Summary: My bosses didn't want to give me a promotion that I've been going after for over 2 years. They kept giving me the run around about it every time I discussed it with them. I searched for a new job and found one paying nearly double my current salary working in a corporate environment instead of the hard labor I was doing at my old job. Now I make more than both of my bosses.
Body: I've been with the company for a little over 4 years. The company itself is actually not bad. My bosses on the other hand took advantage of me because they knew of my skill sets and that I wanted a promotion. It's known among the workplace that my assistant manager is incompetent (I taught him a lot of what he knows) and my head manager is just a manipulative, disrespectful prick.
Eventually I finally got sick of it. I decided I no longer wanted a promotion because it would be easier/quicker to find a company willing to pay me more. Since I knew I'd be leaving when I found another job I started calling my bosses on their bullshit. As you could imagine, they didn't like that. I made sure not to cross the line that would get me fired though. In the meantime while I searched for another company I started creating boundaries. I started telling them "No" if they asked me to do something I didn't technically have to and calling them out when they were being manipulative or taking advantage of myself or another employee. Creating these boundaries resulted in them taking advantage of me a lot less.
After a month of job searching I got a call from a hiring agency for a company I applied to. They wanted to do a phone interview which led to a face to face interview, which led to a face to face interview with the CEO's partner of the company, which led to an interview with the CEO himself. And you know what? I got the fucking job. Peace of cake. Because I knew my value and made sure I showed that I knew my value. It also helped that I recently read "How to Win Friends and Influence People". Man was that book immensely helpful during my interviews. Seriously, go read it if you haven't already. Not only did I get the job but they offered me double what I was making with my previous employer.
I went from blue collar to white collar. I'm now working in a corporate office environment. I get to dress like a professional, I have my own office, and I'm getting paid well. Full benefits package with paid holidays and paid vacations. I work in the mornings Monday-Friday with a set schedule. My previous employer I would work anywhere from 12am-8pm to 6am-2pm to 2pm-10pm. I would have a schedule like this 5 days a week and it would be completely random. Fuck that noise.
I start my new job soon and I can't wait to tell my bosses. The look on their faces will be priceless. They'll have to find somebody else to take advantage of and they know it will be really hard to find someone like me who was willing to go above and beyond for their job.
My assistant manager told me it would be years before I make the salary I wanted. Now I make more than him after a month of searching.
Lessons Learned: Know your value and set boundaries with people from the get-go. If you know your undervalued find someone who is willing to pay you your worth. Be a go-getter because it sure as hell won't just come to you.