to find it really irritating when people who earn a lot say...

(348 Posts)
Doodledumdums Sat 29-Jun-13 22:02:37

...But I work really hard for the money I get.

Sorry, totally unimportant, but it really irritates me!

I have a few friends who earn quite a lot of money, and I don't begrudge them this at all, but I just find it really insulting when they say 'But I do work really hard for it.' I also work hard! I feel like it implies that I don't! Okay, I am on maternity leave at the moment, so am not actually at work, (although i'd say that to some extent, looking after a baby is harder than my actual job anyway!) but when I am working, I am usually in the office by 8am, and often don't leave until 7pm, and I earn literally a fraction of what some of my friends earn. That is fine, I knew that when I got in to my chosen industry, but it doesn't mean that I don't work as hard as they do or deserve more!

They don't need to be defensive about it at all! It is totally fine that they earn what they do, I just don't understand why they can't be a bit more gracious about it and say something like 'Yes, I am lucky that I have a job I love which pays well.'

Oh I don't know, maybe I am being unreasonable and ultra-sensitive. I am sure they don't mean to imply that I don't work hard, but it just feels like that sometimes. Totally a first world issue!

P.S- I have self esteem and anxiety issues...which is possibly why I find this upsetting!

apostropheuse Sat 29-Jun-13 22:06:47

I've never discussed with my friends what they earn. It's not something that ever comes up in conversation.

I've also never had anyone tell me that they work really hard for their money.

Maybe my friends are more modest.

Sorry not much help, not sure if you're unreasonable or not.

pompeii Sat 29-Jun-13 22:08:54

Well I don't have self esteem issues and this annoys me too, and I earn a decent salary. Its as if these people think children who work 16 hours a day in sweatshops are obviously lazy dossers because they only get 10p a day. You generally need to work hard to get paid a lot, but equally many people work hard and never earn much.

Refusing to accept luck is a factor makes you an egotistical twat.

Doodledumdums Sat 29-Jun-13 22:09:49

That is probably the key here...money should never be discussed! Then no one would feel the need to justify it in any way, and I wouldn't be irritated!

SomethingProfound Sat 29-Jun-13 22:10:29

I have friends who earn more than double my salary. I would never dream of commenting on their salary.
It's simply none of my business.

They have worked hard for it some studying for years, or slogging their guts out to work their way up.

YABU why should they be gracious about being successful. The comment "I work hard for it" seems like a defensive response, what is the comment that has provoked it?

Doodledumdums Sat 29-Jun-13 22:12:08

Thank you Pompeii! I am glad I have your support! smile

I really feel like that is totally the implication. When actually, a child working 16 hours a day in a sweat shop deserves infinitely more than anyone sitting in a stuffy extremely safe office!

Waimea Sat 29-Jun-13 22:12:48

I've never heard anyone say
I don't think they are trying to offend you

LalyRawr Sat 29-Jun-13 22:13:24

But well, are they lucky though?

They got their jobs via working hard, not via luck. Winning the lottery is luck. Earning well in a job they love is down to them, not down to some stroke of chance.

To be honest, they are speaking the truth. They do work hard, but I don't automatically see the assumption that this implies you do not.

hermioneweasley Sat 29-Jun-13 22:13:31

Of course luck is a factor, but I work with many senior and highly paid people and I say with confidence that only a tiny fraction of the population could do their jobs. The complexity, variety, pace of issues as well as the ability to manage multiple stakeholders and answer to (for example) government bodies or city analysts is a rare skill set. And the jobs tend to be 24/7, maybe not in the office all the hours, but utterly consuming. There is no such thing as an evening off or a weekend or a holiday - they are just doing calls from by the pool instead.

dramaqueen Sat 29-Jun-13 22:13:51

I don't think it is all about how hard a high earner works, but more about the level of responsibility. Those in higher paid jobs generally have more at stake than those who are lower earners, and consequently take decisions that affect others.

MrsDeVere Sat 29-Jun-13 22:14:21

You hear it all the time but not necessarily from friends. Its usually from wankers like Cameron who are constantly pushing the idea of 'decent HARD working families' who are feeling the pinch.

Because if you are on a good salary you are hard working and decent and if you are on a low salary you are very very lazy and simply don't put in the hours.

Like security guards, farm labourers, warehouse workers, TAs, carers etc etc etc.

<little bit of politics>

LalyRawr Sat 29-Jun-13 22:14:50

I fail to see the connection between em working hard at a job they love and enforced child labour confused

WorraLiberty Sat 29-Jun-13 22:16:31

I've only ever heard (or read on here) people saying that when they're criticised for their spending choices.

