Asking For What We're Worth

Welcome to the Tuesday guest blog. Every Tuesday "On Balance" features the views of a guest writer. It could be your neighbor, your boss, your most loved or hated poster from the blog, or you! Send me your original, unpublished entry (300 words or fewer) for consideration. Obviously, the topic should be something related to balancing your life.

By Shellye Archambeau

You know what I find frustrating? That so many smart, hard-working women make less money than men. Only 77 cents on the dollar, according to the latest Labor Department report. However, I don't believe there is a conspiracy. Senior managers are not plotting and planning to underpay women.

Having spent over 22 years in the male-dominated technology industry, managing organizations of all sizes, it continues to disappoint me that in most cases women aren't asking for the money they deserve, and therefore aren't getting it.

In most large and small companies, everyone knows the performance review and pay-raise cycle. Over the years, during this time, I'd start hearing knocks on my door. It'd be Jim, who'd tell me about the key client he closed and his son's college tuition. Or Dave, who'd tell me what kind of raise he expected this year given his performance and increased personal expenses due to the birth of his twins.

The women would stay away from my office at raise time, silently hoping I would remember how hard they'd worked and how much they'd achieved. I only had so much in my budget for raises, and because the men all came and publicly declared how deserving they were and what they expected, they got a few percentage points more. Over the course over a 30-year career, those percentages add up.

I'm trying to encourage women, not blame them. As an African-American woman, I'm a double minority, and I've stared down plenty of prejudice based on color and gender. This is a cultural difference, not a performance issue.

My message to women is this: Knock on my door. Tell me why you've earned your raise this year and what you expect. I'm happy to give it to you. But you've got to ask for it first. Asking for what we're worth is how we're going to close the wage gap in this country.

Shellye Archambeau is currently CEO of MetricStream, a compliance software solution provider, and has worked for more than 20 years in the technology industry, holding sales and marketing positions at IBM, Blockbuster and LoudCloud. She lives in northern California with her husband and two children. This Guest Blog was adapted from her Striking the Balance panel remarks at the Wharton Economic Summit in Philadelphia on April 12, 2007.

By Leslie Morgan Steiner |  May 1, 2007; 8:00 AM ET  | Category:  Guest Blogs
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Comments

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first...

Posted by: Bryn Mawr | May 1, 2007 7:57 AM

Second, dammit!

Posted by: Jack Bauer | May 1, 2007 8:01 AM

Third

Posted by: Troisiemme | May 1, 2007 8:04 AM

Fourth

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 8:08 AM

If the CEO is willing to give the women who perform well in her company what they deserve if they ask for it, why is she waiting? What's stopping her from giving it to them whether they ask for it or not?

It sounds to me as if she's saying "if you value your effort enough to push for more money, you'll get it, but I'm not going to take the initiative and reward you for your efforts unasked".

Posted by: John L | May 1, 2007 8:10 AM

One thing that's always confused me about the statistics about wages is that it assumes that the MOST important thing for everyone about their job is the salary alone. I'm one of those women who's willing to trade alot for flextime, the ability to work from home, and not having to travel. As I picture myself in the scenario you describe, I'm thinking I'd probably avoid knocking on your door because then I'd have to have another discussion about why I don't want to do the presentation in Florida, or attend the convention in California or any of the other things that the high-earners do. Perhaps all the guys can go in to your office and explain how they're willing to do anything for the corporation, day or night, and maybe some of the women can't. Just a thought.

Posted by: Armchair Mom | May 1, 2007 8:14 AM

"If the CEO is willing to give the women who perform well in her company what they deserve if they ask for it, why is she waiting? What's stopping her from giving it to them whether they ask for it or not?"

I would think that she is also interested in keeping expenses down. If you were paying for, let's say, a car and the seller was willing to accept NN$$, would you offer to pay 2xNN$$ because you think the car is worth it? No, you would pay as little as mutually acceptable to get the most bang for your buck.

Posted by: to John L | May 1, 2007 8:19 AM

Shellye, this is a fantastic blog. You are absolutely spot on. Women need to realize that you may not necessarily have to fight for what you want (although you should be prepared to do so), but you should at the very least ASK.

If you don't go after what you want, you'll never have it.
If you don't ask, the answer is always no.
If you don't step forward, you're always in the same place.

Posted by: WorkingMomX | May 1, 2007 8:21 AM

No project manager wants to ask a mother of a young child to go off on a business trip for a week when other employees are available.

Especially if she complains about her husband not doing enough around the house.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 8:24 AM

Armchair mom-sure there are other important things along side with money, but her examples were men also dealing with balance. See the example of expenses with twins (could be code words for spending time, imho..). Using better terminology when we ask for things would help women. When asking for money, phrase things as expenses. When asking for time, phrase things otherwise.

Posted by: dotted | May 1, 2007 8:24 AM

Armchair Mom -

I think there are a lot of women (and perhaps some men, too) who take your approach. But it is EXACTLY the kind of passivity that Shellye is arguing against. I bet -- even though for now you are opting against travel -- that you give a lot to your job. You still deserve to be recognized financially for your contributions. Men are encouraged by our society to demand what they are worth -- and women are socialized to be grateful for whatever we get.

Posted by: Leslie | May 1, 2007 8:26 AM

Sing it. It drives me crazy when women won't ask for what they're worth. If men keep their mouths shut and hope that someone somewhere will notice how hard they work, then they, too, get crappy raises.

Every single time I didn't speak up, I regretted it bitterly. The last time that happened was three years ago, when I took my present job. I have made up for it in the intervening years and have gotten a raise every six months since then. I wasn't satisfied with my last raise, so I told my manager I wanted more money. He said he'd get me another raise in six months. If I hadn't said anything, I'd have been waiting for a year.

The more frequently I ask for more money, the easier it gets.

Posted by: Lizzie | May 1, 2007 8:27 AM

"As I picture myself in the scenario you describe, I'm thinking I'd probably avoid knocking on your door because then I'd have to have another discussion about why I don't want to do the presentation in Florida, or attend the convention in California or any of the other things that the high-earners do."

So what? You can still ask. The worst she can say is no.

My job has flexible hours and little travel, and I'd never dream of feeling like those things make up for being paid less than what I'm worth.

Posted by: Lizzie | May 1, 2007 8:29 AM

So, the CEO won't reward workers for good performance unless they ask for it? There are probably men who feel uncomfortable going into her office and asking for more money too, not just women. Sounds like the CEO is so isolated from who's actually doing the work that she has no idea who are the good performers and who aren't.

ISTM that a more proactive company would reward good performance with bonuses and raises without having the employees come and beg for it first.

Posted by: John L | May 1, 2007 8:30 AM

Armchair Mom - I agree with your point about how valuable flextime and other QOL issues are and how they don't always get taken into account when people speak of salaries. But my understanding is that the pay differential measures two people doing the SAME job. Presumably, that means the same amount of hours. So - yes, it annoys me that men get paid more than women for doing the same amount of work.

I completely agree with Shellye's point as well. Men make more money because they ASK for it. Men traditionally are much better at tooting their own horn and selling themselves. Women tend to downplay their roles for the sake of the "team" and we feel less comfortable asking for more money.

Ironically, many of the same traits that make women such great employees make us less likely to get the job promotion, great assignment at work or pay raise like our male counterparts.

Posted by: londonmom | May 1, 2007 8:31 AM

Too humble is half proud.

If you really think you deserve a raise, make a case for it. I have, regularly, through the years. The worst thing I have heard is, "No, our budget has been hacked." I got a bonus though!

Shelley wants to turn a profit. That's part of being in a business. Shelley also wants people who show initiative and have some moxie. It's her company, those are the sort of people she will reward with the most money. Now that she's signed her name to today's blog, what are you willing to bet that over the course of the next couple of years there will be more women knocking on the door, telling her why they deserve more money (or flex-time, or whatever)?

Posted by: Maryland Mother | May 1, 2007 8:32 AM

"You can still ask. The worst she can say is no."

No, the worst she can say is "well, if you won't go on business trips, I'll find someone who will. You have two weeks."

IMO that kind of fear is what keeps employees from going into the boss' office and demanding a raise. Squeaky wheels get the grease and all that, but sometimes they just get replaced.

Posted by: John L | May 1, 2007 8:33 AM

The only reason that I was granted a raise in November and one this month was that I specifically ask for it. The November raise was in recognition of my performance. The May raise is contingent upon meeting mutually agreed to goals. I do need to write a note to the boss today to recap my goals and outline my success in achieving them.

Posted by: Fred | May 1, 2007 8:33 AM

It's not Shelley's job to read every employees mind, nor is it her job to track everybody down to ask them what sort of perk they want for above-average performance.

We're adults, right? If there is something you want in the way of a reward for your efforts at work--ask for it! I'd feel patronized if I got a reward that I didn't value. Perhaps Armchair Mother may want more flex-time and wouldn't value a larger paycheck, whereas Lizzie may be a "Show me the money!" kind of person.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 8:37 AM

Posted by:to John L is exactly right. If you don't ask, you are telegraphing the message to your boss that you are perfectly happy with what you have. Why then would managers give you more if it doesn't seem necessary?

I also think Shellye is right on. I am a woman working in a fast-paced, male dominated finance industry. I got my last raise and promotion ahead of male colleagues because 1) I am very good at my job and 2) I went and told my boss that and asked for what I wanted. If I hadn't, it probably would have come eventually, but not as soon. I know it's a generalization, but women seem a lot less willing to toot their own horn, and they need to get over that.

Also, I think Armchair Mom raises an important point. It is totally fine to make the choice to take some flexibility in your job if you have the option and want to do that. But Leslie's response is off target - if you take the flexibility, but someone else is willing to do the trip/all-nighter/client dinners, they are contributing more, and there's nothing wrong with their compensation being higher to reflect that. That's the problem I have with those pay differential statistics - I don't think they take those choices into account.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 8:42 AM

So how on earth do the high rollers get high six figure to million dollar salaries? I can offer consulting advice AND make bad puns, parodies, and rant about solving global scale problems. These are priceless talents! Somebody pay me oodles of money for them! I just ask for a chance to prove that money can't buy happiness. ;-P

Posted by: Chris | May 1, 2007 8:45 AM

Armchair mom - Not sure if you are in my situation but I have carved out a unique niche with my job. I have given up higher pay and advancement for flexibility and reduced hours. When that changes and I am willing to put in the longer hours or travel then I will expect (and ask for) more pay, but for now I choose not to "rock the boat." I have a good situation that many people envy and I recognize it.

Sometimes it is possible to ask for too much and everyone is replaceable - so people have to judge for themselves how far to push the envelope.

And I disagree with John L. - most bosses I know will not just hand out "extra money." Women - if you are worth it - ask for it! Don't be shy and don't expect handouts.

Posted by: cmac | May 1, 2007 8:45 AM

In the examples above, I understand why the CEO would be moved by the guys mentioning "the key client he closed" or "his performance," but why is it her job to help them pay college tuition or meet their increased personal expenses due to the birth of twins? I certainly understand that people have different expense levels, but it seems to me that those expense levels are more a choice of the employee than a "business expense." What is the relationship (if indeed there is one) between the salaries employees "need" and the value of their work to the company?

(Not arguing against kids here--I am a mom too--but not expecting to earn more because I have them either.)

Posted by: what we're worth v. what we want | May 1, 2007 8:47 AM

londonmom -

Maybe someone else has better information, but I think while those studies track people in the same job (ie, title) there's no way they can take into account hours/contribution. Most professional / white collar jobs are not based on required hours. Some weeks you make work 45 hours and some weeks 65. Some people may be willing to do 65 every week, and others prefer to do 45 for whatever reason. My bet is the person with 65 gets paid more (and then promoted faster). I just don't see how the study data could be nuanced enough to capture that.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 8:48 AM

I have been on a mommy track type of a job for nearly 2 years now. When I took this job I did not take a pay cut but I did not push for the highest grade (which was a mistake). I have been asking for a promotion for nearly a year now......Shellye is right. Ask for the moon... you may be surprised.

Posted by: fedmom | May 1, 2007 8:48 AM

"If you really think you deserve a raise, make a case for it."

The best case for asking for a raise is to let your boss know you got a better offer elsewhere.

I've worked in the technology field since my early 20's. The best way I've found to move up is to move out.

About 15 years ago, my wife was working as a nurse at a pediatrician's office. She got word that another practice, (closer to home, a few extra dollars per hour, better morale...) was looking for nurses to hire. It took me months of convincing her to take the job with the new practice before she finally did.

The biggest reason she didn't want to take a new job? She didn't want to leave her old work friends. Huh?

For me it's like: "See ya Bob. You can find me grazing from the greener pasture over yonder."

Posted by: Father of 4 | May 1, 2007 8:56 AM

another example of women expecting women to act like men to define and achieve success. This woman is doing no more for other women than the women who opt out. If women expect other women to help them a la "the old boys club" they are sorely mistaken. Women are much better served by finding a male mentor.

Posted by: Don't have to be like boys | May 1, 2007 8:56 AM

My point is that a proactive company would be more likely to reward good performance in order to retain those employees, then to wait until they knock on the boss' door to beg for more money. My wife has worked for several companies that did just that; handed out bonuses and raises based on end of year performance evaluations.

Posted by: John L | May 1, 2007 8:57 AM

I agree women are less inclined to toot their own horns. But I think we are socialized that way. I was plenty uppity as a teenager, and my mom supported that -- but the clear message I got from my classmates, and my older female relatives was that you DON'T toot your own horn, you don't brag about yourself, or "people won't like you." And the guys my age clearly did NOT get that message -- you'd hear them every day, running around bragging about the great goal they scored the night before (or the great girl they . . . well, that's another blog). And that kind of talk seemed to reinforce their status instead of undercut it.

Even the schools encouraged this. My teachers always noticed and rewarded my good work -- I was very successful in school because I followed the rules, paid attention, and did good work. Whereas the ones who acted up and drew attention (mostly boys) were sent to detention and didn't do as well. Clear lesson: if you do good work, it will speak for itself, and you will be rewarded; but if you attract too much attention to yourself, you will be punished.

So why would it be at all surprising that girls, when they grow up and go out into the workforce, expect their good work to be noticed and don't go running around tooting their own horns? You can't train someone to "behave" for 18, 22, 25 years, and then expect her to change her behavior with a snap of the fingers -- or even to understand that the rules are different in the business world than in school/friendships.

I hope we are teaching our girls better now. I know I struggle with my own (almost) 6-yr-old daughter. She will frequently brag about how smart she is, or how well she did on her math in school, and I am torn between encouraging her self-confidence and wanting to teach her to tone it down so she doesn't alienate her friends.

Posted by: Laura | May 1, 2007 8:57 AM

Father of 4

"I've worked in the technology field since my early 20's. The best way I've found to move up is to move out."

Too bad you didn't learn how to control the credit card spending in your family!!

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 8:59 AM

but why is it her job to help them pay college tuition or meet their increased personal expenses due to the birth of twins?

It's not, but it sounds as though it is also code for, "I'm a good husband/father and I want to provide for my family without leaving THIS job and taking my considerable skills elsewhere. What will you give me?"

Women aren't rewarded for that request nearly as often because culturally we're not supposed to be earning money--we're supposed to be spending it. We're not providers of the lifestyle, we're the dispensers. Nuts to that!

Anyone around here (I think it was 103.5) heard that horrible, horrible ad for some new home builder, where the little girl is going on and on and about all the "perfect" accoutrements and benefits to this builder? And Mom & Dad chuckle lovingly as Dad says, "You're going to grow up to be a great little shopper, just like your mom!"

*projectile vomits*

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 8:59 AM

Ms. Archambeau:

While I agree with you to a certain extent, I can tell you that I *have* gone and talked to my various bosses and asked them for the raises I thought I deserved.

I have quoted hard work, personal expenses, and dedication to the company. I have brought up letters of commendation from senior management and clients. I have brought up turning around projects assumed to be dead and if not making them profitable, at least saving the company from losing the project completely.

And I got cost of living raises. And watched my male colleagues crow over 10% raises.

As a matter of fact, the only time I didn't do it was the only time I didn't have to. My work actually spoke for itself. My department head admitted he had low-balled me during salary negotiations because he had underestimated my skills. So I was getting a 20% raise and a 20% bonus. And I got another 20% raise at mid-year, to put me at the highest earning level for my position.

*sigh* I miss that job...stupid corporate mergers.

You are obviously a smart and enlightened woman. I agree that women are less likely to talk money. But some of us do and some of us still get cr@p salaries.

You also sound rare. Because my female bosses have been the ones who take all my hard work for granted come review time. It's been weird - they act like because I am a woman like them, then my hard work is expected, and not to be rewarded. But when a male colleague worked hard, well, he was a guy and that was astounding!

(I realize not all women bosses are like this, but mine were. The cool women bosses were always over in the next department.)

I even had one company head slide my webmaster position from IT (where the pay scales were higher) to the Marketing Department at performance review time because she belatedly realized the promotion she promised me meant a huge jump in pay scale. So while I technically got a promotion, the raise was almost non-existent.

I have my own business now. I get paid exactly what I deserve. I don't know that I'll ever go back to working for other people.

Posted by: Chasmosaur | May 1, 2007 8:59 AM

I think the key to getting women, particularly young women, to recognize their worth and ask for what they think they deserve is a good mentor. I was lucky enough to have that and it makes a world of difference. Now that I am more senior, I still get advice from her on what career track to follow, whether I should tell my manager this or that, and she is ALWAYS encouraging me to speak my mind. There is a way to address these things without having to worry about your boss saying "well if you traveled more.." how about pointing that out yourself. Saying --I know I can't travel at the drop of a dime like so and so, but I've done this, that, this... etc.-- make the case for yourself.

And saying you *need* a raise, I think is in appropriate. Everyone could use some more money, you have to prove that you DESERVE it.

Posted by: JJ | May 1, 2007 9:04 AM

Women are much better served by finding a male mentor.

Posted by: Don't have to be like boys

No, instead you sound as though you want to be protected from the boys.

Grow up, do good work, let it be known that you do good work and ask for what you want. Don't expect people to come chasing after YOU, offering the sun, the moon, the stars!

That's passive-aggressive behaviour, and it encourages people to view you in a patronizing, slightly infantilized way.

Posted by: Another federal mother | May 1, 2007 9:05 AM

But some of us do and some of us still get cr@p salaries.

Men don't always magically get great salaries either. Note how much more effort they put into tooting their own horns, for example. Not that it's a guarantee to a raise. It sure helps, though.

Posted by: to Chasmosaur | May 1, 2007 9:06 AM

The phenomenon Shelly describes starts at the time the position is filled. Often, women ask for lower starting salaries then men, especially women who are returning to the workforce after some time as a SAHM - they want to get their foot in the door again. If an applicant's requested and negotiated starting salary is less than others in equivalent positions, she is always going to be behind the others - even if they all receive equal percentage raises, the gap will widen significantly over time. Very few companies are going to to volunteer to pay an employee more than she asks for just because other employees make more.

Posted by: BLE | May 1, 2007 9:07 AM

Not protected, actually mentored as opposed to being let down by supposed role model, "successful" jealous, small minded women who see every person with a vagina as a potential threat. If they are so good, then why act as if your position is so tenuous?

Posted by: Don't have to be like boys | May 1, 2007 9:07 AM

Sorry, that should read, "No, instead you sound as though you want to be protected from the boys, by a boy."

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 9:07 AM

Chasmosaur: Kudos to you! More women should realize that if they can't get what they want from someone else, they should go out and make it happen for themselves!

There are still, though, women who do that and don't value their time enough with their clients. In teaching (adult) entrepreneurs for several years, I've had to really focus the women on talking about themselves and asking for what they need, whether that be advisors, investment money, or customers. Too many people pull the "well if they can't see it, I'm not going to tell them" crap. This isn't a game, it is the business of life! Go out and ask for what you need!

Posted by: ParentPreneur | May 1, 2007 9:08 AM

they are so good, then why act as if your position is so tenuous?

Everybody is replaceable. No one is so good that they are likely to be remembered for more than 6 months after they leave (new job, retirement, death).

Let's not forget that attrition also makes promotions possible.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 9:09 AM

OK, I give up! What is a key party?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 9:11 AM

No one is so good

"Few are so good..."

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 9:14 AM

"My point is that a proactive company would be more likely to reward good performance in order to retain those employees, then to wait until they knock on the boss' door to beg for more money. My wife has worked for several companies that did just that; handed out bonuses and raises based on end of year performance evaluations.

Posted by: John L | May 1, 2007 08:57 AM"

John L, I think you're exactly right on this. With the caveat that not all companies are good companies -- many see their employees as fungible widgets, so their only focus is on keeping the costs associated with those widgets as low as possible. I suspect that the more you are in a job/profession that relies on your distinct skills, the better your chance of running into a company that acts this way.

But also, that currency may not always be, well, currency. For me, having additional time is more important than having more money. From the various studies I've read about recently, a lot of other lawyers fall into this category -- as do a lot of younger workers. So I suspect a really smart employer will try to target those perks toward whatever it is that the employee wants.

For ex., my firm has a multiple-tiered bonus structure, where you get automatic bonuses for reaching certain billables, and everyone knows what those levels are. So an associate can choose to work anywhere within a range of about 400 hrs and still have the same shot at partnership -- only difference is how much money they make in a given year. Plus we have a second part of the bonus that is discretionary, based on the quality of work, which helps us to provide some extra incentive to superstars. (We have something similar for partners, with different tiers of $$$ based on billables, rainmaking, etc. -- the idea was to provide a niche for partners who have valuable skills but don't want to work 80 gazillion hrs or bring in millions in business).

I don't think we're anywhere near there yet -- for ex., the nature of the work makes it hard to offer true part-time, and to date, more women than men have taken advantage of the somewhat limited part-time we do offer. But our practice is 100% dependent on the quality of our people, so we do try to focus on rewarding the best performers -- not just the squeaky wheel.

Posted by: Laura | May 1, 2007 9:16 AM

To 9:06 am:

But that's the point. I tooted my d@mn horn. A lot. Just as much as the guys. I spent my formative professional years in a male-dominated environment (Vertebrate Paleo has more women than it used to, but when I was in school we were a small minority), so I had to make sure the work I did actually got attributed to me. I speak up, loud and clear and back it up with a paper trail.

I will say I do think I have been unlucky in my professional career. Lots of wrong places at wrong times. And bosses that have actually been fired for professional (and personal) irresponsibility about a year or so after I have left a company. (The one who shifted my job departments immediately springs to mind - turns out she was embezzling.)

The two jobs I loved the most I got laid off when budgets got tight. Both times the managers asked me to work with them again (once in the same job, once at another company), and they still act as willing and glowing references for me.

I agree not all men make great salaries. But it's amazing how in some situations, they don't have to toot their horns as loudly. Really.

Not bitter, just a string of cr@p jobs with cr@p bosses taught me a few life lessons.

Posted by: Chasmosaur | May 1, 2007 9:17 AM

As another poster mentioned, this blog is spot on. I feel that singing my own praises to my boss is boastful and maybe confrontational if he (and it has always been a he) does not agree.

I know this attitude is shortsighted and only hurts me. I will try to overcome it in an upcoming review!

Posted by: drmommy | May 1, 2007 9:20 AM

I think Shelley is exactly right. I have a federal gov't job and you have to have a certain time in grade before you are eligible for promotion. I kept careful track of my time and every time I hit the time in grade mark, I marched in to my boss and asked her to put me up for promotion. She did. I also would bring it up at my review 6 months prior saying, I will be eligible in 6 months, what do you need to see from me to make sure it happens? I work part-time and shun travel and extra hours too, like armchair mom. But, I don't apologize for it. I know that although they only pay me 70%, they get almost full-time work. You learn to be super-efficient and just crank it up a notch when things have to get done. If you consistently do good work, don't be afraid to ask for recognition. If you don't, someone else will, as Shelley so well illustrated.

Posted by: Pt Fed Mof2 | May 1, 2007 9:21 AM

So the men that came to you with their personal issues (new kids, college tuition) got more money?
For a CEO, it seems like this is everyone else's fault, but yours.

First, as CEO of you own firm, it is your duty to develop a contingency and succession plan for every employee.

Second, since you also handle employee salaries, you need to understand the contribution of each employee.

Third, to understand individual employee contributions, you need to have both annual and interim performance appraisals, and development plans for each employee.

This will ensure that every person understands their role in contributing to the firm's goals.
This will give them regular feedback on their progress attaining these goals, and link their salary to their work contributions, and not their personal financial obligations.

Sounds like a lot of work?
It is, but since it is your firm, it is your responsibility.

Posted by: Bryn Mawr | May 1, 2007 9:25 AM

I always thought that if employers didn't want employees looking elsewhere-or have headhunters call with better offers, they would be willing to make sure they took care of their employees. What employer wants to keep retraining new people? Of course the asking for more is definitely difficult, but if a headhunter calls and tells me they can get me X more I am willing to talk if it is a 20 percent raise or something. That is less likely to happen if my current employer is paying me market value. It all depends on whether they would want to keep me or not.

Posted by: atlmom | May 1, 2007 9:26 AM

Pt Fed Mof2 - it is great to hear that someone who works part time is still getting recognized and promoted. When my husband and I have kids, I'm really hoping to work part-time and I've been thinking that will probably mean I end up just doing a "job" as opposed to furthering my "career," which seemed like kind of a bummer (but prob worth it anyway). Your post was really encouraging, thanks!

