Money Manners 2: Lunch

Best practices for borrowing, lending, and paying up front.

Trent Armstrong
3-minute read

The Borrower

Your co-workers are not your bank. They are also not your close friends or relatives, so resist any temptation you have to borrow money from a co-worker. The instances we have already discussed are probably the most common in which asking to borrow money may occur, either for food or (as in Episode 53) for a gift.  Unless the co-worker is a very close friend outside of work, borrowing money from them puts that person in a very awkward position. Your co-worker's financial life is none of your business, but asking to borrow money from him or her can start to make it your business. You can never be certain if asking for even a small amount of money can cause financial strain on someone so I recommend staying away from those situations entirely.

On the other side of that coin, if you are the one being asked for money, you should not feel any obligation to satisfy their request (unless you have previously imposed upon this person, in which case, you probably owe them one!). You can try to approach this on a case by case basis, but my advice is to keep it to a minimum so as not to show favoritism.

Salary Talk

I have one more thing to bring up here, and it's something over which people have lost their jobs. If you were supposed to know how much another person makes at your company, the employee handbook would not specifically state to NOT discuss salaries. There is an actual reason for this rule and not just a power trip by management to control you.  If you have ever managed a group of people, you realize even more that salaries are not always equal with the talent level. There are periods of disparity due to any number of reasons like demand for the job, number of years of experience, etc. You still might wonder how much the next person is making and if you are being treated fairly, but the fact of the matter is that if you actually knew what they made, it would probably create a bad situation. Bitterness or pride, neither case is good and each will create tension in the workplace, and that isn't good for business.  Just work hard and do your best to make sure you are being paid what you are worth.  Don't worry about things you don't know or cannot control.

Thank you for listening to The Modern Manners Guy's Quick and Dirty Tips for a More Polite Life. And thanks to Derek Norton of The MannersCast for guest writing this episode. Visit mannerscast.com to learn more about the guys of The MannersCast.

Transcripts of this show can be found at manners.quickanddirtytips.com. Please email any questions or comments to manners@quickanddirtytips.com or feel free to leave a voicemail at 406-666-4MRM.

The Modern Manners Guy is part of the Quick and Dirty Tips network which has published its first book -- Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing. Buy it now anywhere books are sold.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock


About the Author

Trent Armstrong
The Quick and Dirty Tips Privacy Notice has been updated to explain how we use cookies, which you accept by continuing to use this website. To withdraw your consent, see Your Choices.