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‘Your wage, your rules’: Netizens sound off on treating relatives, officemates with 1st paycheck 

Rappler Lifestyle Team

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‘Your wage, your rules’: Netizens sound off on treating relatives, officemates with 1st paycheck 
'When I first got my salary, I was coerced by the whole team to treat them,' one netizen shares. Can you relate?

Congrats! You’ve just received your first paycheck – and you want to celebrate. But before you can even think of how to pamper yourself, here come your relatives and workmates asking for a treat. 

Sure, all these “Uy, manlibre ka naman (You should treat us out)” remarks may be thrown around in jest, but as a new hire, you can’t help but wonder if declining might put you in a bad position with your team or worse, your family.

We asked our Rappler readers how they feel about this practice, and here’s what they have to say: 

Several took the chance to share their own experiences, with some saying that they were even required by their bosses to treat the whole office (one user said that their team had about 150 workers) and weren’t even given the chance to say no! 

Siya namili ng place (Our boss chose the place) and our choice [wasn’t] considered,” one comment said. 

Another Twitter user recalled the time they worked for the first time in Manila with “little to no budget.“

“When I first got my salary, I was coerced by the whole team to treat them,” they said. “They did not even give me a chance to set a budget and just said, just give this amount and they will do the rest.” 

Some Rappler readers described the practice as a toxic Filipino tradition: “This is a form of hazing in the workplace,” one comment read.

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Other comments that echoed this sentiment were: “Bullying ‘yan (That’s bullying), and, “Hindi siya obligasyon, kaso ginagawa kasing tradisyon (It’s not an obligation, but it’s been turned into a tradition).” 

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Others pointed out that in companies abroad, it’s even the other way around – it’s usually the team that treats the new hires out.

“One person picking up the whole tab is an undue burden. I wouldn’t let anyone do that for me. It is very inconsiderate,” said another reader.

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Many also reiterated that while it is “nice to share,” it should also “never be expected or demanded.”

Between relatives and officemates, though, many Rappler readers are more willing to treat their family members using their first salary, especially if it’s their immediate kin. Some even admit to giving portions of their paycheck to their family. 

“‘Yung mga tumutulong lang sa akin, syempre (Only those who’ve helped me, of course), they deserve a treat from my first paycheck,” one said, while another shared: “It’s not required. But it’s highly recommended to treat those who helped you reach your goals.”

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It is precisely this reasoning that makes several readers hesitant to treat their workmates, as these are people they’ve only recently met and haven’t really formed a bond with. 

Pareho kami sumasahod at kumakayod para magkapera, bakit ko ililibre? (We’re both working and trying to earn money, so why should I treat them)?” one comment read. 

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Majority of the sentiments, though, emphasized the importance of putting yourself first and not spending the money on anybody else.

“Save that paycheck for future use and pay yourself first,” one comment read, while a separate user said: “Treat yourself first before others, as you did a great job in the process of getting that first paycheck.”

A Twitter user stressed that prioritizing yourself doesn’t mean that you’re selfish: “I applied for a job because I wanted to become independent.”

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Another reader also shared advice they’ve gotten from their mother: “Wait for the next to next salary to spend on ‘important and necessary needs’ and not ‘wants.’ Wait until you’re stable enough financially before giving a treat to anybody else.” 

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“The first paycheck should be used for personal bills, wants, and investments,” another said, adding: “Do not pour from an empty cup.”

Need natin baguhin ang mindset natin. Walang masama sa paglibre pero mas hindi masama kung unahin mo muna sarili mo, dahil papaano mo lalagyan ang wallet ng iba kung ikaw, wala at kulang pa?” they said.

(We have to change our mindset. There’s nothing wrong with giving treats, but it’s better if you put yourself first, because how would you be able to treat other people when you don’t even have enough for yourself?)

For other Rappler readers, the choice all boils down to the new hire. 

“It is up to the one who earned, since that’s their money. The decision to treat family members or officemates should be done out of the earner’s generosity, and not due to peer pressure,” one comment said. 

Another wrote: “If you feel obliged, don’t do it. Only go for it if you truly feel like doing so.”

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“Your wage, your rules. Much better to save first because you’ll never know what’s ahead,” an Instagram user wrote, while another said: “I don’t think there is any rule in giving, except that maybe it should be what’s from your heart. Willingly. Otherwise, it becomes a burden.” 

How about you? Are you willing to treat relatives and workmates with your first paycheck? Share your thoughts in the comments section. – Rappler.com

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