It wasn't "4X" (as some rather over-enthusiastic commentors had suggested), it wasn't "3X" (as I was willing to ask for if they did a "what are you looking for?" query), it wasn't "2X" (a nice reasonable number), heck, it wasn't even "1X" (in the "I can't take it" range). No, it was point-eight ... 8/10ths ... 80% ... ".8X". Needless to say, I felt like I'd been hit by a truck. I'm sure that I must have been white as a ghost with "deer in the headlight" eyes.
In their defense, everybody on staff right now is at the same pay rate, from the guy who troubleshoots the office machines to The Bosses. So the fact that "my lowest possible" number was twice what they were offering did not have much leverage with with to argue for it. Also, there is a very generous stock program, and there will be a decent health plan.
Additionally, to their case, we are less than two weeks away from the "major presentation" for one of the Big Accounts that has been in the works for months. As I understand it, the owner of the Major Corporation that is going to be the client has indicated that he "wants to do this", and we've just been "going through channels", first with their I.T. guys, and now with them and their P.R. team. The Boss indicated that when these accounts roll in (and this is almost a $2mil deal) our salaries will be pushed up, possibly even doubled at this point. We also have six venture capital groups competing (two new ones got in the game since Saturday) to throw eight figures of development money our way. This, too, will goose the pay rates if and when the dollars are in hand.
Unfortunately, as those of you following my job saga here know, we're in no less dire straits than we were two months ago, so this is running right up on the nasty jagged edge. I suppose that we could take another loan on the condo (hoping to pay it back quickly if my salary does drift up above that "2X" line), but it's all very scary.
I've had so many hopes and dreams look so real, so substantial, so promising, only to disappear "like mists before the dawn" and I'm terrified that if I roll the dice here it will be like that all over again, only this time with me and my family trying to stand on those mists while hovering over the abyss.
Days like this I sure miss drinking ...