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To think that SOME high earners don't work that hard?

(572 Posts)
Usernamemcname Mon 07-Oct-19 18:01:04

I'm a domestic cleaner. The people I clean for are usually quite well off, five bedrooms in a posh suburb of an expensive city. They are often in whilst I clean, sometimes they come back whilst I'm here.
I see a lot and I know they are in quite high paid jobs. Yet they always seem to be 'working from home' also known as fannying about the kitchen a lot and playing X Box. A lot of them either start late (10am so they miss the traffic) and finish early. One dad picks his daughter up from school every day even though his wife is at home!
I was always told that you have to work hard to get what you want in life, so why do I have to work two jobs whilst my partner works 45+ hours and we just scrape by? What have these people done to be so lucky? They're not old, seem around my age, what jobs do they do and why can't I do them, I have a degree.
Life just seems unfair sometimes. Unless it's a doctor, I'm sure I could have a crack at it. grin

ssd Mon 07-Oct-19 18:04:39

I know. My last job was the hardest physically I've ever done, in catering. I got min wage.

But it was a job anyone could have done.

I imagine high paying jobs are more specialised. And take years of studying and experience.

seaweedandmarchingbands Mon 07-Oct-19 18:07:30

There isn’t a direct correlation between how hard you work and how much you are paid. If there was, people working 20 hours a day in China making phone components would be very rich.

JellyBellies Mon 07-Oct-19 18:09:59

I agree. I work in IT. I get a good wage. But my job isn't physically hard. I just happen to be good at it and lucky enough to get a graduate opening after university.

A lot of the time it's about being at the right place at the right time. And it helps if you are from a well off background yourself as you are them more likely to be in the right place at the right time.

Most people who say that they deserve the money they earn because they work hard have no idea of the privilege that got them there in the first place.

Of course, there are exceptions to the above but they are the exceptions, not the rule.

Flamingolegs Mon 07-Oct-19 18:10:24

I agree, it's not proportionate. My DH earns 3x my salary but doesn't work 3x as hard!

The biggest earners I know work for themselves and some of those do put in lots of hours but usually evenings/ weekends too and so you may not see that side of it.

Usernamemcname Mon 07-Oct-19 18:11:05

@seaweedandmarchingbands I know, but I just keep thinking back to that fable about the mouse who saved up nuts for the winter and how it's basically a load of old arse.

seaweedandmarchingbands Mon 07-Oct-19 18:12:39

It is.

luckygreeneyes Mon 07-Oct-19 18:14:13

I wonder if your my cleaner.... although I don’t play the Xbox she may have a similar view.

What she doesn’t see are the 10pm calls with America or the 6ams with Asia. She doesn’t see the work trips where I’m away for days at a time.

Also she probably doesn’t see that what I can achieve in an hour even my husband admits he often couldn’t do in several. It’s just the way I work.

The main point though is that what I do generates ££££ for the organisation I work for and that is what my pay is in relation to not how many hours I put in.

I do frequently work 50-60 hours a week though and my phone is always on BUT I would never pretend I work as hard as nurses for example, because I don’t.

luckygreeneyes Mon 07-Oct-19 18:14:51


MediocreOmens Mon 07-Oct-19 18:16:14

The high earners I know worked incredibly hard at the beginning, did extra qualifications etc, took lots of risks and are now able to sit back and relax a bit. I know that's not the case with all of them though. I think sometimes we see a person's amazing lifestyle now and assume it's always been that way when it's often not the case (unless you have a large trust fund!)

SoreHead22 Mon 07-Oct-19 18:18:22

Absolutely! The higher I go, the more I 'oversee' and 'delegate' smile But I've worked up to this point. I don't earn loads, but more than average wage. My DH's bosses are on 3 figure salaries and all they seem to do is attend meetings, delegate and oversee. You can only oversee though, and delegate, once you fully understand the people and business you r overseeing, and no who can handle what tasks and supervise them well. Most of that comes from years climbing the ranks and lots of qualifications alongside in some cases.

If you want to earn more by doing less, you need to climb the ranks. Could you get a supervisor post in your cleaning firm? Then move to regional supervisor? Then area manager? Or start your own cleaning firm? Tough graft to start with, but you could look to hire others as the business grows, expand, and soon you'll be raking in the cash while 'overseeing' the business..

NotSuchASmugMarriedNow1 Mon 07-Oct-19 18:18:25

I completely agree OP.

As if a CEO works harder than an NHS nurse doing a night shift in A and E.

RicStar Mon 07-Oct-19 18:19:05

Yup I get paid quite a lot for not working particularly hard (but I did work hard(er) when younger and studied a lot so I am paid for my expertise, plus my role is pretty boring so doesnt appeal to people in the way say journalism does. I definitely dont think the labour market is perfect or fair but I dont know what system would be. I am quite lazy and wouldn't have studied if there was no pay off.

Bellringer Mon 07-Oct-19 18:20:25

Capitalism. Google the money trick, from Robert tressell, the ragged trousered philanthropist

seaweedandmarchingbands Mon 07-Oct-19 18:21:11

The labour market is supply and demand, like the market for goods and services. I have to pay a CEO a certain amount because they have skills I can’t find easily and (sometimes) because I don’t want those skills in the service of my competitors.

