Working forty plus hours with the same people week after week, co-workers commonly develop close friendships. And with long weeks comes some amount of down time, which leads to conversations which leads to deeper trust levels. All this is great for company morale. But that friendship can end abruptly if someone senses the boss is playing favorites, especially with salaries. The “I’ll tell you mine if you tell me yours,” conversation starter always has the same ending: someone is going to walk away mad.
Let’s say you are earning far more than your co-worker for the same job. You did not mean to let your pay rate slip out. Maybe you overheard what someone else was making and you acted surprised; maybe you laughed out loud. Now your colleague is curious. He wants to know why you never complain about low wages. She wonders why you eat out every day, when everyone else brings a sandwich from home.