she has to spend more to replace you then that was a poor decision on her part.

    Either way there is no point in worrying or getting upset about it. Your real market value is whatever you can get offered, not what some salary survey says. If you want to gauge what that is you might form relationships with some recruiters in your area that place people similar to your education and experience level. They would be able to give you a better idea of what you can make than a salary survey.
  • TechJunkyTechJunky Member Posts: 881
    Thanks for the info.

    Yes, we charge minimum $50 dollars if the call/site visit is less than 15 minutes. $100 if over 15minutes.

    I handle atleast 10 minimums a day atleast. so... 50x10=$500. She just paid my wage today plus money in her pocket. I understand that the revenue I bring in doesnt affect my wage. However, like you stated she defiantly makes enough money off of me to be paying me more.

    I can garantee that she isnt going to find someone to do the work I do with the quality/expertise for as low of a pay as I make. I deal with the following all the time and quickly.

    SQL databases, Custom Crystal reports, database migration, database clustering, all the IT infastructure, design, implementation, fixes, updates etc, security, etc. I also deal with 3 different vendor specific software databases that I am certified in. You can not get the training from anywhere in state, this is only offered out of state and you have to be a Partner.

    I am now trying to help update their site because it looks like crap.

    I have been offered numerous times 60k offers. I had over 10 offers in the last 4 months. So I know I can get another job. Companies like BP, Providence Hospital (Number 1 Hospital in our State) Alaska Credit Union (Bank), Alaska USA (Bank), and a couple Big IT companies around town. I am pretty well known because I do contract work for a huge demographic in the State.

    I have 5 Years of System Administration. This is my 5th year. I have done System Administration for Big Fortune 500 companies, this is my first small company.

    So it's not that I dont have the know how, or experience... We had an understanding after a year that I would be paid equal to what I was making previously as long as I have met all her goals. (The old company I worked for said they will have an opening for me anytime if I want to come back, so I know I atleast have another for sure job. I call time to time just to make sure.) I have received my review and on all my marks I didn't receive one mark below "above expectations".

    So that's some of my background, and why I dont mind giving an ultimative.
  • TechJunkyTechJunky Member Posts: 881
    Ok, we had a company get together last night and after everyone else left I sat down with my owner/boss and explained the downfalls and short comings on her business structure and how her company as a whole could benefit from these changes/advancements. She explained to me that I could be part owner if I wanted. Of course, this means I have to buy in and be dedicated to this industry for a LONG time. I dont have the money to buy into her business right now, Her business is much like the armpit of the IT world and there is basically no room for technology growth in her business unless I was to open another department and take on full responsibility for its success or failure. All in all, I am at a cross roads right now.

    I also feel bad for her because if I leave, her business will go by the waste side, or she will now have to become a technician again until she finds someone else. We just fired 2 other employees and now she is thinking of firing another employee that is a key player. Yes, he has his quirks, but he does a good job with what he does. So really she could possibly lose her whole technology savvy staff is she is not careful.
  • blargoeblargoe Self-Described Huguenot NC, USAMember Posts: 4,171 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Times must be tougher for her than you realize.

    What you just spoke of sounds EERILY familar to a job that I worked a few years ago, the same one I spoke of earlier. Sort of the same type of shop, I became the lead guy, etc. Well finally I wanted to make more money and I definitely had the experience and knowledge to do so. Finally I was offered a raise and part ownership in the company as a vote of confidence in my abilities and commitment to the company. I took it, and all it did for me was take away my ability to earn overtime, and caused the owner to be over committed with payroll he couldn't afford. But instead of firing people, he just kept every one on board and paychecks started being late. I was a part owner and sometimes things like this happen or so I was told. I believed in the business model and I totally enjoyed working there and being an important part of things.

    Well finally I had to just call it quits as get me a corporate job, and eventually the shop I was working for went bankrupt. The owner was brilliant technically, but totally incompetent when it comes to executing a business plan. I ended up not getting paid about 2 months pay when it was all over with - they started paying me what they could back after I left, but eventually the business folded and secured creditors got paid first.

    Anyway, your situation seems a little similar to the one I went through. It worries me that competent people are being fired seemingly just to get them off the payroll. That doesn't make me feel good.
    IT guy since 12/00

    Recent: 11/2019 - RHCSA (RHEL 7); 2/2019 - Updated VCP to 6.5 (just a few days before VMware discontinued the re-cert policy...)
    Working on: RHCE/Ansible
    Future: Probably continued Red Hat Immersion, Possibly VCAP Design, or maybe a completely different path. Depends on job demands...
  • TechJunkyTechJunky Member Posts: 881
    Just to clarify,

    The receptionist/admin assistant was fired to save money. The assistant was not billing customers for various reasons that I do not wish to discuss. This was a SMART move. The other technician had an english major, was over paid and was IMO was WAY overpaid. He made prolly around what I make and did 1/8 of the workload I do and complained all the time.

    Both of these were really SMART moves on her part. However, if she decides to fire the other technician that is actually worth what he is being paid then I would agree this would be a bad decision.

    After firing the admin assistant we have already started making money on the deal. Customers are paying their delinquent accounts and they are no longer getting support until they pay. Plus customers are no longer getting free support.

