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to find it really irritating when people who earn a lot say...

(348 Posts)
Doodledumdums Sat 29-Jun-13 22:02:37

...But I work really hard for the money I get.

Sorry, totally unimportant, but it really irritates me!

I have a few friends who earn quite a lot of money, and I don't begrudge them this at all, but I just find it really insulting when they say 'But I do work really hard for it.' I also work hard! I feel like it implies that I don't! Okay, I am on maternity leave at the moment, so am not actually at work, (although i'd say that to some extent, looking after a baby is harder than my actual job anyway!) but when I am working, I am usually in the office by 8am, and often don't leave until 7pm, and I earn literally a fraction of what some of my friends earn. That is fine, I knew that when I got in to my chosen industry, but it doesn't mean that I don't work as hard as they do or deserve more!

They don't need to be defensive about it at all! It is totally fine that they earn what they do, I just don't understand why they can't be a bit more gracious about it and say something like 'Yes, I am lucky that I have a job I love which pays well.'

Oh I don't know, maybe I am being unreasonable and ultra-sensitive. I am sure they don't mean to imply that I don't work hard, but it just feels like that sometimes. Totally a first world issue!

P.S- I have self esteem and anxiety issues...which is possibly why I find this upsetting!

FasterStronger Tue 02-Jul-13 08:44:21

i think there is a big difference between putting your own experiences down to luck than other people's.

after all, you know when and why you made a decision. I have made bad decisions that have worked out (that's luck) and good decisions, most of which have worked out (of course sometime you are unlucky).

but I don't know the contents of other people's minds, or the details of their lives, so i don't really know who they ended up where they are in life. some people are in a better place than me (however they define that) because they have made better decisions. of course some people will live life recklessly and still end up in a better place than me. but that does not bother me. or interest me

life is way too short to want the lucky ones to accept their lot is down to luck. because either i am wrong (because i did not know their life story & it was not down to luck). or it is down to luck - but i am more interested in the parts of life that you can influence.

the people who interest me the most are those who make the best of what live throws at them. because those are the ones you can learn from.

also it is also very easy to judge someone else as lucky whilst ignoring your own massive luck in life: to be born in the UK, not Afghanistan. in the 19th century not the 12th. compared with that, one person getting given a deposit for a house, and one not, seems like very small fry.

cory Tue 02-Jul-13 06:38:28

My db spent his pre-teens and teens preparing for a career as a musician, practising every spare moment, doing a 10 round trip by train every weekend to meet up with the maestro. After his first year at the conservatoire discovered he had a stiffness in his fingers that basically meant he would never be able to make a career of it. He went into a totally different field, non-music related at all, and has been very successful. Shit happens indeed. It's what you do with the shit in your life that matters.

Doodledumdums Mon 01-Jul-13 23:13:45

Ah no that is a shame sad

I guess in an ideal world we would all have whatever we wanted and do whatever took our fancy, but I suppose the world just doesn't work like that!

Yes you are very right, regrets and guilt are definitely a waste of time. Absolutely best to move on! Life is too short!

amazingmumof6 Mon 01-Jul-13 23:05:00

you are welcome doodle
I meant it.

we all have regrets, but regrets are a waste of time and energy. and so is guilt.

a friend wanted to be a pilot. he is colour blind. shit happens, best to move on!wink

Doodledumdums Mon 01-Jul-13 22:49:35

^FWIW I admire your strength for being able turn your back on something you realized weren't for you after all.
that is very hard to do.

not every one is supposed to be a vet or a teacher or a mechanic or a lawyer.
IMO it is far better to accept reality and be happy, than forever chasing an unrealistic dream and be unhappy.
well done^

Thank you Amazing smile I do sometimes feel sad that it isn't something which was possible, as I really do think I would have loved it, but there are quite a few factors which made it an impossible dream for me.

Ah well, such is life I guess! We can't all be good at everything!

garlicnutty Mon 01-Jul-13 21:36:42

Hmm, yes: not thinking about inheritance exactly, but family money - XH1 and I were the first, by several years, of our friends to get a mortgage. We were fairly loaded in those days, however we cut a lot of corners in favour of buying a flat. We walked when others got cabs, used the free concerts & gigs where they bought tickets for big-name bands, went on package holidays instead of 'travelling', and such.

We were lucky. We bought a place in Clapham just before it got trendy, then did the same again with a little house that we had to gut & refurbish. Our friends seemed to think we were a bit weird, being house-obsessed while they rented lovely character flats in Notting Hill and enjoyed the fruits of their obscene salaries even more lavishly than we did ours. Later, it all became clear. Their parents, on retirement, reduced their inheritance tax liabilities by buying them homes - or, at least, giving them very hefty deposits for their first mortgages. It was quite peculiar that not a single one of them realised we didn't have parents with money! To them, we'd just been a bit odd wanting to buy into the machine so young; they simply didn't click that not everybody had a wedge of wonga in the parental pipeline.