Posted by: JJ | May 1, 2007 9:29 AM

Laura

"I agree women are less inclined to toot their own horns. But I think we are socialized that way."

Bingo!

Follow the rules & don't make waves.
Women are also socialized to "play nice". How many times has someone (usually a woman) tried to play "peacemaker" on this blog?

How many times has someone urged us to "get back to the topic"?
As if leaving the topic of the day was the end of the world. Sheesh!

How many times do posters "stick up" for each other? What's with that?

How many times has the word "snark" been used?

My personal favorite: calling anon posters GUTLESS COWARDS.

Land's Sakes, it's the Net, not your pre-screened monoculture Book Club!!!

Posted by: Spike | May 1, 2007 9:31 AM

I also agree with the author's point, and with the poster who wrote that the solution to overcome this attitude is to have a mentor (it's cool that we were just talking about this in the last few days). I just need to keep on hearing that I should be advocating for myslef because employers aren't just going to hand me money.

Well, that's not entirely true. At my workplace, we have annual performance reviews, and our annual raises are based on those reviews. So, theoretically, we are all given the raise we deserve every year. But in reality, I bet that the people who stop in and ask for raises or ask how to ensure that they get the biggest percentage available do get extra money.

Posted by: Meesh | May 1, 2007 9:32 AM

Women are not programmed to realize they deserve more money than they are earning. In fact, they probably feel guilty for not giving their "all" in every aspect of their lives.

To be brutally honest, women who do ask for ANYTHING--from pay raises to more sex in their relationships, are generally tagged with a negative connotation.

Most women don't want to have to ask for anything. They want their efforts to be recognized and rewarded accordingly--but the initiative has to be taken by someone else.

Posted by: JRS | May 1, 2007 9:35 AM

Meesh

"I bet that the people who stop in and ask for raises or ask how to ensure that they get the biggest percentage available do get extra money."

Yes, and the people who have the "inside track" and know the best possible time to approach the boss, are privy to budget info. and pet projects, etc.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 9:36 AM

In the tech field, if you toot your horn for working hard, what you are actually saying is that you're not working smart. Working smart is prefered.

Posted by: Father of 4 | May 1, 2007 9:36 AM

But my understanding is that the pay differential measures two people doing the SAME job.

Posted by: londonmom | May 1, 2007 08:31 AM

NO, it does not. It measures anyone who works full time at atny job more that 35 hr/wk.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 9:38 AM

To Chamousaur:

Maybe you're not as good as you think you are. A little self-awareness is a helpful - it's not always someone else's fault . . .

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 9:38 AM

I have a question that perhaps has been answered elsewhere, though I have not seen it. Is the 77 cents to the dollar difference between individuals working in the same field ie female to male computer engineer, or across fields. The question is relevant since many lower paying positions are dominated by women such as nursing and education. How does the employment dispersal affect compensation.

Posted by: Jonathan | May 1, 2007 9:39 AM

Laura wrote about school-age girls, "you don't brag about yourself, or "people won't like you." "

I wish this effect disappeared in adulthood but actually I think it's still alive and well. Some bosses see a woman asking for a raise as uppity, too aggressive, yet a man in the same situation would be praised for his initiative.

I know from experience... asked for a raise last year (after a really stellar performance where I went way above & beyond) and my (male, old-boys-club) boss was clearly taken aback. He grudgingly told me I could have the raise--but then he stalled me for six months, restructured my dept, posted my job as available without telling me he was planning to change my status, and a whole host of other things designed to get me to quit in disgust.

If someone higher up hadn't spotted our dept's distress and assigned us a new supervisor I would have either found a new job elsewhere, or got my lawyer involved (thus strengthening the perception of me as a strident overaggressive b*tch...)

Posted by: worker bee | May 1, 2007 9:39 AM

Women are also socialized to "play nice". How many times has someone (usually a woman) tried to play "peacemaker" on this blog?---

Maybe, just maybe the world would be a better place if more people "played nice". I would hate to see women seeing being nice as something to be avoided.

Posted by: Don't have to be like boys | May 1, 2007 9:43 AM

Don't sell yourself short in the evaluation process, either. We have to do an annual self-evalaution as part of the "360 degree feedback" process that feeds into the raise determinations. At first I used to follow the instructions and write about my strengths and weaknesses, things I did well and things I needed to improve, etc. Got average raises. Then I wised up and only wrote about the thigns I was great at and didn't include anything negative in my review. (Didn't lie about anything--I just left that stuff out and focused exclusively on my successes.) Raises went way up. I still self-evaluate my performance all the time, for my own professional development purposes, but for anything going in front of higher-ups who will be making salary/promotion decisions, I give them the sales job, not an eval.

Posted by: Arlmom | May 1, 2007 9:44 AM

Don't have to be like boys

"Maybe, just maybe the world would be a better place if more people "played nice". I would hate to see women seeing being nice as something to be avoided."

You are again proving my point!

Posted by: Spike | May 1, 2007 9:47 AM

"Third, to understand individual employee contributions, you need to have both annual and interim performance appraisals, and development plans for each employee."

A high-quality performance evaluation process often includes a written self-evaluation that is completed by the employee a few weeks prior to the formal evaluation meeting. This gives all employees a formal opportunity to toot his or her horn and back up a higher rating with specific examples of high performance. This tool is great for managers too, as the manager can be more confident that he or she has not overlooked any accomplishments.

I agree that is is a manager's responsibility to help ensure that an employee is compensated properly in the interest of employee retention. Employee turnover has high costs; some are training costs, some include low morale and the loss of corporate knowledge.

Ms. Archambeau's mention of her employees' citing personal financial needs sent up a red flag for me. Historically, men have been given higher raises in part because they were perceived to be the financial providers for families.

Ms. Archambeau states, "I'm happy to give it to you. But you've got to ask for it first." This struck me as rather arrogant, as if she enjoys seeing her employees in the role of supplicants.

Posted by: Marian | May 1, 2007 9:48 AM

"I have a question that perhaps has been answered elsewhere, though I have not seen it. Is the 77 cents to the dollar difference between individuals working in the same field ie female to male computer engineer, or across fields. The question is relevant since many lower paying positions are dominated by women such as nursing and education. How does the employment dispersal affect compensation."

See following for a recent study and its methodology: http://www.aauw.org/research/behindPayGap.pdf

Bottom line: it's difficult to control all of the variables -- as more variables are controlled, the difference in pay becomes significantly smaller. Some argue the difference is statistically insignificant once enough variables are taken into account, others disagree -- it is still an open academic question.

Posted by: A Dad | May 1, 2007 9:49 AM

"That's passive-aggressive behaviour, and it encourages people to view you in a patronizing, slightly infantilized way."

AKA - Martyr

Posted by: Another federal mother | May 1, 2007 9:50 AM

To: Don't have to be like the boys,
You are correct...and that's why the boys make more.

Posted by: Me | May 1, 2007 9:50 AM

In 2003 we were hiring a junior programmer and technical writer. We interviewed a woman who we wanted to hire who just got her Masters Degree. When it came to salary negotiation she stated she was looking for something at least $42k. We looked around the table and I said I had such high hopes for her that we would offer her $50k but that she had to deliver more for this job than her last job. We had just hired a man for a higher-level job in her track at $75k. I remember sitting in that room after she left and everyone just stared- why didn't she ask for the going market rate? 12 months later she quit and threw her salary back in my face, but I never understood why she quoted $42k as a salary request when it would have been more appropriate to say, $55k or so. I mean when your employer offers you $8k MORE than you're asking for then you know it's your problem. I know there is a lot of sexism in business, people still factor in potential maternity leaves when assigning plum tasks, but that woman didn't expect she should get paid a good salary and SHE FULFILLED THAT EXPECTATION. Get thee to "The Secret."

Posted by: DCer | May 1, 2007 9:52 AM

It is, but since it is your firm, it is your responsibility.

Posted by: Bryn Mawr | May 1, 2007 09:25 AM

And she is free to run it any way she likes (within the law). How do you know she doesn't do this already? The blog is a limited number of words, I doubt she could put her entire compensation model in there.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 9:54 AM

"another example of women expecting women to act like men to define and achieve success. This woman is doing no more for other women than the women who opt out. If women expect other women to help them a la "the old boys club" they are sorely mistaken. Women are much better served by finding a male mentor."

This attitude is what feminists fear. A woman who rises to the top by being assertive is playing the "man's game" and is betrying her feminine roots. By acting like a man, she is alienating women and making it harder to be a woman in the workplace.

Two things make this idea outdated and flat out wrong. (1) Being assertive in the workplace is not "acting like a man" any more than a man who doesn't ask for raises is "acting like a woman." Characteristics like assertiveness and chattiness are not assigned to a certain gender at birth. Certain people tend to be more aggressive than others. There is societal pressure to reassign certain characteristics to boys and girls, like raising little girls to be polite and letting "boys be boys." Therefore, as an adult, you have to realize that traits are fluid. You can learn that certain traits are better for one environment and cultivate them. Assertiveness is better for the work environment. SO you have to develop that trait. That same trait is not helpful is other environments, so you have to learn to downplay it.

So when you display a certain trait, you are not acting like a certain gender. You are reacting to your environment.

(2) Societal gender roles, which are constructs, are applied to boys and girls alike. So no gender is more enlightened. Your male menor could expect you be bashful and subservient. Your female mentor could expect you to know better. It all depends on their preconceived notions, and not on their gender. In general, however, bosses rose to the top because they were assertive, so they'll recognize and respect that trait in their employees.

Posted by: Meesh | May 1, 2007 9:57 AM

"Maybe, just maybe the world would be a better place if more people "played nice". I would hate to see women seeing being nice as something to be avoided."
----

Good lord, I hope you don't really believe that Ms. Doormat!

Posted by: DCer | May 1, 2007 9:59 AM

Maybe the problem is not that we "don't" toot our own horn as much as men (we don't, it's true), but that we care so much about what others think. I've seen a lot of comments along the lines of "little girls are taught from early on to play nice and not be demanding." This is true, and it's also true that when a woman IS demanding, she is labeled not-so-flatteringly.

But who cares? If your coworkers think of you as a hard-baller, why does it matter? As long as the work gets done and you're not being completely unreasonable, I've found that people usually back off once you stop letting them push you around. Now, I know I've been lambasted on this blog for being too full of myself, and that's true, but there have been instances in my life that I've had a good reason to speak up, and when I did, I had good results. Whether it was the job in college where I deserved the promotion, or the roommate who ate my food one too many times, or the boyfriend who was rude and hypercritical, when you stop being a doormat, people stop walking all over you. And the roommate and the boyfriend are still around, and they still like me just as much as before. The key is to not ask for more than you deserve (or in the case of employment, do ask for more than you deserve, and settle for what you deserve), and to make sure you really do deserve it. Once again, it's all about balance.

At my current job, I don't make that much. I make industry standard, though, and I make the same amount as my (also female) peer. I have a male coworker who has technically the same position as me, but probably makes more. I don't mind. He works 12 hours a day to my 8, has a Master's to my BS, and gets a lot more done than me. If I worked as hard as he does, and had his level of education, I'd expect more, but I doubt my boss would have to be told. He cares more about job performance than gender.

Now, when I get out of academia and into law, I'm sure it will be another story...

Posted by: Mona | May 1, 2007 10:00 AM

It is, but since it is your firm, it is your responsibility.

Posted by: Bryn Mawr | May 1, 2007 09:25 AM

And she is free to run it any way she likes (within the law). How do you know she doesn't do this already? The blog is a limited number of words, I doubt she could put her entire compensation model in there.

******************************************
Answers are from the essay:
The women would stay away from my office at raise time...

and.....

Tell me why you've earned your raise this year and what you expect.

************************************

Posted by: Bryn Mawr | May 1, 2007 10:00 AM

Historically, men have been given higher raises in part because they were perceived to be the financial providers for families.

No, it was, in most cases, because they actually were.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 10:01 AM

"A high-quality performance evaluation process often includes a written self-evaluation that is completed by the employee a few weeks prior to the formal
evaluation"

This is a tactice required by lazy managers who not only have no clue as to what their employee is doing, but once again, pawn their work an responsibility off onto the persons who they are supposably supervising.

Posted by: Father of 4 | May 1, 2007 10:02 AM

i think the socialization of women not to brag or be aggressive starts very early. look at most fairy tales. young helpless female is almost always rescued by a handsome prince. it continues in school and beyond.

Posted by: quark | May 1, 2007 10:02 AM

Sorry to disagree, but the self evaluation is used to highlight things that the manager may have forgotten about over the last year. this is a long time to remember, and gets harder with several direct reports.

Posted by: to Fo4 | May 1, 2007 10:06 AM

Bosses rise to the top for many reasons. Good bosses may rise to the top because of their assertiveness, but we all know how few good bosses there are out there.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 10:08 AM

This is a tactice required by lazy managers who not only have no clue as to what their employee is doing, but once again, pawn their work an responsibility off onto the persons who they are supposably supervising.
--------

I think you mean "supposedly."

No, that's incorrect. How am I supposed to know that you secretly want to work in databases and not in network security if all you talk about with me is the football team, your kids, and complain about the clients? The 360 evaluation is a chance for the employee to explain their obvious faults, such as spelling, and to let me know where they want to go in an official, archived, document. Our 360 evaluation needs to be in-writing for ISO 9000 rules. When you wrote the above, did you take into account ISO 9000? Did you?

Posted by: DCer | May 1, 2007 10:09 AM

Mona, great points... it isn't as if I needed my evil boss to like me, after all! And since I did eventually get my raise and I'm still with the company I don't want to make it sound like I think asking for a raise is a bad idea... only that it isn't always smooth sailing.

Posted by: worker bee | May 1, 2007 10:09 AM

quark

"young helpless female is almost always rescued by a handsome prince. it continues in school and beyond. "

right into Disney trips where girls end up tricked out as the passive Princess!

Posted by: Spike | May 1, 2007 10:09 AM

This was a good blog entry.

Everybody is right on the list of things that keep us from demanding what we're worth.

I wish I were more comfortable demanding what I'm worth. I know there are guys doing what I do earning more.

And what diff does it make is somebody has twins or not? The job didn't hire the darn twins, it hired to worker.

This has inspired me and I hope to be more forthright this review cycle!

Posted by: RoseG | May 1, 2007 10:10 AM

It is, but since it is your firm, it is your responsibility.

Posted by: Bryn Mawr | May 1, 2007 09:25 AM

And she is free to run it any way she likes (within the law). How do you know she doesn't do this already? The blog is a limited number of words, I doubt she could put her entire compensation model in there.

******************************************
Answers are from the essay:
The women would stay away from my office at raise time...

and.....

Tell me why you've earned your raise this year and what you expect.

************************************

Posted by: Bryn Mawr | May 1, 2007 10:00 AM

But you still don't know what happens in addition to the things she listed. The "answers' from the blog could be in external to her review process or offcycle.

The point she can run her business any way she feels. The fact that it isn't the way you think, or were taught, it should be doesn't make it wrong. The message is that if you don't ask for what you want you probably won't get it.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 10:11 AM

RoseG

"This has inspired me and I hope to be more forthright this review cycle!"

My work is done here. May the force be with you.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 10:12 AM

Oh my, Dcer! Who is the dumb one? You took advantage of her ignorance of the market rate and gave her substantially less than she deserved and then were surprised when she left upset at the low-ball salary you gave her! I think you just lost a good employee but saved a a few thousand on her salary for a year. Poor strategy on your part.

I remember coming from abroad and getting a really low offer based on my prior consulting income (in a country where a live-in nanny earned $150 per month). I tried the "cost of living" negotiation approach but no way and without a US work history I was lucky to get that first job and low salary. Eight years and 3 jobs later I now earn triple that first salary. Asking for raises and applying for promotions helped, but changing jobs was the best way to advance once I had started at such a low wage. Do I resent that first low paying job? Not now, but at the time I was extremely resentful. During that first year, I worked really hard, gained experience and good recommendations and immediately began looking for a new job.

The woman who threw the salary back in your face and moved on to better things used your firm to gain the experience and knowledge to get her real worth in the market place. The losers were you and your firm. Who was dumb and shortsighted? The woman who asked for too little or the firm that took short-term advantage of her?

Posted by: relativelynewtoblog | May 1, 2007 10:15 AM

And what diff does it make is somebody has twins or not? The job didn't hire the darn twins, it hired to worker.

Posted by: RoseG | May 1, 2007 10:10 AM

This is guy code words for: "I have more responsibility and expenses for my family and as a result need more money. If I can't get it here, I will have to look elsewhere."

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 10:16 AM

Great guest blog. Obviously it won't hold true at every workplace but I bet it does at an awful lot of them.

I also agree that in some industries or organizations you have to be willing to leave to get more. My largest leap in terms of promotion and salary came when I quit my job to pursue my own business, and then was rehired into a more senior position. The trick was, really, that I had taken on the more senior position during that person's leave (working crazy hrs to do both jobs) so they knew I could do it. But no one was going to offer it to me because they were so happy with having me in the lower-paid role... until I left.

Mind you, they might well have said bye! Have a nice life! :-)

Right now I feel like I'm more in a holding pattern though and it is frustrating. This wouldn't be the year I would ask for more. I think timing is important too.

Posted by: Shandra | May 1, 2007 10:17 AM

Sorry to disagree, but the self evaluation is used to highlight things that the manager may have forgotten about over the last year. this is a long time to remember, and gets harder with several direct reports.

Posted by: to Fo4 | May 1, 2007 10:06 AM

I tend to agree. It is also the employees chance to "toot their own horn." At our office we fill out the employee evaluation, our managers add their input then we meet face to face to hash out the differences if there are any. We implemented this last year because some managers were not providing the written evaluations before raises and there was no time for a dispute if there was a negative comment. For us it took care of the lazy managers.

Posted by: cmac | May 1, 2007 10:18 AM

Historically, men have been given higher raises in part because they were perceived to be the financial providers for families.

No, it was, in most cases, because they actually were.
--------------

No. You missed the point. Women in the workforce prior to 1970 were quite often the sole breadwinners. I read a thing about that, women who were teachers and nurses in the 1950s were the heads of their households aka breadwinners something like 50% of the time- it was different in other professions. I read this 20 years ago, so I might be wrong, but it was something used to counteract the low pay argument- women who worked in the 50s and 60s WERE supporting families, same as men. My mother sort of adopted her friends who lost fathers in WW2 or babysat their sisters for pocket money- they'd come to her house after school while mom worked- we're talking 1946, 1948, 1950- single mother families in her factory town- you can't get much more classic midcentury middle american than than that and those women were heads of households still battling low nurse pay. I think one friend's mother inherited a bowling alley that fell on hard times or something pretty sleazy/shocking- you know, a woman who owned a bowling alley bar.

Posted by: DCer | May 1, 2007 10:18 AM

asking for a raise, showing that you're a team player, listing all the things you've done to make $ for the co/save $,on and on...these are great ideas but the one thing no one has mentioned is you can 'negotiate' or ask for a raise all you like, but co's have a set salary point for any given position. if the budget dictates that the job pays X and you make X, there is no raise. I have done the present-your-case-for-a-raise five years in a row, with excellent reviews and constant positive feedback all year long from my boss and his boss. The answer is always, gee, I 'd love to give you a raise but there is nothing in the budget. I have been able to get some extra vacation time, and a few telecommute days for special projects, but no hard cash. Others have done the same.One person, a p/timer, got a 1% raise in 2005. Whenever the Post's career guru Amy Joyce or other experts spell out just what to do to walk in and get that raise, I laugh: they themselves certainly are not practicing what they preach, and they neglect to mention that budget considerations often override even the most wonderful negotiating/asking speech!

Posted by: May22 | May 1, 2007 10:23 AM

Bragging and acting like you have the biggest D*&% in the room even when you don't have one as the means to success demonstrates a decided lack of imagination. And re: the Ms. Dormat comment, being nice and considerate does not mean being a doormat. All these wonderful traits have been demonized and only serve to errode things that support families and caring in our culture in the name of capitalism. All these ball breakers are probably the first in line looking for a "nice" boss who will give them flex time.

Posted by: Don't have to be like boys | May 1, 2007 10:23 AM

Meesh said:
"In general, however, bosses rose to the top because they were assertive, so they'll recognize and respect that trait in their employees."

I agree that this does seem to be the reality faced by most employees. I would like to add that while it is important to develop assertiveness if it doesn't come naturally or didn't come through upbringing, bosses should also recognize and respect that qualities such as being a good team player or having empathy for others are extremely valuable in some settings. Sometimes the personal qualities that make a person excellent at customer service (and I include professionals here--professionals have customers too, sometimes internal in a company, sometimes direct paying clients), don't come along with being inherently assertive.

Would it be wise to penalize someone who is great with clients and customers because he or she is not assertive about asking for a raise or would it be better to develop tools that can help with accurately assessing an employee's worth? The last time I checked, managing was about managing people, not just projects.

Posted by: Marian | May 1, 2007 10:23 AM

Previously you wrote:
**************************************
you still don't know what happens in addition to the things she listed. The "answers' from the blog could be in external to her review process or offcycle.

The point she can run her business any way she feels. The fact that it isn't the way you think, or were taught, it should be doesn't make it wrong. The message is that if you don't ask for what you want you probably won't get it.
************************************

Most of us on this blog are not omniscient.
Yes we don't know everything, but the CEO of this firm took the time to write this essay. Hopefully they reviewed it, and its tone of "everyone else is wrong but me".

She could have elected to include this but did not.

If she is handing out raises without this information, she will spend a lot of $ replacing ex-employees.

If she has this information, and still depends on others to stop by with their personal stories, this firm will not last very long.

Maybe she travels and is out of touch.
Maybe she is a shreiking harridan or harpy.
Maybe she has a great business idea, but no clue on how to manage employees.

Posted by: To Anon | May 1, 2007 10:24 AM

"To be brutally honest, women who do ask for ANYTHING--from pay raises to more sex in their relationships, are generally tagged with a negative connotation."

So? Once someone has opened up his or her mouth and brayed, you will always know who is the jackass.

I can still remember the first time some boy, a friend no less, at school told me I was "too smart to be a girl!". It confused me & hurt my feelings then, it made me angry later.

Quite frankly, I got over caring if someone doesn't like me because I'm forthright in my 20's. I'm not rude, but I'm quite direct. It helps that my boss appreciates this and she has given me the raises I've asked for. In all honesty, she's not a professional manager, so I've taught her how to work the system. I've benefited, my family has benefited, she has too (I haven't left--she doesn't want me to leave).

I prefer openly angry people to those who bewail and whine and mope about their fate. You may not be able to get what you want, but it never hurts to try. We all know life isn't fair--that isn't supposed to give us license to quit. It's not a game, after all.

But if you have a great idea and can do it, I suspect that ParentPreneur is a valuable resource. Do your homework, beat the odds of your business not succeeding, take the gamble if you can! That way the boss always knows how hard you are working and can hopefully reward you accordingly.

Posted by: Maryland Mother | May 1, 2007 10:24 AM

Shelly,

Are you really happy to hear about your employees personal financial circumstances so you can take those into account when providing raises? I certainly understand the need to remind the boss about work successes, but following it up with hints about college tuition or increased expenses following the birth of twins seems whiny.

Also, if you, the boss take that into account, how do you avoid discriminating against child-less workers who don't need to beg for raises to feed their families, and just want more money without the family "justification"?

Posted by: Alexandria | May 1, 2007 10:25 AM

The woman who threw the salary back in your face and moved on to better things used your firm to gain the experience and knowledge to get her real worth in the market place. The losers were you and your firm. Who was dumb and shortsighted? The woman who asked for too little or the firm that took short-term advantage of her?

--------

Why did you take my email to say that I felt proud about what happened? Did I say she was "dumb?" Absolutely not, I hired her out of a pool of others because she wasn't "dumb."

She asked for $42k and instead of negotiating her down, as I would with someone asking $60k for her slot, I gave her $8000 more than she asked for. Let me write that again so everyone understands, I gave her more than she asked for, which has only happened that one time, every other time we're either in agreement or they get less.

We paid for a training class for her that year, so she BETTER have learned something.

My point was that she didn't have to be angry or leave to get a better salary, she just had to take on more responsibility, deliver better results, and ask for more money.

Posted by: DCer | May 1, 2007 10:26 AM


My personal favorite: calling anon posters GUTLESS COWARDS.

Land's Sakes, it's the Net, not your pre-screened monoculture Book Club!!!

Posted by: Spike | May 1, 2007 09:31 AM

I'm glad you like it, Spike.

I have no idea what posting with a name has to do with any sort of Book Club, monoculture or otherwise, but I am sure you will make that clear in your next substantive post.

and it's "land sakes".

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 10:28 AM

Don't have to be like boys

"All these ball breakers are probably the first in line looking for a "nice" boss who will give them flex time. "


Really. If you have sons & daughters, have you raised them differently in ANY way?

You just don't get it .

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 10:28 AM

women who were teachers and nurses in the 1950s were the heads of their households aka breadwinners something like 50% of the time- it was different in other professions.

Posted by: DCer | May 1, 2007 10:18 AM

I don't know how many women worked in the 50s (I am sure it was less than men), but a say it was 70%, 50% of that is 35%, this still means that the men were the breadwinners most of the time.

