Why is My Boss Paying Me Half a Laughable Pittance?


i-quitNobody cares how much they are paid as long as it is more than their colleagues

By Nury Vittachi

A guy who worked at an information technology firm was outraged to find himself overpaid. So he tried to give the money back. But the boss wouldn’t take it; so he resigned.

The 32-year-old man was sent to a psychiatrist, Vinod Kulkarni, who told a Bangalore Mirror reporter that he’d had several cases like this. One was a banker who was upset at getting a plum job. “He thought there were several others who were superior to him and felt they should be promoted instead of him,” the psychiatrist said.

What’s going on? A massive outbreak of honesty is under way. This is unnatural and could destroy modern society, which is based on the noble capitalist principles of lies, greed, self-deception and the like.

My workmates are the opposite. If you got a huge fleet of trucks to deliver all the money in the world to one guy I know, he wouldn’t even smile. He’d just glare at the rest of us suspiciously and ask: “So how much are you guys getting?”

Surveys show that nobody cares how much they’re paid as long as it is more than their colleagues. If our boss had any brains, he’d pay us a laughable pittance and whisper individually to each of us that our colleagues were getting only half a laughable pittance. Wait. I think he DOES do that.

When it comes to salaries, negotiation skills are vital.

Consider toilet cleaners Akku and Leela Sherigar, named by the Daily Mail as the world’s lowest paid workers. They sent their averages down by working for nothing following a dispute with their employer. This was surely the worst negotiating tactic in the history of the world.

CLEANERS: “Give us a pay rise or we’ll work for free.”

BOSS: “Oh, dear, sorry, can’t afford it, mwah ha hahaha.”

It took these south Indian ladies only 11 years of working for nothing to spot the weakness in their strategy.

My mentor/bartender says there are four types of pay packets. 1) The Christmas Gift Salary: You accept it gratefully but wish it happened more often. 2) The Onion Salary: You open it and start weeping. 3) The Molecular Salary: You open the envelope and reach for an electron microscope to locate the money. 4) The Letter Bomb Salary: You open it and your head flies off in shock.

If you are not happy with your pay, consider the Buddhist philosophy underlying the following joke.

Dad enters son’s room to find him relaxing.

DAD: You should be studying.

SON: Why?

DAD: You’ll get a good job.

SON: Why would I want a good job?

DAD: So you can earn a lot of money.

SON: Why would I want to earn a lot of money?

DAD: So you can have a good life, retire early and spend your days relaxing.

SON: Right. That’s what I’m doing now.

To finish, here’s an Asian joke that can only be told in this region, since even mild sexism now attracts the death penalty in Western countries. Bridegroom-to-be: “So, is my salary sufficient for you to live on?” Bride-to-be: “Yes, I think I can just about scrape by on it. So, what are you going to live on?

NuryVittachi* Nury Vittachi is an Asia-based frequent traveler. Send ideas and comments via www.mrjam.org

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