Usernamemcname Mon 07-Oct-19 18:22:13

@luckygreeneyes I admit we both probably don't see eachother's side without a bit of prejudice. The question I want to ask is how do you know that I couldn't do your job as well as you do? I expect you could do my job, and perhaps my other job as an nhs administrator, which is very stressful and low paid. I have to negotiate lots in that job, delegate, smooth egos, invent new revenue schemes. It's pretty varied.

RufusthebewiIderedreindeer Mon 07-Oct-19 18:22:54

dh works hard

He leaves the house at 7am and gets back at 7pm, he sometimes works during the evening at home or at work

He frequently takes phonecalls and answers emails at home

But he absolutely appreciates that he is very lucky to be paid well for the hard work he does and that other people work as hard is not harder in more physical jobs......he doesn’t take it for granted

Joey7t8 Mon 07-Oct-19 18:23:09

It’s often about how hard you work to get to a position where you earn a high income. Most high earners work their arses off at the start of their careers to get promoted up the ladder. And anyone that runs a successful business will have done similar when they started out.

cavendish4 Mon 07-Oct-19 18:23:24

Quite honestly here, the hard work comes before they earn the big salaries. No offence, but a domestic cleaner is unlikely to have studied hard for a top tier degree at a top uni to then do a professional qualification to then get up the ranks in their 20s/30s.... they usually graft hard young and reap the rewards later. typical in finance industry.

Also - jobs with high risk also have high payouts

beautifulstranger101 Mon 07-Oct-19 18:23:28

Ok, there are a few things going on here that you are missing. I wouldn't consider myself a "high earner" but I did start my own business about year ago. I have put everything I have into this business and if I'm on track, my projections indicate that in about 3 years time, I'll be able to sit back and take lots of time off and reap the benefits (so- I will possibly be one of the people you are referring to). You are asking if this is fair. In my opinion, yes, it is very much fair and I'll tell you why. Firstly, I risked everything to start my business- I took out a huge loan which I secured on my house. This means that I could lose my house if this business goes bust. Secondly, in the last year I have taken 1 week off. Only one week, for the entire year. Thirdly, I answer emails well into the night and have been on call for 24 hours a day (including Christmas day last year!) for a small proportion of that time. So basically, I have worked my ass off in the last year and will continue to do so until the day I can be like the people you refer to in your OP. Are you saying that after all this hard work, its "unfair" of me to take it easy in a few years time? How do you know that the people in your OP haven't also worked their asses off to get to the point they are now. Its highly rare that anyone could laze around all day and earn a 6 figure salary. If you catch me in 4 years time you might also make the same judgement about me, being totally unaware of the immense risks and hard work I have taken to get to that point. So, what I am saying is- you really have no idea what those people have been through to get to where they are. BTW- I get sick and tired of people saying I am "lucky" when it has nothing whatsoever to do with luck - its hard work that has got me where I am now and nothing else.

Woodlandwitch Mon 07-Oct-19 18:23:41

I also think that some people get to a certain point of earnings and savings and decide to sort out their work life balance and reduce stress by decreasing hours.

I work only 3 days a week now but earn what I did at full time 45-50 hour weeks just 2 years ago

BrokenWing Mon 07-Oct-19 18:23:54

I was always told that you have to work hard to get what you want in life,

You've got to work clever as well as hard (and get a big slice of luck along the way).

Ellisandra Mon 07-Oct-19 18:24:53

You don’t see everything though.
I’m not super wealthy (5 not 6 figure income) but I earn what to me is a lot - and well above the average income.

If you came to my house when I’m working from home, you’d definitely see me fannying about!

What you might not see, is that for the last 3 weeks I started at 07:30. That I have to work Xmas Day / Boxing Day / NYD. That I regularly work very long days. That I travel for work and can “lose” my personal life for a week for that, with no financial recompense - at least, not additional - I consider it part of my salary. I am managing huge budgets and making some pretty big decisions - sometimes the sort of thing that you can’t switch off from at night /the weekend.

World’s smallest violin - I love my job, I’m well paid, when I’m at home I can do a bit of fannying. But it isn’t the full picture.

Also you’re MORE likely to see me fannying when you’re there, as I find one person in the house quite distracting!

Oh - just remembered... I took calls on 3 days in my honeymoon, and worked for 4 hours on one day. I’m not a workaholic with poor boundaries, I never usually work in holiday. But some big shit was going down.

I absolutely do not think that effort = reward. But I do think it’s easy to judge incorrectly!

FredaFox Mon 07-Oct-19 18:25:32

My manager was promoted this year, now on triple figures. Shes always worked extremely hard but since moving into her current MD role she spends half her life in meetings and phone calls, has to travel to London frequency (from the north) so long days and staying away from home. It’s not an easy life and she deserves every penny
I’m her assistant and on a decent enough salary and I work 50+ hours a week, I’ve worked my way up. Sadly not enough for a cleaner though I’d love one

RufusthebewiIderedreindeer Mon 07-Oct-19 18:28:46

But yeah I’m sure some high earners dont work that hard

Sorry...delayed reply

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