Devora Sat 29-Jun-13 22:17:35

YANBU. I earn a pretty good salary and work hard for it. Not harder than a nurse, though, or a care worker. I can't justify the gap and wouldn't attempt to.

You know why the "I've worked hard for it" line annoys me? It's because the speaker is prioritising their personal vanity over the political imperative to tackle social inequality in this country. Same as when people justify their use of private education by implying that everyone else could make the same choice if they weren't being so profligate with cars and holidays. (Mind you, I mainly see on MN rather than in RL.)

I don't care about running down individuals who earn good money or are able to buy a good education. What I do care about is being able to have honest, informed conversations about the social problems of our country.

tinkerbellvspredator Sat 29-Jun-13 22:18:24

I earn quite a good amount, I don't claim I work hard because actually I don't work long hours and half the time my work isn't pressured or difficult in my eyes. I feel very embarrassed talking about my working week in those terms so just say something like 'work's fine'. Make of that what you will!

HollyBerryBush Sat 29-Jun-13 22:18:58

People get paid according to market worth.

but it is spectacularly vulgar to discuss moeny

LeGavrOrf Sat 29-Jun-13 22:19:03

I am constantly humbled by the fact that there are people wo work their arse off in jobs I couldn't contemplate doing and earn a pittance.

Old folks homes workers, childcare, call centres, bin men, fruit pickers.

There is an element of luck in earning a decent salary - being in the right place at the right time certainly.

Lorelilee Sat 29-Jun-13 22:19:35

They are probably being defensive and (badly) trying to justify it (although no one should have to) because they feel a sense of resentment/inferiority from you.

Doodledumdums Sat 29-Jun-13 22:20:00

Yes I think actually MrsDeVere, you have hit the nail on the head! It is not necessarily my friends who annoy me when they say it, but the implication from anywhere really. David Cameron especially!

rowtunda Sat 29-Jun-13 22:24:37

TBH I think you are being unreasonable. I am a high earner and luck had nothing to do with me getting where I am today - I have worked bloody hard for it right from GSCEs. I went to university for 6 years and then had a further 6 years of post grad on the job training to get to where I am today.i worked long and unsociable hours.

TBH it really pisses me off that you expect high earners to say they are lucky! It's not luck of the draw, if you want to earn a lot you bloody have to work for it. You chose a career which doesn't pay the same sort of money, that's not unlucky that was your choice and if your happy in your career and then what is your issue? - it's not your friends fault that you are not getting paid as much as them is it?

grumpyoldbat Sat 29-Jun-13 22:26:39

YANBU, it's not that I think they don't work, nor that I think think they don't deserve it. I object to the implication that I don't work hard or that I am worthless. When it has been said to me this has always been implied.

Before I am flamed I don't openly discuss my salary it's always been in response to me having to say 'I'm sorry I can't afford that' in response to the latest expensive collection.

savoirfaire Sat 29-Jun-13 22:29:06

YANBU. I have friends who earn lots of money, who came out of amazing universities with top class degrees, who work loads and loads of hours and get well compensated for it. They are mostly good people, who work hard, often at a sacrifice to their personal life, and that's all well and good.

However, I also have friends who came out of amazing universities with top class degrees, who work loads and loads of hours and chose to put their personal talent and personal determination into fields like medical research or international development. They are mostly good people, who work hard, often at a sacrifice to their personal life. The work that they do (particularly those in research) will have a massive impact on generations. They are compensated poorly. They choose to do this out of a vocation and a love and we should all recognise that we need there to be more people like this. This group don't live in big houses, send their children to private schools or drive flash cars. But they work just as hard as the other.

needaholidaynow Sat 29-Jun-13 22:31:36

People on a low wage can slug away for hours on end as well. We're all doing the same thing- earning money for a living. The amount we receive is irrelevant.

Doodledumdums Sat 29-Jun-13 22:33:49

I don't think that I show resentment though? Though maybe I do, but it is unintentional.

Maybe the issue is that I comment on things that perhaps I shouldn't? So for example, if my friend is going on an amazing holiday, I say things like 'Oh wow, lucky you, I am so jealous, I'd love to go there!' I guess maybe this provokes a defensive response? I don't mean it to be a comment on the money they have spent, but maybe that is how it is taken?

That is a very good point Devora and certainly an aspect that I hadn't thought of.

Alisvolatpropiis Sat 29-Jun-13 22:36:05

Salaries are openly discussed amongst my friends and colleagues. We're at the beginning of our careers and have yet to start dramatically pulling away from each other. Maybe that is a generational thing?

Yanbu and also yabu at the same time.

I work hard. I don't doubt for a second the head of my dept works harder for his salary. Usually but not always more money = harder work/longer hours.

Doesn't mean I look down on people for the work they do or doubt they work hard for the salary they earn.

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