I never wondered much about my pay relative to my coworkers. Most of them are close to retirement age, so it never seemed important. After all, I’m certainly making less than them because I have about 30 years less experience (some of these people have worked for my company longer than I’ve been alive).
One coworker, however, is close to my age group. He’s a year or so older than me, with an additional advanced degree. I’d been wondering what he made, sort of idly, wondering if another degree was worthwhile. Plus, this guy bought a house earlier this year, so I was a little curious about that since it feels like I can’t afford anything.
Because my group works out of a customer site, we have special device that automatically generates a password so we can get behind my company’s firewall. We use this for things like timecards, payroll, expense reports, etc. If you forget this doohickey, you can usually get in under a coworker’s account.
My coworker’s card was malfunctioning, so he logged in under my name. However, he failed to log out properly, so the next time I logged in, I went straight into his account.
An electronic form of his paycheck was right there.
You guys, I peeked.
I feel really guilty, but I don’t know why. After all, it’s not like my knowledge makes him earn any less. I probably could have guessed his salary from the information my company supplies. Also, I could have done worse – bank account account information, management reviews, and retirement account balances are all stored in there. I saw the paycheck, got hit with the guilt, and logged the hell out.
Still, the damage was more in the violation of his privacy. I’m sure he didn’t want me looking at that.
What’s worse, I know I shouldn’t have done it, and yet I’m glad I did. I’m glad I know.
What would you do if presented with such a situation? Would you peek at a coworker’s paycheck?