Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Show Me the Money

A quick observation from when I was in the job market in late 2011 versus early 2013 – employers seem to be trending toward stating the salary range up front, either in the online description or during the first interview. I knew the dollar amounts for every single position I applied for during my most recent quest for a steady paycheck, which is a nice change of pace from the guessing game of two years ago.

Granted, this approach won’t weed out the truly desperate; when I was first told I was laid off, I recklessly applied for jobs that paid 27% less than my earnings at the time. But I became more selective as I got more into the search, or, more likely, I lucked out with finding better-paying gigs thanks to more targeted keyword searches. Plus I had a local staffing agency sniffing stuff out for me, too! One must cover all the bases.

So: transparency is good! Of course, here in the US it’s still mostly taboo to discuss your wages, in complete and utter contrast to the bald-faced declarations of how many pesos one earns in the Philippines. Asking “Magkano suweldo mo? (How much do you earn?)” is common and accepted, as is proclaiming your monthly remuneration without any prompting whatsoever. I speak from bemused experience.

For that matter, Bangladeshis are very open about how much they make, too, and are completely open to finding out how much bacon you bring home, and by “bacon” I mean “income,” because Bangladesh is a predominantly Muslim nation. Now, in the Philippines, which is as pork-loving as all get out, bacon might mean actual bacon, or crispy pata, or whatever heart attack-inducing piggy dish is the regional preference.

In closing, I would like to share two of my favorite things combined into one page of gloriousness: the wise words of cartoonist Bill Watterson (creator of Calvin and Hobbes) and the thoughtful artistry of Gavin Aung Than (creator of Zen Pencils)--http://zenpencils.com/comic/128-bill-watterson-a-cartoonists-advice/. The message here is that the money doesn’t matter, the title doesn’t matter, and the climb to the top doesn’t matter, no matter what that rat bastard Petyr Baelish says.

Gavin and I both agree that Calvin and Hobbes is the best comic strip EVER, period, full stop, and this is coming from a hardcore Garfield fan.

So preach it, Bill. There comes a point when showing the money, and seeing it, and getting it, loses relevance. On to more important things! I shall report back when I find them, outside of cats and video games, of course.

This has been Fragrant Elephant, reporting live from [REDACTED].