Numbers

When we all were working in the office, one of the most senior staff offered to tell us his salary during lunch. He probably earns twice as much as the average office worker. People told him No, please don’t tell us your salary. He kept insisting. I don’t know him very well and it’s seems TMI to know his salary. Not even sure why he would try and push it into us, because what were we to say? Wow? You’re so valued and smart? Only if you want to brag and feel superior would you offer your number to coworkers you KNOW earn less than you.

15 Comments

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Hmm

Feb 28, 2021 at 8:41pm

What if you saw the number and it was the same as yours? I’m guessing you wouldn’t believe it...? What if it was $40,000 more? Then you would believe it. But would you ask if he gives to any charity/causes to better society? No? Well then... mind your own selfish numbers. But I agree, that’s a pretty arrogant thing to do. But we have no idea. You have no idea. Your attitude may be just as bankrupt as his. Don’t be him/her. Generosity has nothing to do with gender. Play stupid games. Win stupid prizes. Ps. No one offers to let you know how much they make. And if they do... I would not believe it. They’re posturing. Posing. How many leases does he have? How many outstanding debts. Does he actually own anything outright? You ask him that?

7 10Rating: -3

Anonymous

Feb 28, 2021 at 9:11pm

Ugh gross. Another frightened, insecure little boy looking for recognition and affirmation. German car dealers love these guys. VW excluded.

13 7Rating: +6

I disagree

Feb 28, 2021 at 9:38pm

Actually I think that it would be very valuable if all companies were required to make salary information openly available to all. Unfortunately, the secrecy surrounding compensation in the private sector makes it extremely easy for employers to discriminate against certain individuals (women, minorities, etc). I’ve been in HR and payroll in the past and can tell you that the amounts that some people were being paid in comparison to others who were doing the same job was way higher. In virtually every one of those situations it was a guy getting paid significantly more than the women who frequently were doing the same or similar work. There were also many situations of so-called “executives” who put in almost no hours, spent exorbitant amounts of money (expense account) on “entertainment for clients” (translation - boozy lunches and golf), came in late and left early, had 6-8 weeks of vacation annually, etc. Meanwhile others in the company (a large multinational) were getting paid a fraction of the amount and putting in significantly more actual work and effort. There’s also a huge discrepancy in salaries in many other private firms that means that employers can hide all kinds of sweetheart deals. If everyone knew what their coworkers were being paid, the playing field would have at least a fighting chance of being level.

29 7Rating: +22

@I disagree

Mar 1, 2021 at 12:15am

I take your point, but it's no better in the public sector. I worked in government jobs for 24 years and, yes, we knew what everyone else was making, but that just burned even more. The scenario you described was the same (boozy lunches etc) except even lower level employees got away with slacking off because they were protected by the union or by being related to someone higher up. Or they had something on their boss. If you didn't have that kind of protection, and had any conscience about actually working for your pay, all the work would be dumped on you. Every department had its Cinderellas.

10 8Rating: +2

@ disagree

Mar 1, 2021 at 12:31am

What I have noticed in every case or claim of inequal pay, is that they always ignore years served, years of experience, and education levels.

11 4Rating: +7

@@disagree

Mar 1, 2021 at 6:36am

Where are you getting that from? Who is “they”? In the situations I mention the people in question were usually males. In many cases they were also much younger and had less experience. I was a professional in 3 distinct industries during my long career (retired last year), in various capacities. As a result I got to see the workings of several different companies as well as the salary levels of thousands of people in multiple roles. The scenarios I mention are not only common, but typical. It’s not a “claim”, it’s an observation based on extensive personal experience. I’ve also worked as a consultant in 3 different union environments, and observed the type of behaviour another commenter detailed as well. However, my comment related to the idea that compensation should be transparent for all to see. It wasn’t just about how badly some people do their jobs. As for education levels, it was quite typical for a young white male with less education and less experience to be paid either the same or more than a female with a degree and / or more experience. Often times the female would have been working in the firm much longer and in many cases would be required to train the young man getting paid more than her. Rarely were these types of blatantly discriminatory situations permitted to be freely discussed in the workplace, and those who dared to question the status quo were frequently labeled as troublesome.

12 6Rating: +6

I get it

Mar 1, 2021 at 11:46am

It might be bragging in that guy’s case but I am also into compensation transparency as being a good thing overall. It’s a way to judge how the business works and how it values certain positions.

5 2Rating: +3

uh-huh

Mar 1, 2021 at 12:36pm

I think it depends on how you were raised... If someone in seniority told me their wage, it would give me hope and inspiration how you can work your way up and a goal to set.. not jealousy or bragging, but I would also recognize this individual has knowledge and look up to them for advice and guidance.. I think your point of view is rather naive

8 3Rating: +5

Both

Mar 1, 2021 at 8:47pm

OP is spot on, as you are @I disagree. Happens in both the private and public sectors. @I disagree’s point is valid too, and they know of what they speak. Maybe more transparency in the public sector when it comes to disclosing salaries, but the bad behaviour abounds there too.

9 1Rating: +8

Knowledge is power

Mar 1, 2021 at 9:12pm

Salary and wage transparency allows for a path towards pay consistency. Companies have a lot to lose not providing proper metrics in which a salary is based. Discrimination suits are very costly.
Also, by having transparency, one can create a clearer path towards better pay and advancement. Knowing how a salary and raises are based allows a person to better plan their career path and better track/ quantify their accomplishments, skills and contributions to bring in at annual reviews to validate a uniform pay increase.
When it comes to money, hiding information only benefits some. Transparency benefits all.
I worked a job where I was paid 20% more than my colleagues. I negotiated a good salary (and handled a workload to justify it). Towards the end, when I left they learned about it and got mad. Not at me, at the company. Without transparency and scaled performance metrics, that company created unnecessary problems and kept people in sub-par wages. I imagine the resentment afterwards did not help morale. Hopefully it facilitated a long overdue discussion to make things more eqitable like how it should be. Lack of information empowers inequality.

5 2Rating: +3

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