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Business solutions —July 28

WORKPLACE

Pay scale triggers resentment

Q: The business I joined 11 months ago was recently purchased by a Fortune 500 company. Since then, the starting pay for new hires has increased significantly. However, no similar adjustment has been made to my own salary, nor have I received any other type of pay increase.

I never mentioned these concerns because I was applying for a promotion and did not want to rock the boat. Now the promotion has gone to someone else, and I’m beginning to feel angry and unappreciated. I believe that management is taking advantage of me.

Although I am presently seeking other employment, I would still like to increase my cash flow. How should I address these issues?

A: Let’s take a moment to consider the bigger picture. The vast majority of new employees do not receive salary increases or promotions during their first year, so you may be suffering from unrealistic expectations. If that’s your primary reason for jumping ship, perhaps you should reconsider.

Also, your narrow focus on pay may have caused you to overlook an important fact. As a result of this acquisition, you have actually joined another company without changing jobs. In a large corporation, you may find opportunities and career paths which did not previously exist.

Acquisitions typically include a detailed process for “mapping” existing employees into the pay scale of the acquiring company. Your human resources manager should be able to explain the post-acquisition pay structure and correct inadvertent errors.

Finally, remember that corporate rewards are generally given to those viewed positively by management. So if you are hoping for raises and promotions, you will need to let go of your anger and resentment.

— Marie G. McIntyre

McClatchey-Tribune

CELLPHONES

Vonage app spans globe

The Vonage Mobile app allows for free calling, text messaging, photo sharing and video chats among Vonage Mobile app holders. In addition, you can make low-cost international calls to those who don’t have the app.

Name: Vonage Mobile.

Available for: Android, iOS iPhone, iPod, iPad.

Cost: Free.

What’s hot: I downloaded this app so I could video chat with my friends in Britain for free, but I was happily surprised to find the location-sharing feature in the “Chat” section. It has many helpful uses, not the least of which are keeping track of your teens in the neighborhood or backpackers on a round-the-world trip. Travelers in a foreign city can have their independent adventures and easily meet up later with this quick and easy-to-use tool.

What’s not: None of my friends had the Vonage Mobile app, so I had to spend some time trying to persuade them to download it. Make sure you take this step well before you leave the country if you want to keep in touch for free.

Worth it: Yes. Just make sure you have strong Wi-Fi when trying to video chat. Hotel Wi-Fi is fickle: Sometimes the signal is weak, and sometimes it seems stronger on laptops than on smartphones.

— Jen Leo

Los Angeles Times



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