Is there anything for which men can feel good about the past? Or have women always done everything better?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 10:28 AM

Does the figure of $.77 take into account the women who CHOOSE less money in exchange for flexible hours, etc? If not then it is a skewed number.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | May 1, 2007 10:35 AM

Don't have to be like boys

"All these ball breakers are probably the first in line looking for a "nice" boss who will give them flex time. "

adj. nic·er, nic·est
1. Pleasing and agreeable in nature: had a nice time.
2. Having a pleasant or attractive appearance: a nice dress; a nice face.
3. Exhibiting courtesy and politeness: a nice gesture.
4. Of good character and reputation; respectable.
5. Overdelicate or fastidious; fussy.
6. Showing or requiring great precision or sensitive discernment; subtle: a nice distinction; a nice sense of style.
7. Done with delicacy and skill: a nice bit of craft.
8. Used as an intensive with and: nice and warm.
9. Obsolete
a. Wanton; profligate: "For when mine hours/Were nice and lucky, men did ransom lives/Of me for jests" (Shakespeare).
b. Affectedly modest; coy: "Ere . . . /The nice Morn on th' Indian steep,/From her cabin'd loop-hole peep" (John Milton).

I think we're differing on our definitions of "nice" in this blog. I take issue with those who are insisting that women are only to aspire to "9b". I suspect we all agree that everyone can do 3 & 4. On the job, #7 is usually rewarded, particularly if mentioned at review time!

Posted by: Bedrock | May 1, 2007 10:35 AM

"I think you just lost a good employee but saved a a few thousand on her salary for a
year. Poor strategy"

I learned the hard way that hard work, diligence, and a steller work ethic is not necessarily appreciated by the company, especially around the Washington DC area where there are thousands of beltway bandit companies soaking the federal dole merely by staffing a project based on the qualifications of the employees. (Actually, the qualifications as claimed by the applicant)

profit = (amount of $$$ bid for position) - (amount paid to employee)

The only role that the quality of work has to do with anything is that it has to come close to satisfying the terms of the contract.

Posted by: Father of 4 | May 1, 2007 10:35 AM

On the self-evaluation: it can be a great tool or completely worthless -- it's all in how you use it. At our firm, we take them pretty seriously -- last time through, one of the associates I was reviewing had self-identified an area of weakness that the partners had also identified as an area we wanted her to work on, so to me that showed insight and a willingness to learn that worked in her favor. Someone who used that for mere self-aggrandizement would get a pretty negative reaction.

On the other hand, where my husband works, they have to establish "goals" for the year. It's a total crock. He quickly learned that you game the system by setting your goals as low as humanly possible -- no one actually looks at the goals themselves, all they care about is whether you met or exceeded them. So minimal goals + exceeding them = quick route to being labeled as a star performer, whereas hard goals + not meeting them = quick route to oblivion (even if actual performance is better).

Also, I am laughing at this: "Our 360 evaluation needs to be in-writing for ISO 9000 rules. When you wrote the above, did you take into account ISO 9000?" ISO 9000 is NOT a mark of quality!!! All ISO 9000 requires is that you do things consistently every time. We once had a saleswoman try to sell us a couch by saying, "it's ISO 9000 certified, so you know it has to be high-quality." My husband, who had just been responsible for getting his plant ISO 9000-certified, burst out laughing, and promptly lectured her that ISO 9000 just requires documenting that you follow the same process every time -- to quote him, "you can manufacture dogsh*t on a stick, but as long as it's consistent dogsh*t, you can have it ISO 9000-certified."

Same goes here. Your ISO 9000 certification can make you walk through the steps of a 360 review. But a process is only as useful as the people implementing it -- you can make them dot the i's and cross the t's, but you can't make people take it seriously if they don't want to. Heck, my husband's current company is ISO 9000-certified, too, and I see every day what personnel brilliance that provides.

Posted by: Laura | May 1, 2007 10:36 AM

Don't have to be like boys:

I know you weren't addressing my point specifically but you were addressing ball-breakers, which I take to include women like me who are strong negotiators.

Understand that I am what I am. I am not nice. I am great at getting what I want. This trait has stood me very well in my job, which requires very strong negotiation skills.

One of the reasons I think it is inappropriate for my boss to penalize me for asking for a raise is that in doing so, I am displaying exactly the skill for which he hired me: aggressive negotiation. He should not expect one thing in my client-facing behavior and another thing in my internal behavior.

Posted by: worker bee | May 1, 2007 10:37 AM

Oh, and that #2 has its points, but it's not the be-all end-all of the work world.

But take that shower & change your clothes, just because it can help minimize potential social tensions.

Posted by: Bedrock | May 1, 2007 10:37 AM

I don't know how many women worked in the 50s (I am sure it was less than men), but a say it was 70%, 50% of that is 35%, this still means that the men were the breadwinners most of the time.

Is there anything for which men can feel good about the past? Or have women always done everything better?
----------
What, you've never seen a war movie? Go rent one!

Is not owning up to unequal pay something positive or something negative? I am a man, btw, with no problem pointing out our own foibles in times past.

We first had this argument about women and pay in elementary school... 1974 or something... and there were teachers who lived alone and teachers who were the second incomes in their families, but all were women teachers back then, and so from that point on I became fascinated with this topic. I mean, really, if nurses and teachers were most often women in the US then women were in the workforce for the last 100 years and this isn't a "women's lib" issue, it's one of the breadth of history in the US in the 20th century.

Posted by: DCer | May 1, 2007 10:37 AM

Most of us on this blog are not omniscient.
Yes we don't know everything, but the CEO of this firm took the time to write this essay. Hopefully they reviewed it, and its tone of "everyone else is wrong but me".

She could have elected to include this but did not.

Posted by: To Anon | May 1, 2007 10:24 AM

Maybe she wrote the blog for the audience she had. If she were writing for a group of business people interested in compensation proccesses, it would probably be different. But I think you infer way too much from the text as to the way she runs her business.

I think she wrote the blog to make the one point she wanted to make: In her experience women don't ask for raises like men do and it negatively affects their salaries.

Nothing more, nothing less.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 10:38 AM

I didn't get a chance to read all of the posts, but shouldn't the managers, CEOs, Presidents, etc be holding yearly reviews with all employees??
Maybe women (and shy men) would have an easier time with this kind of forum than just asking for a raise.
If you are a manager, you should sit down with all those under you and give each employee a chance for face time.

By not doing this, you are rewarding the current system that keeps women in lower pay. Maybe by making the situation more friendly to all, it would even out a little.

Posted by: SAHMbacktowork | May 1, 2007 10:39 AM

ISO 9000 is NOT a mark of quality!!! All ISO 9000 requires is that you do things consistently every time.
------

I'm sorry, that was meant as a joke. You got the joke but didn't realize that's how I meant it. Kind of like filing TPS Reports in the movie "Office Space."

Posted by: DCer | May 1, 2007 10:40 AM

DCer -- oops, my bad -- hard to always read intention accurately in cyberspace. Got it.

Posted by: Laura | May 1, 2007 10:42 AM

Does the figure of $.77 take into account the women who CHOOSE less money in exchange for flexible hours, etc? If not then it is a skewed number.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | May 1, 2007 10:35 AM

What a novel way of looking at this figure!!! I tend to think it is a skewed number - at least in my case.

Posted by: cmac | May 1, 2007 10:44 AM

which stood at 34 percent in 1950 and increased to 60 percent by 2000. The number of women in the labor force rose from 18 million in 1950 to 66 million in 2000, an annual growth rate of 2.6 percent. The share of women in the labor force grew from 30 percent in 1950 to almost 47 percent in 2000, and the number of working women is projected to reach 92 million by 2050--on the basis of an annual growth rate of 0.7 percent. That same year, women's share of the workforce is expected to be nearly 48 percent.

Posted by: FYI | May 1, 2007 10:45 AM

Does the figure of $.77 take into account the women who CHOOSE less money in exchange for flexible hours, etc? If not then it is a skewed number.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | May 1, 2007 10:35 AM

NO, it is an incredibly skewed number. It only count the wages of full time employees. Full time is defined as more than 35 hr/wk.

So, this stat includes the full time cashier at your grocery store, the software enginer next door, the cop that pulled you over and the CEO of a fortune 500 company. And, for the purpose of this statistic, the only thing that matters is the genders.

In my opinion, it is one of the most inflammatory stats there is. It is statistically useless, but still used everywhere.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 10:47 AM

08:24 AM wrote: "No project manager wants to ask a mother of a young child to go off on a business trip for a week when other employees are available. ¶ Especially if she complains about her husband not doing enough around the house."

But what if the woman is more than willing to make the business trip? And she never complains about her husband? Or is her boss just automatically ASSUMING these as stereotypes?

Posted by: catlady | May 1, 2007 10:51 AM

"It is statistically useless, but still used everywhere."

Oh! Like the Rhythm Method!

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 10:51 AM

I don't know enough about what is behind the 77 cents compared to every dollar. But my guess it is a little of all things. A little of women not asking for what they deserve, men asking for more then the deserve, flexibility versus salary, different types of fields, different number of years in service and different job responsibilities. When I took my current position, I negotiated a sizable raise. I was in a good position to do so. In my next position, I am looking for more flexibility and no increase or even decrease in salary. Some things got to give. It takes a lot to go into your boss every year and negiotiate a raise. One reason, I prefer government work to private sector. I don't understand why someone's financial need should really count for deserving more money. The secretary with three kids might need the money more then the mid level employee. Doesn't mean his/her performance or skill sets deserve more. Overall, I think a lot of pay raises in the private sector does not have a lot to do with performance either. I think a lot depends on how well the company is doing. You can work really hard but if your company is in slump, doesn't mean that you don't deserve more money. There is just not enough money to give out more. Of course it will always be about how you present yourself and who you know.

Posted by: foamgnome | May 1, 2007 10:53 AM

"Understand that I am what I am. I am not nice. I am great at getting what I want. "

worker bee

Me, too. Nobody screws with me or my kids!!

It is odd that a lot of women will fight like crazy for their kids but not for themselves...gotta wonder about the passive thing.

Posted by: Tomasina | May 1, 2007 10:56 AM

I don't know enough about what is behind the 77 cents compared to every dollar. But my guess it is a little of all things. A little of women not asking for what they deserve, men asking for more then the deserve, flexibility versus salary, different types of fields, different number of years in service and different job responsibilities.

Posted by: foamgnome | May 1, 2007 10:53 AM

You are in statistics, right? This stat is not a study or anything like it, it is a statistical analysis of salary data. It takes a list of all people who work full time, their gender and their salaries and pops out a single number. No controlling for professions, years worked, education etc.

I agree that it is a little of all things but I think the most important are: flexibility versus salary, different types of fields. Basically, hours worked and in what field.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 11:04 AM

It is odd that a lot of women will fight like crazy for their kids but not for themselves...gotta wonder about the passive thing.

Posted by: Tomasina | May 1, 2007 10:56 AM

COuld it be that some of us don't want to spend all of our energy fighting all the time? Could this be part of the reason that women outlive men? I'd rather make .77 on the dollar and live longer.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 11:04 AM

"I never understood why she quoted $42k as a salary request when it would have been more appropriate to say, $55k or so. I mean when your employer offers you $8k MORE than you're asking for then you know it's your problem."

I would like to point something out here. The old boys network may act in men's interests in this area. When I was in college, the males in math classes would help each other with homework. I was "friendly" with the guys in one such group. However, as a female (one of the few in the class) my "friends" explicitly didn't want me in this group, so I had to struggle through on my own. It's the old boys network made new again. I'm sure that when they were job hunting they shared their experiences iwth each other. How are women in male-dominated fields to acquire such a network? And if they do, these networks will often be with other women, who are also paid lower. So perhaps they don't even know what the men are being paid because they just aren't runnign in the same circles.

It's not that easy to find real salary information. I've searched sites online and the answers they come up with seem really low to me: e.g. $80 000 per year for a cardiologist in NYC. To get real salary info, my husband asks his friends (usually male) what they make. He can't ask his coworkers because they are legally restrained from talking about their salaries with each other. So how is this woman supposed to know what to ask for? Maybe throughout her career she has never known that she was underpaid. I think this is a real problem for women.

Posted by: m | May 1, 2007 11:05 AM

"COuld it be that some of us don't want to spend all of our energy fighting all the time? "

But why fight for kids and not for yourselves?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 11:06 AM

It is odd that a lot of women will fight like crazy for their kids but not for themselves...gotta wonder about the passive thing.

Posted by: Tomasina | May 1, 2007 10:56 AM

Gotta wonder why women don't think of fighting for more money as fighting for their children. I know I think of it that way.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 11:06 AM

You may be a double minority but employers kill two birds with one stone by hiring you. They get their token woman and their token black. Our office is being taken over by black women. We had one who came in late every morning, ate breakfast at her desk, burped and belched all day, spent all day on personal phone calls, and was deaf as a post. Her bosses didn't giver her anything to do because she couldn't hear them, but darn tootin' she could hear enough to talk on the phone all day. She was just a warm body in the chair. Luckily she retired and spends her days at Dover Downs or Charleston Races losing her pension.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 11:08 AM

You are in statistics, right? This stat is not a study or anything like it, it is a statistical analysis of salary data. It takes a list of all people who work full time, their gender and their salaries and pops out a single number. No controlling for professions, years worked, education etc.

I agree that it is a little of all things but I think the most important are: flexibility versus salary, different types of fields. Basically, hours worked and in what field.

Posted by: | May 1, 2007 11:04 AM

I have heard this statistic but I don't know how it was calculated because I have not read the full methodology report. My guess if they are taking all female workers working full time compared to all males working full time, then there is a lot missing in that statistic. But unless you read the meth report, you won't know how it was actually calculated.

Posted by: foamgnome | May 1, 2007 11:08 AM

So, Laura, by definition, this blog is eligible for ISO 9000 certification, right? ;-)

Posted by: Chris | May 1, 2007 11:09 AM

Tomasina, I don't actually have kids yet, but I know what you mean... it's as if some women don't think their needs count for as much as the needs of others. Some men, too. I think people confuse selfishness and self-fulfilment a lot. Self-fulfilment to me means ensuring you get what you need to function in life--not by trampling on people or anything, but by treating yourself with as much respect and consideration as you treat others. Selfishness on the other hand means going for as much as you can get, whether you need it or not, and doing so at the expense of others. Two very different things.

Posted by: worker bee | May 1, 2007 11:10 AM

Maybe throughout her career she has never known that she was underpaid. I think this is a real problem for women.

Posted by: m | May 1, 2007 11:05 AM

This is not unique to women, I have no idea what the going rate for my profession is. I do know that the data is out there though, because companies use it all the time. Maybe if you asked someone in HR, they could point you in the right direction.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 11:11 AM

cmac makes an excellent point: "Sometimes it is possible to ask for too much and everyone is replaceable - so people have to judge for themselves how far to push the envelope."

So, men, tell us how you've dealt with that situation in the past.

Posted by: catlady | May 1, 2007 11:11 AM

I didn't get a chance to read all of the posts, but shouldn't the managers, CEOs, Presidents, etc be holding yearly reviews with all employees??
Maybe women (and shy men) would have an easier time with this kind of forum than just asking for a raise.
If you are a manager, you should sit down with all those under you and give each employee a chance for face time.

By not doing this, you are rewarding the current system that keeps women in lower pay. Maybe by making the situation more friendly to all, it would even out a little.

Posted by: SAHMbacktowork | May 1, 2007 10:39 AM

Whenever someone agitates for a more "fair" system, it inevitably means they'd prefer a system in which the mediocre are rewarded in the same manner as the star performers. We have an employer like that: the federal government.

In most industries, yearly reviews ARE the norm, but by the time the performance review occurs, the budgeting process for the subsequent fiscal year is completed and whatever raises have been approved, have been approved. It's too late to obtain a raise larger than the one that's already been blessed. Essentially, you snooze, you lose. YMMV.

Instead of taking the highly useful information provided by this guest blogger and considering ways to use it to your best advantage, you think it makes more sense that the universe should be changed in favor of a system you perceive to be more "fair" because it better suits your personal style. I dislike public speaking but it is a highly valued skillset in my industry, so I push past my discomfort and do it. I dislike asking directly for money and risking the potential backlash, but I work to put a roof over my kids' heads, so I push past my discomfort and initiate the conversation that will keep that roof leak-proof. You can wish the world to be different, or you can take the initiative to develop the skills that are rewarded. It's as simple as that.

Posted by: KS Mom | May 1, 2007 11:12 AM

Some people actually get fulfillment by enriching the lives of others not just through a paycheck. You don't have to look very far to see that $$$ are not the answer to anything nor is money a synonym for happiness. Its about balance; fighting when we need to , but not taking every fight and not seeing a fight in every circumstance. So you can call us doormats or passive or whatever you want. I'm happy - wouldn't trade that for all the $$.

Posted by: Don't have to be like boys | May 1, 2007 11:21 AM

You may be a double minority but employers kill two birds with one stone by hiring you. They get their token woman and their token black. Our office is being taken over by black women. We had one who came in late every morning, ate breakfast at her desk, burped and belched all day, spent all day on personal phone calls, and was deaf as a post.

Posted by: | May 1, 2007 11:08 AM

oh, look what crawled out from under that rock!! shhhhh. maybe if we all ignore her or his racist comments, he or she will go right on back to la la land.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 11:22 AM

There are a number of salary websites, some referenced in other areas of the Post, like Salary.com.

Posted by: For Catlady | May 1, 2007 11:23 AM

Instead of taking the highly useful information provided by this guest blogger and considering ways to use it to your best advantage, you think it makes more sense that the universe should be changed in favor of a system you perceive to be more "fair" because it better suits your personal style. I dislike public speaking but it is a highly valued skillset in my industry, so I push past my discomfort and do it. I dislike asking directly for money and risking the potential backlash, but I work to put a roof over my kids' heads, so I push past my discomfort and initiate the conversation that will keep that roof leak-proof. You can wish the world to be different, or you can take the initiative to develop the skills that are rewarded. It's as simple as that.

Posted by: KS Mom | May 1, 2007 11:12 AM

Sipmly beautiful.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 11:25 AM

So you can call us doormats or passive or whatever you want. I'm happy - wouldn't trade that for all the $$.

Posted by: Don't have to be like boys | May 1, 2007 11:21 AM

So, don't complain about the pay gap.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 11:26 AM

"cmac makes an excellent point: "Sometimes it is possible to ask for too much and everyone is replaceable - so people have to judge for themselves how far to push the envelope."

"So, men, tell us how you've dealt with that situation in the past."

I'm not a man, but when I found out that someone I would be supervising made about $10K more than I did, I made it quite clear to my manager that I was not okay with that even a little bit. My performance was already acknowledged as excellent and I had received multiple performance awards, so he wasn't really in a position to tell me I wasn't worth five figures more than I was being paid.

I know what others on my contract and at my firm are being paid, and while my salary is much more sensible now, I'm still not being paid exactly what I'm worth, which is why I continue to agitate for raises.

"Some people actually get fulfillment by enriching the lives of others not just through a paycheck."

My husband is like that. He's a public school teacher. I think it's great that he gets so much satisfaction out of his job and I'm happy to be the main breadwinner.

Posted by: Lizzie | May 1, 2007 11:27 AM

Money, get away.
Get a good job with good pay and you're okay.
Money, it's a gas.
Grab that cash with both hands and make a stash.
New car, caviar, four star daydream,
Think I'll buy me a football team.

Money, get back.
I'm all right Jack keep your hands off of my stack.
Money, it's a hit.
Don't give me that do goody good bull***t.
I'm in the high-fidelity first class traveling set
And I think I need a Lear jet.

Money, it's a crime.
Share it fairly but don't take a slice of my pie.
Money, so they say
Is the root of all evil today.
But if you ask for a raise it's no surprise that they're
giving none away.

Posted by: Pink says | May 1, 2007 11:28 AM

Chris,

Were you ever an IG?

How about a parody on key parties?

Posted by: Fred | May 1, 2007 11:31 AM

New studies show that the disparity starts at the beginning of careers. It's not simply because women are more likely to take time off to raise children or take care of sick and aging relatives.

Most of this is socialization. People who hire are socialized to expect women to take time off and be "less dedicated" to their careers, so they offer less. Women are socialized to downplay their abilities and successes, and not just at salary review times. If you listen to who qualifies their knowledge ("I just learned...Maybe I'm the only one who didn't know it before..."), it tends to be women. Men don't care if they've known something for years or just learned it yesterday. They know it now, and that's what matters, and they present it that way. And you know what? They're right. It doesn't matter.

If you don't ask, you're not likely to receive. It doesn't matter whether that's right or wrong. It's just the way it is. We should accept that and move forward. We should present what we know as if we know it, and we should ask for what we're worth because we're worth it. Like many things in life, it's scarier to think about it than to do it.

Posted by: Kate | May 1, 2007 11:31 AM

I didn't complain about the "pay gap". Where on earth did people get the idea that life is supposed to be fair. Do your best, figure out what makes you happy and go with that. You can spend your whole life looking out the window at people who have more, feeling bad about it or you can enjoy what you have while you have it. Most of us have a helluva lot more than most of the people in the world. Glass half full folks.

Posted by: Don't have to be like boys | May 1, 2007 11:32 AM

what I can't stand are these standardized self-evaluations some orgs make you do - but then it doesn't matter what your performance level is, whether you are a star or a mediocre employee, everyone gets the same raise anyway! why would anyone want to honestly participate in a process like that? btw, this was a nonprofit with a limited budget... why not just say this is the raise this year and save everyone the headache?

Posted by: LW | May 1, 2007 11:33 AM

For one job I had the H R person had no salary history and wanted to know what I had made previously. I told her that it was irrelevant because it was a totally diff job in a diff industry. And I had been underpaid- I knew that much. So I added 10k to my salary and they gave me 4 more. Then when my first raise was paltry, and they hired someone who made more than me, my boss fought and got me a 10k mid year raise, then I got a 10k yrly raise at raise time. It took a while but they obviously did not want to lose me so they did the right thing. if an employer isn't willing to do the right thing then I can go to another one. Which is preferable, since I don't want to spend my time telling an employer what they should know, in addition to the fact that that is how they run their business so I wouldn't want to be a part of that.

Posted by: atlmom | May 1, 2007 11:35 AM

"I'm sure that when they were job hunting they shared their experiences iwth each other. How are women in male-dominated fields to acquire such a network? And if they do, these networks will often be with other women, who are also paid lower. So perhaps they don't even know what the men are being paid because they just aren't runnign in the same circles."

Then stop running in single-sex circles. Seriously, it's your choice. There's friendship, and then there's doing the right thing by yourself and your family.

I am in a male-dominated field. I am an active participant in trade associations and other orgs that bring me into contact with others in my field of both genders. When I attend a social gathering, I do not marginalize myself in the corner hanging out with the moms talking about our kids. I join a mixed gender group and we talk shop. Between those contacts and the information I obtain from headhunters and others on a casual basis, I have a better command of salary information for my industry than many of the men with whom I work.

You can whine, or you can be pro-active. Pro-active is less stressful and more productive.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 11:35 AM

"So you can call us doormats or passive or whatever you want. I'm happy - wouldn't trade that for all the $$."

Posted by: Don't have to be like boys | May 1, 2007 11:21 AM

"So, don't complain about the pay gap"

Or anything else. No guts, no glory!

Posted by: Spike | May 1, 2007 11:36 AM

To anonymous at 9:38 am

>>>>To Chamousaur:

Maybe you're not as good as you think you are. A little self-awareness is a helpful - it's not always someone else's fault . . .<<<<

*shrug* Possible. Anything is possible. Though when you put yourself out there instead of hiding in the shadows, you do become an obvious target.

I do find it interesting that your anonymous response to my self-confidence is that I need to be more self-aware and that I'm not as good as I think I am. I'll double check with the national web site design award on my bookshelf and get back to you on that.

Perhaps this is part of why many women don't ask for those raises, perhaps? We women are prone to self doubt and anxiety (see yesterday's topic). It's so easy for someone to snipe and say "well, you're not THAT good."

Also, I might not be as good as I think, but I do understand the importance of proper spelling.

You missed the first "s" and dropped in an extra "u" to my screen name.

Posted by: Chasmosaur | May 1, 2007 11:37 AM

catlady, I pushed and was told what the budget allowed for. It came down to take it or leave it... so I took it. It's been a rewarding job thus far and I got my recent "cost of living adjustment"- it was lower than I hoped (in part due to good old taxes)- seeing as my rent was increasing, so we moved to a smaller apartment and next year will likely move again- though likely to a larger place further away.

I've gotten other offers by companies that would likely pay more, but nothing else feels like it would have the same stability and supportive/flexible environment of my current place of employment. Sure, my risky side might want to take some advice and "move out to move up" for instant gratification- but I like where I am and feel like I am building "equity" with my employer. I know I can use this stability to pay down my college/marriage debts and not worry so much about the future. Sure it may take a bit longer, but it is also more of a sure thing.