    All in all I think she has great business ethics, she also realizes how to save money, IE: my wage being way below normal. However, we have been interviewing potential employees and there has not even been one potential candidate yet. Right now most people are back in college or must already have good paying jobs. So I think I should strike while the fire is hot.
  • sprkymrksprkymrk Member Posts: 4,884 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Since she offered you a partnership, why not work that into the deal? In lieu of "buying" into the business, work out a deal for just a little more money and then an incremental "buy-in" to the business. It would be similar to profit sharing that you throw back into the company. You would then have options to become a "silent" partner at some point where you could move on to other things while she runs the business. I am no legal or business expert, but I'm sure things like this are possible.
    All things are possible, only believe.
  • blargoeblargoe Self-Described Huguenot NC, USAMember Posts: 4,171 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Don't forget that if you take the part ownership, depending on how she incorporated you might assume partial liability too should things go south. If things go great, the reward may be worth the risk.

    I know it wasn't worth it in my case but she sounds like she is a better state than the owner that I worked for.
    IT guy since 12/00

    Recent: 11/2019 - RHCSA (RHEL 7); 2/2019 - Updated VCP to 6.5 (just a few days before VMware discontinued the re-cert policy...)
    Working on: RHCE/Ansible
    Future: Probably continued Red Hat Immersion, Possibly VCAP Design, or maybe a completely different path. Depends on job demands...
  • TechJunkyTechJunky Member Posts: 881
    Their business has been there for over 30 years, so I dont think they are going anywhere anytime soon. However, I dont think I want to stay here forever. I really want to get back into maintaining enterprise networks again with a company that has an IT budget. That is my biggest pet peeve with this company. Their IT budget is CRAP. When I first started most of my home rackmountable servers were better than the ones in their business. To me this is SAD. I will talk to my boss about a raise tomorrow and see what happens. Worse thing she can say is no and I can let her know that I may look elsewhere. I will be bringing in about 5 job postings in my area with their salary range that they pay so she knows I am not just blowing smoke up her ass either.
  • TechJunkyTechJunky Member Posts: 881
    Update for today.

    So I spoke with the owner/manager and this is the short of it.

    She explained that she was going to give me a paise raise anyhow. I explained what most people with my expertise were making $4500mo-6500mo in my area, and then showed her Tech I positions that made anywhere from 15hr-22hr or 40k-45k.

    I explained that I had a few others offers from different companies and that they were anywhere around 45k-60k. I told her to meet with me again and decide what she wants to do pay wise.

    This is what she is going to do in the mean time.

    quartly performance rated bonuses + Annual bonuses. Option to buy into her company, and eventually become sole owner. How ownership works is whatever % I buy in thats how much annually I will get of the profit.

    IE:

    1 million in profit annually, and I bought in at 20%, then I would receive 200,000 annual bonus.

    This sounds great, I planned on opening my own business anyhow, or getting my degree and looking for a 6 figure job. I really just want to be able to make close to 100,000 each year as my long term goal, and thats why I was debating on school and possibly moving to a different company starting out at 60k and work my way up.

    So I will wait it out until I hear back from her and decide what to do next.

    All in all I felt it was a good meeting, she atleast knows my concerns and i feel that is one less burden on my mind.
  • sprkymrksprkymrk Member Posts: 4,884 ■■■□□□□□□□
    That's good news. icon_cool.gif

    However, be on the lookout for a slight change in her attitude toward you. If you notice anything strange try to address it right away. I have seen in the past where once an employer realizes you were looking for other jobs that they suddenly feel like you don't appreciate what they have done for you. Then they begin to wonder who else out there might be able to do your job, etc. Funny how the human mind works.

    Anyway, hopefully that won't be the case in your situation and if everything works out you have a good road ahead. Congrats. :)
    All things are possible, only believe.
  • TechJunkyTechJunky Member Posts: 881
    She has known for a while now that other companies were trying to steal me from her. She seemed like she understood where I was coming from and the meeting wasn't akward at all. She is a great employer to work for, the darn money thing just sometimes gets in the way. :D
  • TechJunkyTechJunky Member Posts: 881
    Ok, so we met again today. The meeting went well. My salary took a substantial jump up and is closer to where I want to be. This takes affect tomorrow. I also get bonuses every 4 months and have a potential to earn as much as I want dependant on my production. The more profit I turn the more profit I get via quartly bonuses. I get another review in 6 months time when my boss is sole owner of the company and then we will negotiate a higher pay raise then as well as a big increase in salary and the extra money will go into buying into the company, which in turn allows me an annual profit earning. If it seems to all work out hopefully I am sole owner within 6-10 years time.

    I think even at 60k a year, without moving to management or ownership I will not be able to obtain a 6 figure salary. So I think this is a step in the right direction.
  • garv221garv221 Member Posts: 1,914
    Sounds good, congrats. When it comes time to putting money into the company, take all the docs to a trusted attorney for review.

    Its amazing what happens when you speak up huh?
  • royalroyal Member Posts: 3,353
    Congrats! Definitely good news.
    “For success, attitude is equally as important as ability.” - Harry F. Banks
  • TechJunkyTechJunky Member Posts: 881
    Yes, great things come to those who wait I guess... :D

    It seems it has been a long road but has been well worth it. I will defiantly have an attorney look at all the paperwork. Her husband is an attorney and you never know what them devils are up to. icon_lol.gif
  • mrjmrj Member Posts: 85 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Congratulations, raises are always nice.

    I was going to mention that you should perhaps look into asking for
    profit sharing based on your daily/weekly/monthly sales. I've had it
    before, but I'm really not a fan of commission unless it's notable.
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