So I finally got an offer letter on Friday offically offering me the post-doc that I started a few weeks ago and having been counting on since May. The salary that they are giving me is $1000 less than I remember being told I could expect to count on. $1K might not sound like much but I am already being paid substantially less than I could expect to get as a post-doc elsewhere and less than I could have gotten from gov't jobs with just a M.S.
Now I know we don't go into science for the money, but this is leaving a bit of a bad taste in my mouth. I feel somewhat taken advantage of and it makes me wonder what else is going to come out not as expected. My boss probably doesn't know anything about this because S is the one who deals with our budgets and this comes down to basically my word against hers. I know that if money weren't an issue my boss would pay me quite a bit more, but I am not sure there is anything he can/will do at this point if I approach him. So is it worth approaching him?
Now that I think about it this is not the first time something like this has happened to me. My fellowship covered 3 years of grad school but the fourth year my advisor and I wrote a proposal to get me a research assistantship. Our proposal aimed a little higher than we could get from our funders so when we had to trim some K it came out of my salary and I went from 12 months of funding to 10 months, with the promise that we would "find" something to cover me. Well, I "found" something myself - the teaching gig, but my boss and S had no role in that.
As much as I like my research group the longer I stay here the more inequities I am noticing. It makes me feel less attached to the idea of staying here past next summer. That feeling is being greatly amplified by the conference I am attending this week where I have to tell people that not only did I do my PhD with my boss, now I am his post-doc. I think if I want to advance my career and make it past this miserably low salary point, I need to move on sooner rather than later. On a purely personal level, I'd be happy to stay in Utopia for a long long time. I'd love to work only part-time. But those aren't realistic options as long as I continue to be the primary breadwinner in our household. And Mini's impending arrival only makes dichotomy between personal desire and economic reality more stark.
Aside from the above thoughts which seem to be occupying an increasing amount of my head space, today was a pretty good day.