Your answer to Trish in Toronto reminds me of an indirect lesson I got a few years ago when asking a former boss for a raise.
[Quick backstory: Newish General Counsel thought I was awesome because I was generally the only person at my desk doing my job. He proceeded to tell me at a one-on-one lunch that I produced excellent work and that if I ever thought of leaving the company to please let him know so they could engage in a discussion with me first and that he’d just approved the highest amount of a raise for me. My direct supervisor who reported to him wasn’t feeling the love from him and didn’t like that he thought I was awesome. At the end of my annual review she snarkily commented that my cost of living raise of less than 3% was in fact less than the max amount and she triple dog dared me to go to him and ask for a raise and/or mention that he didn’t actually give me the full amount. She honestly didn’t think I would get anywhere with it.]
I went to his office with my review in hand and asked if he had a moment to chat. He saw the review in my hand and stated he could figure what the subject was. I stated that what I received seemed less than what I would expect with excellent review + mention of getting maximum raise + record profits for the company over the prior three years. He agreed and said that in order to give me a higher amount we’d need to add some value somehow, for instance, getting my paralegal certificate. I agreed to look into it. I came back to him two days later and said I’d found a summer paralegal certificate program at UNLV that started in one month and cost $5k. I further told him our tuition reimbursement policy would only cover $2k of it and I would have to pay it up front and seek reimbursement on the back end and finished with a “Frankly, you don’t pay me enough to pay the $5,000 up front. I’d like the company to cover the whole cost of the program up front.” He agreed and said that when I finish the program we’d revisit the salary. He then fired off an email to the HR department to have them figure out how to make it so. They put it under the typical training budget for 100% company payment rather than the tuition reimbursement budget. At the end of the program I received a $12k raise and a new title.
I repeatedly had said snarky boss as well as other coworkers constantly complaining that he didn’t live up to his promises. He’d promised them training, etc. and didn’t follow through with any of them. I asked one of them if she provided all the details to him of what the specific program she wanted was & how much it would cost the company and provided any forms for him to sign, if necessary. She said, “No, he hasn’t told me what area he’d like me to get trained in or what program to take. He should be telling me that. Ergo, he doesn’t follow through and can’t be trusted.” I beg to differ and think this anecdote perfectly illustrates your comments about proposals.
Thanks for the reminder of a long-ago lesson.