This does remind me that many companies still use pay grades for positions with minimum and
maximum amounts. Some have frozen the levels for a long time. If Alice is close to the top of her pay grade and it is directly under the PHB then she would have to have a position upgrade to
the PHB position to get what she deserves. If she earns more than the PHB then in his mind
it validates that she is more important and smarter than him in the company. Since she won't get the raise all is well in his mind he is still smarter. Mirror Mirror on the wall who is the smartest of them all?
I avoided this conversation completely: My job description was 11 years old. 1.5 years of trying to update it was useless, and the rewrite effort that went on for months was left to rot on my boss's desk. I gave up, and went on a (successful) job search for that reason, and a multitude of other reasons.
When I handed in my resignation, they were shocked....SCHOCKED I tell you!
"Is there anything I can say to change your mind?" my former boss asked me within minutes of my signed resignation on his desk.
It took a lot of effort to keep quiet and not blow up that bridge.