18 February 2011

15 money makes the world go round


if it is challenging to explain why one is good at what one does, it's damn near impossible to put a price on it.

i have been asked to establish my fee.

this is a process enormously complicated by the fact that my fee has, thus far, been in the very wee digits. but i'm trying to be a biographer. like, for real. and i know the very wee digits do not help me do that.

so i am sitting on the fainting couch that is symbolic of my adulthood trying to solve a problem i've wrestled with since i began baby-sitting in middle school, when i took whatever they gave me at the end of the night and sacrificed many a friday evening for $5.95.

please note: the national minimum wage was $4.75 per hour. mine was $1.98.

that's a monumental gap. as is the distance between $13.75 per hour and $75.

and while i know, in reality, i'm just determining the financial value of my hours, it feels like i'm being called upon to do so much more than that.

i've been asked to establish my fee. in doing so, i'm defining my value.

i'm sitting on the fainting couch that symbolizes my adulthood facing that girl who gave up her friday nights for $5.95.

it takes tremendous effort to not sell myself short. to admit what i think i'm worth.

15 comments:

Osutein said...

You're setting fees now? Nice!

Also, I don't know if you're worth it, but your writing damn well is.

(sorry, I felt a sudden need, provoked by pre-lunch hunger, to be simultaneously and passive-aggressively mean and complimentary).

Megan said...

Ooh, fee setting was easy for me but I had Medicare to thank for that. I'm usually around $100-150 an hour. However, I think you are priceless!

Lara Ehrlich said...

Go for it.

Linda said...

oh, how I hate babysitting, and all the peasant wages that accompany it. (PS..totally different when it is your own kid.)

somehow, I meant to tie this back into what you were talking about.

oh well.

oline said...

we'll see, sensei. it may come to naught. (and don't forget we've a NLB deadline today!)

and- dear general public- i'm curious: what, pray tell, do people pay now for babysitting? surely it's up to $20/hr by now. right? i mean, it's your kid and all so they're worth it...

jmillewitz said...

jut polled my co-workers, and the going rate in the suburbs is $10-$15 per hour depending on the age of the children.

oline said...

so maybe i should become a babysitter instead. we could start a club! omg, we could call it the baby-sitters club!! we could meet in claudia's bedroom every monday, wednesday, and friday from 5:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.!!!

Katie C said...

what I really need to know is, who are these people who are paying you 5.95? Really, I mean, who carries around that much change...
:)
Go big or go home my friend. We have an overseas adventure to fund.

oline said...

ok, ok. thus ends my briefly rejuvenated career in babysitting.

and the $5.95 people were paying me while they went to bible study. clearly they did not treat their oline as they themselves would have liked to be treated.

Linda said...

it does beg the question.. who in oline's world would be the mary-anne?

and :shudders: who would be the kristy? (not-it,not-it,not-it...)

oline said...

it goes without saying that kristy was the lesbian, right? i mean, i didn't even know what a lesbian was then but i'm pretty sure i knew kristy was one.

i would nominate partner for mary anne. she has the best penmanship after all. who are you, lindear? i have a sneaking suspicion i'm the dawn, if only because her wikipedia entry says she "enjoys taping movies from television" and we all know how 1992oline loved that.

Linda said...

totally a lesbian.

I'm not cool enough to be Stacy. I feel way more Mallory, most days. Plus she came from that big family.

oline said...

they had 8 kids. you'd think that alone would've kept the BSC in business.

jmillewitz said...

Can I be Claudia? not cause I think I'm cool enough, just because she had her own phone line and hid candy in her room.

oline said...

done and done.(and i swear, you look alarmingly kate middleton in your profile pic.)