XH and I were immensely lucky. Yes, we were clever, and wise, and read the market correctly, and had the confidence to break out of the industrial working class. But we didn't always recognise how very lucky we'd been that all our choices worked out well (I used to read the average wage every budget day, and be at a complete loss to imagine how people actually lived on that, let alone maintained a family.) Our friends never, as far as we could see, even realised that most people's dads don't bung them a few hundred thousand on retirement.

There's something in that link about how the human curse, as well as a gift, is that we start losing pleasure in what we have as soon as we've got it; this drives us to further achievements (it's also what the Dalai Lama keeps telling us to watch out for!) As I get older - and I think I'm getting wiser, not least because I am now very poor - I find I value that old-fashioned virtue, humility, more and more. Humility isn't grovelling or putting yourself down. It's realism, and appreciating reality smile

AllDirections Mon 01-Jul-13 21:10:31

I agree with you MrsMelons about the inheritance part. It's very sad that people lose loved ones and I know that people would rather not lose them than inherit money. I was just thinking about it from a view that my friends have had opportunities to advance their careers using their inheritances.

MrsMelons Mon 01-Jul-13 20:48:59

AllDirections - I think you are right with everything you say and have articulated where the luck part comes into it really well.

I will have to disagree regarding the inheritence part, from our POV anyway - DH would have done anything to not have lost his DM at a young age so would have been happy to not have inheritence. He does not consider to be lucky in that respect!

My SIL had tax credits to top up her income in the past but I would never consider she doesn't work as hard as me, in fact she worked more hours and unsociable ones at that and her job was physically demanding. If people imply that they either are not thinking before they are speaking or have not actually thought it through!

AllDirections Mon 01-Jul-13 20:20:20

* I actually think it is arrogant not to accept luck as a contributing factor*

^ This ^

I have some friends who say they work hard for their money and it's usually in relation to the fact that I get tax credits to top up my low income. They're really nice people but they just don't get the fact that they were lucky to have had supportive parents, lucky that they were encouraged to go into well paid professions, lucky that their professions are still booming, lucky that they've inherited money, lucky that they've had help with childcare from family, lucky that they're healthy, etc, etc, They work hard, they really do, but the way they say they work hard for their money implies that I don't. And that makes me sad sad

cory Mon 01-Jul-13 16:55:49

I think when it comes to learning a language we are tapping into the basic linguistic ability that NT people have: all that needs to be added is motivation, exposure and (after a certain age) good explanation.

But I suspect that to be an inventor, the director of a large company, a composer or a mathematician (as opposed to somebody who can count out the right change) you probably need more than the basic ability that most NT people have.

FasterStronger Mon 01-Jul-13 16:37:44

cory i agree that learning multiple languages should be normal - but my experience is of uk only.

i am only talking about GCSEs in relation to learning languages. not in terms of general achievement, as clearly that would be a bar appropriate for a 16 yo.

amazingmumof6 Mon 01-Jul-13 16:37:06

thanks cory
your mum is inspirational indeed!

I watched a film last year about 100+ year old people.
one was a 107 year old lady who survived a concentration camp with her then 5 year old son. she used to be a concert pianist and still practises every day.
another keeps up with technology and is on Skype to "see" her family.
one man swims and walks every day.
they were all as active mentally and physically as they could be, but it was their positive attitude that was utterly humbling.
I was in awe of all of them. very inspiring indeed!

cory Mon 01-Jul-13 16:29:04

amazingmum, let me present my mum as a source of inspiration. She went back to university after retirement and learnt Czech and Russian. Her last degree modules were in Old Church Slavonic, which she learnt well enough to provide research support for a project at her university. She was in her 70s by then. Never too late... grin

cory Mon 01-Jul-13 16:26:50

Perhaps some of the differences in opinion is because we are talking about different levels of achievement, FasterStronger.

I grew up in a country where you were simply made to acquire basic competence in at least one foreign language (more usually two or three). To me, that was something like dressing yourself or swimming- barring SN, it was something that anybody would learn; being talented or not didn't really come into it, because it was such a very basic thing.

Perhaps most GCSE work comes into this category- barring SN, most people probably could get there if working hard enough and supported well enough by good teaching, though some clearly have to work harder than others.

