Monday, August 9, 2010

Life Is Not Fair

Recently two friends of mine rambling about their "psychological imbalance" towards money matters.

One of them, C, an ex-classmate of mine and currently in education field, told me about how she felt that life is unfair as one of her colleague charged double the fees that my dear C charged in her tuition lessons. C is of the opinion that her colleague has over-charged in tuition fees and that her colleague does not "qualify" to charge that high (as C thought that her colleague is not that up-to-standard after all).

Another one, S, also an ex-classmate of mine and currently in construction field, told me how she felt that life is unfair as one of her ex-classmate in University earned double the salary that S is earning now. S is of the opinion that she has been ill-treated by her company by underpaid salary. Hence, C and S are now consider themselves on the same boat and embrace each other on their "ill-fate".

This is my two cents worth. C and S's case are totally two different matters and cannot be placed on a par. The two cannot be mentioned in the same breath.

Tuition fees and salary are two different matters. Tuition fees is offered by the teacher (C) and regardless of what is the price, it is all depends on whether the parents think it is worthy or not. In other word, say a price and the parents will consider whether it is worthy of the services rendered/price paid.

I used to provide tuition lessons many years ago. It was a one-to-one tuition class, RM25 per session, 2 hours per session, twice a week. My brother also provide tuition lessons when he studied his A-Level. It was also a one-to-one tuition class, but he charged double my fees with the same duration of time. If you asked me, i never considered my tuition fees under-charged. In fact, i think it was reasonable considering the mother of my tuition student often provides me with meals at the end of tuition lessons (which is a cost in itself).

I just thought that C can always revise her tuition fees if she really thinks that she has under-charged but at the same time, she is wary of the fact that she might lose some of her students due to price-hike.

On the other hand, salary is often offered by the employer to the employee (S). It is the employer who consider whether S is worthy of the salary paid. S may ask for an expected salary that she thinks she worth but it is up to the employer to determine the salary amount.

When i just joined my previous company, i was offered an X amount of salary. I took the offer as i thought that the salary is reasonable and not very far from my expectation. More than a year later, my previous company employed another one for the same position with the same working experience, but with a salary of RM200 more than what i got when i first joined.

A colleague of mine from the same batch felt that it is very unfair for someone to receive a higher pay when the position and working experience is all the same. However, this is not an issue for me. I always think that everyone has a price that he or she worth in the working arena, be it academically or capability.

If i were to look for a reason for a RM200 more in salary, i would say that the new staff excelled academically than i am and the new staff used to work in the company on a part-time basis and from there, my boss got to know what kind of employee he is looking at. As opposed to someone like me whom he never met, of course there would be lots of doubts arising.

S can try to voice out her concerns to her boss and see what are the reactions. If the company thinks that this is what S worth and S thinks that she has been under-paid, S can always opt for a better job elsewhere. However, S must first prove her worth and strive to place herself in the same salary range as her ex-coursemate. After all, there is no free lunch in this world. Everything comes with a price.

Like Bill Gates said “Life is not fair - get used to it". You must accept that life is unfair. You must learn to adapt to your life, then change it.


  1. Everyone should have his/her confidence that he/she deserve the rewards for what he/she had offered.

  2. Yes. That's why i think my ex-classmate can choose to leave if she thinks she deserve more. Who knows maybe she can get a better reward in some other company.