Michaela Merz

Salary satisfaction

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I had always been satisfied with my salary. To say this aloud might be dangerous. Maybe it is considered as missing aspiration for more.

I always adapted my needs to my financial possibilities. With such philosophy it’s just easier to live. With 16 when packaging newspapers during the holidays, with 17 when I worked at a petrol station, with 18 as ice cream seller, with 20 as skiing instructor, with 30 as tax adviser I thought my salary was great and I was satisfied.

Last weekend we discussed salaries at a party. Almost everyone had a third level degree, all have a good job and impressive career possibilities ahead of them. But it seemed that all those under the age of 30 were rather unsatisfied with their salaries. Most of them were not unsatisfied about the absolute salary amount but about their salary in comparison to those of former class mates, work colleagues, of Daniel Vasella. There was always someone who earns more than they, perhaps only 100 more, but simply more. And no profession was spared these laments, be they investment bankers, teachers or doctors, nobody seemed to be satisfied.

However the older the debating people were, the more satisfied they were with their salaries.

I sat there silently and listened to the laments, which sometimes sounded insulting to me. Of course human beings are often characterized by their aspiration to get more and more. But don’t get certain comparisons lost? With the 50% unemployed school leavers in Portugal, Spain and Greece? With those, who were not fortunate enough to receive an education? With those, who for whatever reasons will never have money of their own?

I think life gets easier if we don’t complain about not having everything we want. I think we should be more thankful that we don’t get everything we deserve!!

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