Re: Sell-by date rant (was Re: Rates)

Subject: Re: Sell-by date rant (was Re: Rates)
From: "Katherine Noftz Nagel (Kat)" <lists -at- masterworkconsulting -dot- com>
To: Suzette Leeming <suzette -dot- leeming -at- gmail -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 12 Nov 2010 11:22:47 -0500

On 2010-11-12 10:01 AM, Suzette Leeming wrote:
> I recommend calling it "National Association of Grey-haired Geeks", thus
> avoiding gender issues.


> How do you compete with those young-uns who will work long hours for
> dirt cheap wages?

It's getting harder. Used to be, just trot out my referencess and my
rate scale -- my Fixer rate is double my Do-It-Right-the-First-Time rate
-- and it would be a done deal.

Then, for a while, the hiring manager was usually young enough that they
hadn't been through the Cheap Writer = Support Hell cycle, and I'd get
the higher-rate Fixer job a year later. A little frustrating, but I
wound up making the same income with fewer projects.

Now, unfortunately, neither strategy works. There are enough of us
quality writers that are deep in freelance famine, or recently laid off
from full-time jobs, but still need to pay mortgages and car insurance
premiums and feed our families. The last contract I went after was for
an onsite contract position in a city 90 miles from home. In addition
to dealing with the Granny Geek factor, I was competing against 200+
local writers and engineers, many of whom had been out of work for over
a year and had moved back in with their parents. Their very low living
expenses meant that they were willing to take $9/hour for the length of
the contract, which would have barely covered my gas and tolls for the
180 mile round-trip daily commute.

> Then again, if a company has a culture of youth over experience - do you
> really want to work there?

Yes, just as I wanted to work for the companies with the
women-can't-do-science cultures. Besides enjoying the work and needing
to pay my share of the mortgate, I purely LOVE proving those people wrong!

Kat Nagel, Owner, MasterWork Consulting

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Sell-by date rant (was Re: Rates): From: Katherine Noftz Nagel (Kat)
Re: Sell-by date rant (was Re: Rates): From: Suzette Leeming

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