I point out that I've been managing the Web team for six months, and I have not gotten a raise and I have not been made a manager. "I want a promotion," I say.

My boss says, "If it weren't for the great Web site you've created we'd have fired you months ago for your lousy attitude."

I say, "What bad attitude?" and my boss reminds me of the time the VP of business development wanted people to fill out answers to fifty questions before entering out Web site and I said, "Fuck that." My boss reminds me of the time I wrote an article about our star engineer and included the fact that he made his fortune cracking software so he could pirate it in China.

"Oh, that," I say.

He says if I change my attitude for three months, then I can get a raise and a promotion.

He says I'll get a new title.

I tell him Web Producer is a good-enough title. No one knows what it is, so they don't know if it's management or not. "I don't want a new title. I want more money," I say. "Hire someone else to manage the Web team if you won't pay me to do it."

My boss's boss tells me he can tell by my body language that I'm very upset. I remind myself that his compassion is not an invitation to cry. Management material does not cry. He leans over his desk and lectures to me about how even if he doesn't promote me to management, he knows I'm already managing the site. "You're already a leader," he says. "Leaders cannot stop being leaders."

I hold firm.

He says, "OK. We'll start looking to hire a manger." You're Fired.

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