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Subject:Re: Low Pay vs. No Pay From:Peter <pnewman1 -at- optonline -dot- net> To:"TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com> Date:Tue, 25 Jun 2002 18:04:32 -0400
Bruce Byfield wrote:
> I suppose that there's at least two arguments in favor of holding out:
> - The solidarity argument: Taking low paying jobs hurts other writers.
> Whether you accept this argument probably depends on whether you believe
> in collective actions, and whether you believe that other writers would
> do the same for you. Personally, I believe in collective action, but
> when I consider the backstabbing and exploitation that are the norm in
> the STC (which you'd think would have at least a tendency to believe in
> solidarity), I have no faith that many other writers would do the same
> for me.
> - The long-term argument: Taking a low paying job may help in the
> short-term, but will hurt you in the long term. This argument is a
> fairly practical one, but whether you can follow its logic depends on
> whether you can afford to turn down a low-paying offer. If you're short
> of money, you might not be able to think in the long term. I certainly
> wouldn't stand in judgement of anyone who went for the short term; the
> decision is hard to make.
It's a fine line, we walk. Most of us on this list have a need to eat
and the safety nets may not be as secure as we all hope they would be. I
have seen ads in the NY area at $10 to $12 per hour for Tech Writers
with at least five years experience. I sincerely question how much value
a company places on someone who would work at that level of pay. I also
question how much value a person who works at that rate places on
themselves. I would rather flip burgers for a smidgen above minimum
wage, then sell my extraordinary professional skills for less than what
they are worth.
"When a man sits with a pretty girl for an hour, it seems like a
minute. But let him sit on a hot stove for a minute-and it's
longer than any hour. That's relativity,"
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