Go To Greg on office parties, raises, and inflation

My boss gave me my performance review and said that I was doing a good job but only gave me a 4% raise. With inflation twice that, how can I be doing a good job but still only get a raise that’s half the cost of living?

I hear this all the time. Many employees misunderstand annual merit raises, which are not based on inflation. If that were the case, no one would have had a raise for many years, when inflation was nonexistent. Companies set budgets each year for what they can afford to pay employees, typically trying to stay competitive with what other companies in their industry are offering. It’s called “merit” because the raise is earned based on performance and is not guaranteed. Based on the current market data, 4% is a good merit raise. Take the praise and ask your boss what it will take to get promoted, which is how you earn bigger jumps in compensation.

I’m still at the start of my career and I’ve noticed that at events, my boss and colleagues drink heavily. No one seems to get inappropriate or sloppy, but they do consume much more than I am comfortable drinking. They keep ordering rounds and tease me about being a “lightweight” if I can’t keep up. Any advice?

The answer is easy, but I understand why it may not seem so to someone just starting out. I’ve been there, although it was a different time. In a similar situation, I have imbibed “vodka tonics” where I quietly asked the bartender to make it just sparkling water instead, I’ve also passed endless pints of beer down the bar to patrons on St. Patrick’s Day – because no human can consume that much beer – and those that couldn’t didn’t notice what I was doing (except the strangers to my right with whom I was very popular). In these times, you can simply be polite but firm. If you don’t drink then don’t drink, and if they can’t respect that then don’t go out with them. Otherwise, drink at your own responsible pace and capacity and never overindulge or be “that guy.” Period. Normal people will respect you. And those who don’t, don’t matter.

It is okay to be firm and drink at your own pace at a company function.
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Gregory Giangrande has over 25 years of experience as a chief human resources executive. Hear Greg Weds. at 9:35 am on iHeartRadio 710 WOR with Len Berman and Michael Riedel. Email: GoToGreg@NYPost.com. Follow: GoToGreg.com and on Twitter: @GregGiangrande

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