Jun 13, 2005

I was reminded today

Yet again that I am the LOWEST paid person where I work...and not only that, but I'm the ONLY one who is classified as non-exempt. Everyone else is exempt. What does that mean? Basically, I can work overtime (whoop-de-do -- I have no need or desire to). What does it mean for exempt employees? They get an EXTRA WEEK of vacation, meaning 3 weeks plus a week of personal holiday. I get 2 plus a week of personal holiday. While I know that's far better than most jobs out there, it still pisses me off simply because the people I work with get so much more than I do. PLUS I have to fill out that damn Excel timesheet every 2 weeks when no one else has to.

And why, you may ask? Because at the UW, anyone with any artistic expertise is considered LOWER on the totem pole than those with scientific/technical expertise. And the damn ironic thing is that I know how to program -- now, pray tell, how many graphic designers do YOU know who can use both sides of their brain and can do the technical as well as the graphical? When I quit they are sure going to have a hard time finding someone to replace me. They'd probably have to hire two part-time employees...a graphic artist AND a web programmer, just to fulfill the job responsibilities that I have.

But does this matter to anyone in this damn university? Hell no. They pay me a measly $42,000 a year plus less benefits than all my colleagues. Frankly, they're getting cheap labor, especially considering that our clients absolutely love the work that I do -- we have gotten national acclaim on the design of many of our products and websites. Am I the best graphic artist out there? No. Am I the best web programmer? No. But considering the fact that most companies that have a group like Learning Solutions have to deal with that whole communication bit between the graphic artists and the programmers...oh and I forgot -- the informational and instructional design consultants as well. But gee, look at me, I can do all three. Communication problems?

"Hey Michelle, can you get this png converted to HTML format by Friday?"

"I don't know, Michelle. What exactly needs to be done?"

"Just make this functional."

"Functional? How so? Do you want this navigation graphical or does it need to be W3C compliant and accessible? If so we need to consider how much of the graphic design we will actually be able to convert."


Sigh. "Nevermind. Let's have a meeting at 3:30 today to discuss the changes you're going to have to make to this design."

Sound stupid? Sure. It is. But because I know what the limitations are using HTML, CSS, javascript and what-not, I can plan accordingly with my design prototypes.

I just feel underappreciated yet again.

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