Privacy please

With Aaron's recent unemployment there have been many questions asked that I'm not sure how to answer. You know the questions where you feel like people might be overstepping their bounds a little. Money questions are never fun and it always throws me for a loop when asked. First came the unemployment questions: How much does he get? Can you all survive off your check and unemployment? Does unemployment cover what he was making at his prior job? Now I dont know if these questions are asked out of concern or nosiness, but how much information is too much to share? I was raised in a family where I knew nothing about how much either of my parents made. We just didn't discuss that. I knew we got by and I never went without and that's all that was really supposed to matter. Was I curious? Heck yeah I was. But I didn't dare go to my dad after dinner and ask him what he was bringing in on a monthly basis! I don't know if this was good or bad, but it's left me a little guarded when others ask me questions like that. I normally share everything, but Aaron would prefer I not. He doesn't like talking about how much we paid for our house, what our mortgage payment is a month, how much we make, what we tithe, bonuses, etc. And I completely agree and respect that. I know I have been one to open my mouth on more than one occasion on some of these points. It's hard not to sometimes and I'm not the type to say, none of your business.

When Aaron got offered the job in Austin, the questions started rolling in about how much they offered him. I think this is incredibly out of line personally but some people don't get it. What does it matter to anyone else how much he's getting paid? Is it so they can compare it to their own salary? My coworker does this to me a lot and I now see it as pure immaturity. She asked me on the spot how much I was making, has asked me how much my bonus/raise was, and most recently what my share is in a new deal my company is offering. I tell her it's personal or private and it's not something we need to disclose but she won't take that for an answer. Of course she found out what I made and it happened to be a little more than her and it was all down hill from there. That's why you don't discuss this stuff! It does nothing but cause problems. She now compares everything even our work ethic and I feel she thinks she does more than me and works harder, therefore she should be getting paid more. Some things are just meant to be private. I would NEVER ask someone how much they are making. If it's offered up, OK, fine. But to flat out ask someone about their salary or benefits is crazy to me. When I worked contract for my old company, if you were to discuss your date rate with your peers it was grounds for termination. You better believe that was something that was never discussed in our offices.

So I ask you, blog world, how do you handle questions like these? What is an appropriate answer, without sounding rude? Or maybe you are the type that doesn't see anything wrong with sharing this information? I'd love to know!

Chelsea  – (March 22, 2010 at 10:39 AM)  

I agree with you... quite frankly it's none of their business!! I could understand it in the circumstance that someone is wanting to get into the same line of work as you and are curious as to what a general salary is, but I don't know how I would handle it in a situation like this. Simply tell them you don't wish to discuss!

Good luck girly -

Dollface  – (March 22, 2010 at 10:48 AM)  

Basically tell people you would rather not talk about it. I mean, its really not their business. Only tell people you trust and want to know the details of your life... just breathe, xxxooo

Walking With The Wheats  – (March 22, 2010 at 11:20 AM)  

Thats crazy! Where do people get the nerve? Anywho....I just became a follower of your blog!! Check out mine, (keep in mind, its in the middle of a makeover!)

Arlynn  – (March 22, 2010 at 12:23 PM)  

Ugh... I have a similar co-worker. Not only does she talk about her salary, her fiance's and basically all things money or material. I can tell she utilizes it as a method of comparison, but I do my best to always keep those things private. In some instances, it even makes me feel uncomfortable... Do I care that your mother's "rolling in it" (!!!)? Or that your fiance just got a much-awaited bonus that's 20%/$$$ more than he's currently making. Nope, sorry, could care less. I don't want to begin putting value on those types of things, when they really don't mean much anyways and I feel very fortunate for all that we do have - without boasting too much :-)

Sherrie  – (March 22, 2010 at 12:53 PM)  

I think the best response when someone says or asks something out of line is "Why would you say/ask that?" Really put the ball back in their court and see what they say.

Then politely tell them that it's really not something you care to discuss.

Practically Perfect...  – (March 22, 2010 at 2:25 PM)  

I agree with you and your husband. I never knew how much my dad made, just that he made enough to support us, and that was fine! I've never had so many people ask about money as at my current job. When they found out we were moving to NZ for my husband's job, suddenly everyone was asking how much money he was being offered. It actually shocked me. I think it's rude to discuss such things, and maybe that makes me old-fashioned, but I think the only thing it does is incite greed and comparison-making. I've told people, "He'll make enough for us to get by", but they still persist. Finally, I've just said, "I'm not going to tell you the actual amount", and then just repeated that it's enough to get by and for us to afford the things that we need. I really think that some people just don't see a problem with it, but it makes me incredibly uncomfortable!

Perfectly Imperfect  – (March 22, 2010 at 3:23 PM)  

I agree with what you said. I've never known what my parents made and I still don't think it's ok to talk money with people. It's just something "off limits". My Mom tends to dig trying to find out what the hubs and I make and it makes me crazy. People just need to know that we're fine and that's it. I simply tell them it's none of their business.. It's seriously shocking that people think it's ok to ask these sorts of questions...

d.a.r.  – (March 22, 2010 at 7:33 PM)  

Wow, that is so rude. I was the same way with you, I had no idea how much my parents made growing up, it just wasn't something that was discussed.

To be honest? I would look at them and say "wow, that is so rude, I cannot believe you just asked that!". But that is just me and I don't mind being confrontational. Maybe just a simple, "I don't feel comfortable discussing our personal finances" would be okay :)

Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend  – (March 24, 2010 at 2:09 AM)  

I so agree with you...glad to find your blog...Love your blog.....I am doing some fun blog hopping tonight.
Great post....Hope you will stop by for a visit. I have a giveway that I am drawing for this Friday...


jackie fo  – (March 24, 2010 at 8:38 AM)  

Ridiculous. Just ignore these rude people. Love your blog

Anonymous –   – (March 25, 2010 at 4:29 PM)  

First time poster - I don't know how to add my name quite yet...but it's Brandi S. :)

So, what you are telling is that you guys are going to be rich, right? And you don't want me to be jealous :)

I agree that it is tacky, rude and unbecoming. Moreover, it is HORRIBLE to ask a coworker b/c, as you pointed out, it can only lead to problems. I don't have any advice other than to reply with a ridiculous question of your own. i.e. "So when are you getting your nose fixed?"

Anonymous –   – (March 27, 2010 at 3:27 PM)  

Hey Nicole this is Gabby just wanting to help you with this personally, just say no, I'm not willing to share this information with you, I'm terribly sorry but I'm not comfortable giving all this important information to you, the only (person)(people) I share it with is _. Just a little advice from your little sister Gabby.
Love you, Gabby :)

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