Dead mousse in the office next door

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I live and work in a small European country where living costs are cheaper than in the United States. I have someone clean every half day. When I asked her hourly wage when I hired her, she told me a price much lower than I expected and much lower than I paid in the US I have some sources Asked. I thought the living wage was enough. It is now clear that this is not the case and we hope to raise it to a fairer level.

But I would appreciate your thoughts on how to determine if you are just an employer when you are a temporary resident of a foreign culture. Some of my colleagues find it stupid for me to pay above the norm, and I’m unlikely to get the same salary from the next employer, which gives her a long-term disadvantage Some would argue that they are. .. It’s okay if I think it’s stupid, but I hope the second part is wrong. What do you think?


There is nothing stupid about paying someone well, or at least paying them fairly. The mental gymnastics that your co-workers are engaged in by suggesting that they are paying them a lot and detrimental to someone is ridiculous. It’s an inadequate reflection on them and how they value the people they live and work in. In general, yes, you pay people the wages you expect locally, but this should not be abused. In reality, people are almost always low-paying, especially when it comes to domestic work. You are not paying your employees a lot. In fact, pay her more. Treat her kindly and politely. Treat her the same way you treat an American employee who values ​​labor. That is the right thing to do.

I’m a photo archivist at a large company and was recently hired to preserve its historic photo collection. As we process the images, we take out interesting photos every month and create an in-house newsletter with photos we’ve never seen before. Not surprisingly, social media groups want to use them, and I provide what I scan and search for others on request. Recently, a member of the team asked me to write a copy of my Facebook and Instagram posts. I did that, but I don’t like it, mainly because the post is written as a quote with my name. I’m used to writing background information, not copywriting. Now they are asking me to “make a little video that’s only 30 seconds long” to talk about my favorite photos. I have a serious stage phobia and don’t want to participate in social media. I expressed concern, and they were fired and even laughed. The head of social media was once a TV news reporter, always ready for the camera and doesn’t understand my anxieties.

Fortunately, I don’t want to be seen as difficult to keep doing this unnecessary work during the pandemic, but shouldn’t the social media department create this content? Am I off the line?

— Anonymous, Colorado

You’re not off the line that you don’t want to add social media content creation to your workload. It’s a specialty that goes beyond your scope. You’re not hard to have a professional border, and so far you’ve been as many team players as you can expect. That’s nice to you, and most of us are willing to do it to the extent that it makes sense. As an archivist, you work with these images every day and you are the one who knows them best, so I think you are asked to do this job. That said, you obviously don’t want to do that. Your concerns are important and should not be dismissed or ridiculed. Given that your resistance to making these posts is related to both stage phobia and aversion to social media, it is perfectly reasonable to say that you are not willing to do it. Let’s do it. Hold that line. Also, it is often easier to say no to a request by providing an alternative. Maybe I suggest that when someone else makes a video, they can provide two or three issues to draw from. I don’t have the impression that I’m reporting to the social media team, so if that doesn’t work, it may be time to talk to your boss and get the social media to tell you clearly. We will do our best to enable the media team, the responsibility of your work, and the work you have been hired to do.

Dead mousse in the office next door

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