On the bright side, my VA claim finally went through (in only 8 months!) so I will get a little extra each month tax free- on the dark side I now have to file the "mandatory appeal" which because of corruption and red tape will only back-pay any extra to the day you file the appeal and not the day of separation... but it is something every vet has to go through because the VA low-balls everyone (man and woman), and thus they file an appeal, which is probably the greatest example of an agency shooting itself in the foot by creating excess work for itself then whining about being overburdened... c'est la vie

Posted by: Chris | May 1, 2007 11:40 AM

Selfishness on the other hand means going for as much as you can get, whether you need it or not, and doing so at the expense of others. Two very different things.

Posted by: worker bee | May 1, 2007 11:10 AM

Need is irrelevant. Seek compensation that is in line with your skills, your desired level of responsibility and the appropriate geographic market.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 11:40 AM

New studies show that the disparity starts at the beginning of careers.
Posted by: Kate | May 1, 2007 11:31 AM

And for people in the same profession, it is usually directly related to the point of todays guest blog.

But that has very little to do with the 77 cent statistic, because it does not compare people in the same jobs, that work the same hours (as long as they work more than 35), that have 20 yrs experience.

It is just the median wage of all full time employees by gender.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 11:40 AM

Chasmosaur (*crosses fingers that name is correctly spelled*), you are my new hero after your perfect 11:37 response, LOL.

Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | May 1, 2007 11:43 AM

U.S. gender pay gap emerges early, study finds By Ellen Wulfhorst
Mon Apr 23, 11:48 AM ET

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A dramatic pay gap emerges between women and men in America the year after they graduate from college and widens over the ensuing decade, according to research released on Monday.

One year out of college, women working full time earn 80 percent of what men earn, according to the study by the American Association of University Women Educational Foundation, based in Washington D.C.

Ten years later, women earn 69 percent as much as men earn, it said.

Even as the study accounted for such factors as the number of hours worked, occupations or parenthood, the gap persisted, researchers said.

"If a woman and a man make the same choices, will they receive the same pay?" the study asked. "The answer is no.

"These unexplained gaps are evidence of discrimination, which remains a serious problem for women in the work force," it said.

Specifically, about one-quarter of the pay gap is attributable to gender -- 5 percent one year after graduation and 12 percent 10 years after graduation, it said.

One year out of college, men and women should arguably be the least likely to show a gender pay gap, the study said, since neither tend to be parents yet and they enter the work force without significant experience.

"It surprised me that it was already apparent one year out of college, and that it widens over the first 10 years," Catherine Hill, AAUW director of research, told Reuters.

Among factors found to make a difference in pay, the choice of fields of concentration in college were significant, the study found. Female students tended to study areas with lower pay, such as education, health and psychology, while male students dominated higher-paying fields such as engineering, mathematics and physical sciences, it said.

Even so, one year after graduation, a pay gap turned up between women and men who studied the same fields.

In education, women earn 95 percent as much as their male colleagues earn, while in math, women earn 76 percent as much as men earn, the study showed.

While in college, the study showed, women outperformed men academically, and their grade point averages were higher in every college major.

Parenthood affected men and women in vividly different ways. The study showed mothers more likely than fathers, or other women, to work part time or take leaves.

Among women who graduated from college in 1992-93, more than one-fifth of mothers were out of the work force a decade later, and another 17 percent were working part time, it said.

In the same class, less than 2 percent of fathers were out of the work force in 2003, and less than 2 percent were working part time, it said.

The study, entitled "Behind the Pay Gap," used data from the U.S. Department of Education. It analyzed some 9,000 college graduates from 1992-93 and more than 10,000 from 1999-2000.

(Editing by Cynthia Osterman; Reuters Messaging: ellen.wulfhorst.reuters.com@reuters.net)

Posted by: FYI | May 1, 2007 11:46 AM

I have read "Women Don't Ask," and was influenced by it. But one point that is made in the book, and in the follow up articles, is that even when women do ask, they don't tend to get rewarded as much as men do, and sometimes they get punished. This is best addressed, as I believe the author mentions, by transparent evaluation systems. So the boss should mention to everyone that the raise limits are being set, personal pleading visits are permitted. Then everyone understands this subtle facet of the corporate culture. Also the bosses must look inward to make sure they are not responsible for the pay gap by punishing the women who do come to ask for raises.

It is a cop out for Shellye to see this happening and blame the women twenty years afterwards. At least she has published it now, hopefully now at least her female subordinates will get the picture.

Posted by: Liz | May 1, 2007 11:48 AM

"And for people in the same profession, it is usually directly related to the point of todays guest blog."

And the number is very small -- less than a 5% delta in average income (and that uses fairly broad 'profession' categories and self-identification of profession). Put all of it together and it is likely that this delta becomes statistically insignificant.

See http://www.aauw.org/research/behindPayGap.pdf

for the study results.


As someone responsible for annual reviews of a fairly large mix of professionals [130 technical personnel], I looked the annual increases / pay rates for the group on a break-down by gender and was pleasantly surprised that there was no statistically significant gap.

Posted by: A Dad | May 1, 2007 11:48 AM

Anon at 11:40 AM, I think you and I agree but I wasn't entirely clear in my earlier post.

I absolutely don't think it's selfish to ask for additional compensation. I think some women fear they will be seen as selfish, or fear that they are even being selfish, if they ask. I am not one of those women.

Posted by: worker bee | May 1, 2007 11:49 AM

Perhaps this is part of why many women don't ask for those raises, perhaps? We women are prone to self doubt and anxiety (see yesterday's topic). It's so easy for someone to snipe and say "well, you're not THAT good."

Posted by: Chasmosaur | May 1, 2007 11:37 AM

So, suck it up and do it anyways. Do you think men never hear anything bad about themselves? Do you really think men are immune to self-doubt an anxiety? We are socialized to ignore those feelings (just like all the rest of them), but they are still there. If men curled up in the corner every time something bad was said about us, we would never leave the house.

If you really believe that women are that passive because of their feelings of self-doubt and anxiety, maybe we should work to socialize them to overcome those traits, instead of changing the world to accommodate them.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 11:54 AM

"One year out of college, women working full time earn 80 percent of what men earn, according to the study by the American Association of University Women Educational Foundation, based in Washington D.C."

Women continue to be over-represented in low-paying fields [such as teaching] and under-represented in high-paying fields such as business and science.

"In education, women earn 95 percent as much as their male colleagues earn, while in math, women earn 76 percent as much as men earn, the study showed."

The study included self-identification of profession. Thus, a female with a math degree working as a teacher could identify her profession as math -- while a male with a math degree working in engineering would identify himself the same.

With respect to education, women are even more over-represented in elementary and preschool education, as well as private education -- all areas in which salaries tend to be low.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 11:54 AM


The 77 cents statistic is ridiculous!! It has been widely exposed as a misleading statistic. The author should know better than to repeat that. The true number is that after accounting for career choices and child rearing issues, women earn almost 93 cents compared to a man.

Posted by: Toni | May 1, 2007 11:55 AM

Even as the study accounted for such factors as the number of hours worked, occupations or parenthood, the gap persisted, researchers said.

Posted by: FYI | May 1, 2007 11:46 AM

And yet they don't mention numbers at this point, is it 99cent on the dollar, or is it 83cents.

This is not the "study" produced by the department of labor, this is the study linked above by the American Association of University Women. I don't know abou the methodology but, I doubt the study is unbiased.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 12:01 PM

The true number is that after accounting for career choices and child rearing issues, women earn almost 93 cents compared to a man.

Posted by: Toni | May 1, 2007 11:55 AM

cite, please. You can't just pick a new number and expect everyone to accept its validity.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 12:02 PM

cite, please. You can't just pick a new number and expect everyone to accept its validity.

Posted by: | May 1, 2007 12:02 PM

Please cite the 77 cent statistic, you can't just pick a number and expect us to believe it.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 12:04 PM

Interesting discussion today ... I am still in my first job out of college, and, as m mentioned earlier, to be quite honest, I had NO IDEA what kind of salary to ask for when they made their offer. The number they tossed out just about made me fall out of my chair (although a lot of people on this board would probably laugh, it is so relatively low) - so I took it, and was happy as could be. I still am, because it's much more than I expected to make so soon, but I have also since learned that I make the lowest salary of anyone in my division - I also have the least experience, so it is probably fair ... but I have never asked for a raise, and would probably get it at this point ... I am terrified at the thought. Gender socialization? Or just my personality?

Don't have to be like boys - all I will say is, I can definitely appreciate your perserverance today :)

Posted by: TakomaMom | May 1, 2007 12:06 PM

"The author should know better than to repeat that. The true number is that after accounting for career choices and child rearing issues, women earn almost 93 cents compared to a man."

The point still stands. WHY are we making less than men? At least the 77/100 stat leaves some room for rationalization. After controlling for everything, now it is certain: we simply do not make as much as men for the same job, even after controlling for outside factors. Unacceptable.

Posted by: Mona | May 1, 2007 12:06 PM

What is this... Groundhog WEEK?
Off topic question of the day.........
American Idol or Dancing with the Stars? or if you prefer.......
Brady Bunch or Partridge Family?
Discuss

Posted by: moxiemom | May 1, 2007 12:08 PM

12:04, the 77 cent statistic is based on statistics provided by the Bureau of the Census, Population Reports, Series P-60, various issues; Employment and Earnings,
various issues; and Census Bureau and Bureau of Labor Statistics websites. Annual earnings are for
year-round, full-time workers.

I'm still waiting for Toni to support the 93 cent statistic or we will be forced to conclude it came from somewhere in her nether regions.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 12:11 PM

moxiemom:

American Idol

Partridge Family

Archie

Veronica

and my everlasting thanks to you for the diversion from the uber-serious.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 12:12 PM

Mona, have you ever thought the the reason women don't get paid as well as men is because they aren't as productive as men?

Or are they being victimized and need protection?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 12:13 PM

I'm still waiting for Toni to support the 93 cent statistic or we will be forced to conclude it came from somewhere in her nether regions.

Posted by: | May 1, 2007 12:11 PM

I think Toni pulled that stat from the AAUW "study" linked above. I wouldn't trust that group to be unbaised, so the stat is probably useless too.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 12:16 PM

"The point still stands. WHY are we making less than men? At least the 77/100 stat leaves some room for rationalization. After controlling for everything, now it is certain: we simply do not make as much as men for the same job, even after controlling for outside factors. Unacceptable."

Mona: I think the point is that as you control variables the numbers converge. In the study by the American Association of University Women, just using broad-based professions and allowing the individuals to self-identify, the delta was brought down to 5%. My guess is that if you refine the professions and eliminate self-selection, you would end up in the noise.

I don't think anyone doubts that there are cases of gender discrimination [as well as racial and other forms of illegal discrimination] -- but the impact, as demonstrated by these studies, is fairly small. It's incumbent upon all of us to help eliminate this discrimination, but given the numbers it should not be viewed as a pandemic within American companies.

Posted by: A Dad | May 1, 2007 12:16 PM

"moxiemom:

American Idol

Partridge Family

Archie

Veronica

and my everlasting thanks to you for the diversion from the uber-serious."

Oh no! We must get back to the topic NOW!!!

moxiemom - PLEASE get a life!!!

Posted by: Gutless Coward | May 1, 2007 12:16 PM

12:12 - your votes are duly tallied and will be treated with the same diligence as we do Presidential votes. Rest easy.

Posted by: moxiemom | May 1, 2007 12:17 PM

Even when I ask for a decent raise, I get the same speech: There is only a limited amount of money available in the raise pool and that never changes. People making far more than me, some six figures, threaten to leave for more money elsewhere and they get a hugh out of cycle raise on top of a normal raise that eats into my raise!!! They sometimes use this tactic every few years to buck the system.

It seems the only way to get a decent raise is to either jump ship or hope they value me enough to make me a counter offer to stay. It's hard to stay motivated or work harder when you feel your efforts make no differnce in your pay or promotions. I think I do my job too well and my employer wants to keep me in the same job indefinitely.

Looking for work elsewhere is equally frustrating because often people want to pay you little more than you're making at your present job and give you a hard time when it comes to asking for more. Everyone is playing a game at my expense.

Any suggestions or ideas to get around this?

Posted by: Frustrated | May 1, 2007 12:17 PM

Well, if more women are starting out earning less money (and if you are only allowed to put away a certain percentage to your 401K [how about a maximum of 10%, maybe a 3% match from your employer), then there is going to be a gap from start to finish.

The scenario below doesn't apply to everyone, but let's use it for a quick overview.

Start out earning less (let's use 5K), continue to earn less (gotta play nice, do it for the "team") for a few years, maybe take a two-to-five year break in outside employment, then go back (probably earning less than those your age with a continuous employment record), continue to not ask for more money, continue to put away to that 401K, retire, live longer than men (statistically) and see how much less money you have to live on.

It's a recipe for disaster.

Isn't it much better to take few gambles asking for MORE money, in your (relative) youth, to let the magic of compound interest work in your favour?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 12:18 PM

sorry, but if I were a manager I'd probably give someone quiet who did their work and never bothered me about a raise a raise, vs someone that kept coming to me begging for one. That would show I'm actually paying attention to what goes on, and show people who aren't so aggressive I appreciate them. Although I think most managers are not prepared for their job and can't do it very well. I have seen quite a few exceptions though and some really awesome managers, I wish people would learn...

Posted by: anon | May 1, 2007 12:20 PM

Well, if more women are starting out earning less money (and if you are only allowed to put away a certain percentage to your 401K [how about a maximum of 10%, maybe a 3% match from your employer), then there is going to be a gap from start to finish.

Does that happen anymore? I mean are people restricted to a certain percentage to contribute to their 401Ks? I know the federal government loosened that restriction a few years back. But I wasn't aware that this was common in other jobs. Of course an employer matched contribution is also subject to base salary. Not much that you can do about that after salary negotiations. But I believe the IRS has a limit that is irrelevant to your salary. I think it is around 13K now.

Posted by: foamgnome | May 1, 2007 12:22 PM

Fred, nope, but I put in an IG complaint against an SES once!

Posted by: Chris | May 1, 2007 12:23 PM

sorry, but if I were a manager I'd probably give someone quiet who did their work and never bothered me about a raise a raise, vs someone that kept coming to me begging for one. That would show I'm actually paying attention to what goes on, and show people who aren't so aggressive I appreciate them. Although I think most managers are not prepared for their job and can't do it very well. I have seen quite a few exceptions though and some really awesome managers, I wish people would learn...

Posted by: anon | May 1, 2007 12:20 PM

We have learned. We have learned that it's not our job to play favorites and reward employees for possessing personality characteristics with which we are comfortable or which we value most highly. It's your job to retain employees who perform in a way that makes the enterprise more profitable or successful, depending on its mandate, regardless of whether they are your friends of soulmates. Market and above-market level compensation often is the key to retention.

It's clear why you are not a manager if you misunderstand the job description to this extent.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 12:24 PM

"sorry, but if I were a manager I'd probably give someone quiet who did their work and never bothered me about a raise a raise, vs someone that kept coming to me begging for one"

Sorry? What are you sorry about? This is another example of women socialized to be nice (good). Don't say you are sorry if you don't mean it!

You are not a manager, so you don't really
know what you would do. The squeeky wheel gets the oil (or gets thrown out).

Posted by: anon | May 1, 2007 12:25 PM

"Does that happen anymore? I mean are people restricted to a certain percentage to contribute to their 401Ks?"

Yes, companies may set their own maximum percentage of salary that one may contribute. An employee is then limited to the lower of the company maximum and the federal maximum.

Posted by: A Dad | May 1, 2007 12:26 PM

As the CEO of MetricStream, Shellye Archambeau is responsible for running all facets of the business. Ms. Archambeau has a proven executive management track record and over 20 years of experience driving sales growth in the technology industry.

Prior to joining MetricStream, Ms. Archambeau was Chief Marketing Officer and Executive Vice President of Sales for Loudcloud, Inc, responsible for all global sales and marketing activities. At Loudcloud she led the transformation into an enterprise-focused company while growing sales 50 percent year over year. Previously, she served as Chief Marketing Officer of NorthPoint Communications, where she led the design and implementation of all sales and marketing strategies. Ms. Archambeau also served as president of Blockbuster, Inc.'s e-commerce division and was recognized by Internet World as one of the Top 25 'Click and Mortar' executives in the country in June of 2000. Ms. Archambeau spent the prior 15 years at IBM, holding several domestic and international executive positions.

She doesn't sound like she's ignorant, or incapable. If you want more of her money, then you have to accomodate her style a bit. Some of YOUR style and personality may rub off on her a bit too.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 12:26 PM

foamgnome, Yes. The cap is 15%.

Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | May 1, 2007 12:27 PM

moxiemom -

American Idol

Reggie (I always did like the bad boys)

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 12:29 PM

"As the CEO of MetricStream, Shellye Archambeau is responsible for running all facets of the business"

Where did she go to school?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 12:29 PM

"Some people actually get fulfillment by enriching the lives of others not just through a paycheck."

Translation:

Avocation or calling = you will not be particularly well-paid.

My mother was a nurse and that is exactly what she encountered. So she left nursing (despite it being her life-long dream) because she needed money to support her family (dad worked too) and to fund her eventual retirement.

Too bad. She was damned good at it, but she got tired of eating the financial sh*t cupcake and being told that it was good enough, as this was her "calling".

Posted by: Wool-gatherer | May 1, 2007 12:30 PM

I meant sorry to the squeaky wheels :P I have seen such stupidity in managers while everyone else can see what is wrong, but they are unwilling/unable to see it... I'm going through that now. Why do some think they need to pay the new person more or equal to the existing people when the new person has less experience and less ability?

Posted by: anon | May 1, 2007 12:30 PM

Gutless Coward - I actually have a really groovy life - thanks for the suggestion tho. I will also put you down as a NA for all questions asked.

Posted by: moxiemom | May 1, 2007 12:31 PM

oh, come on, Shellye, come on!

Posted by: Marvin Tikvah | May 1, 2007 12:31 PM

I guess I wonder why a company would set a % cap that would be lower then the IRS limit for 401K contributions. Why do they care what you save of your own money? I know Congress wanted a 10% cap because they the federal government is the largest employer. And they did not want to loose all the tax money. But a few years ago, they loosened it up and now I believe federal employees can save up to the same IRS limit as the private sector. I think their reasoning is that whoever has money, might as well save it. I always thought these limits are funny anyway because the average american saves way less then 10% or the IRS $ limit. I think the average was around 3-4%.

Posted by: foamgnome | May 1, 2007 12:32 PM

Plus if you are earning less than you could be (reticence is not our friend sometimes), then how feasible is it that you will be able to sock away the maximum of 13K, presuming your company permits this?

Especially if we're talking about starting out with any sort of money owed for college. It doesn't apply to everyone, obviously, but it seems to apply to many.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 12:33 PM

To anonymous at 11:54 am

I said/You said:

[[Perhaps this is part of why many women don't ask for those raises, perhaps? We women are prone to self doubt and anxiety (see yesterday's topic). It's so easy for someone to snipe and say "well, you're not THAT good."]]

[[So, suck it up and do it anyways. Do you think men never hear anything bad about themselves? Do you really think men are immune to self-doubt an anxiety? We are socialized to ignore those feelings (just like all the rest of them), but they are still there. If men curled up in the corner every time something bad was said about us, we would never leave the house.

If you really believe that women are that passive because of their feelings of self-doubt and anxiety, maybe we should work to socialize them to overcome those traits, instead of changing the world to accommodate them.]]

Good point, and no, I don't think we should change the world for those ridden with self-doubt and anxiety. Not anxious to have a world that looks something like "Atlas Shrugged". ;)

And perhaps you missed the point - I DID get out and do it. Asked for those raises, won those big awards, seen as an expert in my field. The worst anyone can tell me is no and I'll have to try again later.

I was just making a point on how it seemed to dovetail nicely with yesterday's discussion on why the whole "Mommy Wars" thing thrives (feeding on women's insecurities).

Anyone can be insecure - gender really doesn't have a whole lot to do with it. I think it's just that men don't express self-doubt because society doesn't want to hear it (which is quite unfair when you get down to it).

I coax my husband's fears out all the time so he can be rid of them (or least have them reduced). He admits that he feels better talking about them, but thought I didn't want to hear them. Thought I'd think of him as less manly.

Society seems to only want to accept certain norms. If you're a self-confident woman, then you're viewed as negatively aggressive. If you express doubts as a man, you're viewed negatively as a "wimp".

The human animal is just scr*wed up when you get down to it.

I just like to think of Queen Elizabeth I. She was actually pretty insecure and cautious, and frequently played the "but sirs, I am only a woman" card. Didn't let her get in the way of ruling and rebuilding her country.

Posted by: Chasmosaur | May 1, 2007 12:34 PM

Even when I ask for a decent raise, I get the same speech: There is only a limited amount of money available in the raise pool and that never changes. People making far more than me, some six figures, threaten to leave for more money elsewhere and they get a hugh out of cycle raise on top of a normal raise that eats into my raise!!! They sometimes use this tactic every few years to buck the system.

It seems the only way to get a decent raise is to either jump ship or hope they value me enough to make me a counter offer to stay. It's hard to stay motivated or work harder when you feel your efforts make no differnce in your pay or promotions. I think I do my job too well and my employer wants to keep me in the same job indefinitely.

Looking for work elsewhere is equally frustrating because often people want to pay you little more than you're making at your present job and give you a hard time when it comes to asking for more. Everyone is playing a game at my expense.

Any suggestions or ideas to get around this?

Posted by: Frustrated | May 1, 2007 12:17 PM

Be willing to leave and then do so. You understand there is a finite pie and believe that your performance is consistent with the compensation you've requested. It's the manager's job to figure out how to divvy up the remainder -- not yours. If you've accepted this rationale time and time again, you've sent a message that you understand when the pie is finite that it's appropriate for you to get none or crumbs. Why is that acceptable to you? Explain why, despite the fact that you have seen others in your workplace implement a strategy that has worked on multiple occasions, you refuse to adopt that strategy. Hmmmmm.

You think you do your job well. What do your last three performance reviews state about your job performance? Perhaps your employer wants to keep you in your current job because you have not shown the skills that would merit a promotion, transfer or raise. Focus on objective evidence of your job performance, not your emotions and feelings.

What is "giving you a hard time"? There is no emotion in this exchange. You will either do job X for employer Y for pay Z, or you will offer your skills at that rate for that job to employer A.

The sooner you stop being the frustrated victim in denial, and start viewing yourself as someone who is choosing not to implement strategies with a proven record of success, the sooner you will stop being frustrated. Doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different outcome is not rational.

Posted by: KS Mom | May 1, 2007 12:35 PM

G.W. Hospital has set a limit that is below the IRS max. Or had as of last year when my parent was complaining bitterly about it, and the paltry 2% COLA raise, and the fact that the new hospital is a pit and falling apart already and they aren't hiring enough staff so the few who are there are overworked and hating it. But at 60+, finding a new job that pays even that amount is next-to-impossible.

Plan early, folks.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 12:36 PM

Chris,
I took me 18 months to get my first check from the VA and almost another year to get what I was owed. I also received retroactive pay. The problem was purely their fault - the doc who did the exam forgot to put in the numbers - duh! But the letter I received informing me of the denial said it was denied due to a skiing accident! I have never been skiing.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | May 1, 2007 12:38 PM

Why do some think they need to pay the new person more or equal to the existing people when the new person has less experience and less ability?

Posted by: anon | May 1, 2007 12:30 PM

DING! DING! DING! DING DING!

because that's how they entice the new person to shift employers.

anon at 12:30 is a clueless dolt.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 12:39 PM

"because that's how they entice the new person to shift employers."

And bring in new blood to replace the dead wood that is on the way out.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 12:41 PM

"I guess I wonder why a company would set a % cap that would be lower then the IRS limit for 401K contributions. Why do they care what you save of your own money?"

In general it is an attempt to ensure that the company does not run afoul of the HCE (highly compensated employees) regulations associated with 401ks. The percentage that HCEs contribute cannot be more than 2% higher than the average for non-HCEs. By limiting the maximum to 10% it's easier to ensure compliance.

Posted by: A Dad | May 1, 2007 12:43 PM

KLB, I know I was lucky to get it so early. The system is all sorts of messed up. Sorry you're screwed by it too. I've written Congress, but anyone who has ever done that knows how less than useless it is- ie: waste of time that could have been better spent by doing something else.

Before my "check" came in, I got a bunch of letters apologizing for the delay. That got me thinking about postage rates, and the time it must take to mail EVERYONE these put-off letters. It would save the government millions of dollars if they just posted a big "WE DO NOT REALLY CARE ABOUT YOU" on their VA web-site, and those vets like us, fortunate enough to have web-access, could spread the word.

Posted by: Chris | May 1, 2007 12:44 PM

"I guess I wonder why a company would set a % cap that would be lower then the IRS limit for 401K contributions. Why do they care what you save of your own money?"

In general it is an attempt to ensure that the company does not run afoul of the HCE (highly compensated employees) regulations associated with 401ks. The percentage that HCEs contribute cannot be more than 2% higher than the average for non-HCEs. By limiting the maximum to 10% it's easier to ensure compliance.


Posted by: A Dad | May 1, 2007 12:43 PM
Thanks A Dad. You learn something new each day. I guess the government has fewer if any HCEs, so it does not matter. My guess is the federal government has a tighter distribution of salaries then the private sector. So less higher end but also less lower end. So having no % cap, doesn't make a difference.

