Wednesday, 23 June 2010
Money isn't everything but
‘Money isn’t everything... but it is two thirds’ and ‘When money goes out the door, love flies out the window’ were phrases often used by my mother when I was growing up. As were: ‘Life’s too short to stuff a mushroom’, ‘Shy bairns get nee bread’ and ‘You are not going out you are only 16 and the last time I let you your friend was found by the police dangling off a bridge with a bottle of vodka’.
My mother was brought up in the North East of England and her dad was a coal miner and her mum was a cleaner. There was not a lot of money around back then. She is still mystified by the concept of expensive organic meat as she was brought up to be grateful for whatever was put on the table – whether it resembled chicken or cat. I think free-range food will take longer to catch on in the North of England, as will sushi, political correctness and modern art.
A friend’s new girlfriend had words with him because he insisted on highlighting the price of everything he bought in London ('£4.50 for a pint of lager? £8 for a glass of wine! £100 for a monthly tube pass?'). She thought he was being tight. He wasn’t. It’s just his mother is also from the North East and the cost of ‘stuff’ is a top conversation topic. It beats the weather hands down.
I know that women doing the same job as men generally get paid less than them. According to one angry survey conducted by women for women this is because men breeze into their bosses’ offices and demand pay rises, while women are programmed to quietly accept whatever they are given. With this in mind, as well as my overdraft and ‘shy bairns get nee bread’, I have regularly sounded off about my pay versus the cost of London living. And it appears to have paid off.
After being summoned to the MD’s office I have been given a chunky pay rise, a firm handshake and told ‘We don’t want to lose our young talent’.
Despite money being two thirds, all I could think was: ‘This job is destroying me’, ‘Too little too late, old chum’ and ‘That will help nicely towards a deposit for a flat in Manchester’.