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Re: Discussing salary, a taboo not to be broken?
Old 11-12-2005, 06:17 PM   #21
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Re: Discussing salary, a taboo not to be broken?

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Originally Posted by ex-Jarhead
Wheat bread.
Jarhead, you old loaver.

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Re: Discussing salary, a taboo not to be broken?
Old 11-12-2005, 06:23 PM   #22
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Re: Discussing salary, a taboo not to be broken?

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Originally Posted by ex-Jarhead
Wheat bread.
Okay, Jarhead I give up! What does wheat bread have to do with *hard* and *true*? Because I sure as hell didn't just eat wheat bread 5 minutes ago. I was in one glorious tortilla chips, hot salsa and chardonnay state. I've completely undone my South Beach diet ways in one sitting this evening.
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Re: Discussing salary, a taboo not to be broken?
Old 11-12-2005, 06:35 PM   #23
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Re: Discussing salary, a taboo not to be broken?

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Originally Posted by cube_rat
Okay, Jarhead I give up! What does wheat bread have to do with *hard* and *true*?
Jarhead, I can't tell you how eagerly I am anticipating your response to her question!!!

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Re: Discussing salary, a taboo not to be broken?
Old 11-12-2005, 06:44 PM   #24
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Re: Discussing salary, a taboo not to be broken?

Okay, I've dug deep into the bowels of Goggle with several different query permutations of hard, true, and wheat bread with disjointed results. I thought I was little more savvier when it came to innuendos.
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Re: Discussing salary, a taboo not to be broken?
Old 11-12-2005, 06:58 PM   #25
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Re: Discussing salary, a taboo not to be broken?

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Originally Posted by cube_rat
Okay, Jarhead I give up!* What does wheat bread have to do with *hard* and *true*?* * Because I sure as hell didn't just eat wheat bread 5 minutes ago.* I was in one glorious tortilla chips, hot salsa and chardonnay state.* *I've completely undone my South Beach diet ways in one sitting this evening.
Cube: You anatomically do not require "wheat bread". ReWahoo and I make sure we have a daily ration.
Check out the 5:30 PM "perverts corner" for my explanation of the beneficial properties in wheat bread.
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Re: Discussing salary, a taboo not to be broken?
Old 11-12-2005, 07:01 PM   #26
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Re: Discussing salary, a taboo not to be broken?

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Originally Posted by ex-Jarhead
Cube: You anatomically do not require "wheat bread". ReWahoo and I make sure we have a daily ration.


errrr, I gotta hit on google:

http://www.netfunny.com/rhf/jokes/90q3/gethard.html
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Re: Discussing salary, a taboo not to be broken?
Old 11-12-2005, 07:48 PM   #27
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Re: Discussing salary, a taboo not to be broken?

Pay is a sensitive subject for individuals and corporations.* It isn't smart to discuss it with peers in a competitive workplace.* You don't want to take the risk that a fool will go to their manager in a twit and reveal your discussion.* What is safer and more easily accomplished is to discuss it with your counterparts in other businesses.* You don't need to get too detailed, talk in generalities - sometimes they open up and you will learn a lot, however, consider the source (particularly guys with needy egos).

It is true that professionals and managers who change jobs are higher paid all things considered.* (I also notice that there are some who seem to leave before the consequences of their screw-ups hit the fan, but that is also a discussion for another day.)* The most critical part of the selection process is the negotiation for pay, and it is the opportunity to learn about the new position pay range.* If the hiring manager pushes back start negotiating from a business prospective how much your knowledge and creativity will add value to the business.

Except for employers who have 'scheduled pay' (like government agencies), most have some type of grade level or range for a position.* [Broad bands are mentioned later - I suspect that is what Cube Rat is seeing in management ranks.]* Companies manage pay within the range for the position and consider the relationship of pay in a chain of command, learning what your boss and your subordinates earn is very useful.* The pay range is typically defined by quartiles, the mid-point being a control point.* New hires offered above the first quartile often take more sign-offs of management.* Usually when an employee is above mid-point the rate of increase typically slows, and above 80% they will be tinsy % with bonuses to reward exceptional performance.*

IMHO performance has more impact on promotions than pay over time given that employers drive appraisals to the mean.* The only exceptions are sustained superior performers and barely-hanging-on folks. [I have proven it statistically several times, sorry folks.]* If you get a great evaluation that is the time to shop yourself around.

