A tale of two workers

New / HR AUJJ41
Sep 12 25 Comments

Trying to keep this brief and am unbiased as possible.
I have a co worker that now makes significantly more than me, and I have no clue how to deal with this.
I started with the company 5 years ago as basically a receptionist with no direct experience. Shortly after, our office had some unexpected turnover that lead to me taking on a lot more responsibility, which eventually led to a promotion.

About two years ago our office hired another person with my same title. She had more experience than myself, and a more relevant degree.
Our compensation at that point was relatively in check, although she made slightly more than me. While we do similar level work, my work load is much greater than hers. In addition, she's a chatter box. I'm often distracted by her talking/gossiping in the office. To get her to stop talking I basically have to block her out, stare at my computer, not respond to her and attempt to work.

A year after she was hired, right around raise time, she threatened to quit, and was given a significant pay increase. Frustrated, I met with my newly hired boss and he told me that she had been hired in too low for her experience and education level. He agreed to change the raise that I had gotten (which was the standard increase) to give me a little more, but not as nearly much as what she got.

Her behavior in the office has remained the same, and she's even had a couple minor performance issues that I am aware of.

Flash forward to now, a year later, it's raise time again. I found out I was receiving the standard increase, which I expected, and was fine with.
Then, I found out that she had been looking for jobs, and got job offer that she was going to accept.

For whatever reason, my boss made her a counter offer, which increased her salary even more. (She accepted) His reasoning was apparently that he did not want turnover in the office (its a very small staff).

She now makes $10000/year more than me. We have the same title, do similar level work, and my days are full whereas she seems to find time to talk constantly. I've never gotten a negative evaluation or have had any performance issues that have been addressed with me. WHAT GIVES! I'm meeting with my boss on Tuesday and I don't even know where to start. How do I work next to someone that's being paid more while doing less?

If you were me, what would you do?

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TOP 25 Comments
  • Oracle
    not_larry

    Oracle

    PRE
    Amazon
    not_larrymore
    You already have the answer in front of you. Get another offer and threaten to quit. Apparently that’s the thing your boss responds to. Caveat: be ready to quit if the boss doesn’t give in.

    I wouldn’t say anything when meeting the boss next week. Wait till you get another offer. Be calm.
    Sep 12 0
  • This comment was deleted by original commenter.

    • Intel iSpyPi
      OP isn’t in SW/engineering. $10k is probably 25% of their TC.

      Anyways OP, you need to determine what your value really is and interview elsewhere.
      Sep 12
    • New / HR AUJJ41
      OP
      Yeah I'm playing in a totally different field where 10000 is a lot, trust me!
      Sep 12
    • Fox News / Eng
      HannityS

      Fox News Eng

      BIO
      15 YOE in Java, includes 8 YOE in Android.
      HannitySmore
      For every job in every career out there, there's a range of salaries, and not just one fixed number. Your value, your worth, your contributions and what you deserve realistically has nothing to do with how to manage to get toward the upper end of the range. Consider this a learning experience and look out for yourself
      Sep 12
  • Intel LEtestar
    I know this is going to sound harsh, but no one is just going to give you extra money because someone else got some. You’re just bopping along oblivious to your actual worth. If she wasn’t there, would you be unhappy with the usual increase?

    Pay attention to you, what you are worth, what you should get to be in the same market. There’s always people that make more than you. So what? It’s on you to negotiate better, not your employer to keep thing “fair”.
    Sep 12 3
    • New / HR AUJJ41
      OP
      It's not harsh, I appreciate it!
      Sep 12
    • New / Project qEsh05
      One thing I would caution about in your comparison...

      In comparing your work, you said that you work a fuller day than her, but a comparison that would be more likely to earn you more money would be who completes more work. With her experience, maybe she can get stuff done faster so she has time to be social. I'm assuming that's not the case if there's been performance problems, but just make sure you compare the right things.

