Your Coworkers’ Salaries

2 Aug

Ever wonder how much your coworkers make? (Or even your boss?)

Of course you do. It’s only natural that this thought has entered your mind.

Well, Boulder, Colorado based Namaste Solar, a solar panel installation company, allows employees to know what each other makes. 

Can you imagine your coworkers knowing how much you make? Personally it gives me the willies. 

Also at Namaste no employees’ salary is allowed to be four times more than anyone else’s.

Wowza.

Did you know that non-profit organizations, government agencies and publicly traded companies all have to share the compensation levels of at least some of their employees? 

When I worked at a school as an Executive Assistant to the Executive Big-Shot Guy I got to peep the entire facility’s salaries–except his–which was mysteriously not listed, and let me tell you, that salary knowledge was a big deal. The other employees I ate lunch with were always hinting to find out just who made what, especially their own bosses. There were times I slightly feared they were plotting to club me over the head with a batch of files, ducktape my mouth and take me to nearby woods until I coughed up the goods.

Obviously salary transparency is not only a big deal but a sticky subject.

At GlassDoor.com salaries can be posted anonymously by employees, etc.

The flip side of the coin was that knowing what certain people earned, especially Directors and Supervisors, made me eyeball them from scalp to polished loafer. Like the goofy Director guy who always found time to joke with every employee, twiddle his thumbs in his office and ask me for snacks from my own personal stash in my desk…He made $75,000 per year. Plus bonuses.

Can you imagine the nostril flaring that took place when he used his balls to ask me for, say, candy or peanut butter crackers? Meanwhile I was making a whole $30k/year before taxes. And doing HIS paperwork.  Sure, I’ll feed you snacks while making a FRACTION of your salary WHILE simultaneously making you look good to the organization.

Oy to the mountaintops.  That guy rattled my innermost fibers.

Salary disclosure has always been a weird subject. When I was in my 20’s and fresh out of college I knew what all of my newly full-time employed friends were making and they knew what I was making. Then as time went on suddenly it’s confidential what everyone is earning. These are people I’ve known for years. But for some reason no one will discuss their salary anymore. (I wonder if this comes with age.)

Some workers think that if pay scales were fair, based precisely on skill set, education and years of experience, then there should be no “secrets.”  Hmph. We all know that upper-level management at most jobs earn more than they’re worth.

I mean, I’ve been an Administrative Assistant for years and have seen countless executives of various levels lounging in their offices daily while picking lint from beneath their fingernails and Googling Jaquar styles after taking three-hour lunches (that the company paid for).

Whoops. Now my nostrils are flaring.

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