Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A Little Rant About Fair Wages

I check Craig's List almost every day for writing jobs. I've found many good leads there, a few of which turned into paying projects.

But sometimes what I see there cranks up my irritability to PMS levels. For example: This ad for a customer service process documenter for a downtown IT company requires a fastidious, skilled and detail-oriented writer who can generate well-written reports based upon the data she collects, and who can also interact comfortably and professionally with customers on the phone.

They are paying minimum wage ($8 per hour) for this communication maven--which basically means that they're looking for someone just out of high school. A Starbucks barista makes more than that ($8.80 per hour). So does a receptionist ($9.18 - $12.46 per hour), a clerical assistant (up to $12.33 per hour), and a babysitter who is still in high school ($10 per hour). The IT company probably pays more per hour for its janitor.

What is up with employers not valuing a skill that most college graduates don't even have? If someone who pours coffee, taps a calculator, answers the phone, cleans toilets, or watches TV while your kids sleep makes more than what you want to pay your writer, then, let's be honest, you are not really seeking a candidate with "exceptional writing skills."

Phew. All-righty, then. I feel better.


Boy George said...

Yeah, I know what you mean. It seems that the more educated you are and the more skilled you are, the lower the pay.

(And don't get me started on the government pension nonsense. The pension plans for government jobs were started because of the low pay. But then as the pay became more competetive--and very often government jobs pay significantly MORE than their private sector counterparts--the pension system wasn't revised accordingly. Ridiculous.)

Dave Haynes said...

You pay $10 an hour for babysitting?

E. Peevie said...

Dave--Yes. Don't you? Not for an inexperienced 14-year-old, but for an experienced older HS kid who actually interacts with the kids and washes the dishes she gets dirty? Yes.

And more for an adult babysitter.