7 years ago: A true story

July 29, 2006, on this blog: A true story

From this experience, I learned several lessons:

1. If you ever encounter a consultant from the Hay Group, keep one hand on your wallet and never turn your back.

2. Americans find any public discussion or comparison of income distasteful and grounds for extreme defensiveness. They might be willing to talk publicly about the intimate details of their sex lives or their gastrointestinal functions, but not about their salary.

3. This reluctance to speak transparently about income does not serve most people well, but serves some people very well indeed.

  • Baby_Raptor

    How much sex you’re getting is seen as a bragging right, at least if you’re male. So (some) men are going to talk very loudly about it, and possibly even stretch the truth.

    How much money you’re making could be treated the same way, and is when the person in question is rich. But for some reason, people are much less inclined to lie about their finances than they are how often they’re getting laid. And money is just as much an arrow to the ego as sex is, so one would want to hide if they aren’t doing as well as they feel they should be.

  • J_Enigma32

    I think that’s because it’s easier to lie about sex, which nobody sees you have and therefore, cannot call you out on it, than the fact you’ve got a rickety old car that’s falling apart since you can’t afford to fix it, which everyone driving on the road sees you in.

  • A Kaleberg

    In the 1960s, Europeans used to joke about Americans introducing themselves and saying how much money they made, how much their car cost and so on. It was considered crass, arrogant and even asinine. Of course, back then, Americans were pretty well paid and things were getting even better. Now, it’s kind of embarrassing how poorly Americans are paid, so they keep their mouths shut.


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