How To Negotiate a Pay Cut

Dear Cubicle Coach:

My company says they like me but can't afford my salary anymore-they need me to take a 25 percent pay cut. Can they do this? Am I nuts to consider it?

Dear Slashed Salary:

Yes, they can do it, although CC questions why they'd want someone on the staff spineless enough to accept such a deal. First, try to negotiate a four-day workweek to compensate for the cut. If that fails, well, what's your level of financial peril? Daddy still "helping out"? Could your sock-puppet collection bring a nice sum on eBay? How quickly can you line up another job (always easier when you still have one)? Do you need to suck it up for a while? Listen to CC and listen to CC now: If you do stick around and take the cut, there's only one person in the universe you'll hate more than the boss, and you can guess who it is.

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