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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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Top 10 Reasons I Run From Cubicle Life

11 Jun

1.  There are no couches there. There should be couches there. Nap time is underestimated.

2.  Lunchtime is too short. Even an hour-long lunch break, you figure you spend 15 minutes fetching lunch (corner deli, microwave blues, etc.) and 15 minutes returning to your cubicle walls. While I certainly don’t expect an employer to increase a lunch HOUR, I’m just sayin’.

3.  Paper cuts.

4.  Loud talkers in nearby cubicles.

5.  There’s no grass under my feet.

6.  I have to get up from my swivel chair and FIND a window to even see daylight.

7.  I feel trapped, tethered, stuck. I dunno, I just like freedom five days a week.

8.  There are other people there. Annoying people.

9.  I can’t read my favorite book on company time without getting written up. Have you ever been caught with an open novel tucked inconspicuously under company files? I HAVE.

10. Low pay. Need I say more?

Ok, 11 reasons:

11.  Protocol attire.  I really like jeans and comfy clothing, something with an elastic waist so I can let out my spill-over after gluttonously woofing down lunch. This is the part where the aforementioned couch would come in handy, too.

The least boring job I’ve ever had was when I worked at a closed captions house.  There were televisions everywhere and Breaking News! at every turn. And we got to wear jeans and shorts and t-shirts and tennis shoes and flip-flops and…well, you get the picture. The pay was low but the entertainment was high.

I watched Oprah and corny soap operas all day long while editing television scripts for on-air captions. I had a cool boss, too.

What was your favorite (office) job?

Minimum Wage Is Indeed Minimum

7 Jun
 
The minimum wage for the area of the country I live in (Washington, D.C. metro area) is $7.25 an hour. Yet Georgia & Wyoming are–sit down now–$5.15 an hour!
 
That’s, like, barely enough to buy crap at the dollar store.
 
That’s not, like, enough to pay your
 
RENT
UTILITIES
CAR STUFF (gas, insurance, repairs & maintenance)
FOOD (unless you like eating dollar store crap)
PHONE
HEALTH INSURANCE
CABLE (I know it’s a luxury; but it can be a necessity if it provides escapism).
FOOT CREAM
RANDOM CLEANING PRODUCTS
FRESH PRODUCE
MEDICINE
ETC.
 
Whenever I peruse the housing ads posted locally in this high rent area (even ugly basement rooms for rent right next to someone’s noisy, leaky, energy inefficient water heater), I can’t help but wonder how people making anywhere near minimum wage are making ends meet. Do they live with parents, friends, have several roommates? How in the WORLD can anyone survive in a metropolis earning the likes of $7.25 an hour before taxes no less.
Well, the state of Washington has the highest national minimum wage pay at $9.04 an hour followed by Vermont at $8.46 an hour.
 
To see the NATIONAL (all 50 states) minimum wage amounts, click here.
 
Actually Wiki has it broken down more clearly.
 
This is the precise reason I juggle, as in discover as many avenues possible to earn a living, not only now but for the future. Side hustles. Pop-up businesses, however mini. Multiple streams of income. I would never rely on mere jobs to float me anymore. I’ve been sidelined too many times by low pay, sudden job loss, burnout and looooooong job searches.
 
For those making peanuts and raisins, KEEP PUSHING…Macadamias are just around the corner.

Crying at Work

16 Apr

Have you ever cried at work?

Not necessarily because your evil boss yelled at you or belittled you or because you discovered that you were only getting a 1% raise as opposed to a 1.5% salary increase. Not even because you received bad news via telephone.

I mean, um, perhaps because you’re hormonal. Or because of personal issues that you absolutely just couldn’t leave at home.

I have.

OH, I HAVE.

I have wept at a few  jobs because of various issues (low pay, frustration in my personal life, an unfair boss who had total power over my paycheck, boyfriends, family issues and those hormonal flair-ups.) I’ve even cried at work because I was just, well, angry.

While not a complete slobber girl in the workplace there have been times I have found my tear ducts turning on me. Why, I had to get to the nearest bathroom ASAP, hide in a stall–preferably the larger stall at the very end–and unroll A LOT of toilet paper while wimpering quietly. The amazing thing is when someone enters the bathroom how quickly I can shut off the weeping. Like the flip of a switch.

It’s a real beyotch trying to pretend you haven’t been crying when you return to your desk 45 minutes later with bloodshot eyes and a red nose.  The worst is when a coworker or, OH GOD, your boss notices.

“Allergies” is a good one. Except for when it’s the dead of winter.

Did you know that human tears send chemical signals to the people around them? Yep, it’s true.

