How usual is it for your manager bring up how high is your salary to criticize your performance and delivery output? That happened to me and I found it to be rather offensive.

EDIT - I did deliver everything given to me in the estimated time frame. However it was also mentioned that "the other guys" would have done it in half the time.

  • @Carpetsmoker salary. I edited the question, thank you – user1220 May 13 '17 at 21:16
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    This seems to be a weird way of saying "you don't deliver what we pay for". – simbabque May 13 '17 at 21:20
  • "I did deliver everything given to me in the estimated time frame. However it was also mentioned that "the other guys" would have done it in half the time." - Who's estimation? Are those estimations based on their opinion of your productivity (which they seem to think is half that of your peers)? – Glen Pierce May 14 '17 at 4:38

I think this sort of conversation is fairly unusual. Criticizing performance is not so unusual - most managers try to find at least little things they can tell you to improve - but to actually say "we're paying you too much..." Seems weird. However, it's difficult to tell what this means precisely without more context what it means.

It might mean that your boss is a jerk and trying to control you or possibly set the stage for telling you you're getting a pay cut. In that case, you're right to take offense and you may want to consider looking for a new job, as it would seem he's starting to look for ways to drive you out.

On the other hand, it might be legitimate criticism of your performance and an honest opinion that your salary is too high for what you're giving them. In this case, rather than being offended you might want to consider ways you can improve your performance in order to justify your salary (OR start looking for a new job...)

There was a guy at our workplace who was recently in the latter category, and most people knew it. Not to go into the gorey details, but he basically sold himself as a senior when he was interviewing, secured a salary to match, and then completely failed to make good on the quality of work a senior ought to deliver. He ended up opting for the "new job" option.


Without knowing more details of the situation it's hard to say how justified the criticism is, but you can either take it seriously and try to improve, or you can begin preparing to move on.

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    Thank you. I found it weird because I did deliver what I was given, but I have the impression they are looking for me to work "like the other guys" - which means 12 hour work day many times. – user1220 May 13 '17 at 21:55
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    @user1220 Maybe they do. If everyone else works that long, it may have become expected as part of the office culture. If that's the case and you're not comfortable with it (I don't blame you BTW) then I would definitely recommend looking for new opportunities. They probably can't legally fire you for refusing to work that long, but they sure can make your life miserable if they want to. – Steve-O May 13 '17 at 22:10

While the phrasing is not particularly diplomatic or polite, the gist of the message is a fairly normal thing: Your boss thinks that you are not delivering to her expectations.

Expectations are set through various things: job grades, job descriptions, commitments, track record, etc. Compensation is certainly a major factor too. Quite frankly, your boss thinks you are getting paid more than you are worth.

That's an unpleasant message to receive, but it's not offensive. Your best answer is something along the lines of "Sorry, it looks like I'm not meeting your expectations. What should I be doing differently? What specific things do you want me to change".

  • If you paid 4k a month to get a special dinner delivered to you every day, but half the time you get a hamburger instead of a 3 course meal from an experienced chef, I'm sure you would be unhappy too :) – Juha Untinen May 14 '17 at 8:34

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