Right, I’m going to get this out if I have to sit here ALL NIGHT. I’m sick as a dog who is sick as a dog that’s sick, but I don’t flippin’ care. I wrote a great blog post, and I’m going to recreate the magic for you now, just like in that Aladdin Disney movie. Only with substantially more violence. Like if the genie had been armed with a chainsaw, or a rocket launcher or something…
So I’m getting better at writing this each time. The first time, it was a reactionary and hurt-filled response to what I would call an unnecessarily pointed email. The last time, it was a well constructed response that canvassed all the necessary points in explaining my point-of-view. So what will it be this time? I don’t know, but I’m starting to get concerned that I’m trapped in a loop of eternal return – forever destined to rewrite this post.
So to the beginning again. What started it all, is this post in my blog. In response to this offer of contract work, I needed to come to a decision on what was reasonable pay for this kind of service. So I sent an email to a bunch of my friends who are in IT related careers. I got a variety of responses, but all of them seemed to have one thing in common: They were all substantially lower then what I had expected. Not only that, but they were substantially lower then what had been suggested by the guy employing me. He’d said that he would expect to be paying between $100 and $200 an hour, and after some thought, I settled on $140 an hour.
The next thing that happened is that I thought it would be worth encouraging my friends that maybe their skills were worth more then they thought. That maybe, they were undervaluing themselves and could expect to be paid more for their services. So I sent an email to this effect.
What followed was a reply from a guy who I have respect for both as a person and as an IT professional, but after his response, the former isn’t so intact. He ridiculed both me and my assessment of what is a reasonable rate of pay, and suggested I was ripping off the people employing me. I’m generally not happy. Here’s some of what I’m talking about:
“Personally I think over $100 per hour just to set up and install a Windows Server and Active Directory is a bit rich! I would have a problem paying that much. The skills need to perform this type of thing well are not in short supply, in fact there are a lot of people out there these days that could competently do this sort it. I would consider a single server environment like this to be a very basic network and so would feel embarrassed to ask for more than around $90 per hour.”
OK, I’ve written this one too many times. I’m a bit over it, to be honest. Here is the abridged version:
The above is based on a bunch of ideas that I don’t believe are true. One is that there are a lot of people who can do the work I’ve been asked to do. I think this is untrue – there are a lot of people who will claim to be able to do this work. I have seen this first hand a bunch of times. People claim to be able to do it, but then botch it up royally, because they were just trying to talk up their employability. Secondly, just being able to do it isn’t good enough. You need to be able to do it well, and the person employing you needs to know this. You need to have a good reputation, and if you do, you should charge accordingly. Believe it or not, I have a good reputation amongst people I’ve done this kind of work for.
Lastly, and most annoyingly, it’s based on the idea that the guy who wrote it is substantially “better” then me. The email very blatantly implies that if I charge more then he would, that I’m ripping off my employer. That makes me very angry.
I want to write more, but I’m just too tired and too fed up. This is a crap post I know but I wanted to write something about it. So maybe a half baked sum-up is in order:
I am good at what I do. I am worth the money I get paid. Maybe even more. Don’t think so? Well keep your craphouse negative opinions to yourself.