*As told to Kally by an anonymous source.
From the title, you probably will get angry and ask me to seek a lawyer for my missing salary.
The thing is I actually volunteer not to take my salary. I work for a nonprofit organization that takes in abandoned dogs and cats. Last year, my organization couldn’t pay all the staff and was asking me for my opinion who to let go. I actually sit on the board of committees and I run one of the centers on my own. Although we do have volunteers, we employed regular staff like me to keep the operation running smoothly and without problems.
As it is, the staff that we have are underpaid by the market rate but with the strong common love for animals, we are thoroughly loyal to the cause we worked hard for. When the founder made a decision to cut away from of my staff, I decide to volunteer not to take my salary until the organization can get their books from red to black (or at least grey.. haha).
I kept this a secret so nobody feels bad about it. The last thing I want is for my staff feel that they owe their living to me. I don’t want to be treated differently either. But I still have to make ends meet because I have a family to feed.
My wife understands my decision but I keep my parents in the dark. They wouldn’t understand and will blame me for my stupidity. In fact, my wife took on a second job so to cover the gap and we hold off having a child until the situation gets better. We are still young, in our mid-twenties so I figured we can still enjoy our married life without children for a little while more. Without children, it is always easier to balance off our financials.
To ease the burden on my wife’s shoulder, I took on freelancing as well. It is tough juggling a full-time job while freelancing at night but whatever I can bring in helps to tighten the gap of my missing salary.
Some of my close friends know about this. While some has stepped up and helped us with whatever they can, like paying for our meals when we go out but some have sneered at us and begin to judge us for being naive and silly. One of them even tells my wife to leave me because I’m useless.
Am I useless?
I don’t think I’m useless.
I think I’m doing the right thing. But sometimes peer pressure does get to me and bring me down. My wife has been really supportive and told me to ignore all the rubbish people thrown at us. I mean it is not as if we are begging on the street to survive.
We lived with my parents because they have a big house and my dad is doing poorly so it makes sense to live with them to be close to them (especially since I’m their only child). Plus the house been fully paid for and so is our family car. So there’s really no hard debt hanging over our heads, just our daily necessities to meet.
I’m sharing this because I hope that people reading this post will be inspired to do greater things. Especially when the sacrifices aren’t that big.
Am I being selfish for fulfilling my passion and generosity towards helpless animals? Asking too much from my wife?
I don’t think so and I certainly hope not. Don’t let others judge you when they can’t be the bigger man themselves.
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Best things in life are meant to be shared, start spreading MiddleMe around, after all, sharing is caring.