One way to learn where you are in your employer's comp plan is to ask to see your last change report from your personnel file, look for an abbreviation for "comp ratio".* *If you are God's gift to your profession and you are in the upper part of your pay range then advocate for a new job title with a higher range (in tec they are often called 'individual contributors').* The higher the job is in the structure the broader the range.* In some corporations, if your manager is highly regarded, this happens (HR hates it but they serve the operations side, they don't control it).* If your manager isn't in a powerful position, change managers if you don't want to change employers.* Remember, their pay impacts yours!.

It is more difficult to nail down pay for employers who 'broad band' comp.* That system actually looks more like the old practice of establishing a range for a particular job.* Comp ratios are seldom useful, and no, every job in the band does not have the potential to go to the top of the band range.

Comp Manager is the hot seat of HR.
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Re: Discussing salary, a taboo not to be broken?
Old 11-12-2005, 07:55 PM   #28
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Re: Discussing salary, a taboo not to be broken?

I guess my work groups have been the exception (programmers, engineers,
and low managers). We always discussed salaries, raises and bonuses as soon
as we learned them, knowing the info would be disseminated further out,
and always getting more back. We all figured the more info we each had,
the better decisions we could make. This has been true at every job I have
been at. There were a few at each place who were a little more closed-mouth,
but most of us thought it was a good idea.
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Re: Discussing salary, a taboo not to be broken?
Old 11-12-2005, 11:23 PM   #29
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Re: Discussing salary, a taboo not to be broken?

Where I worked it was considered grounds for termination if you discussed your compensation. Needless to say, I made a point of knowing what everyone made, either by asking or researching the "files". Armed with the knowledge of what was possible to be paid, I sucessfully negotiated a number of raises which put me well above what my employers would have paid me had I remained passive.
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Re: Discussing salary, a taboo not to be broken?
Old 11-13-2005, 12:06 AM   #30
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Re: Discussing salary, a taboo not to be broken?

As all can see, whether or not to inquire about the pay of your peers depends on the corporate culture and the cohesiveness of your group.* There are some employers where even exploring the subject is cause for termination.* But as RiskAverse notes, inquiring minds have ways to figure it out.* It is interesting to see how differently men and women approach this; usually men demand recognition, women expect it.

What is funny to me is that employers regularly subscribe to wage surveys, even the strongest competitors will participate in the same wage survey and comp managers are savvy enough to figure out who is who.* Employers 'survey wages' when they ask an applicant what they are currently making, or they test the water by asking your salary expectations.* This question should be brushed off, the first party to mention $ sets the opening price.* Some employers honestly don't know what the market is for a skill, but I assure you large employers have it nailed.
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Re: Discussing salary, a taboo not to be broken?
Old 11-13-2005, 12:23 AM   #31
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Re: Discussing salary, a taboo not to be broken?

Brat hit it dead on. *Don't discuss your salary with your peers. *After 30 years in management for several companies I can assure you that it will get back to your boss and they will dislike it. *One of the reasons for this is what Brat described as management getting to increase a starting salary or a promotional salary above the "guidelines" set by the company. *This leads to differences in salary that are not tied to seniority. *People in a job grade can be really pissed when a new person is hired into the same grade but for more money than they are making. *Job hoppers beware. *HR where I have worked is very aware of this tactic and will fight very hard to prevent a newby from making more money that those already on-board. *It does happen but it is a BIG exception and you don't see it until you get into the nose-bleed levels of the organization or for a very special skill set. *

