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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.


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 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.


Big Shot Dirty Man

23 Mar

When I worked at the Department of Justice many years ago we had an executive guy who sat in his window office in downtown Washington, D.C. and– get this– smoked cigarettes.


Oh, yes he did.

This was circa mid-90’s when I’m assuming few thought that secondhand smoke could affect those who weren’t smoking. There we’d be, us lowly office clerks filing and typing and answering the ever ringing phones with his cigarette funk floating through the vents all around us.

None of us would dare say anything like, “Um, excuse me, Mr. Reign Over Us, could you, um, stop smoking ALL DAY LONG INSIDE the building?”

Every so often he would emerge from his office and eyeball us and then return to his smoky den.

I think I once saw him with his feet propped up on his desk while gazing out of his window.

That guy rattled me to my utmost fibers.

Sometimes I wonder where he is now. Probably retired and sitting somewhere in flip-flops in Pensacola with a cigarette in his mouth.

Don’t know what made me think of him today but there he was hanging out in my mind annoying me post-offense.

Just thought I’d share an office story with you. Wink.

I Mean, It’s Your Butt

26 Nov


1. higher in station, rank, degree, importance
2. above the average in excellence, merit, intelligence
3. showing a consciousness or feeling of being better than or above others.
This is where “superior” people sit. People deemed more important than support staff. People who get paid gobs more than the staff beneath them. In a catalog it’s actually labeled “Executive Chair”:

Meanwhile this is the chair your butt must plop into while you handle a “superior’s” paperwork:

Is his butt more superior than yours?

So what, he’s put in twenty years longer than you have. Your butt is important to you. It is a vital part of your anatomy. I mean, after all, you’re the one who does all the dirty work.  In fact, you cover their butt all the time.  Why can’t your butt be held by a buttery soft comfy chair, too?

Gosh, do you have to wait twenty more years before you’re deemed important enough to have an “Executive” chair?

Twenty years is a long time to wait for your butt to be cushioned properly. Why, at 40 hours/week that’s a gazillion hours from now. What if you get pregnant in that time period? I mean, is there a Pregnant Woman chair to accomodate your wider frame, your swollen-ness? What if you gain thirty pounds from eating four million “treats” from the vending machine in those twenty more years?

I mean really, would you sit in this chair at your home for eight hours a day, perched facing in one direction?

I’m sorry. Did I upset you? Wait. I didn’t mean to ruin your weekend. I–I just wanted to awaken your inner rebel, your dormant confrontational equal rights self. Here’s a suggestion for Monday when you return to work after a refreshing three or four-day weekend:

Get the Staples (or Ben’s Office Furniture) catalog, march into aforementioned superior’s office with the “executive” chair of your choice circled boldly with a black Sharpie and demand ask for a new improved chair, one just like similar to the one his/her butt is resting comfortably on.

After all, your butt is very important to you.

I’m here 4 you.

Upper Management

9 Nov

It just sounds funky…UPPER Management.

As if they’re superior.

As if they’re on some kind of throne.

As if we are peons, little wobbly weebles who merely offer servitude for their paperwork, their coffee cravings, their catered boring meetings where they sit around discussing the creation of even more paperwork.

And there I sit with ink pen in hand, pretending as if I care about mergers and acquisitions, number crunching and adjudications. It’s as if they’re speaking Yiddish. And I could care less. But I scribble fast, taking notes on Bob and Tom and Peter’s musings and ramblings.

“Are you getting all of this down, Jennifer?”

I hate taking notes on what people are saying.

As if what they’re pontificating about is vital, crucial to the survival of mankind. As if it’s a matter of life and death.

They really annoy me. I mean, to the utmost fibroids of my innermost self.

And the thing that really gets me is they make, like, five times what I make.

Down with upper management. They suck-tola.

Goony Goons

29 Aug

Are you sitting down? Is your boss near? You may want to have a drink of water before reading this:

Chief executives at 299 U.S. companies took home a combined $3.4 billion in 2010, enough to employ more than 102,000 workers, the labor group AFL-CIO said in study released in April.

They’re goons. Robbers. Thieves hovering over us.

They’re bandits. They’re shafters.

Get. Out. Now.

Find a way to do what you love. You cannot remain in that cubicle stance for the next 25 years. You just can’t.