The Platinum Ticket by David Beynon

The Platinum Ticket by David Beynon
Shortlisted for The Terry Pratchett Anywhere But Here, Anywhen But Now First Novel Prize

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Big Red Paperweight

I have this big red paperweight that has been within ready reach since those days of my undergraduate degree from McMaster all those years ago. It tips the scales oh, around seven pounds. It has been used to prop open doors and windows. It has been used as a coaster for countless coffee cups. It has been thrown in anger and left a dent in a plaster wall. It can be opened, my hefty red paperweight and when you look inside, guess what you’ll find…

Words. Thousands of words. And beside each of those words are more words, describing the word that they follow. My massive red paperweight is, of course, The Random House Webster’s College Dictionary (1988 edition).

One word in particular had me reaching for it this evening.

Resignation – n. 1. the act of resigning. 2. a formal statement, document, etc. stating that one gives up an office or position. 3. an accepting, unresisting attitude, state, etc. ; submission, acquiescence. [ 1350-1400 ME < rescinding =" L">

On Monday morning I found myself in a position where I needed to resign from my commissioned sales job.

I had been with the display company since August of last year and we had been flirting with salary discussions for some time. After a long while of being put off, I pressed the issue with my boss last Friday and told him what I needed. The proposal I made was, in my opinion, based on an established benchmark (ie. A person of comparable experience and skill set currently employed doing the same job) and all I asked for was fair and equitable treatment. Unfortunately my boss, while assuring me that I was a valuable member of the team, didn’t feel that he could afford to pay me what this other person was earning and asked me what I could live with.

“I just told you what I could live with.” I told him.

“But can you settle for less?” was his reply.

“I told you what I can settle for. Make me an offer and find out.”

He said he’d look at things over the weekend and come back to me on Monday. Well, Sunday night I received an e-mail from HR with an offer considerably less than the earlier stated benchmark. After that I had no choice but to resign.

I’ve had mixed feelings about this but it is for the best. I am parting on amicable terms and will serve out my notice making sure that projects that are underway are transitioned properly. It is a company filled with really good people and lots of potential and I do wish them all the success in the world.

Now – what will I do? Well, that’s a really good question.

I don’t think I will go back into graphics or packaging sales, though I am good at it and have twenty years experience. Ideally, the fiction will begin to sell and I will be submitting the short fiction to various markets in the coming weeks. I will also finish the last revision of Loremaster in the very near future and get that submitted but in the meantime – the chilluns gotta eat.

I think the best plan for now is to find something local that won’t devour my time and energies (or gas and wear and tear on the car). Let's face it, there are a multitude of ways to earn money. I have some things in mind and I will keep you posted.

Wish me luck – it’s all very exciting!!!