Posted by: foamgnome | May 1, 2007 12:48 PM

Chris,
I must say that my two visits to the VA in DC were better than expected. I found the facility to be very clean and the people exceptionally nice. It was more the people in Baltimore that I had to deal with who were totally rigid and non-helpful.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | May 1, 2007 12:55 PM

Plus if you are earning less than you could be (reticence is not our friend sometimes), then how feasible is it that you will be able to sock away the maximum of 13K, presuming your company permits this?

Especially if we're talking about starting out with any sort of money owed for college. It doesn't apply to everyone, obviously, but it seems to apply to many.

Posted by: | May 1, 2007 12:33 PM
Unfortunately what you can realistically save and what the government says you are allowed to save are often two different things. I think very few people can afford to save the maximum IRS limit over a lifetime of their career. But the IRS does allow catch up amounts that come later on. It is to make up for any lost contributions in year earlier years. Of course it will miss the years of compounded interest but at least it is an attempt to help people out. Best of luck. Most of us has been there too. I paid off student loans and so did my husband. It will feel great when your done paying for them. By then it will be time to save for the kiddies education.

Posted by: foamgnome | May 1, 2007 12:55 PM

http://www.investor.reuters.com/business/BusCompanyBusLeadersSnapshot.aspx?nss=yahoo&officer=704141&target=%2fbusiness%2fbuscompany%2fbuscompfake%2fbuscompbusleaders&rn=A2AA0&page=snapshot

Shellye. But no indication where, or if, she earned her degree(s). I'll keep looking, though.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 12:57 PM

LW - I feel your pain, but even in the non-profit, limited budget, "everyone gets the same raise" environment you still have leverage if you get a superior evalutation. I know people that have had other job offers and used their excellent evaluations and lack of a real raise as their excuse for leaving, then been rewarded for staying. I submit that many small-medium sized non-profit orgs are a very stable employer, they pay a fair wage for a relaxed work environment. If you want to bust your hump for the big money - the non-profs are most likely not the place to do it.

Posted by: cmac | May 1, 2007 1:00 PM

Re: Shellye Archambeau

"She earned a BS degree at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School."

Posted by: Maryland Mother | May 1, 2007 1:01 PM

Why do some women posting today think that the aggressive behavior they see in their colleagues is "boyish" behavior. That aggressiveness is actually "business" behavior. In Academia, that aggressiveness is called "Publish or Perish." I think it's safe to say that:
1. The world is this way
2. The world was more open to non-competitive business behavior from 1970-1976 and it has gotten consistently MORE competitive since then and all indications show increased competitiveness between now and the baby boomers retiring.
3. Competitiveness and aggression has a lot of positives, such as increased efficiency and lower waste, so it's hardly a bad thing.
4. I'm not really happy about competitiveness either, as a man, but I want that private school for my kids.

Posted by: DCer | May 1, 2007 1:02 PM

DCer--

*clap clap clap clap*!

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 1:05 PM

The 2007 IRS limit for tax deferred is $15,500. So the limits are probably irrelevant because most people can not save $15,500 each year for retirement.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 1:05 PM

Gotta wonder why women don't think of fighting for more money as fighting for their children. I know I think of it that way.

Posted by: | May 1, 2007 11:06 AM

Me too. I also think of it as fighting for my future (as in my eventual retirement, I hope!).

Posted by: Maryland Mother | May 1, 2007 1:07 PM

4. I'm not really happy about competitiveness either, as a man, but I want that private school for my kids.

And I want the $900 stroller, granite countertops, and Disney trips!!!

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 1:07 PM

Toilet paper over OR under........ vote now.

Posted by: moxiemom | May 1, 2007 1:08 PM

The 2007 IRS limit for tax deferred is $15,500. So the limits are probably irrelevant because most people can not save $15,500 each year for retirement

And if you put away the maximum allowed ($15,500) and you are 50+ THEN you are also permitted to put aside an additional $5000 through the "catch-up" provision.

I work, wish, dream and SCHEME of being able to manage that when I'm 50.

Posted by: MdMother | May 1, 2007 1:08 PM

To add to DCer's list:
5. Competition isn't always hostile.

Sometimes it's friendly and productive. I admire and cheer my talented colleagues, and I try to figure out how I can do better. I don't like backstabbing competition but it's up to my company to rein that in, by establishing some targets that we meet as a group as well as encouraging friendly rivalry between departments or individuals.

Posted by: worker bee | May 1, 2007 1:09 PM

Go Worker Bee!

Posted by: Maryland Mother | May 1, 2007 1:11 PM

MDMother: You might be able to depending on your circumstances. My boss puts both the limit, the catch up, and an additional non tax deferred contribution up to the IRS limit for total compensation (45K). I think he saves in general 30% of his income. But he is a high earner. He also still has a mortgage. So I think it is a bit of savings a bit of reducing debt. Debt is the other side of the equation. We will have our mortgage paid off in 12 1/2 years. So we will be under 50 and have zero mortgage. We may be able to do the catch up. We will just have to see how the other investment goes and where our daughter will end up. We are not high earners. We are more mid level earners.

Posted by: foamgnome | May 1, 2007 1:12 PM

And if you put away the maximum allowed ($15,500) and you are 50+ THEN you are also permitted to put aside an additional $5000 through the "catch-up" provision.

I work, wish, dream and SCHEME of being able to manage that when I'm 50.


Well I'm 50 and I can't do that. It's roughly 25% of my salary. One kid in college and one kid still in high school. Still have a mortgage. Maybe some of you can have the kids college funded and the mortgage paid before 50, but it didn't work that way for my family. No complaints, just saying how it is.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 1:16 PM

Over!

Posted by: TP | May 1, 2007 1:16 PM

And if you put away the maximum allowed ($15,500) and you are 50+ THEN you are also permitted to put aside an additional $5000 through the "catch-up" provision.

I work, wish, dream and SCHEME of being able to manage that when I'm 50.


Well I'm 50 and I can't do that. It's roughly 25% of my salary. One kid in college and one kid still in high school. Still have a mortgage. Maybe some of you can have the kids college funded and the mortgage paid before 50, but it didn't work that way for my family. No complaints, just saying how it is.

Posted by: | May 1, 2007 01:16 PM
I hear you. Life has a way of getting in the way of things. But on the flip side, if you are paying for your kids college, maybe your kids will have chance of doing the catch up when they are 50 because they won't be paying off student loans. It is an investment in the future of your family.

Posted by: foamgnome | May 1, 2007 1:18 PM

"Maybe some of you can have the kids college funded and the mortgage paid before 50, but it didn't work that way for my family. No complaints, just saying how it is."

I did it at 39. Bought a very modest home and paid it off in 10 years.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 1:19 PM

foamgnome,

Your boss is saving more than 50% of my income and my husband's income combined.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 1:19 PM

My boss is very close to retirement, in management, has a PhD, no spouse or children. So yes, he can do that but I think there were trade offs. He is in his 60s with a mortgage and he doesn't have anyone to share his golden years. And yes, he does regret that part of it. Not the kids but the lack of a love life. So maybe because he remained single, he could concentrate his efforts on moving up the career ladder. I don't intend to do as well as he did. Number one, I only have a masters, I have spouse and child, and really don't intend to go into management. So life is always a trade off.

Posted by: foamgnome | May 1, 2007 1:22 PM

"I did it at 39. Bought a very modest home and paid it off in 10 years"

Good for you. We bought a very modest home too. But apparently our circumstances were different in other ways.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 1:22 PM

Over

Posted by: Chris | May 1, 2007 1:22 PM

moxiemom-

definitely over

Posted by: dotted | May 1, 2007 1:25 PM

"He is in his 60s with a mortgage" - You know, it's not the end of the world to have a mortgage in later years and to have some CC debt. I think we would all prefer not to, but you can still have a happy life. My goal for retirement is to have enough income to support the kind of life I want to have. If I can reach that goal while still having some debt, I'm outta here. I wouldn't dream of working an additional 5 years just so I can say I have no mortgage.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 1:26 PM

I am not saying having a mortgage in your 60s is a bad thing. I am just saying he choose to save versus pay down debt. Some people try to pay debt first. Some choose to do a little of both. But financial analysts will tell you that people who have no mortgages retire on average 3 to 4 years earlier then people who do have a mortgage. It is not a matter of just saying you don't have a mortgage. The estimate if you have paid off your mortgage then you need 80% of your final salary each year in retirement. If you have debt (mortgage and cc), you need 90-100%. So it does factor into when you can retire and maintain your lifestyle. I am not saying it is a moral statement.

Posted by: foamgnome | May 1, 2007 1:29 PM

Over

Posted by: Maryland Mother | May 1, 2007 1:29 PM

Interesting comments on negotiation skills. In today's mail I received a flyer for The Program on Negotiation for Senior Executives at Harvard Law School.

www.pon.harvard.edu

Anyone know anything about it?

Posted by: June | May 1, 2007 1:30 PM

Kudos to DCer and Worker Bee for a positive, productive view of business. It's not a man's world, it's a business world. Leave your emotions at the door and let's sell some widgets or provide some services, or achieve world peace. Whatever.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 1:30 PM

Just to be clear, my boss did not put the IRS limit each year he worked. He could only afford to do that as he moved up the career ladder.

Posted by: foamgnome | May 1, 2007 1:30 PM

over rover

Posted by: CMAC | May 1, 2007 1:32 PM

Anon at 01:30 PM, can I take your compliment to my performance review? :)

Posted by: worker bee | May 1, 2007 1:33 PM

worker bee, you can use my comment in any way that benefits you and yours :>)

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 1:37 PM

Moxiemom-over,

My dh always says that he just puts it on without thinking and yet it is *always* under. Go figger

Posted by: atlmom | May 1, 2007 1:37 PM

TP definitely goes over.

Haven't had time to read all the comments, so forgive me if this is a rehash.

While I agree that employees need to be their own advocates, whether you're talking raise, bonus, starting salary, or flexibility, I don't think it's ever appropriate to base an employee's salary or merit raise on his/her financial commitments or life circumstances.

I thought the days of giving someone a raise (even partially) because his wife had a baby or his son was heading to college were long gone. I part company with this guest blogger on this point. These kind of life changes have no bearing on an employee's performance (regardless of gender) and therefore should have no place in the decision-making process.

Posted by: Vegas Mom | May 1, 2007 1:38 PM

over

Posted by: foamgnome | May 1, 2007 1:40 PM

I thought the days of giving someone a raise (even partially) because his wife had a baby or his son was heading to college were long gone.

So, first Shellye A is reviled for not being a good enough mentor to women, despite being a woman (but evidently not "woman" enough); now she's being raked over the coals for being human enough to feel some empathy for others situations.

Hmm. Damned if you do, damned if you don't applies here!

Weren't you the recipient of empathy and good neighbourly conduct not so very long ago?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 1:41 PM

I added a snail to my acquarium bringing it up to two goldfish and two snails. Surely with the extra mouth to feed I should get an extra raise!

Posted by: Chris | May 1, 2007 1:43 PM

We received workers comp checks, but I was grateful for my paycheck as I paid our bills each week. My boss, a woman I'd worked with for three years, was incredibly kind as I struggled to find balance amid the chaos.

Bad boss--considering your circumstances then or ever. It's to always be about the money--now and forever. She should have canned you for slacking off.

Posted by: to Vegas Mom | May 1, 2007 1:45 PM

Does a woman have a winning case if she can prove that a male co-worker (same education, experience, etc.) was given a raise solely because his wife had a child?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 1:45 PM

hey anon at 1:41
I don't believe Vegas Mom was being unneighborly. If the raise pie is a fixed size (as is usually the case) and a man received a larger slice because his wife had a baby, than unless this happens for anyone and everyone who has a baby or adopted, I would believe the company could be ripe for a legal action.

Posted by: dotted | May 1, 2007 1:46 PM

"If the CEO is willing to give the women who perform well in her company what they deserve if they ask for it, why is she waiting? What's stopping her from giving it to them whether they ask for it or not?"

Posted by: John L | May 1, 2007 08:10 AM

"I would think that she is also interested in keeping expenses down. If you were paying for, let's say, a car and the seller was willing to accept NN$$, would you offer to pay 2xNN$$ because you think the car is worth it? No, you would pay as little as mutually acceptable to get the most bang for your buck."

Posted by: to John L | May 1, 2007 08:19 AM

If your librarian is willing to accept NN$$, but your coal miners have a good union (e.g., John L. Lewis's union) and won't accept less than 2xNN$$, you have to pay the librarian 2xNN$$ also, if you are following the doctrine of "Comparable Worth" and a board of "experts" decides that the skills and knowledges of the librarian job are worth as much as those of the coal miner job.

You can't pay workers less than they are willing to accept, or you won't get workers. So the effect of "Comparable Worth" would be to pay some workers more than what their job commands on the open market.

Alternatives to "Comparable Worth" that make sense include (1) let the librarians ORGANIZE into a union as strong as the United Mine Workers, and they'll get miners' pay; (2) for those librarians who want to earn what a coal miner earns, let them LEARN TO MINE COAL and collect the big bucks.

Posted by: Matt in Aberdeen | May 1, 2007 1:46 PM

KS Mom:

My last three performance appraisals were above average. My department head has indicated that my work is valued and that he would not like to see me leave. But that still hasn't translated into more money. I've asked him for more and the answer is the same. He says can't do anything about it. He said if I try to leave that he could make a case for me getting more, but he can't guarantee it.

I've been with this company for about ten years now. I'm vested in my company 401(k) plan and the company offers a pension. I have three weeks vacation. So it's not so easy to leave what you have to start anew elsewhere with nothing and establish your reputation all over again. However, I do need more money than I'm making now. I guess I'm just afraid of having to leave because the employer may not value me enough to counter an offer and I fear change and the unknown.

But just because I try to find work somewhere else doesn't mean they won't try and give me either the same pay or less. I've been through the gruling game before but of course had less skills years ago. It's hard to justify why you should get more when you were paid less than you want, even if its within the average salary range for the job. But what's the incentive of leaving then if you don't get something significantly more? That's what frustrates me. They know you have no incentive to leave otherwise, but still make it difficult for you. I guess that's there job but I'm not sure how to get around it?

Does anyone have a proven strategies or comebacks?

Posted by: frustrated | May 1, 2007 1:47 PM

Wow - looks like more consensus than I've seen on ANY topic on this blog - tp definitely over :)

Posted by: TakomaMom | May 1, 2007 1:47 PM

"Wow - looks like more consensus than I've seen on ANY topic on this blog - tp definitely over :)

Posted by: TakomaMom | May 1, 2007 01:47 PM "

That's what I do - bring people together! haha.

While we are discussing things of that nature - can someone explain the gals who wear thongs to the gym? Seems like torture?

Posted by: moxiemom | May 1, 2007 1:50 PM

"I thought the days of giving someone a raise (even partially) because his wife had a baby or his son was heading to college were long gone. I part company with this guest blogger on this point."

Maybe it's me, but I didn't see where the raise was given because of life circumstances. The employees mentioned their life circumstances ALONG WITH their performance.

"It'd be Jim, who'd tell me about the key client he closed and his son's college tuition. Or Dave, who'd tell me what kind of raise he expected this year given his performance and increased personal expenses due to the birth of his twins"

The point is that they asked while others didn't. I believe that the life circumstances were not considered in determining the raises except in the context that they might leave if they truly needed additional income. Giving a raise to keep and employee is not really the same as the employer pre-judging and deciding that, oh, he just had twins so I'll give him a raise.

I, myself, requested a salary based on what I was able to live on as well as willing to accept. When the salary wasn't met, I moved on.

Posted by: anon for this | May 1, 2007 1:50 PM

Do people really care whether the roll is over or under? I consider it a good day when it goes on the roll at all, instead of balanced on top of the dispenser on its side.

Pet peeve: Quintuple-rolls of TP. Who has that much a** that they need TP as thick as my comforter? Surely that stuff must clog a toilet. And the stuff I bought this weekend can't even fit on the roll at all!

Posted by: Mona | May 1, 2007 1:50 PM

Over, Over.

Roger, Roger.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 1:51 PM

Matt in Aberdeen

Your librarian analogy is interesting. Last time I looked, some librarians belong to the TEAMSTERS.

Posted by: Spike | May 1, 2007 1:51 PM

But you never know. The reason I have maxed out my 401k since I was 28 is that my mom died and left me a small inheritance, so I had the ability to save more each year (it was the tax advantageous way to do things) even though I haven't ever really *lived* on it, it helped pay for a wedding and helped with a down payment on a house those kinda things.
So be careful what you wish for.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 1:51 PM

Mona-I love the huge rolls of TP because then I don't have to run out every other day (ok...this is an exaggeration, but the big rolls seem to last forever...good thing in my book). The huge rolls used to come with a free extender. Maybe they don't anymore.

Posted by: dotted | May 1, 2007 1:52 PM

Your librarian analogy is interesting. Last time I looked, some librarians belong to the TEAMSTERS.

In the biblical sense?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 1:53 PM

I thought the coal miners made decent money for a lower skilled job because of risk of injury and/or death. It isn't that the skill level of a coal miner is much or even as high as the educational skill level as a librarian. It is a risk analysis question more then a skill or union issue.

Posted by: adoptee | May 1, 2007 1:54 PM

Moxiemom, over.

And I'm guessing that you are a folder and not a buncher.

Just a guess!

Posted by: Father of 4 | May 1, 2007 1:55 PM

To the anons at 1:41 and 1:45 (who I suspect are one and the same):

The neighborly help I received recently did not include a raise because my husband's take-home pay was slashed in half for a year.

I got dinged for missing deadlines on my performance report that year. Deservedly so. My raise and bonus were substantially smaller than before or since.

Yes, she could have canned me. As I said, I was grateful for her understanding. She stood up for me and I was fortunate to have her compassion. I also believed my prior performance had earned it. And, she didn't totally let me off the hook (see prior paragraph).

I think there are some HR professionals on this board. What's your opinion of these kind of circumstances? Should employees be given preference for raises/bonuses when they have a baby or send a child to college? Or find themselves with a disabled spouse?

Posted by: Vegas Mom | May 1, 2007 1:56 PM

"While we are discussing things of that nature - can someone explain the gals who wear thongs to the gym? Seems like torture?"

TMI ALERT

Granny panties give me wedgies at the gym. Much more uncomfortable than already having one, especially with the added fabric. I prefer to go commando, considering the amount of stretching I have to do to maintain my flexibility. It has a tendency to get lost sometimes!

My gym pet peeve: going into the martial arts room and getting funny looks when I actually DO martial arts instead of sitting around doing "crunches" with my sorority sisters like all the other girls in there.

Another gym pet peeve: guys in the weight room who pick up huge dumbbells that they can't quite handle, and rock back and forth to try to do repetitions. All they're going to do is hurt their back trying to look like they can lift 40 pounds with each arm, when they really can't. Also, guys who only focus on their biceps and chest. From the nipples down, they look like Uncle Stan the Couch Potato.

Posted by: Mona | May 1, 2007 1:56 PM

While we are discussing things of that nature - can someone explain the gals who wear thongs to the gym? Seems like torture?

I think it "seams" like torture, personally. Why pay extra money for a power wedgie?

(But I'm not a size 3, so maybe it's less like torture than it is on my size 8 derriere.)

Posted by: Maryland Mother | May 1, 2007 1:56 PM

I thought the days of giving someone a raise (even partially) because his wife had a baby or his son was heading to college were long gone. I part company with this guest blogger on this point. These kind of life changes have no bearing on an employee's performance (regardless of gender) and therefore should have no place in the decision-making process.

Posted by: Vegas Mom | May 1, 2007 01:38 PM

The point of asking for a raise when your situation changes is just that, your situation has changed. You need more money, and if you don't get it here, you may have to go elsewhere to get it. Stating the fact that it is due to a change in circustances, is intended to show that asking a this time is not born out of greed or selfishness.

The boss is under no obligation to give you that raise or even care why you need it, but it does let her know that you are currently unsatisfied with your compensation.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 1:56 PM

adoptee

"It is a risk analysis question more then a skill or union issue."

Union membership does not always equal higher pay.

Posted by: Judy | May 1, 2007 1:57 PM

"Pet peeve: Quintuple-rolls of TP. Who has that much a** that they need TP as thick as my comforter?"

Aw, don't you know? THe pwecious widdle kiddies do!

On the flip side, if you've ever been at work and have had the displeasure of using what feels like -1 ply, you'd be most grateful for that comforter TP!! Especially if you have a day you've had, uh, multiple trips!

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 1:57 PM

Dotted - I LOOOOVE the giant roll! I wish we could install one of those pizza sized rolls that they have at State Parks except filled with Charmin Ultra.

Posted by: moxiemom | May 1, 2007 1:58 PM

I agree, Vegas Mom, that compensation shouldn't be triggered by an employee's life choices. Otherwise, at minimum, the single or childless employee always gets screwed. And the employee whose wife has an incurable disease, tragic as that is, will get a disproportionate amount of the raise pie based on tragedy, not performance. Adjusting pay based on life events is a way to ruin morale on a team.

to anon at 3:45, I think you misunderstood Vegas Mom's point. Adjusting work expectations is different from adjusting pay. As I understand it, Vegas Mom is not advocating that bosses turn into cold-hearted bast***s beating you until morale improves when you need some flexibility in your work expectations and hours. She's simply challenging the guest blogger's reference to paying Jim more on the basis of his child's college tuition bill and not Jim's performance. If there is a finite pool for salaries, whether or not Jim's son's tuition bill is coming due, or I need a new roof, or Father of 4 wants to pay down a credit card, or dotted wants a better gym membership, none of these reasons should have any bearing on the amount of our respective annual increases.

Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | May 1, 2007 1:59 PM

moxiemom -
Thongs under yoga pants or workout shorts = a sightly butt.
Or do you mean those weird thong-like bodysuits that go over tights, like in Flashdance? I have no explanation for that...

Posted by: worker bee | May 1, 2007 2:00 PM

adoptee

"It is a risk analysis question more then a skill or union issue."

Union membership does not always equal higher pay.

Posted by: Judy | May 1, 2007 01:57 PM
That was my point,Judy. Matt was saying it was because they were unionized. My understanding the set example of coal miners it is more because of the working conditions and risk of injury that increases their salary above a comparable skill level or non unionized job. You need to pay people more money if people inherently do NOT want to do the job. That is why NYC sanitation engineers (garbage people) make a decent wage. It is not because the job is such a high skill level or they are unionized (not sure if they are). It is because people do NOT want to pick up garbage for a living. Just like coal miners, people do NOT want to take the risk of dying,sick or injured. Hence we need to pay them more money to do these jobs. It only works in the reverse if they are illegal immigrants. Some how we can pay illegal immigrants lower wages to do jobs that Americans don't want to do. But if you want a legal citizen, you need to pay for the undesirable work.

Posted by: adoptee | May 1, 2007 2:01 PM

"It'd be Jim, who'd tell me about the key client he closed AND his son's college tuition. Or Dave, who'd tell me what kind of raise he expected this year given his performance AND increased personal expenses due to the birth of his twins."

I didn't see where there is any mention of under-performance. Instead it's "look how hard I've worked for you, how much money I've brought in while dealing with my own family's needs. I'm valuable and I want/need more money. Boss?."

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 2:02 PM

The best things in life are free
But you can give it to the brids and bees
I need money ( That's what I wannt )
That's what I want
That's what I want
(That's what I want)
Your lovin' gives me a specil thrill
Won't buy me no cupid bill
I want money (That's what I want)
That's what I want
That's what I want
(That's what I want)

Money don't buy everything its true
What it don't buy I can't use
Just give me that money (That's what I want)
That's what I want
That's what I want
(That's what I want)
Give me some money
What I want right now
(That's what I want)
Just give me money
(That's what I want)
That's what I want right now
(That's what I want)
That's what I want
(That's what I want)
Give me the money
(That's what I want)
I want that real money
(That's what I want)
That's what I want

Posted by: Paul says | May 1, 2007 2:03 PM

I thought the coal miners made decent money for a lower skilled job because of risk of injury and/or death. It isn't that the skill level of a coal miner is much or even as high as the educational skill level as a librarian. It is a risk analysis question more then a skill or union issue.

Posted by: adoptee | May 1, 2007 01:54 PM

Not every skill is mental or based on education, a lot of skills are manual in nature. Saying that a coal miners is less skilled than a librarian shows that you have little respect for manual labor. The coal miner is differently skilled than the librarian. They make more money than librarians because it is a hard dirty job that few will do without being well paid for it. Also, the risk of death, dismemberment and disease is much greater.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 2:04 PM

I actually worked with a guy who had a wife and child. He thought he should be paid more money because he had a family and I was single. Even though I was a higher grade, had a graduate degree, had been with the agency longer. But because I was single without a family, he thought I should make less. Because I need it less. Hmm.

Posted by: adoptee | May 1, 2007 2:05 PM

Some how we can pay illegal immigrants lower wages to do jobs that Americans don't want to do. But if you want a legal citizen, you need to pay for the undesirable work.

We can also get temporary visas for foreign nurses, because by comparison the salary looks great. But American citizens are NOT entering nursing schools by the droves.

Nursing is viewed and paid as an "avocation" or a "less desirable job", so it's not paid particularly well for the amount of education and skills (mental and physical) that is needed to perform the job well.

Over.

Reason for wearing thong underwear over the tights--so no one sees whether or not you've got a Brazilian? I don't know why they don't skip it entirely and just go straight to the leotards like REAL dancers though!

