PEMBROKE, Mass. — Raises are not exactly a hot topic these days, particularly in the dry cleaning industry. But here is a story of something that happened to a young person I know, and it’s worth reading.
This person—we’ll call her Liz—had been working at a dry cleaner for a year when she asked for a raise. She wasn’t the usual type of worker. She was a college graduate who had taken a lowly job at a two-plant, four-store chain in the hopes that she would move up the ladder. The owner, a sharp businessman, realized her worth and didn’t want to lose her. He sensed that she could grow to become one of his top managers. On the other hand, business was down. There were no raises.
The owner called Liz into his office and closed the door. “Liz, these are hard times. My business is down 10%. I’m hard up against all my costs. Things will improve, but not tomorrow or the next day. On the other hand, you’re a good worker. So I’m giving you a 50-cents-an-hour raise because you’ve asked for one and because you’re been a loyal employee. And, finally, I don’t want to lose you.