If 9 times out of 10 children get their awesomeness from their mother, then on a scale of 1 to 100, 99% of children get their awesomeness from their Moms and 1% get their awesomeness from their Dads. There we go again with the 1% versus the 99%!
Of course, there is another take on 1% vs. 99% but it has nothing to do with the cuteness of kids.
- 1% earns a higher income for the exact same work/job done by the 99%.
- 1% puts the “final” stamp of approval on nearly all domestic decisions the 99% make.
- 1% has a larger retirement account 99% of the time than do the 99%.
This leads me to the question of the century: Equality — how do we obtain it and how do we maintain it?
Since the late 1960’s I have witnessed the fight for equal pay in the workforce creep along at a snail’s pace. And although I am pleased with the progress women have made during the past fifty years, it surprises me that there is continued discrepancy. In the 2000’s I retired but before doing so I trained my replacement. Being privy to the company’s financial information I noticed that my replacement, certainly well educated, licensed and qualified to replace me, had a new hire income at a much higher percentage than I’d expected to see. I also noticed another perk he would enjoy every week during little league baseball season which left me speechless. Now let me say, and make it clear, that I admire anyone willing to coach a little league team for it is an awesome thing to do but having paid time off from work for doing so didn’t sit well with me. I thought about all the Dads (and Moms) without such a generous employer benefit breaking a sweat as they rushed onto the field after work in time to coach. Before you leave me a comment, i.e. sour grapes, let me say I did not coach little league; I did not need any “paid perks” and never asked for any. It simply struck me odd that my replacement, with the same qualifications as me, was beginning employment with a package that seemed, to me, exceptionally less equal to the one I enjoyed.
It is not in my nature to be combative but is in my nature to be diplomatic so when opportunity presented itself I didn’t back away. That opportunity came when my boss commented to me: “of course you noticed the new hire salary”. Umm – I cook the books – bake the payroll – save your ass from regulatory boards – so, “yes Sir, of course I did” and I went into diplomacy mode.
This is what I learned: One, my replacement valued himself and asked to be valued in return because (1) education, (2) experience and, (3) he was, according my Mr. Boss, providing for a family. By the way, providing for a family is a small item left out during most 99%’er’s negotiations because 99%’ers assume it is not important to mention. It is! Letting Mr. Boss know your salary requirements are based on providing for a family is a smart negotiating point to make. Two, he negotiated a better package by agreeing to give something back, in his case it was to offset time away during little league season by working an as needed Saturday morning. But, if my replacement was as good as I was at finishing tasks under budget and on time, and I had every indication he was that good, this as needed Saturday morning would never come to fruition which in turn meant he had made himself one sweet deal. How was he able to do this? He exercised his 1% advantage the 99% (me) never do and the 1% sitting across the bargaining table from him didn’t want to look like a slouch to another 1%’er. So, my replacement (the 1%’er) began employment with more pay, less hours (during little league season) and a designated parking space which was being sectioned off with yellow stripes as I pulled out the lot on my last day!
I know you are dying to know: How much more pay? The answer is: Substantial – it was a significant 20% more, at the same age as me (give or take a few months) with nearly carbon copy qualifications (I graduated on the west coast on him on the east coast way back in the day).
On the home-front equality is muddled by the relationship one is in. Some work better than others as far as a balance in equality. But, most still have a traditional imbalance. By this I mean that when I was married we agreed to a set amount we could spend without approval of the other. My husband was more or less willing to abide by this rule but his 1% got the most of him most of the time and he simply needed to that final approval in all things non-related to the grocery store. So I’d work hard to find a good deal on – say a vacuum cleaner, which I might add I solely used – something needed to run the household but was under our agreed to amount to spend and still feel required to wait for his final approval. Talk about driving me crazy. The need of my 1%’er to have the final say was a major factor in his not remaining my 1%’er. 1%’ers beware.
In the few instances I am aware of, which are few-few-few, our 1%’ers have the larger retirement fund. Reread the paragraphs about equal pay. This is a no brainer to the 99%’ers out there like me.
Equality is a fundamental right for the happiness, well being, health and success of all women.