My wife the job hunting instructional designer

Subject: My wife the job hunting instructional designer
From: Ron Sering CDS <ronaldse -at- MANX -dot- CDS -dot- TEK -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 27 Aug 1997 15:18:45 MDT

Well, my wife has found work, but she's being thrown a few curves from her prospective employer. Perhaps you can help cut through this.

We have both posted questions before about this issue, but here's a summary: my wife has been seeking entry-level work as an instructional designer/CBT developer. She has some experience in CBT, having done a very nice CBT course for a large community college. She has decided to seek fortune and glory in the private sector.

After a couple months of job-hunting with a couple of near-misses, she has been offered contract work at a small documentation/training development firm. The owner, founder and undisputed grand poobah of the firm has indicated that they would prefer to pay her a lump sum, based on a 40-hour work week for a 3 month contract, rather than a straight hourly rate for hours worked. The reason for this: she says she doesn't want to "pay for her to learn the job;" if the work took longer to complete than the planned hours (we don't know how these "planned" hours were planned, or if they were selected arbitrarily), my wife would have to essentially work for free or at a reduced hourly rate.

This little curveball is a new one on me; I've been sheltered in my salary-paid positions for too long to really counsel her wisely on this issue. Is this a kosher thing for someone to do? On the surface, it seems okay; I know that lump-sum fees are sometimes the payment of choice. But IMHO it seems like the person hiring her should be willing to bear some of the cost of helping someone learn the ropes.

Thoughts?

- Ron Sering-not-Serling

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