If only there were a way to control crying, perhaps an alarm you could set within your emotions to cry only during your lunch hour, or better yet, when you get off from work. Nothing like navigating rush hour and facial tissues accompanied with snot.

Ah, a woman’s life.

 

Administrative Assistants, etc.

9 Apr

This is what happens to Administrative Assistants, secretaries, Gal Fridays, office clerks, office professionals and random office employees when they type too many documents for low pay.

FIND.

YOUR.

BLISS.

This has been a public service announcement from a Cubicle Rebel.

Carry on out there in paper cuts land.

(Wink.)

Fast Food Workers Most Likely To Say Their Job Makes The World A Worse Place

21 Mar

Once upon a time I worked in the fast food industry; haven’t we all? And no matter how bad it gets in Cubicle-Ville, regardless of the sheer groveling I’m experiencing to return to a desk job with benefits, I never want to return to the fast food industry for too many reasons to mention.  On that note, something interesting regarding the fast food industry I read a month ago from The Huffington Post:

They may feed millions of hungry consumers on a daily basis, but fast food workers say their job is hurting the world.

More than 40 percent of fast food workers say their jobs make the world a worse place, according to data analyzed by Payscale for The New York Times. Some of the other jobs where workers were likely to say their jobs are making the world a worse place? Bartenders, attorneys, fashion designers and investment bankers — though the share of workers in those industries expressing the same sentiment is only in the single digits.

Fast food employees may be concerned about the negative health impacts of their work, thanks to a wide variety of critics of the fast food industry that include nutrition experts and animal rights activists. The National Bureau of Economic Research found that being in close proximity to a fast food restaurant “significantly” increases the risk of obesity.

But some of the critics may be getting to the industry. McDonald’s officials said earlier this month that they’re going to require the eatery’s pork suppliers in the U.S. to phase out crates that tightly confine pregnant pigs, a move that the Humane Society claimed would have a “seismic impact” on the fast food sector, according to the Associated Press.

Still, the fast food industry may be doing its part to keep workers’ wages low. Bosses in the fast food industry are largely opposed to raising the minimum wage, according to Slate. That’s because they have to pay a large number of workers that wage, unlike full-service eateries that can pay their waitstaff less because they receive tips.

The industry is poised to shed jobs in the next 10 years. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects there to be 19,000 fewer fast food cooks by 2020.

craigslist employment blues

19 Dec

So I’m perusing craigslist employment ads like I do every single day (including weekends) and I’m just so weary and nauseated with the office lingo, with the very  language use of corporate Droneville.  Some soundbites for your viewing/nauseated pleasure:

Looking for ambitious, well-organized, go-getters who love talking to, working with and helping people…”

Come on. You want ambition and organization within talkative go-getters who “love” working with/helping people?

The use of the word “love” is a bit much.

And if I’m such a “go-getter” why would I want to work there?

Guess how much they’re paying. No really, guess.

Peanuts. With miscellaneous raisins.

And as if that’s not joke enough, they’re actually holding interviews at 9 p.m.

AT NIGHT.

Seriously? (I think they’re all high on grassy substances.)

Next up:

We are looking for an excellent Administrative Assistant to join our team!
Three words sum up our perfect candidate:
Competence, Attitude, Team Player
Competence: Must be a Customer Service Pro! Must have familiarity with popular office software, strong organizational skills and must be good with numbers.   Sound office experience is preferred.
Attitude:  If you have to ask, you’re probably not the One.
Team Player:  Working well with every member of our team and our clients is a non-negotiable requirement.  When our clients win, the teams wins, you win.
WE ACCEPT NO SUBSTITUTES.

Ok. First of all, the use of exclamation marks is grating my innards.

And what’s with “The One”? What IS THIS, a marriage? A lifelong search for the love of your life–err-office?

Let’s see…they want a “competent, organized great attitude’d team playing numbers pro whose familiar with all office software who works well with EVERY member of their team”, even the uber-annoying team members you’d never ever in LIFE sign up to spend ONE MILLI-SECOND with.

I see a major problemo here.

The salary on this one, you ask? It’s labeled “negotiable” which probably means they will be offering around $28k before taxes of course for you to live in the exorbitant D.C. area and the “negotiation” will involve you and your crumbly one-dollar bills being inserted into the tricky Metro bill feeder on your way to cubicle #13.

Oy.

P.S.: 

Not to mention many office jobs here EVEN WHEN THEY’RE NOT DIRECTLY GOVERNMENT require all kinds of security clearances, full scope polygraphs, etc. Dudes, if you saw some of the clowns spilling out of federal office buildings or some of these “clearance required” companies, you’d wonder how in THE WORLD they passed any kind of background check. Some of them I’m certain have dead cats in their basements.

Signed,

Peeved in D.C.