As Brat said, the higher your salary within a grade the lower your increases will be. *Sometimes bonuses are low for eveyone so don't count on them. *Ours have sucked for the past 3 years and many don't even get one. *Job hopping will eventually catch up with you and management will be less likely to hire you. *No one want to hire someone only to lose them in a year or so after you have invested many hours in their training and job learning. *

Raises are in the same very tight range too. *Managers have very little to say about it most of the time. *If you are rated "A" you will get an increase in that range. *Most of the time managers are given a limited pile of money to work with and if they give a bunch to one guy to max out their possible increase amount, someone else will get far less than they should. *The end result is that the high performer get a little more than the average guy who gets a bit more than the below average guy. *The person at the bottom of the performance range or has topped out in their grade level gets no increase until the grade range shifts up with inflation. * Most merit increases are little better than cost of living increases these day. *Maybe other industries are doing better but that is my experience over the past couple of decades.


Talking about salaries is not a healthy thing to do for the most part. *Be content you got the best deal you could negotiate and don't worry about what the other guy is making. *

Loose lips sink careers.
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Re: Discussing salary, a taboo not to be broken?
Old 11-13-2005, 08:05 AM   #32
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Re: Discussing salary, a taboo not to be broken?

I work for a Japanese organization with a lock step senority system. On my first day they gave me an interesting chart. It has every pay level on it. I can tell everyone's pay level by when they started and what age they were promoted. I can tell you how much I will make every year from now until I am 65. I can also use the chart to caculate everyone's yearly bonus.

Mike
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Re: Discussing salary, a taboo not to be broken?
Old 11-13-2005, 01:45 PM   #33
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Re: Discussing salary, a taboo not to be broken?

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Most merit increases are little better than cost of living increases these day. Maybe other industries are doing better but that is my experience over the past couple of decades.
It's not any better in the medical device industry. Merit increases hover around 3 to 5%. May be the name should be changed to "cost of living adjustment".

Finding out what others are getting paid in the same grade level is pretty simple since the range and mid point (or market reference) are either published in the employee handbook or communicated to the employee if asked. It is true that you you may not know exactly what your coworker is getting, but suffice to say the pay will be very close to the mid point.
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Re: Discussing salary, a taboo not to be broken?
Old 11-13-2005, 02:03 PM   #34
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Re: Discussing salary, a taboo not to be broken?

Our "raises" the last few years wouldn't even qualify as COLAs...

0-2%...
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Re: Discussing salary, a taboo not to be broken?
Old 11-13-2005, 02:24 PM   #35
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Re: Discussing salary, a taboo not to be broken?

Thanks to all for the input, since I have just changed departments, all new co-workers, I have a new chance to keep mum.
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Re: Discussing salary, a taboo not to be broken?
Old 11-13-2005, 03:22 PM   #36
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Re: Discussing salary, a taboo not to be broken?

The advantage, and dis-advantage, of the engineering profession is that pay is driven by demand.* Older programmers can lay it out.. in the 80's they made more as waiters, but in the mid 90's (assuming you had the skills in demand) employers were bidding like crazy.*

The best way to increase pay in technology professions is to stay on top of developments.* Non-tec firms know that programmers are more loyal to the profession than the employer and are technology needy.* If a company doesn't keep up with the state of the art in your IS operations programmers leave.*

The other issue with engineers (hard and soft) is outsourcing.* Supply and demand again.* The higher your pay the less attractive you are to the next employer.*
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Re: Discussing salary, a taboo not to be broken?
Old 11-13-2005, 08:22 PM   #37
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Re: Discussing salary, a taboo not to be broken?

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The other issue with engineers (hard and soft) is outsourcing. Supply and demand again. The higher your pay the less attractive you are to the next employer.
In addition to outsourcing, employees are moving some of their design operations overseas. For example, Seagate Technolgy is moving its firmware development to Singapore.
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Re: Discussing salary, a taboo not to be broken?
Old 11-14-2005, 02:59 AM   #38
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Re: Discussing salary, a taboo not to be broken?

