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Some places that employed me in high tech told me a lot of lies. The biggest lies, of course, related to salary. :-) Usually, management liked to pretend that high tech employees were paid very well in relation to other folks in the middle class. (On a “per hour” basis, this is just not true. :-) ) Ask senior unionized folks in the trades, or certain police officers….

According to one ABC news aricle, a police sergeant (SERGEANT, mind you! :-) ) in Stockton, California earned nearly a quarter of a million dollars in 2009 and PLACED FOURTH among city employees in earnings for the year. Sergeant Jan Goodnight’s base pay was less than $100,000 (THAT much is good to hear), but her overtime (at this point, high tech employees say, “What means OVERTIME?:-) ) earned her over $100,000 more, for a total of $220,000.

A Stockton police spokesperson said that the officer took a lot of assignments that other sergeants turned down and gave up a lot of her free time.

Many of us who work/worked in high tech would say, “So what?” (… and, “What means FREE TIME?“) :-) Many of us were/are used to what,  as Inspector Harry Callahan once described, “Every dirty little job that comes along….” :-)

Some might say that the risks of police work justifiy the higher salaries. Others might say that the education, hours, and stress levels involved in other professions justify higher salaries than such professionals are currently paid.

The difference seems to be whether an employee could die quickly or slowly. I am not sure which is better. :-) In either case, the employee is dead. :-)

As I was leaving one position for another, one of my managers asked me whether my secretiveness in leaving was a case of not believing him or not trusting him. I replied with silence, and he offered a third possibility (an amazing feat for an “either-or,” “black-and-white” thinker). :-) Actually, the truth is that I neither believed him NOR trusted him, since he had shown with his actions that he was not believable nor trustworthy. :-) After you catch someone in lies, you should tend not to believe that person again. :-) And when a manager tries to trap you in an unchanging employment situation, you should try to get out…. The best way to beat linear thinkers is to feed them disinformation about your motivations and let them jump to the wrong conclusions (they WILL!) about your likely actions.

One person interviewed in the article cited above claimed that average salaries for government employees are 20% higher than in the private sector. If true, some pay scales are definitely out of line, and they are actually PROBABLY NOT the ones in the governmental sector.

The article above provides a link to download a spreadsheet of salaries of city employees in Stockton, California.

It is really too bad that we cannot download a similar list for employees in the private sector. Some things just can’t stand the light of day.

-Bill at

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