But at university level, and especially at postgrad level, it is not just about learning something that other people present to you: it is about having ideas that other people will recognise as interesting and original. I imagine that might well be the case with running a business too; it's about creativity and flare as much as about hard work.

amazingmumof6 Mon 01-Jul-13 16:25:51

and anyone else of coursewink

amazingmumof6 Mon 01-Jul-13 16:24:53

FS if you ever want to learn Hungarian let me knowwink

amazingmumof6 Mon 01-Jul-13 16:23:07

FS thanks for links. I've alwsys been fascinated with the human brain. and psychology.

people who have certain types of brain damage can re-learn things precisely because the healthy parts of the brain can take over and form new synapses.
and so does learning totally new.

you can teach an old dog new tricks!grin
which is good for me, as I want study more when kids are older and I have more time....

cory Mon 01-Jul-13 16:19:17

Never felt Latin did much for my calculus sad

Though my db who is also a classicist is very good at maths- and a proficient musician.

Having sat in the same postgrad seminars as him for several years, I always had the feeling that though we were ostensibly tackling the same problems in the same texts and both getting good results, our brains weren't actually doing the same thing.

For him Latin was about logic and connections, for me it was far more about associations and context (though I obviously had to know enough grammar to translate the text).

FasterStronger Mon 01-Jul-13 16:16:19

gn - I hated languages at school - why do I need to know how to buy a cinema ticket in france? it just seemed stupid to me.

then in my twenties I realised that learning a language meant you could speak to people and they liked you bothering to speak their language. it became communication. & fun.

once I had a point to learning a language, it became much easier to do and I enjoy it. i now learn the basics wherever we go (say 30 words of Croatian, Icelandic etc. no grammar). it is completely different than my school experience. i got As at GCSE but it was a real struggle & i hated every class. if you has asked me then, i would have said i was no good at languages - ask me now and i just wasn't good at school but do i think i could have been good? Yes. and the same applies to other people who don't think they are good at something. can they be better? Yes.

amazingmumof6 Mon 01-Jul-13 16:07:05

garlicn you are spot on about calculus and languages being connected. it is proven that improving one improves the other -for example learning latin makes you use the same part of the brain as logic & maths do and more intensively too. ( don't know if being good at maths would help learning languages but I would not be surprised if it did)

I can't pull up links. a friend is a latin teacher and she told me this:
there was an effort in Florida years ago to teach latin in schools to Spanish speaking kids of poor backgrounds to help improve their language skills - which in return would have given them a better chance at education and so on.

the end of year results showed that not only their use of language improved, but to everyone's surprise their maths test results improved dramatically.
it was a significant enough difference that a lot of research & experiments were conducted to find out if learning latin really would help improve your maths skilks. ( or were they just a fluke)
they found the answer to be a resounding yes.

cory Mon 01-Jul-13 15:49:13

I think some people underestimate themselves and others overestimate themselves. As a university tutor I get to see both kinds.

The problem is that both kinds of lacking realism comes with a price.

In the case of over-estimating your abilities the price is often economic: spending money on fees for a course that you then fail, inisisting that your family have to live on subsistence level while you work away on your career as a writer or musician, because you are convinced success is just around the corner.

Sometimes it is physical: ruining joints that are not naturally strong enough or flexible enough for the intense work they need to do for gymnastics or ballet or athletics, neglecting your health by sitting for long hours over your books, high blood pressure or heart attacks due to stressful travelling.

The price of underestimating your abilities is often primarily economic: loss of potential wages.

But sometimes affects health, with dissatisfaction leading to stress, which then leads to physical illness.

garlicnutty Mon 01-Jul-13 15:45:19

But I'd rather have done a maths-based career than the talk-based one I was suited to. I bloody worked for it! But my talents are what they are, and I was successful in most senses of the word.

Massive diversion, but as you're a mathematician ... My geometry-blindness has stopped me getting any good at my preferred choice of second career (game programming,) but I am an absolute wizard at stats and discovered a gift for calculus: both disciplines can be approached, it turns out, from a "language" point of view, whereas vectors and shizz require linear logic.

FasterStronger Mon 01-Jul-13 15:42:31

cory To failing every exam + resits and keep spending more money on fees, because you won't listen to the tutors gently suggesting that perhaps some other path would be better for you?

I am not advocating ignoring experts.

FasterStronger Mon 01-Jul-13 15:36:47

gnutty ^ I'm inclined to feel you should be more ashamed of insisting anyone could do it, for in doing so you belittle others' talents along with your own.^

you don't have the most positive approach! I think many people can do more than they think they can. I think many people (esp women) underestimate themselves. of course most people could not be Usain Bolt however hard they tried. but most people don't want to be Mr Bolt.

garlicnutty Mon 01-Jul-13 15:35:59

Well illustrated, imo, cory.

FS, your adherence to brain plasticity as the answer to every perspective presented here is remarkable. It almost suggests a very non-plastic quality to your thinking.

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