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Originally Posted by mikew
I work for a Japanese organization with a lock step senority system. On my first day they gave me an interesting chart. It has every pay level on it. I can tell everyone's pay level by when they started and what age they were promoted. I can tell you how much I will make every year from now until I am 65. I can also use the chart to caculate everyone's yearly bonus.
I can't believe this thread produced three pages in less than two days.

Over the last few months I've been reading about the great financial scandals of the last 25 years. One of the biggest common factors of lyin', cheatin', & stealin' executives has been keeping their employees ignorant about salaries. One egregious example was Mike Milken, whose department's bonus pool one year exceeded Drexel's entire net profit-- $700M vs $532M. Mike handed out $150M to his valued subordinates and kept $550M for himself, thereby also exceeding Drexel's annual net profits. He actually had the gall to tell one of his top producers that his bonus was limited to $1M because otherwise his income would exceed Milken's.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveR
Loose lips sink careers.
Finally, something good about the military & civil service. If you want to know someone's pay, you go look it up on the website. It's a big help in making sure that you're paid correctly, too!
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Re: Discussing salary, a taboo not to be broken?
Old 11-14-2005, 07:51 AM   #39
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Re: Discussing salary, a taboo not to be broken?

Our company policy prohibits us from discussing salary with our fellow co-workers. And it's a good thing, because we have enough backstabbers here that are petty enough as it is. Arm them with some salary info on each other, and we'd have some real pissing contests around here!

They tend to keep bonuses and raises hushed up, too. One year, late 2003 IIRC, the raises were so petty that basically if you truly excelled you got 1.5%, if you were only so-so you got less, and if you were a screw up you got Zero. I got 1.5%, and my co-worker got nothing. The way I found this out was because my supervisor at the time told me to keep hushed up about what I was getting, because she wasn't getting anything.

I also got a couple of bonuses here and there, that they told me to keep quiet about because not everybody got one. However, there's this peer award that the gov't does every year, which they make a big pomp and circumstance about. It pays $1000. I won an award back in 2001, and just got one this past September. I'm not sure, but I think it's pretty rare for someone to get two of them so close together.

Anyway, this last time around, I got congratulated left and right by the gov't people that our company supports, as well as some of my co-workers in other departments. But in my own office, only my immediate supervisor congratulated me. Nobody else said anything at all...in fact some of them actually went out of their way to be nasty to me around that time!

I know there's a lot of inequality in the workplace with salaries and so forth, but I really haven't done anything special to get these bonuses and raises. I haven't slept with anybody, stabbed anybody in the back, made empty promises, or so forth. Nothing other than good old fashioned hard work and dependability. Which is something some of my co-workers just can't grasp.

I've also learned over the years that discussing salary with friends outside of the office can also lead to hard feelings. I have a friend who's a teacher, and is 3 years younger than me. He's just about to get his master's degree, and is going on to a doctorate I believe. I just have a bachelor's. I forget what he makes nowadays, but I know I still make more than he does, and I can tell he's bitter about it. He says he's not, but he'll even make comments about how messed up the world is, where he's about to get a master's degree, yet I make more than he does. Sorry bud, but nobody told you to go into that profession! I'd always heard that teaching truly is a labor of love! Especially in this county!
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Re: Discussing salary, a taboo not to be broken?
Old 11-14-2005, 08:13 AM   #40
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Re: Discussing salary, a taboo not to be broken?

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me. He's just about to get his master's degree, and is going on to a doctorate I believe. I just have a bachelor's. I forget what he makes nowadays, but I know I still make more than he does, and I can tell he's bitter about it. He says he's not, but he'll even make comments about how messed up the world is, where he's about to get a master's degree, yet I make more than he does. Sorry bud, but nobody told you to go into that profession! I'd always heard that teaching truly is a labor of love! Especially in this county!
Most Phds don't pay much. But there is one exception to the rule, Phd business professors. Even the lower level professors are pulling down $70-80k and the older fellas are pulling down $120K+. Not bad for the lifestyle. All of their salary info is public info.
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