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I just started a new job in Feb as a case manager in a sheltered work center for mentally and physically handicapped adults. I'm 24 with a BS in Psychology. I am making Salary, around $24,000 a year (Low for this position I know, but it's a nonprofit company). I have a co-worker who basically does the same job as me, but she doesn't have a degree, and has a different title, and she only makes like 9$ an hour. She is almost 40, and has worked there for over three years. And even though she is teaching me my job, I am actaully higher up in rank than she is! It just feels so weird. Here I am coming in making a good bit more than she does (i've never told her how much I make, but she knows I'm salary), and I'm higher ranking than her, but she's been there longer, is older, knows moreab out the job than I do, and is teaching me my job. Has anyone else ever been in this position? How did you handle it? The other day she came to me asking for my approval on something and I just like whoa! This is weird. I've disscuseed with ehr before about approaching things together instead of me being a supervisor and it's something we have agreed on. She still deferes to me for a lot of stuff though.

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Asked by Anonymous at 10:30 PM on Mar. 27, 2011 in Money & Work

Answers (12)
  • How is that awkward? Some people, especially older women who are married and are basically financially secure, don't really care about salary... a job is more of a way to get them out of the house per se. I don't find that anything to feel awkward about. Most places have a thing against salary discussion anyway. Oh and I might add that some older women, like myself, want NOTHING to do with responsibility on the job... that's why we leave it up to you youngins!!!

    Answer by m-avi at 10:35 PM on Mar. 27, 2011

  • that is kind of a sticky situation. i'm sorry your stuck there. maybe she doesn't care, i mean has she asked for a raise? maybe like the post above says she doesn't care.

    Answer by SunflowerMom10 at 10:37 PM on Mar. 27, 2011

  • I would think they would hire within before going outside of the organization or whatever, which means she either didnt want the hours, or responsibility of your job..or they wont hire her because of her lack of educational background! To her it just may not be worth going back to school for that!! I would have thought that with experience she could apply to move up and it would have taken the place of education, but in some cases I dont think it can be an either or situation, your REQUIRED to have atleast a BS and maybe your position is one of those!! I would feel a little weird too! I have trained a supervisor before! It does suck!!

    Answer by sweetstkissez22 at 10:38 PM on Mar. 27, 2011

  • Sounds like she's giving you the respect you deserve because you are the boss(eventhough she knows the job better than you) and is looking for you to treat her as the valued employee that she is. I would encourage the "team effort" because it makes for happier employees but one day something will happen where you will have to "pull rank" and be the boss and it won't matter how much experience she has.I think over time the awkwardness will go away but I suggest letting things continue the y way they are to avoid possible difficulties later.

    Answer by Alynn74 at 10:38 PM on Mar. 27, 2011

  • You went to school and got the degree , you earned the salary. She probably could to if she really wanted but like m-avi suggested she probably doesn't care about the income as much.

    She's asking you for approval out of respect since it's your ass on the line if something goes wrong since your the superior. Don't feel weird about it this is just how business works. As long as your not acting like a know it all and being rude she's unlikely to have a problem with your age or position.

    Answer by kayslay at 10:38 PM on Mar. 27, 2011

  • yeah. i know what you mean. was the manager for a person who was older and wiser. i asked her for advice and she gave it. she definately did not want the position as manager. Maybe your co worker doesn't want the responsibility.

    Answer by nonni2 at 10:40 PM on Mar. 27, 2011

  • It would make since if she didn't want the responsibility, but we have almost the EXACT same job! The only difference is she has to take all her paperwork to the big boss to get signed off on and I don't just because I have a degree and a different job title. Her title is "Program manager" mine is "QMRP". It's just weird. And NO ONE in our company has gotten a raise in over 5 years.

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 10:42 PM on Mar. 27, 2011

  • I would think she must know she's more experienced but for whatever reason (degree) they gave you the higher position (congrats). It is a little awkward. Keep it professional, be proud but humble. It never feels good to be passed over (unless you're Jewish!)

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:54 PM on Mar. 27, 2011

  • You can't feel awkward or weird. It will happen the rest of your life. If you are higher up than her in terms of your position, then you should act like it. The business world isn't always fair, and unfortunately sometimes women don't understand that. We like to be all nicey nicey.

    You can be nice and professsional, but remember, if you are higher than her, you also have higher expectations on you, so you need to remember that.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:02 PM on Mar. 27, 2011

  • I would look at this job as a "resume builder". You will learn a lot, and get fantastic experience.

    Answer by rkoloms at 6:00 AM on Mar. 28, 2011

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