Boss Tells Worker Who Asked For A Raise That 'It's Not The Company's Problem' His Pay Doesn't Keep Up With Inflation

Whether or not it's their problem is debatable. The cruelty of the response is not, however.

man in meeting with his boss pixelshot / Canva Pro

When economic times get tough, the first solution many of us think of is asking for a raise to fill in the financial gap. But one worker in the U.K. got a pretty shocking response when he tried to broach the subject with his boss — one that left him so angry he started looking for a new job.

The worker was told inflation was not the company's problem when he asked for a raise.

In some countries, cost of living adjustments to pay are a standard practice, but most Americans are not as lucky anymore. That's frustrating enough on its face, but when inflation has been as high as it has been in recent years, it's even worse.


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Thankfully, wages have gone up in recent years as more and more workers ask for more money to combat rising prices. But those raises have mostly gone to the top 10% of earners, leaving most of the rank-and-file still struggling.


This Redditor has a similar story. But despite the fact he's been diligently working his way towards a sizable promotion, his employer was less than understanding.

His boss agreed that he's been valiantly taking on extra work but denied his request anyway.

The shocking comment came during a one-on-one meeting between the worker and his boss. "I brought up pay not keeping up with my bills," he wrote in his Reddit post.

He also brought up that he's been working his way up to the next tier at his job for quite some time, and his boss even agreed with him that he was approaching a promotion.

@gabrielle_judge The different strings companies start pulling during layoffs and pay freezes starts to get crazy. This is what to do when your boss says there are no raises for you in 2023. And plot twist. You have to get out. Use this time to quiet quit while you look for another job.#overworkedunderpaid #9to5 #toxicworkplace ♬ original sound - Anti Work Girlboss

Nevertheless, "he said in response to my pay questions, 'It's not the company's responsibility to keep your pay up with inflation.'"


"Technically true, I guess," the worker admitted. But that doesn't make it any less of a callous and outright disrespectful thing to say — especially given the "cost of living crisis" in the U.K., which, along with a 41-year high of 11.1% inflation in October 2022, is so dire it is upending the country's politics and bringing a likely ouster of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in July.

So what's a guy to do when his boss basically refuses to pay him fairly for completely tone-deaf reasons? Find a new job, of course, and that's precisely what the man decided to do.

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His boss is now shocked and offended that he's job-hunting.

After the conversation about pay with his boss, the man immediately updated his LinkedIn and announced that he was looking for new work, not realizing the site's "open to work" function shows publicly unless you opt for it to be kept confidential. So, naturally, his boss saw it.


"He's now totally shocked that I'm looking for a new job, saying 'pay isn't everything' and 'you're paid well,'" the man wrote of his boss's infuriating response. If "pay isn't everything," then one wonders why giving a simple cost-of-living raise is such a big deal.

Recent changes to his workplace give a clue, however. The man wrote in comments on his post that he actually quite likes his boss and thinks he's good at his job, making his callous remarks all the more surprising. But he was "having to deal with massive budget cuts since an American company brought out the one I work for."

Detailing an all too common practice nowadays, especially during buyouts, he explained that the American company's takeover has brought draconian changes to pay and hiring that are out of step with the comparatively more regulated, worker-friendly approach to business in the U.K.


But that "American ingenuity," if you will (please read that with all the sarcasm you can muster), is likely to bite back. "It's not just pay freezes but a hiring freeze dictated by the American firm," the man wrote, which means his boss will not be able to hire a replacement when he leaves despite the team already being short-staffed.

That's certainly one way to do business, but probably not a good one. Aside from the disrespect and cruelty, recruiting, onboarding, and training a new employee typically costs a company an average of 50-60% of the position's yearly salary.

So once the hiring freeze lifts, all that money will go down the drain, all because they didn't want to give a struggling employee a well-deserved promotion and raise. Why are the people in charge of everything the ones in charge of everything?


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John Sundholm is a news and entertainment writer who covers pop culture, social justice, and human interest topics.