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 2:06 PM

Again, that is my point. They are paid a differential because of risk of injury and working conditions. Most people do not want a dirty working enviroment (dirty being the mines-not dirty people). And educationally speaking, coal miners are less skilled. I am not saying manual labor skills are the same as non skilled job-like being a pencil sharpener or whatever. But the educational skill level is less then what it takes to be a librarian.

Posted by: adoptee | May 1, 2007 2:07 PM

Cultural Tidbit of the Day

The connection between art and eggs!

Czar Nicolas II and Czar Alexander III commissioned the making of the Faberge Eggs. These were Easter gifts for Alexander's wife the Czarina Maria. Either 53 or 56 of these eggs, roughly the size of ostrich eggs, were made with rich colors, opulent jewels and exquisite craftsmanship. Fred has had the pleasure of viewing 3 of these Imperial eggs at the New Orleans Museum of Art.

Many people would recognize the concept of the Faberge Eggs from the James Bond film Octopussy.

Posted by: Fred | May 1, 2007 2:08 PM

To frustrated: so you are staying there because of fear. Well get out and look for a job elsewhere. Could another employer exploit you the way you are currently exploited? Of course. But you aren't desparate for a new job, just looking to see what is out there. And to he** with a counteroffer-if they couldn't do right with you for 10 yrs then leave go get more elsewhere. Yes, it is scary but is it better to get what you want or live your life in fear?

Posted by: atlmom | May 1, 2007 2:08 PM

To adoptee:

That's an interesting theory, but then we'd have people who would simply have kids just to make more money. And we'd have even more competition. "Well, I have 10 kids, but you only have 5!"

And then salary would have absolutely nothing to do with skill sets or compensation for work completed.

Posted by: JRS | May 1, 2007 2:08 PM

Not every skill is mental or based on education, a lot of skills are manual in nature. Saying that a coal miners is less skilled than a librarian shows that you have little respect for manual labor. The coal miner is differently skilled than the librarian. They make more money than librarians because it is a hard dirty job that few will do without being well paid for it. Also, the risk of death, dismemberment and disease is much greater.

Posted by: | May 1, 2007 02:04 PM
Risk analysis means there is an additional compensation payment to compensate the risk of getting injured, sick, or to make up for less then ideal working conditions.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 2:09 PM

anon for this, I agree with you that if the implicit message Jim communicated, and which the guest blogger considered, in raising life events is, "I am under pressure and have a personal incentive to maximize my income - if not here with your competitor". Then the guest blogger had better information to make the best call for his or her business.

That is different from my initial interpretation which is that one's newborn twins, alone, should not justify a raise otherwise unrelated to performance. It does seem as though explicitly or implicitly connecting compensation to personal life choices is a risky business for the manager who wants to incentivize performance by all team members.

Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | May 1, 2007 2:10 PM

To adoptee:

That's an interesting theory, but then we'd have people who would simply have kids just to make more money. And we'd have even more competition. "Well, I have 10 kids, but you only have 5!"

And then salary would have absolutely nothing to do with skill sets or compensation for work completed.

Posted by: JRS | May 1, 2007 02:08 PM
I did not say I agreed with his thinking. Just that there are people out there who think that they have more needs should translate to more money.

Posted by: adoptee | May 1, 2007 2:10 PM

"Thongs under yoga pants or workout shorts = a sightly butt."

I understand why one might want a sightly butt, but doing yoga with a string up your butt to achieve the "look" seems a high price. Maybe I'm just an old married lady.

Posted by: moxiemom | May 1, 2007 2:13 PM

Hear, hear, for sightly butts!

(Just glad those thong things haven't made it to the male side of the species)

RE: TP-definitely the double ply stuff is preferred. My office uses the single ply/sandpaper type and it's universally reviled by one and all.

Posted by: John L | May 1, 2007 2:13 PM

Thongs can be unhealthy. That think material and move bacteria and parasites from the back end to the crotch. A big no-no. Especially since we were taught to wipe front to back!

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 2:15 PM

But the educational skill level is less then what it takes to be a librarian.

Posted by: adoptee | May 1, 2007 02:07 PM

My point is that education is not the only skill. The ability to weild a hammer or drive a front loader are also skills. Which, according to you, would be considered lesser skills than an associates degree from a CC.

Saying the librarian is more skilled than the coal miner is a little offensive, you really can't compare the two.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 2:15 PM

(Just glad those thong things haven't made it to the male side of the species)

Uhh, JohnL., you lead a very sheltered life. They are here and they are worn.

It's like Speedos, butt worse!

Posted by: Maryland Mother | May 1, 2007 2:15 PM

Ah, the joys of commercial "quality" John Wayne TP. Does anyone know the punchline? ;-P

Posted by: Chris | May 1, 2007 2:17 PM

It does seem as though explicitly or implicitly connecting compensation to personal life choices is a risky business for the manager who wants to incentivize performance by all team members.

Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | May 1, 2007 02:10 PM

But in this case it is not only performance that is an issue, it is retention.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 2:18 PM

Back when one of my really BIG projects was underway, the contractor had such a huge need for heavy equipment operators that he was hiring SAHM's, sending them to a 3 day class on how to drive 100 ton dump trucks, and putting them to work.

Since he was paying them far, far more than any other job in the county, he poured a significant amount of money into the area and the women gained a valuable job skill. Of course the work only lasted about 5 years, but at $40/hour for 11 hour shifts, six days a week, that added up really quickly.

Posted by: John L | May 1, 2007 2:18 PM

"I actually worked with a guy who had a wife and child. He thought he should be paid more money because he had a family and I was single. Even though I was a higher grade, had a graduate degree, had been with the agency longer. But because I was single without a family, he thought I should make less. Because I need it less. Hmm.

Posted by: adoptee | May 1, 2007 02:05 PM"
How about this: a single person deserves more money because they don't have the luxury of a second income to pay the mortgage, utilities, pool boy, nanny.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | May 1, 2007 2:19 PM

Gulp... I have to say it. UNDER! I may be the only one in the world.

Speaking of under, I'm with Mona in going commando at the gym. No need to worry about wedgies.

Posted by: Meesh | May 1, 2007 2:19 PM

"It'd be Jim, who'd tell me about the key client he closed AND his son's college tuition. Or Dave, who'd tell me what kind of raise he expected this year given his performance AND increased personal expenses due to the birth of his twins."

I didn't see where there is any mention of under-performance. Instead it's "look how hard I've worked for you, how much money I've brought in while dealing with my own family's needs. I'm valuable and I want/need more money. Boss?."

____

Underperformance isn't the issue with Jim or Dave, I agree. And I don't think I implied that it was. I just think their raises should have been based solely on their performance, not on the presence or absence of children -- newborn, twins, college, or any variety. The ANDs you capitalized make it VERY clear that Jim and Dave expected their circumstances to be considered in addition to their performance.

Do you really think it's fair that "John," who performed equally to Jim and Dave, should get a lesser raise because he's single and childless? Or because he saved money for John Jr.'s college education, so a raise isn't necessary to manage the tuition?

Posted by: Vegas Mom | May 1, 2007 2:20 PM

I actually worked with a guy who had a wife and child. He thought he should be paid more money because he had a family and I was single. - adoptee

What an idiot! He didn't get it did he?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 2:20 PM

MdMother,

Maybe it's just that I willfully refuse to notice such things as male thongs...

Are these the items of clothing I've heard nicknamed "banana slings"?

Posted by: John L | May 1, 2007 2:20 PM

Over.
Victoria secret all cotton for the gym.

Folded towel in closet: in half or in thirds?

Posted by: KLB SS MD | May 1, 2007 2:21 PM

"Thongs can be unhealthy. That think material and move bacteria and parasites from the back end to the crotch."

Not if you wear well-fitting ones, and keep yourself and your undergarments clean. Ten years, no problems.

The back is really not meant to shift so much. Ouch!

Posted by: Mona | May 1, 2007 2:21 PM

IN GENERAL, educational skill usually translates to higher paying jobs. Not always. There are some manual skilled labor that are highly sought out for in the market. Unskilled labor- like the person who collects tickets at a cinema is generally paid less then a skilled labor job (possibly a person who lays tile). Consequently, a formally educated person on average makes more then MANY manually skilled labor jobs. Not always. There are plumbers and electricians that make more then statisticians. But again it is to make up for the office enviroment and benefits package versus the blue collar. Blue collar jobs can often pay very well. But if you look at statistical averages, the more education one has the higher the probability of an increase in salary (field dependent). BTW, to officially have the title librarian in most institutions, it usually entails a minimum of Bachelors degree and in some institutions it is as high as a PhD. Librarians are not the people stocking the shelves or just checking out books. You can get a HS kid to run your library card through the machine. Library science is a legitmate educational field of study. Not my field of interest but I knew a few people who went on to get masters and doctorates in the field.

Posted by: foamgnome | May 1, 2007 2:23 PM

moxiemom, you get used to the feel surprisingly quickly... though I do feel a bit embarrassed at how easy it was for me to suck myself into buying a whole extra underwear category based on the fear of "VPL", a fashion "crime" which I am pretty sure only entered the lexicon a few years ago...

Posted by: worker bee | May 1, 2007 2:23 PM

"How about this: a single person deserves more money because they don't have the luxury of a second income to pay the mortgage, utilities, pool boy, nanny."

I always thought people stayed single and didn't have kids so that they'd have MORE money. Doesn't quite seem fair that someone wanting to "have it all" (kids AND money) gets to override someone who sacrificed one thing for the other.

KLB, fourths. I have a really teeny linen closet. Normally it'd be thirds though.

Posted by: Mona | May 1, 2007 2:23 PM

Meesh - I'm an under too! (sshhh - don't tell anyone) Seems more natural since your hand is generally coming up from below. Subject of much debate in my home.

How about flossing - before or after brushing?

Posted by: moxiemom | May 1, 2007 2:25 PM

No, he didn't get it. He found out that he needed to get a graduate degree to support his wife and growing family in the manner in which he felt necessary. He went to law school. I hope he makes the money he was wishing for. But he was very sexist in general. He did not think women with children should be working. He felt they were taking good jobs away from men who needed them. He must have thought women just work for play money. Hmm, again he was young. He did think it was OK for single women to work because the alternative was welfare. But he thought us single women should try to find men as soon as possible, make babies, and quit working.

Posted by: adoptee | May 1, 2007 2:26 PM

Do you really think it's fair that "John," who performed equally to Jim and Dave, should get a lesser raise because he's single and childless? Or because he saved money for John Jr.'s college education, so a raise isn't necessary to manage the tuition?

Posted by: Vegas Mom | May 1, 2007 02:20 PM

No, but life isn't fair. You keep saying the same thing. But don't seem to read the replies.

She is not giving these guys bigger raises because they have children, family etc. (nor should she). She is giving these raises to keep these employees. The unstated part of these requests is that they need more money and if they don't get it here they may have to get it from her competitor.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 2:26 PM

KLB - I prefer the look of the thirds, but it is sooo much easier to fold in half.

Posted by: moxiemom | May 1, 2007 2:28 PM

brush, floss, then rinse to clear away the plaque form flossing.

Posted by: brushing | May 1, 2007 2:28 PM

I always wondered, from a financial point of view, if single person who makes Y dollars over the life time of a career, does better then a comparable couple with two children who make 2 * Y. It seems as if dual income with kids still comes out slightly better (bigger home etc...) then a single person. But I have never found a good study to prove this. Even with the supposed marriage penalty, I think dual income with two kids still must do better then the single person.

Posted by: foamgnome | May 1, 2007 2:30 PM

Maybe it's just that I willfully refuse to notice such things as male thongs...

Are these the items of clothing I've heard nicknamed "banana slings"?

Well, I don't know, but to me they will always be "codpieces".

And the day I was asked my opinion of his new look by my husband was the day I should've dropped dead from stifling my laughter.

The things we do for love, or relative peace and harmony!

A man asking you how he looks in a thong is NOT for the faint-hearted.

I lied. Some questions are NEVER to be answered truthfully. Fortunately he decided he hated the thing. Whew!

Posted by: Maryland Mother | May 1, 2007 2:30 PM

"Do you really think it's fair that "John," who performed equally to Jim and Dave, should get a lesser raise because he's single and childless? Or because he saved money for John Jr.'s college education, so a raise isn't necessary to manage the tuition?"

Maybe the kids and college are the reason that Jim and Dave were inspired to ASK for the raises. Maybe John didn't ask because he was hoping to be recognized based on his performance. Maybe if John had increased personal expenses or a more aggressive personality, he would have asked for more of a raise based on his work performance.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 2:30 PM

foamgnome

"Librarians are not the people stocking the shelves or just checking out books"

Right. And many Fed librarians in upper management make 100k.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 2:31 PM

I'm sure it's already been said in at least one of the 200 plus comments but how sad is Shellye Arch as a woman when she knows the women in her department have worked hard and deserve a raise but she won't give it to them because they don't ask? Why not support your fellow women (if they are working hard and deserve a raise) and give them the money just for being great employees?

Posted by: Gabby | May 1, 2007 2:33 PM

IN GENERAL, educational skill usually translates to higher paying jobs. Not always.

Posted by: foamgnome | May 1, 2007 02:23 PM

I agree with everything you said, but pay and skill are not always correlated (which you said, too).

I just took offense to the person stating that the librarian was more skilled than the coal miner, it is like comparing apples and footballs and saying the apple is better because it tastes better.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 2:35 PM

foamgnome said

"Even with the supposed marriage penalty, I think dual income with two kids still must do better then the single person."

Too many variables. Are you talking about everyone or people who make identical salaries? Even with identical salaries, there are too many variables including personal spending habits, hobbies, parental help (handouts or inheritance), etc. My single sister takes better vacations and spends less than we do because she has friends who live in great places who invite her to stay with them. It is more likely that people will put a single person up for a week than a family of 5. This is just an example, not a complaint. I love my sister and am happy that she gets to travel.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 2:37 PM

I lied. Some questions are NEVER to be answered truthfully. Fortunately he decided he hated the thing. Whew!

Posted by: Maryland Mother | May 1, 2007 02:30 PM

And, no honey, that dress doesn't make you look fat ;>)

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 2:39 PM

Unfortunatley, there will probably always be a class divide between skilled manual work versus mental skilled work. I am not sure if there is a good way around it. I have PhDs working with me who have never picked up a hammer and would get lost on metro. But in their minds, they will always be of a higher class because they work with their minds rather then their hands. Heck some drug dealers and proabably all porn stars make more money then me. But take a guess, which job has more prestige.

Posted by: foamgnome | May 1, 2007 2:40 PM

Anon at 2:26 (and I'm done after this) --

I'd say we're both guilty of reading into something that was "unstated" on the blog. Perhaps our guest blogger should have strived for more clarity in her position.

FWIW, if the employee's STATED purpose in mentioning life circumstances is to inform the employer that s/he will be looking elsewhere for employment, and if said employee has comparables and a performance record to back up his/her request, then the raise should be given to retain the employee if the money is available in the budget.

But that's a lot of ifs. Granted, my interpretation was also rife with ifs.

In the absence of that stated purpose (I need more money for x, so if I can't get it here, I'll be looking elsewhere/leaving), my interpretation was that Shellye was at least partially including Jim and Dave's changed circumstances in her decision to give them larger raises than the women in her office. I don't think that was an unreasonable conclusion to draw. Just different than yours.

And you're right. Life isn't fair. Thanks for the news flash.

Posted by: Vegas Mom | May 1, 2007 2:41 PM

I always wondered, from a financial point of view, if single person who makes Y dollars over the life time of a career, does better then a comparable couple with two children who make 2 * Y. It seems as if dual income with kids still comes out slightly better (bigger home etc...) then a single person. But I have never found a good study to prove this. Even with the supposed marriage penalty, I think dual income with two kids still must do better then the single person.

Posted by: foamgnome | May 1, 2007 02:30 PM

maybe if the dual income earners are on precisely the same financial page about how to manage, save and spend their money, they end up ahead of a single person because of economies of scale.

I have not in this lifetime met such a couple. Hence, much money is wasted by one or the other spouse, particularly by those couples who implement the 2 individual accounts / one joint account strategy. The individual account money is blown, pretty much, on junk. Many disagreements/ conversations, etc. have money expenditures and management as their primary underlying topic, most spouse's let the small stuff slide as a marriage-survival strategy. Show of hands for everyone who knows of a spouse who hides purchases, whether by taking cash out of the ATM so there's no paper trail of where it's spent, or (worse yet) by keeping items in the trunk and sneaking them in the house later.

I have to think a single person, even if earning less over time on a per capita basis than a married couple, could establish and maintain a consistent smart financial strategy more easily than two married, wilful adults.

Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | May 1, 2007 2:41 PM

My example was single person makes X
Dual income family with kids make twice X. Who does better? Personal spending habits should not count in. But it is hard to take them out of the equation. I am sure economists do in their modeling but not sure how that works.

Posted by: foamgnome | May 1, 2007 2:42 PM

Why not support your fellow women (if they are working hard and deserve a raise) and give them the money just for being great employees?

Posted by: Gabby | May 1, 2007 02:33 PM

Don't you mean, just for being women?

Switch the genders and what do you have; the old boys club.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 2:42 PM

"Heck some drug dealers and proabably all porn stars make more money then me. But take a guess, which job has more prestige."

The porn stars? : )

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 2:43 PM

"deserve a raise but she won't give it to them because they don't ask? Why not support your fellow women (if they are working hard and deserve a raise) and give them the money just for being great employees?"

I read that the women did get raises, the men just got more because they asked (and presumably stated their case for it).

Posted by: to Gabby | May 1, 2007 2:43 PM

MN:I guess more precisely does the economies of scale compensate for the additional costs of having a family. People with kids (even dual income) seem to always complain that they don't have money because of how expensive the kids are. But if they are making twice the single person, it seems like they should be doing better then the single person. But it never seems to work out that way. Again, no one really wants to study this, so I have never read a study that compared these things.

Posted by: foamgnome | May 1, 2007 2:45 PM

"Heck some drug dealers and proabably all porn stars make more money then me. But take a guess, which job has more prestige."

The porn stars? : )

Posted by: | May 1, 2007 02:43 PM
If your ANS, I guess the porn star. :)

Posted by: foamgnome | May 1, 2007 2:46 PM

I made a similar comment to Gabby's earlier on, that the blog writer said the women did not come to her to ask for a raise, but she'd give it to them if they would only ask.

Why wait? If they are doing a good job and deserve the raise, what's wrong with management rewarding them for being great employees and doing a good job? This kind of attitude fosters both loyalty and increased performance among all the employees, not just the ones that go to the CEO's office to beg for more money.

Posted by: John L | May 1, 2007 2:46 PM

Why not support your fellow women (if they are working hard and deserve a raise) and give them the money just for being great employees?

Posted by: Gabby | May 1, 2007 02:33 PM

Don't you mean, just for being women?

Switch the genders and what do you have; the old boys club.

Posted by: | May 1, 2007 02:42 PM

Exactly, 2:42. Sheesh, I thought the whole point was to take factors like gender and whether my granddaddy knew your granddaddy out of the employment and compensation factor. You earn it, you get it.

Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | May 1, 2007 2:46 PM

i find it interesting that not like the boys calls it bragging about whose di#$ is bigger. if i found a way to save the company 10% or if i brought in a client who increased our company's profitability then i am not bragging i am stating facts. i expect to be compensated because i helped the company.

Posted by: quark | May 1, 2007 2:47 PM

Leslie:
Can you or Shellye Archambeau answer some of these questions from today's blog?

Posted by: To Leslie | May 1, 2007 2:48 PM

I don't think that was an unreasonable conclusion to draw. Just different than yours.
Posted by: Vegas Mom | May 1, 2007 02:41 PM

I don't think it was an unreasonable conclusion either.

I was just pointing out, that from a male (???) point of view, you don't bring up circumstances like that without intending to imply that more money is important enough that you may have to go elsewhere to get it. Most men (with the exception of adoptee's former coworker) are smart enough to know that you don't get more money just because you have a new family.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 2:54 PM

"Most men (with the exception of adoptee's former coworker) are smart enough to know that you don't get more money just because you have a new family."

Not in my office.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 2:55 PM

"Heck some drug dealers and proabably all porn stars make more money then me. But take a guess, which job has more prestige."

-foamgnome

I bet you make more than the male porn stars. Porn is one business where the women make significantly more than the men.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 2:57 PM

"My point is that education is not the only skill. The ability to weild a hammer or drive a front loader are also skills. Which, according to you, would be considered lesser skills than an associates degree from a CC.

"Saying the librarian is more skilled than the coal miner is a little offensive, you really can't compare the two."
______________________

I agree that it's offensive to say that a librarian is more skilled than a coal miner. The skills are too disparate to be compared as better and lesser.

Just to be sure there's no misunderstanding though, to be a librarian, you need to have a master's degree. There are many jobs in libraries that don't require degrees, such as library page (shelver), circulation assistant (checker-outer), etc. Some libraries do staff reference desks partly with library assistants, but there are librarians on-site for consultation. The librarians responsible for management, collection development, meaty reference and research work, and program planning have master's degrees.

Posted by: Marian | May 1, 2007 2:58 PM

"Heck some drug dealers and proabably all porn stars make more money then me. But take a guess, which job has more prestige."

-foamgnome

I bet you make more than the male porn stars. Porn is one business where the women make significantly more than the men.

Posted by: | May 1, 2007 02:57 PM
Wow, really? You learn something new every day. I would have definitely thought male and female porn stars were big earners (could afford to maximize their 401K contributions):)

Posted by: foamgnome | May 1, 2007 2:59 PM

It makes sense that female porn stars make more - they can work more per day than the men (men can't fake it).

Posted by: KLB SS MD | May 1, 2007 3:00 PM

Why not support your fellow women (if they are working hard and deserve a raise) and give them the money just for being great employees?

Posted by: Gabby | May 1, 2007 02:33 PM

Don't you mean, just for being women?

Switch the genders and what do you have; the old boys club.

Posted by: | May 1, 2007 02:42 PM

I agree with 2:42. For whatever that's worth, of course.

After all, what if these same women don't want more money, what if they want flex-time, or the executive box at Orioles Park. If you don't speak up, you are not likely to receive what you want OR deserve.

"Mind reading" isn't in anyone's job description, I hope.

Posted by: Maryland Mother | May 1, 2007 3:00 PM

Ladies do you prefer your men in boxers or briefs?

Posted by: moxiemom | May 1, 2007 3:00 PM

"I was just pointing out, that from a male (???) point of view, you don't bring up circumstances like that without intending to imply that more money is important enough that you may have to go elsewhere to get it."

And to think I always bought that old stereotype that women were the ones who expected you to read their minds!

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 3:01 PM

Why wait? If they are doing a good job and deserve the raise, what's wrong with management rewarding them for being great employees and doing a good job? This kind of attitude fosters both loyalty and increased performance among all the employees, not just the ones that go to the CEO's office to beg for more money.

Posted by: John L | May 1, 2007 02:46 PM

Maybe because if you are not aggressive about your own salary, how aggressive are you going to be on the job? This rewards a trait that she find valuable.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 3:02 PM

Marian: The librarians at my university, college, and agencies are required to have PhDs. I think my elementary school librarian had a bachelors degree but had to work towards her master in a set period of time (probably 3 years or so). My HS librarian was required to have a Masters to get the job but eventually he got his PhD. It was a big deal when he got it. Not sure how schools work now.

Posted by: foamgnome | May 1, 2007 3:02 PM

"The librarians responsible for management, collection development, meaty reference and research work, and program planning have master's degrees."

And, some of the academic librarians have FACULTY status.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 3:02 PM

Almost anything that doesn't have skid marks.

Codpieces excluded, however.

Posted by: MdM | May 1, 2007 3:02 PM

""Mind reading" isn't in anyone's job description, I hope."

Maryland Mother - it is if you are a nurse.

Posted by: KKLB SS MD | May 1, 2007 3:02 PM

"Heck some drug dealers and proabably all porn stars make more money then me. But take a guess, which job has more prestige."

-foamgnome

I bet you make more than the male porn stars. Porn is one business where the women make significantly more than the men.

Posted by: | May 1, 2007 02:57 PM
Wow, really? You learn something new every day. I would have definitely thought male and female porn stars were big earners (could afford to maximize their 401K contributions):)

I will hazard a guess that the porn stars earn significantly less than the producers and distributors of their talents.

Being behind the camera is generally more lucrative than in front of it.

Go ask GM (referencing that 20/20 piece a few years ago), after all.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 3:04 PM

It's the need to have a double-income to afford a mortgage that forces codependency on a partner. Few individuals make a six figure income and let's face it, you need one to afford a home, save for retirement,and still have a life not even factoring kids into the equation.

Single people only have themselves to rely upon while if one partner in a relationship is laid off, they can rely on the other for some financial support. Single people deserve more money to offset these inequalities.

Expecting a higher raise simply because you've decided to have a large number of kids isn't really any different than being a welfare recipient having additional kids to get extra benefits. And don't get me started on parents expecting singles to pick up their slack at work so they can go home early to attend an event of their kids or some other family obligation. Talk about lack of teamwork and being self-centered!!

Posted by: Single | May 1, 2007 3:04 PM

And to think I always bought that old stereotype that women were the ones who expected you to read their minds!

