That Girl Down The Block Is Cheaper
I have a hard time placing a value on my work. That's the worst part about being a freelancer. I find myself wanting to give away my services as often as I charge for them. Not because I'm so very good-hearted, but because I have a hard time believing that I am worthy of being paid a going rate. Given all the articles out there about "how to ask for a raise" and "making what you're really worth" I suspect I am not alone in this.
After many years I've come to believe that the majority of employers understand this quirk of human nature and eagerly exploit it. Twice I've worked in companies where I started as a temp and continued to earn temp wages while performing management-level duties. It's cheaper for the company who hires you (obviously) and in many cases a temp comes from a different budget than a full-time employee. Part of our current employment culture is to rely heavily on an arsenal of 'temp-to-hire' workers to whom the company is not fully accountable. It's good for American business and shareholders because it decreases costs and increases profit margin. If you're the poor fellow or gal whose been a "temp" for a year and a half, it's less lovely.
This brings me to the latest announcement regarding Michael Rosenblum's VJ Revolution And Dance Party. I think Mr. Rosenblum has some good ideas and sees some possibilities. Yet every time the topic has come up, the pay scale seems to be the hitch. As Terry Heaton comments
His most pressing need now is for an Executive Producer for D.C. ... The pay isn't much, especially for the market sizes where the test is being conducted, but that's seldom the point for a start-up.
I seriously question this rationale. Even the biggest companies realise that they can't bring temps in for the executive level positions. It would seem to me to be more common sense to invest the cash in a seasoned Exec Prod with finely-honed chops, ready to take on the establishment with knowledge gained from within the trenches. I can understand the rationale for paying less than scale for novice product, but the knowledge to be an Executive Producer is not earned without expense and should be compensated.
This is coming to be my main problem with Mr. Rosenblum's Revolution. He talks grandly of his large paydays (and, admittedly, losses) yet he doesn't seem to believe much in trickle-down theory of employment. Yes, we have a video revolution. Will there be large paydays in it for anyone?