From Jeremy this morning:
What I do know is that this is typical. (Like I said, I read these documents when they come in the mail.) And it's strange at the same time. You see, I don't know how much any of my co-workers are paid. We may be paid the same. Or maybe they make $30,000/year more than me. Or less. And they probably don't know how much I'm paid. It's a taboo subject at work. And I really don't understand why.
How do you make? People GO NUTS when you talk about money - but the only people who benefit from silence is the employers, who use the secrecy and suspicion to screw their employees. Why people continue to go along with it, I have no idea.
Whenever I talk about my salary here on this blog, people flip out. "How can you talk about what you earn?" Why not? I'm not rich and neither are you. I'm neither embarassed nor ashamed about how much I earn - I try to do the maximum I can in the situation I'm in as we all do. Are you working for the same company as me, doing the same job as I am but are earning $30,000 more than me? Woohoo! Good for you. Obviously your negotiation skills are better than mine or you entered the market at a better time. Are you earning 30k less? Too bad, you should talk to someone about that or find a new job.
Come on. Tell me how much you're paid. What's wrong? That's too private? Why? I don't want to know how much you have in the bank. That's your business. But there are LOTS of people who already know how much your salary is, it's not a secret. All of your bosses, the people in HR and probably a few dozen coworkers who you either divulged the grand secret or heard it from other sources.
I think people probably don't WANT to share because they don't want to think about it. Remember the last time you heard about that idiot coworker who's earning 20k more than you? Remember how you seethed for two weeks and stole the guy's stapler? Yeah, no reason to repeat that again. Better not to know.
People are crazy about this sort of thing. Weird.