Posted by: | May 1, 2007 03:01 PM

Me too!

But this isn't really reading minds, this learning the code.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 3:05 PM

""Mind reading" isn't in anyone's job description, I hope."

Maryland Mother - it is if you are a nurse.

Hence the lousy pay over your professional lifetime for the highly skilled work you provide.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 3:05 PM

Thank you 3:05.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | May 1, 2007 3:06 PM

Expecting a higher raise simply because you've decided to have a large number of kids isn't really any different than being a welfare recipient having additional kids to get extra benefits. And don't get me started on parents expecting singles to pick up their slack at work so they can go home early to attend an event of their kids or some other family obligation. Talk about lack of teamwork and being self-centered!!

Posted by: Single | May 1, 2007 03:04 PM

I agree. It makes me cringe when I see people who do that--I don't want to be caught up in any backlash. Fortunately, I haven't been.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 3:07 PM

Single: I buy your argument in terms of buying a house. But why would a single person need as much money as a couple for retirement? You will only be supporting your self in retirement. My husband and I will be supporting two people. So we will need more retirement savings then a single person. Not as much as twice as much but definitely more then what you as a single person would need.

Posted by: foamgnome | May 1, 2007 3:08 PM

So the take away lesson for the day if we want more money is to forget about asking for a raise, or even working out, or making sure the tp is over- it is to invest in a camera and start raking in the dough! Now I know what all the SAHMs are going to be doing!

Posted by: Chris | May 1, 2007 3:09 PM

But why would a single person need as much money as a couple for retirement?

Think of it as two individuals saving for two individual retirements. Always be prepared to fly solo. You never know when the rug can be yanked out from under you.

Posted by: Married now, but... | May 1, 2007 3:11 PM

it is to invest in a camera and start raking in the dough!

Chris--they're called web cams and you would be shocked to know what many people ARE doing. Go ask your kids about their friends, it's SCARY.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 3:12 PM

Expecting a higher raise simply because you've decided to have a large number of kids isn't really any different than being a welfare recipient having additional kids to get extra benefits.

-Single

Except for the working part.

Needing more money and doing whatever is necessary to get it, is part of having a lot of kids. If gently threatening to leave is what it takes, what business is it of yours?

And don't get me started on parents expecting singles to pick up their slack at work so they can go home early to attend an event of their kids or some other family obligation. Talk about lack of teamwork and being self-centered!!

Posted by: Single | May 1, 2007 03:04 PM

And don't get me started on all those single people who come in drunk on Mondays expecting me to hold their hair while they puke. Talk about lack of teamwork and being self-centered!!

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 3:13 PM

foamnome:

I'm only saying that having to save for retirement is just an added burden on top of having to pay a mortgage for a single person out of the same single paycheck. It's everything added together not just one single item like retirement. As a married person, you and your spouse share the cost of saving for retirement like you do in paying the mortgage. The financial burden is evenly distributed making it less cumbersome on anyone person. This probably allows you some disposable income. However, the cost of all this is squarely on the shoulders of the single person.

On top of that, a single person needs a contingency fund in case they are laid off or they have an accident to cover the cost of lost income since no one will be there to pick up the slack.

One paycheck can only be stetched so far!

Posted by: single | May 1, 2007 3:16 PM

Single: I buy your argument in terms of buying a house. But why would a single person need as much money as a couple for retirement? You will only be supporting your self in retirement. My husband and I will be supporting two people. So we will need more retirement savings then a single person. Not as much as twice as much but definitely more then what you as a single person would need.

Posted by: foamgnome | May 1, 2007 03:08 PM

"single" means only that one is not legally married - no more, no less. A single person could be cohabitating, or supporting a mentally or physically disabled sibling, or raising a child, or raising a village. Expand your range of assumptions.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 3:16 PM

Now I know what all the SAHMs are going to be doing!

Posted by: Chris | May 1, 2007 03:09 PM
Chris, I can only speak for myself, but I'm guessing that the market for moxiemom porn consists of about one fella who in all truthfullness, might not enjoy seeing me from those angles, fully lit. Then again, I don't even own a thong so right there I'm down sexy points. Although my stretch marks do give the impression that I am in constant motion which might indeed make for an exciting video after all.

Posted by: moxiemom | May 1, 2007 3:17 PM

On top of that, a single person needs a contingency fund in case they are laid off or they have an accident to cover the cost of lost income since no one will be there to pick up the slack.

One paycheck can only be stetched so far!

Posted by: single | May 1, 2007 03:16 PM

If being single sucks so much, why don't you get married and have kids.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 3:18 PM

3:16: Doesn't the IRS distinguish between single and head of household. The example of a person raising a child or supporting a disabled person would be considered head of household. Therefore have less tax liability then the single person.

Posted by: foamgnome | May 1, 2007 3:18 PM

moxiemom: you win the prize again for best post of the day.

but I'm guessing that the market for moxiemom porn consists of about one fella who in all truthfullness, might not enjoy seeing me from those angles, fully lit.

Posted by: foamgnome | May 1, 2007 3:19 PM

If being single sucks so much, why don't you get married and have kids.

Maybe the fact that this country doesn't permit two adults of the same gender to get married plays a part in this, Michelle Singletary!

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 3:19 PM

"But this isn't really reading minds, this learning the code."

So men speak in code while women expect to have their mind read?

I call that a distinction without a difference.

Both result in bad communication.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 3:20 PM

3:16: Doesn't the IRS distinguish between single and head of household. The example of a person raising a child or supporting a disabled person would be considered head of household. Therefore have less tax liability then the single person.

Not necessarily true in the case of divorce. One year you get to deduct the kid, the other year you don't. At least for some friends of mine. It gets too complicated for me to want to follow too closely.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 3:21 PM

As a married person, you and your spouse share the cost of saving for retirement like you do in paying the mortgage. The financial burden is evenly distributed making it less cumbersome on anyone person. This probably allows you some disposable income.

Posted by: single | May 1, 2007 03:16 PM

Single, I'm still getting past the line about how the financial burden is evenly distributed in a married couple. *snort* Do you know anyone married?

As a single person, you are accountable to no one but yourself for where your money goes. No one else is using a debit card to remove cash from your account.

It would take 4 hard-working adults to adequately save for retirement for my husband and myself. As fast as I save, he spends, and this is after counseling. It used to be even worse.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 3:21 PM

Maybe the fact that this country doesn't permit two adults of the same gender to get married plays a part in this, Michelle Singletary!

Posted by: | May 1, 2007 03:19 PM

Move to MA!

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 3:21 PM

Regarding:"Needing more money and doing whatever is necessary to get it, is part of having a lot of kids. If gently threatening to leave is what it takes, what business is it of yours?"

It's my business if your percentage of the raise pool comes out of my percentage of the raise pool. If you decide to have a lot of kids, that's your "choice" but not an obligation. Why should I suffer financially for it? If you have the kids, then you deal with the consequences of supporting them but not at my expense!!

Regarding: "And don't get me started on all those single people who come in drunk on Mondays expecting me to hold their hair while they puke. Talk about lack of teamwork and being self-centered!!"

Get real!!! You can't come up with an intelligent comeback so you come up with this stupid nonesense? Puleez.

Posted by: single | May 1, 2007 3:25 PM

no no no, we learned that the directors and producers make more- in buying a camera you would be the manager and your job would be to exploit... ahem...recruit and direct. :-P

Posted by: Chris | May 1, 2007 3:26 PM

"But this isn't really reading minds, this learning the code."

So men speak in code while women expect to have their mind read?

I call that a distinction without a difference.

Both result in bad communication.

Posted by: | May 1, 2007 03:20 PM

I sure women speak in code, too. I just don't know it.

Besides, it is guy code, so not very advanced.

No really, I think they are different, in that with code, you at least have something to start with.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 3:26 PM

Thanks foam - remember my motto - "keeping the bar low for everyone".

Posted by: moxiemom | May 1, 2007 3:30 PM

"If being single sucks so much, why don't you get married and have kids."

Why should I be forced into marriage just to improve my financial situation? Is that why you got married? That's what kept women slave's to men before they were able to vote and go out and have careers!!

Posted by: single | May 1, 2007 3:31 PM

single -- with your attitude, it sounds like you won't ever have to change your "blog name"

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 3:31 PM

[yawn]

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 3:34 PM

I beg to differ on this "code" argument.

While some men believe some women want the men to read their minds, the women would simply say the man should be able to understand her body language and method of expressing herself. This is still code.

Withholding physical affection from a spouse or significant other who consistently leaves his dirty socks on the floor and the toilet seat up is a form of code.

LEARN THE CODE!

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 3:35 PM

Moxiemom said:
"I'm guessing that the market for moxiemom porn consists of about one fella who in all truthfullness, might not enjoy seeing me from those angles, fully lit."

And I'm that guy! (every angle is good one, McMoxie!)

Posted by: Patrick Dempsey | May 1, 2007 3:36 PM

It's my business if your percentage of the raise pool comes out of my percentage of the raise pool. If you decide to have a lot of kids, that's your "choice" but not an obligation. Why should I suffer financially for it? If you have the kids, then you deal with the consequences of supporting them but not at my expense!!

-Single

Again, you don't seem to care about me so why should I care about you?

You are saying, I shouldn't fight for what I need just because you may get less of a raise, get real!! If the boss doesn't value my contribution to the level I feel necessary, I will leave and find someone who will. This really doesn't involve you at all.

Regarding: "And don't get me started on all those single people who come in drunk on Mondays expecting me to hold their hair while they puke. Talk about lack of teamwork and being self-centered!!"

Get real!!! You can't come up with an intelligent comeback so you come up with this stupid nonesense? Puleez.


Posted by: single | May 1, 2007 03:25 PM

That comeback is on an equal intelligence level to the cr$p you posted. Poor single person, always being put out by us nasty selfish parents. Whine whine.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 3:36 PM

"As a single person, you are accountable to no one but yourself for where your money goes. No one else is using a debit card to remove cash from your account.

It would take 4 hard-working adults to adequately save for retirement for my husband and myself. As fast as I save, he spends, and this is after counseling. It used to be even worse."

It's not my fault as a single person that you married an irresponsible spendthrift. Why don't you have your own secret checking account then to protect yourself if you know he is that way? You can't change his behavior but you can choose to change your own. If you don't look out for you, you can't expect him to do it for you. Maybe being single would make your life better and then you probably would understand where I'm coming from once you are.

Posted by: single | May 1, 2007 3:36 PM

"Men are encouraged by our society to demand...and women are socialized to be grateful for whatever we get."

--Leslie

Hmm... {Eyebrows furrowed}

Ah...hmmmm...

Try though I might, I just can't seem to find anything wrong with that quote.

I suspect somehow I'm supposed to, but I just don't see it...

:~)

Posted by: Texas Dad of 2 | May 1, 2007 3:38 PM

okay single, we want to know, how many cats do you have?

p.s. you are very mean

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 3:38 PM

"If being single sucks so much, why don't you get married and have kids."

Why should I be forced into marriage just to improve my financial situation? Is that why you got married? That's what kept women slave's to men before they were able to vote and go out and have careers!!

Posted by: single | May 1, 2007 03:31 PM

Nobody is forcing you to get married. You just seem so envious of us parents, I thought it would be a good fit for you.

No, I am a man, getting married made my financial situation worse. ;)

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 3:43 PM

Given your own whinings about your marriage problems and the need to seek more money to make up for your sprendthrift irresonsible spouse, I'm obviously far happier being single than you'll ever be married.

Someone that irresponsible with money as an adult is liable to steal it sooner or later and end up in jail. Another headache for you. Then you'll be a single mom whining about needing money.

Posted by: single | May 1, 2007 3:43 PM

Patrick don't you go thinking that just because I'm getting into porn you can just waltz back in here and break my heart again. Thanks for making me lol today.

Posted by: moxiemom | May 1, 2007 3:44 PM

""Mind reading" isn't in anyone's job description, I hope."

Sorry, I thought about this some more and realized that yes, it is, if you are married (or a nurse).

My husband regularly pouts that, "If you REALLY loved me you'd know what I want--I wouldn't have to tell you!"

It works as well at home as it does at work. That is to say, not at all.

Want something? Ask for it. Grease the skids by doing something to deserve "it" before you ask.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 3:46 PM

"Moxieporn" has a certain ring to it though.

Posted by: Patrick | May 1, 2007 3:47 PM

It's not my fault as a single person that you married an irresponsible spendthrift. Why don't you have your own secret checking account then to protect yourself if you know he is that way? You can't change his behavior but you can choose to change your own. If you don't look out for you, you can't expect him to do it for you.

I like Single! And I'm a married woman, with kids!

Posted by: Wool-gatherer | May 1, 2007 3:48 PM

Oh you're a man? Then naturally it was your responsibility to use birth control and stop bringing children in the world you can't afford to have. Again, I should not have to bear the financial burden of caring for them out of my raise. You want to have them fine, make due with what you have. Otherwise, keep it in your pants.

Posted by: single | May 1, 2007 3:48 PM

Megan's neighbor: wow, no I don't think all couples are like that. My dh and I rarely spend over 100 dollars without speaking with each other I know where he spends money since he rarely takes out of the atm and I take care of pretty much all expense- meaning I pay bills etc. This all works because we trust each other. I guess most couples don't. I wouldn't live with someone who I didn't trust or didn't trust me. I think separate accounts are a bit silly since it is all one big pot no matter how you slice it. So to speak. But I have a friend who is so scared of trusting others that she has some complicated scheme (she was telling me about how her dh was going to 'pay' her for taking care of the kids so she would not have to be 'dependent' on him, etc-i don't know that they actually do that but she mentioned it to me-thats only one of her crazy ideas since, it appears she doesn't trust dh- however, it is more that she doesn't trust her since he is the most trustworthy guy I know)

Posted by: atlmom | May 1, 2007 3:49 PM

Maybe being single would make your life better and then you probably would understand where I'm coming from once you are.


Posted by: single | May 1, 2007 03:36 PM

All of us married people have been where you are now (duh), that is why we view you with such contempt. Your selfishness is so ugly, yet you can't see it.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 3:49 PM

It's not my fault as a single person that you married an irresponsible spendthrift. Why don't you have your own secret checking account then to protect yourself if you know he is that way? You can't change his behavior but you can choose to change your own. If you don't look out for you, you can't expect him to do it for you. Maybe being single would make your life better and then you probably would understand where I'm coming from once you are.


Posted by: single | May 1, 2007 03:36 PM

single, you suggested that married people have it so much easier than you, based on flawed assumptions, the funniest of which is that married people are equally contributing to retirement. No one said anything was your fault.

and, duh, I was single once, single. Are you under the impression that some of us flow from the womb with a wedding ring on our finger?

Posted by: at least I have a sense of humor | May 1, 2007 3:50 PM

Patrick, I do like the sound of that, however, with a target market of 2, its a tough business case to make. Although if we use our old Hi-8 camera the only real cost is the value of the tape and my dignity so about $5!

Posted by: moxiemom | May 1, 2007 3:50 PM

Patrick, I do like the sound of that, however, with a target market of 2, its a tough business case to make. Although if we use our old Hi-8 camera the only real cost is the value of the tape and my dignity so about $5!

Posted by: moxiemom | May 1, 2007 03:50 PM
Moxie-you are priceless.

Posted by: foamgnome | May 1, 2007 3:52 PM

Wait a minute, if Moxiemom gets to have Patrick Dempsey, then I have dibs on Patrick Swayze.

I guess we should clear it with their spouses, as well as our own, first. Oh well.

Posted by: Maryland Mother | May 1, 2007 3:54 PM

I suspect somehow I'm supposed to, but I just don't see it...

:~)

Posted by: Texas Dad of 2 | May 1, 2007 03:38 PM

First you open one eye. Then the other. There now, doesn't that make sight easier?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 3:56 PM

"moxiemom: you win the prize again for best post of the day."

And you win the prize for the most posts of the day (week, month, year, lifetime of the blog.) Do you ever work? What a shame your daughter is locked away in daycare while you blog your little heart out.

Posted by: to foamgnome | May 1, 2007 3:56 PM

moxiemom: you win the prize again for best post of the day."

And you win the prize for the most posts of the day (week, month, year, lifetime of the blog.) Do you ever work? What a shame your daughter is locked away in daycare while you blog your little heart out.


Posted by: to foamgnome | May 1, 2007 03:56 PM

yeah I won a prize. And you win the prize for worrying what I do all day.

Posted by: foamgnome | May 1, 2007 3:57 PM

You humble me with your compliments foam. MdMom - you may have Patrick Swayze although I was wondering if you are having 2007 Swayze or yummy Ghost Swayze (two different guys). If Patrick Dempsey will have me the skid marks in the driveway will be the only way my husband will know. haah. (Standard disclaimer, I love my husband, he is a jewel and a prince among men.)

Posted by: moxiemom | May 1, 2007 3:58 PM

Oh you're a man? Then naturally it was your responsibility to use birth control and stop bringing children in the world you can't afford to have. Again, I should not have to bear the financial burden of caring for them out of my raise. You want to have them fine, make due with what you have. Otherwise, keep it in your pants.

Posted by: single | May 1, 2007 03:48 PM

You don't know anything about me (other than I am a man).

What financial burden? My asking for a raise has nothing to do with you. Who says that if I don't get the raise, it was going into your raise? You should just make do with what you have.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 3:58 PM

I'm not bashing marriage. It's good for some people. Especially if they treat each other right. Some people are great together.

Obviously you were single once and got married. You call me mean, yet you say things that are mean.

What I'm bashing is the notion you have that because you chose to have alot of kids and your spouse is a spendthrift that others should get less of a raise than you to help you deal with that. You have to be responsible too and not blame it all on your wife. Does she work too or is she your stay at home housekeeper, cook and babysitter?

As for seeking a better paying job elsewhere, no one said you shouldn't.

Posted by: single | May 1, 2007 3:58 PM

This discussion is coming close to the topic of the "Freebie 5" (meaning the 5 people you could sleep with, penalty-free, because they are SO cool your spouse wouldn't even object).
Mine are:
Johnny Depp
Benicio del Toro
Gavin Rossdale
Christian Bale
Hugh Jackman

Posted by: worker bee | May 1, 2007 3:59 PM

"moxiemom: you win the prize again for best post of the day."

And you win the prize for the most posts of the day (week, month, year, lifetime of the blog.) Do you ever work? What a shame your daughter is locked away in daycare while you blog your little heart out.


Posted by: to foamgnome | May 1, 2007 03:56 PM

Whereas you post endlessly, under no name, or different ones, so no one can possibly track or criticize you.

You are officially tagged as a troll, however.

Or maybe you'd prefer Pin the Tail on the Jackass?

Posted by: Maryland Mother | May 1, 2007 3:59 PM

moxie and MD moms -- you don't need permission or disclaimers when discussing imaginary boyfriends!

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 4:00 PM

Please say you're kidding, Patrick Swayze fans. I just can't take him seriously since my friends and I in high school sang "She Passes Wind" (to the tune of "She's Like the Wind"). Although I was in love with him once in my Dirty Dancing phase, I've moved on to mcdreamier Patricks now.

Posted by: WorkingMomX | May 1, 2007 4:01 PM

Not that this seems overly necessary, but...

***Off topic alert***

Smoking Update

On the first reading of the smoking ordinanace at my city council last week, I got no smoking in all enclosed locations, with one exception, which I fought hard to close--but lost. There will still be smoking in free-standing bars.

Why is it that so many seem to require an exception for watering holes?? Is is truly that hard to drink and socialize without burning cancer sticks? I was disappointed, but decided to bank what I could get.

When everyone can see which way things are ultimately headed toward full smoking bans in public, and that the tide is irreversable, why stick to a failed position? Why not just do it all now?

Oh well. Pompeii wasn't (un)burned in a day...

Posted by: Texas Dad of 2 | May 1, 2007 4:02 PM

"And you win the prize for the most posts of the day (week, month, year, lifetime of the blog.) Do you ever work? What a shame your daughter is locked away in daycare while you blog your little heart out."


I take deep offense at your comment. I AM NOT blogging all day. I'm making porn. Take it back now!

I am actually now taking leave to parent. Good evening everyone.

Posted by: moxiemom | May 1, 2007 4:02 PM

Hey, he's not all bad. He was a wonderful dancer, he treated his horses well and he's still happily married. I'm willing to overlook a fair number of wrinkles for a riding partner.

After all, I am no Helen of Troy.

Posted by: Maryland Mother | May 1, 2007 4:03 PM

Forgot to add my "list":

Clive Owen
Jonathan Rhys-Meyers (YUM YUM)
Edward Norton
Denzel

Posted by: WorkingMomX | May 1, 2007 4:03 PM

bye honey!

Posted by: Patrick Dempsey | May 1, 2007 4:03 PM

I love how "single = drunk with several cats."

Don't you guys have any imagination? What about the single child molester? The single divorcee? The single stripper? There are tons of wastes of space out there who deserve your scorn as much as the drunk cat lover.

Posted by: Meesh | May 1, 2007 4:04 PM

Doesn't matter if you call it code or mind-reading.

Doesn't matter if the culprit is male or female.

The end result is the same -- poor communication.

State your case for a raise based on your performance. Get comps from your industry to substantiate your case if necessary. Keep your resume and contacts fresh so you can back up your threat to move on to greener pastures.

If your office is typical, there is some personal banter to go along with the work. So your boss has probably already heard about your twins or your Harvard genius.

There's no need to bring that up in the context of a discussion about your raise.

Say what you mean.

I have no patience for code or mind-reading in either sex. It's cowardly.

Posted by: Vegas Mom | May 1, 2007 4:04 PM

atlmom, just to clarify, I neither said, "all" or "most". I joked about whether we know "a spouse" like I described. Like you and your spouse, DH and I don't spend $100 that the other one doesn't know about either, but that's $200 of expenditure without accountability. $200 is $200.

You don't think that, on average, based solely on anecdotal evidence from your friends and acquaintances, married couples waste a little more than twice what a single person might waste simply because, while there is much love and respect, there's no mind-meld? One spouse thinks paying off debt takes precedence over saving for retirement. The other spouse thinks saving for retirement takes precedence over maintaining the value of the residence, e.g., spending money to maintain curb appeal. These are legitimate differences of opinion between married couples. When you're single, it's your way all the time, making a comprehensive financial strategy perhaps (only perhaps) more easily implemented. Neither, IMHO, is better. Each has its own challenges.

Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | May 1, 2007 4:05 PM

foamgnome--

My understanding is that most academic (i.e., university) positions require a master's in Library Science plus a subject master's (in English, History, a physical science, etc.). It wouldn't surprise me if some institutions require a PhD as well.

Most school libraries require a master's with teaching certification. This can be earned through a school media specialty in the graduate library program or later as a separate master's in education. Some school systems allow provisional hires with master's in library science who must earn the teaching certification within a set time frame. Often this is in school systems where there is a shortage of librarians.

Public libraries require a master's for professional positions. Corporate and law libraries usually require the same. Many law librarians also have a J.D.

Posted by: Marian | May 1, 2007 4:06 PM

What I'm bashing is the notion you have that because you chose to have alot of kids and your spouse is a spendthrift that others should get less of a raise than you to help you deal with that. -single

First, I never said you should get less of a raise. I said that I need more of one to stay at this hypothetical place of employment. This is a negotiation between me and my employer, period. It has no bearing on you or anyone else.

Besides, it is not a given that because I get a bigger raise you will get a smaller one, budgets are always subject to change. You could still get your raise and they may stiff the quiet woman down the hall. It is not all about you.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 4:07 PM

Can you guess what I gave up for penance?

Posted by: single nun | May 1, 2007 4:07 PM

"There are tons of wastes of space out there who deserve your scorn as much as the drunk cat lover."

Meesh, this made me laugh so hard I had someone stop by my office to see what was so funny? How could I share this?

It's been a long day and this blog clearly jumped the shark/couch/rails hours ago. See you tomorrow!

Posted by: WorkingMomX | May 1, 2007 4:07 PM

Marian: do they have bachelors degrees in library science or does it start at the master's degree?

Posted by: foamgnome | May 1, 2007 4:11 PM

***Off topic alert***

Smoking Update

On the first reading of the smoking ordinanace at my city council last week, I got no smoking in all enclosed locations, with one exception, which I fought hard to close--but lost. There will still be smoking in free-standing bars.

Why is it that so many seem to require an exception for watering holes?? Is is truly that hard to drink and socialize without burning cancer sticks? I was disappointed, but decided to bank what I could get.

When everyone can see which way things are ultimately headed toward full smoking bans in public, and that the tide is irreversable, why stick to a failed position? Why not just do it all now?

Oh well. Pompeii wasn't (un)burned in a day...

Posted by: Texas Dad of 2 | May 1, 2007 04:02 PM

did they consider and pass an ordinance banning insufferable wind-bags? I guess not. You are still here. Maybe if I drink more, you'll go away.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 4:12 PM

I think I've found something I want to do, later. I like the job I have too much to leave it yet!

"Most librarians study library science at the graduate level only. If becoming a professional librarian is your goal, you may want to major in another area of interest as an undergraduate. For example, a bachelor's degree in science will come in handy if you hope to work as a science librarian someday.

Most bachelor's degree programs prepare you to work as a school librarian. Other librarians need master's degrees."