      Ditto about things aren't always fair, but if you're a better producer by achieving more/better results, use that.
      Sep 12
    • New / HR AUJJ41
      OP
      Noted. Thanks!
      Sep 12
  • Taylor Farms azerty_
    Use your experience and jump ship. You are done with this company
    Sep 12 0
  • New / Eng
    lowTCKillM

    New Eng

    BIO
    Working as Android Developer in an IOT based company
    lowTCKillMmore
    So you started 5 years ago? Why not change companies till now. I guess, the general rule is no one will give you more salary unless you ask for it. She kind of asked by threatening to quit, so she basically got paid more for it. But, I still cannot understanding, how you know how much pay increase she got? I thought pay was like confidential, unless she actually told you that!!
    Sep 12 3
    • New / HR AUJJ41
      OP
      I know everyones salary because I work in HR / Payroll. In our office, everyone knows what everyone gets. It's a blessing and a curse.
      Sep 12
    • Oracle bitter
      Dunder Mifflin?
      Sep 14
    • New / HR AUJJ41
      OP
      Yep I'm a regular Toby.
      Sep 15
  • New / HR AUJJ41
    OP
    I appreciate the responses! To reply to a few comments about why not leave, well, I'm not totally opposed to it. But there are things that I really like about where I work that would be hard / impossible to come across somewhere else. It's not always about the bottom line for me, and I'm admittedly not good at "playing the game" but it seems I'm expected to.
    Sep 12 2
    • Intel LEtestar
      There’s playing the game and then there’s looking out for your best interests. I get that it’s not always about money, but every company will always try to pay less than market. Don’t let those companies walk all over you - you deserve better.
      Sep 12
    • Amazon aviv
      Also, interviewing at otherjobs might not just be about switching but also to know your worth. Or in your case prove it to your manager. There's a difference in the conversation you'll have when you THINK you are getting paid less and when you KNOW you are getting paid less.
      Sep 12
  • Microsoft whatdidyou
    Compensation is based on market not based on merit. She has proven she has options. I don’t think degree or education matters at this point. If I were you, I would try to get a job at tech companies which might pay much more even for HR. If you look at HR folks in tech companies, you will find they have a wide range of backgrounds. I know you are comfortable at current job. However, when looking at long term perspective, job change is inevitable and you want to do it when you are younger to experience what it is like. Good luck!
    Sep 12 1
    • New / HR AUJJ41
      OP
      I totally like the idea of working for a tech company. I have a creative background and I feel like that would be respected there.
      Sep 12
  • Uber Dkhos_
    In the words of useless Uber early joiners who have coasted all along and are STILL with the company because they are too dumb to find a job elsewhere but call themselves "OG" because nobody else will - #justleave
    Sep 12 1
    • New / HR AUJJ41
      OP
      Ok, well that was harsh. I did not put every detail on here for a reason. The advice is helpful but using words like dumb is not.
      Sep 13
  • Hulu EVN829
    Move on and move up to a bigger and better place! You'll be happier too
    Sep 12 0
  • Twitter pNAK04
    Get a counter offer
    Sep 12 0
  • Orion / Cust. Srv. 🌹♟🗡
    Yeah I’d second what everyone else said, the best way to move forward is to look around and find another offer and then use that as leverage. Also, who knows you might find you’ve really under valued yourself. I remember when I started my last round of job searching I discovered I had undervalued myself by 40%
    Sep 12 0
  • Salesforce meaow
    Start by working less and interviewing more. Get another job and GTFO.
    Don't accept a counter offer until they offer 20 percent more or offer to pay for your education.
    Sep 12 0
  • New / HR AUJJ41
    OP
    Another thing I want to clarify is that I'm not actually unhappy with my compensation. I have an understanding of the market and I'm well within it. The thing is, my job is not specialized. Both of us are totally replaceable. Actually, when we hired this person, she wasn't the first or even second pick. So, a big part of my frustration is why he needed to keep a not so great performer on the team, all the while creating a divide in the office dynamtics. A negative work environment is costly... I really appreciate all the comments and this has really helped sort out my thoughts. I'll be keeping my eyes open & spiffing up my resume for sure.
    Sep 12 0