Posted by: re: library science | May 1, 2007 4:14 PM

Realistically the pot for raises is finite and the employer always tells you so. There is no emergency fund to stetch the budget. If there is, it won't be factored into the normal raise pool as they use it for out of cycle raises, etc. In any case, it would not be your decision to tap into it.

Typically someone will get shortchanged for someone to get more. That someone could be me unless I speak up. But I still think the excuse of my spouse spends too much and I have a dozen kids, therefore I deserve more is bogus. I'm entitled to my opinion and stand by it!!!

Posted by: single | May 1, 2007 4:14 PM

Say what you mean.

I have no patience for code or mind-reading in either sex. It's cowardly.

Posted by: Vegas Mom | May 1, 2007 04:04 PM

I think in this case it is simple and obvious what is meant. However, if you were my boss I would be wrong.

I know it was glaringly obvious to my boss what I meant at the time when I did it. And I was willing to go elswhere if necessary.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 4:15 PM

Further, just because you want to spoil your kids with piano or ballet lessons or martial arts classes or expensive clothes or what have you is no reason to pick my pocket at raise time to pay for it. Just stop competing with the Joneses and teach you kids the word NO and that they can't have everything they want. If you don't, sooner or later someone else will.

Posted by: single | May 1, 2007 4:21 PM

But I still think the excuse of my spouse spends too much and I have a dozen kids, therefore I deserve more is bogus. I'm entitled to my opinion and stand by it!!!

Posted by: single | May 1, 2007 04:14 PM

This isn't what I am saying. I am not saying I deserve more, I don't. I am saying I need more.

I am saying if you don't give me this raise, I will have to get another job that pays better. Your (bosses) choice. Employment is a contract between employee and employer, other employees are not involved at all. There is no teamwork involved in compensation, the way I negotiate my salary has no bearing on you. The limited raise budget could entirely be taken up by the raise going to the admin the boss is sleeping with. You just don't know.

By the way, I only have one kid, my wife doesn't spend all our money (that was someone else) and my 401ks and savings are doing fine.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 4:23 PM

"your sprendthrift irresonsible spouse"

maybe the spouse is not a spendthrift - the other spouse could be a tightwad.

I have a friend whose husband would not go out to dinner because "it's cheaper to eat at home". He thinks he is thrifty and she is a spendthrift. She thinks he is ridiculous.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 4:23 PM

"Whereas you post endlessly, under no name, or different ones, so no one can possibly track or criticize you. You are officially tagged as a troll, however.Or maybe you'd prefer Pin the Tail on the Jackass?"

Oooooh, I'm quaking in my troll-jackass boots.

I'd rather be a troll than waste my employer's money blathering on a blog. And I'd rather be a jackass than a parent who rarely sees my daughter because I'm "working."

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 4:25 PM

By the way, I only have one kid, my wife doesn't spend all our money (that was someone else) and my 401ks and savings are doing fine.

Someone else? Who else is there?

Posted by: single | May 1, 2007 4:26 PM

"There are tons of wastes of space out there who deserve your scorn as much as the drunk cat lover."

Hey! Leave me out of this! I have been good and quiet all day!

I don't love the drunk cats, anyway. Just the regular ones.

Posted by: Mona | May 1, 2007 4:28 PM

Everyone needs more money. Unless you're a billionaire, it's never enough. Few people if anyway go around saying I make enough money and don't need anymore.

Posted by: single | May 1, 2007 4:28 PM

Further, just because you want to spoil your kids with piano or ballet lessons or martial arts classes or expensive clothes or what have you is no reason to pick my pocket at raise time to pay for it. Just stop competing with the Joneses and teach you kids the word NO and that they can't have everything they want. If you don't, sooner or later someone else will.

Posted by: single | May 1, 2007 04:21 PM

It's not always quite so sinister, Single.

Well, I'm the one who insists that they take the music lessons because I value it more than providing computer games. They would rather watch television, truth be told. I think that's a rotten idea.

It's not always "keeping up with the Joneses", sometimes it is called "providing the experience or education".

I think insisting that kids learn skills in addition to their academic education is WAY more important than giving them gee-gaws, personally. They hear "NO!" to those requests, when they bother to ask. I don't know why they bother anymore, really.

I guess they're hoping I'll say yes on the 367th try, I suppose.

Fortunately, I've worked hard to earn the salary and raises through the years, so I can afford these things anyway. But I never turn down bonuses or raises. Particularly raises--as they go to the 401K whereas bonuses don't.

Posted by: MdMother | May 1, 2007 4:28 PM

Further, just because you want to spoil your kids with piano or ballet lessons or martial arts classes or expensive clothes or what have you is no reason to pick my pocket at raise time to pay for it. Just stop competing with the Joneses and teach you kids the word NO and that they can't have everything they want. If you don't, sooner or later someone else will.

Posted by: single | May 1, 2007 04:21 PM

I am not picking your pocket, that money is not yours. It belongs to the company and they can spend it as they see fit. If the company really believed you deserved the raise I "took" from you, they would find a way to give it to you.

Boy, you sure do have problems with parents and kids. Maybe I should just chain my family to the radiator to keep them from spending your money.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 4:29 PM

Shame on you, Single. You sound very bitter, and you are ridiculously presumptuous. You keep hurling accusations at this anon poster that are rooted in your bias against marriage. Every time you add another "And Further," you generate more distain towards your weak arguments and nasty attitude. I understand why you are single, and I don't doubt you'll remain that way. "And further," I doubt your attitude and approach will get you far professionally either.

Posted by: Arlington Dad | May 1, 2007 4:29 PM

leave them sweet kitties alone!!!

Posted by: cat lover | May 1, 2007 4:30 PM

foamgnome--

There are very few (if any) bachelor's programs for library science anymore. I think there were about three universities in the U.S. that offered a bachelor's in library science when I was in library school. My understanding is that most states want a master's for school library certification. I'll double-check and get back to you if I'm wrong. Now you have me curious.

Posted by: Marian | May 1, 2007 4:31 PM

"I'd rather be a troll than waste my employer's money blathering on a blog."

Are you telling us that you are unemployed? Or that you know everyone's work hours, or time zone? Nice parlor trick.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 4:32 PM

Why is it that, if someone is not married, everyone's all "you must be a terrible hateful person" or make comments like, "well, with that attitude, you'll never get a man." Singlehood is not a punishment for being a jerk, and marriage is not a reward for being nice. I know jerks and nice people of many different relationship statuses, as I'm sure everyone else does. Not all single people are terrible. Some of us are kind of nice, and some of us just really really like cats, okay? Jeez!

Some of us are waiting till the time is right/education has been acquired/debts are paid off/etc before we add another person into the mix. What's wrong with making sure it's right before we jump in? And what's wrong with preferring to be alone?

Posted by: Mona | May 1, 2007 4:34 PM

Arlington Dad:

I have nothing to be ashamed of. But you do to assume I could never get married. I wouldn't want to if you're all I have to choose from. Thank you.

I'm not presumptious either. Obviously I've hit a nerve. If the shoe fits.....!

Bitter about what? I have nothing to be bitter about other than you and anonymous wanting extra money that indeed does come out of what is available for me. It's my opinion and I stand by it.

Posted by: single | May 1, 2007 4:34 PM

Casual topic interrupter...

Quick poll: How many women here could abide with Sheryl Crow's recent green declaration to use *one* square of paper after urination?

And as one comedian recently noted, who wants to be the first to shake her hand from now on? :~)

Posted by: Texas Dad of 2 | May 1, 2007 4:34 PM

I'm married, and I think it stinks too.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 4:34 PM

And as one comedian recently noted, who wants to be the first to shake her hand from now on? :~)

Umm, don't you wash your hands with soap and water afterwards anyway?

Posted by: to Texas Dad of 2 | May 1, 2007 4:36 PM

No one will ever love you, and it's your own doing.

Posted by: Arington Dad | May 1, 2007 4:37 PM

Arlington Dad:

When you're the last man on earth, I'll worry about it. But until then keep deluding yourself. Aren't there spoiled children and a pretentious wife waiting for your somewhere to spend lavishly on them?

Posted by: single | May 1, 2007 4:41 PM

I just pass it along, I don't make it up...

And if it interests you, the answer is yes I wash. Truly sad that this sentiment is not universal, however.

Posted by: Texas Dad of 2 | May 1, 2007 4:44 PM

Single,
How can you deny that you are presumptuous?

As far as last man on earth, I'm not offering you anything.

What makes you think there are spoiled children?

What makes you assume there's a pretentious wife?

You make up these little lives for people and then you hurl insults. It's strange and pathetic.

Posted by: Arlington Dad | May 1, 2007 4:44 PM

Oops. Sorry for the double post...

Posted by: Texas Dad of 2 | May 1, 2007 4:45 PM

Why is it that, if someone is not married, everyone's all "you must be a terrible hateful person" or make comments like, "well, with that attitude, you'll never get a man." Singlehood is not a punishment for being a jerk, and marriage is not a reward for being nice. -Mona

But, Sometimes it is. ;) (not in your case, you seem like a nice person)

But in this case, "single" has been saying some pretty ugly things about married people, so it is being returned in kind.

There at least two of us posting anon right now.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 4:47 PM

Over the last 2 hours single has made the following comments. Is "single" presumptuous or bitter? You be the judge.

Single people only have themselves to rely upon while if one partner in a relationship is laid off, they can rely on the other for some financial support. Single people deserve more money to offset these inequalities. Expecting a higher raise simply because you've decided to have a large number of kids isn't really any different than being a welfare recipient having additional kids to get extra benefits. And don't get me started on parents expecting singles to pick up their slack at work so they can go home early to attend an event of their kids or some other family obligation. Talk about lack of teamwork and being self-centered!!
Posted by: Single | May 1, 2007 03:04 PM

I'm only saying that having to save for retirement is just an added burden on top of having to pay a mortgage for a single person out of the same single paycheck. It's everything added together not just one single item like retirement. As a married person, you and your spouse share the cost of saving for retirement like you do in paying the mortgage. The financial burden is evenly distributed making it less cumbersome on anyone person. This probably allows you some disposable income. However, the cost of all this is squarely on the shoulders of the single person.
Posted by: single | May 1, 2007 03:16 PM

If you decide to have a lot of kids, that's your "choice" but not an obligation. Why should I suffer financially for it? If you have the kids, then you deal with the consequences of supporting them but not at my expense!!
Posted by: single | May 1, 2007 03:25 PM
Why should I be forced into marriage just to improve my financial situation? Is that why you got married? That's what kept women slave's to men before they were able to vote and go out and have careers!!
Posted by: single | May 1, 2007 03:31 PM
Maybe being single would make your life better and then you probably would understand where I'm coming from once you are.
Posted by: single | May 1, 2007 03:36 PM


Someone that irresponsible with money as an adult is liable to steal it sooner or later and end up in jail. Another headache for you. Then you'll be a single mom whining about needing money.
Posted by: single | May 1, 2007 03:43 PM
Oh you're a man? Then naturally it was your responsibility to use birth control and stop bringing children in the world you can't afford to have. Again, I should not have to bear the financial burden of caring for them out of my raise..
Posted by: single | May 1, 2007 03:48 PM
Realistically the pot for raises is finite and the employer always tells you so. Typically someone will get shortchanged for someone to get more. That someone could be me unless I speak up. I'm entitled to my opinion and stand by it!!!
Posted by: single | May 1, 2007 04:14 PM


Further, just because you want to spoil your kids with piano or ballet lessons or martial arts classes or expensive clothes or what have you is no reason to pick my pocket at raise time to pay for it. Just stop competing with the Joneses and teach you kids the word NO and that they can't have everything they want.
Posted by: single | May 1, 2007 04:21 PM


I'm not presumptious either.
Bitter about what? I have nothing to be bitter about other than you and anonymous wanting extra money that indeed does come out of what is available for me. It's my opinion and I stand by it.
Posted by: single | May 1, 2007 04:34 PM

Posted by: single redux | May 1, 2007 4:52 PM

Arlington Dad:

It's no less presumptuous of you to state that no one will ever love me or that I'm bitter and that you understand why I am single and will remain that way. Look at your own words before you look down upon mine with disdain. You're no better than I am so get off your moral high horse and take a good look at yourself before you attack others like me!!!! Whether I'm right or wrong doesn't justify your diatribe as two wrongs don't make it right!!!

So just slither away with your tail between your legs and head hanging in shame and think twice before you open your mouth next time.

Posted by: Single | May 1, 2007 4:54 PM

Mona -- have you ever said anything as harsh as the greatest hits in "single redux"? I don't recall you ever sounding like this. I don't think anyone would put you and Single in the same category.

Posted by: Arlington Dad | May 1, 2007 4:55 PM

single Redux:

Thanks for pointing out how interesting I am. Obviously I've fascinated you over the last 2 hours and you couldn't resist recapping everything I've had to say. You've even counted the mintues.

Love you too

Posted by: single | May 1, 2007 4:57 PM

single is hypocrite

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 4:57 PM

When I initially posted the question of single people needing more money it was something of a joke ("How about this: a single person deserves more money because they don't have the luxury of a second income to pay the mortgage, utilities, pool boy, nanny.").
I certainly never intended to insult married or single people. The truth is that it is scary sometimes to be single and worry that if something happens to you or your job you are SOL.
Living around here and trying to save for a rainy day is difficult at best. Leave! Move somewhere cheaper you say. Sometimes it isn't that easy. If you have a job you like, are good at (but will never make you rich), and friends it is hard to pickup and move, especially if you are single and have to do it all alone.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | May 1, 2007 4:59 PM

Okay Single, I'm going to make up your profile since you made up one for me: the Post hired you to "create a provocative charachter" to keep the discussion going on this blog. It's no fun when everyone agrees, so they hired you to post ridiculous rants -- surely no real person would believe everything you wrote today!

Posted by: Arington Dad | May 1, 2007 5:00 PM

How is single a hypocrite? Please elaborate.

Posted by: Single | May 1, 2007 5:00 PM

I realize that most of the comments regarding singlehood as punishment are retaliation against 'single,' but I still don't think it's a very apt assessment of single people. "No one's ever gonna love you" makes it sound like only nice people can get married, and if you're not married, it must mean you "can't." Anyone can get married (except gays, sadly). It doesn't take talent or personality or money or brains to get married. So just because someone isn't married, doesn't mean they lack any of the above.

For the record, I do agree with the gist of single's sentiments: no one should have to pay for someone else's choices. But by the same token, I shouldn't have to pay taxes for welfare, WIC, government-subsidized maternity leave, or public schools. And yet I do. Because life isn't fair. Also for the record, I agree with Arlington Dad's assertion that the company can spend its raise budget as it sees fit, and if one person feels left out of favor, it is that person's right to look elsewhere for employment.

I guess what I don't agree with is all the insults.

Posted by: Mona | May 1, 2007 5:01 PM

Posted by: single | May 1, 2007 04:14 PM"Realistically the pot for raises is finite and the employer always tells you so."

And if you believe that, I have a bridge in Brooklyn for sale.

"Typically someone will get shortchanged for someone to get more. That someone could be me unless I speak up."

That someone could also be me, if I don't speak up. Why do you deny me the same right to speak up that you have?

"I'm entitled to my opinion and stand by it!!!"

And I am entitled to judge your opinion any way I feel.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 5:01 PM

You're so Bright Arlington Dad. You must work for the CIA. I'm sure you were one of those insightful guys that determined Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. What would we do without your intelligence?

Love you too.

Posted by: Single | May 1, 2007 5:02 PM

Mona,

you're kidding, right? single's comments speak for her own thoughtless, self-obsessed, multiple-exclamation point, raging at strangers, shallowness. she's not a reflection on other single people. the comments directed toward her also are inapplicable to normal, humorous, self-deprecating, commando-going persons such as yourself.

Posted by: anon for this | May 1, 2007 5:03 PM

"Obviously I've fascinated you over the last 2 hours and you couldn't resist recapping everything I've had to say. You've even counted the mintues."

when you grow up, you will be more adept at distinguishing between fascination and revulsion.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 5:05 PM

Mona is the only one that gets it and makes any sense here. Other than me of course :)

Posted by: Single | May 1, 2007 5:06 PM

Single,

Again with the imagniation, you've decided I work for the CIA and the War in Iraq is my fault.

Now, will you admit you are presumptuous?

Posted by: Arlington Dad | May 1, 2007 5:07 PM

Obviously when you grow up you'll learn to understand sarcasm.

Posted by: Single | May 1, 2007 5:08 PM

"Mona is the only one that gets it and makes any sense here. Other than me of course :)"


okay, that was a little funny. Happy to see it!

Posted by: Arlington Dad | May 1, 2007 5:09 PM

anon for this, I was railing about single's insults as well. For sure, he/she is being presumptuous and insulting. I wasn't really all that insulted by Arlington Dad's remarks, just a bit miffed. It's something that ruffles my feathers, like "Maybe if you knew how to please your man, he wouldn't have cheated on you with me!" and comments about a child's dad "babysitting" him. You know, minor annoyances.

Self-deprecating? Heh...I am no angel...I'm sure you'll remember the times when I was rightfully called out for being too full of myself. I have learned a little humility since then. But thank you for the kind words, all the same. ;-)

Posted by: Mona | May 1, 2007 5:09 PM

"Typically someone will get shortchanged for someone to get more. That someone could be me unless I speak up."

Unless that someone managed to bill more hours, or make more sales or negotiate better lease terms or otherwise contribute to the bottom line. Then the amount available was increased and the person who got the increase was responsible for the difference and you got the same raise as you would have if they hadn't done the work that increased the billing or reduced the expenses.

Posted by: Divorced mom of 1 | May 1, 2007 5:09 PM

Arlington Dad:

Diddo on understanding Sarcasm.

Posted by: Single | May 1, 2007 5:11 PM

Okay, Single I'm out. Have a good time at Happy Hour. I'm dashing home (using the secret tunnels that only us CIA guys know about). When I get home, my wife will give me my martini and I'll inspect all the stuff she bought at the mall today as I listen to my children take piano lessons on that incredibly expensive grand piano.

Posted by: Arlington Dad | May 1, 2007 5:12 PM

But by the same token, I shouldn't have to pay taxes for welfare, WIC, government-subsidized maternity leave, or public schools. And yet I do. Because life isn't fair. -Mona

Why do you think you shouldn't have to pay taxes for these things? Because you will never use them?

Part of being member of a society is living by its rules, and as a society we have decided these things are important to all. (right or wrong) Saying "I shouldn't have to pay for other peoples choices" selfishly ignores the fact that you benefit from the society that has been created to allow others these choices. That fact that you don't avail yourself of all of them doesn't mean you don't have to pay your share.

If you don't like the way society is set up; accept it, work to change it or leave.

And you seemed like such a nice person. (kidding)

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 5:12 PM

You are entitled to your opinions as am I to my own. As Mona put it, life unfortunately is not fair for most of us. Let's agree to disagree. It's a nice day. Go out and enjoy it. We won't be changing any hearts and minds today.

Ciao for now. Love and Kisses to Anon and Arlington Dad. You obviously need some. Thanks for your support Mona!

Posted by: single | May 1, 2007 5:14 PM

IMHO this is the best post of the day:

Although my stretch marks do give the impression that I am in constant motion which might indeed make for an exciting video after all.

Posted by: moxiemom | May 1, 2007 03:17 PM

Posted by: cmac | May 1, 2007 5:16 PM

As Mona put it, life unfortunately is not fair for most of us.

Life is not fair for anyone. To think that being single in this world of selfish parent and whiny kids is the most unfair situation in the world is presumptuous and self-centered

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 5:17 PM

Anon, I'm not sure you understood my post. My point was...well, exactly what you are saying. Sometimes we have to do things we may not necessarily agree with, but that's just our tough luck. How is that not exactly what you said?

Posted by: Mona | May 1, 2007 5:17 PM

And you seemed like such a nice person. (kidding)

Posted by: | May 1, 2007 05:12 PM

This came out wrong, I truly believe Mona is a nice person. Bad attempt at sarcasm

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 5:18 PM

Anon, I'm not sure you understood my post. My point was...well, exactly what you are saying. Sometimes we have to do things we may not necessarily agree with, but that's just our tough luck. How is that not exactly what you said?

Posted by: Mona | May 1, 2007 05:17 PM

If this is what you meant, I did misunderstand it.

I don't see it as tough luck, I see it as taking care of my fellow man (and woman).

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 5:21 PM


I'd rather be a troll than waste my employer's money blathering on a blog. And I'd rather be a jackass than a parent who rarely sees my daughter because I'm "working.""

Just in case you had not noticed, you are blathering on a blog, just like the rest of us. So that makes you a troll, a jackass, and a hypocrite to boot. Congratulations.

Posted by: Emily | May 1, 2007 5:21 PM

outta here, have to pick up my evil spawn.

Have a nice day.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 5:22 PM

Diddo on understanding Sarcasm.

Posted by: Single | May 1, 2007 05:11 PM

Did you mean "dildo" or "ditto"?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 5:27 PM

"And I'd rather be a jackass than a parent who rarely sees my daughter because I'm "working.""

Unless you know something about genetics that has eluded the rest of mankind, it is highly unlikely that a jackass will have a daughter. Oops! I forgot about Alec Baldwin. Ne-ver mind.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 5:29 PM

This came out wrong, I truly believe Mona is a nice person. Bad attempt at sarcasm

Posted by: | May 1, 2007 05:18 PM

we've come full circle, where the highest compliment one woman of a certain type can make to another women is that she is "nice".

Call me interesting, or competent, or a great mom, but spare me the milquetoast, "nice".

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 5:44 PM

I was with you until:

"But by the same token, I shouldn't have to pay taxes for welfare, WIC, government-subsidized maternity leave, or public schools. And yet I do."

Uugh. Yes, you should, because we as a society have decided that funding those things is for the public good. If you don't agree, you should agitate for change, but meanwhile, you have to pay your way like everyone else.

Posted by: to Mona | May 1, 2007 6:28 PM


Here is why the 77 cents statistic is wrong!

Consider the AAUW study as reported last week by the Associated Press. Google it.

The pay gap represented by the AAUW study is 100-69 or 31 cents. Then the AAUW says that 25% of that gap remains unexplained, but the gap is 31 cents! So all you have to calculate 25% of 31 cents and it is around 7.7 cents. Subtract that from 100 and you have 92.3 cents to finally arrive at the positive statistic that comparable women earn 92.3 cents of what men do!

Unfortunately we can never really trust the liberal media to report this issue fairly. Even the author of this story looks silly now

Posted by: Toni | May 1, 2007 7:05 PM

good thing we have Toni to set our naive, trusting selves straight. All y'all li'l wingnut lemmings now, head on over to Fox News for the real truth.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2007 7:08 PM


The math doesn't have a point of view. If I were you I'd be more ticked off at being lied to.

Posted by: Toni | May 1, 2007 7:45 PM

I am making my Roth IRA contribution tomorrow. For 2007 for both spouse and myself in full. I have aleady maxed out my 401K this year.

Posted by: Oh Yea! | May 2, 2007 12:15 AM

I was once told by an office manager that I didn't deserve a raise because I was single and had no kids. I was working like a dog for 6 accountants. Meanwhile, the mothers came in late, left early. They go raises. I got the message and left that firm. You don't want to work for somebody who doesn't want you there.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 2, 2007 9:11 AM

I was once told by an office manager that I didn't deserve a raise because I was single and had no kids. I was working like a dog for 6 accountants. Meanwhile, the mothers came in late, left early. They go raises. I got the message and left that firm. You don't want to work for somebody who doesn't want you there.

Posted by: | May 2, 2007 09:11 AM

What an *ss! Did you succeed in finding a better place to work?

I don't know that I wouldn't have first started singing the "I'm taking care of my widower father who is starting to show signs of senility" blues, gotten a charity raise and THEN used the higher salary to get a better offer from a different company.

In a perfect world, that would have worked, right?

In a perfect world the office manager would have been boiled in sheep dip.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 2, 2007 11:05 AM

To 11:05: Yes, he was an *ss and I found another job quite quickly. Have been gainfully employed ever since. Subsequently, that Big 8 Firm was involved in a big scandal and went belly up, putting thousands of people out of a job. I did a happy dance when that happened.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 2, 2007 11:34 AM

The math doesn't have a point of view. If I were you I'd be more ticked off at being lied to.

Posted by: Toni | May 1, 2007 07:45 PM

No math doesn't have a point of view, but we aren't talking about math. We are talking about statistics. Statistics get spun by you as much as anyone else. I'm not lied to because I choose my news sources carefully -- they do not include those seeking to spin data for personal gain on a random blog. If you find being "ticked off" to be a constructive expenditure of your time, that would be consistent with the shallow, politically marinated comments you've posted.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 2, 2007 12:22 PM

while this could be used as part of a "blame the victim" argument, it's also unmistakably true. in fact, about 15 years ago, while I was a graduate student in biology, there was a study done of pay by professors, which found a typical gap. one of the things that they definitely found contributed to the disparity was an unwillingness among women to "game the system" -- to interview and get job offers elsewhere as leverage at their own institution, to ask for an endowed chair to keep down grant costs, etc. there were other factors, but this is a pretty clear product of the way that girls are raised (play nice and you'll get your head patted or get a good grade) versus the things we expect from boys. tough to overcome!

Posted by: acm | May 2, 2007 3:27 PM

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