Recalled Transcripts of My Salary Negotiations

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Babysitting
“We’ll pay you $8 an hour to hang out with our baby and then watch HBO until we come home.”
“You don’t have to pay me! I’m your neighbor and friend!”
“Kid, take the money.”
“Okay.”

“We want you to babysit our daughter, who is well-behaved and will sit in the corner reading until she goes to bed by herself. Also, please help yourself to all of the treats in our house, including the tray of brownies I made for you and also every flavor of Capri Sun. What are your rates? ”
“The other family pays me $8 an hour.”
“Oh, no. We pay $12.”
“Okay.”

“Please watch our three terrible children and two awful dogs. We’re not going to talk about money at all now, but after we come home, we’ll hand you a check which you’ll wait to look at until you walk home, and the rate will come out to $5 an hour. Also, we don’t have any good snacks.”
“Okay.”

Office
“We can start you at $30,000 a year, which we know sounds like a lot of money to a person just out of college. Please don’t take a moment to consider that $30,000 is $2,500 a month, before taxes, and that to rent a room in this city will cost you $800, at least. Also, please note that we will give you health insurance after three months, but the plan will have a $5,000 deductible and won’t cover anything having to do with mental health, including any visits to a general practitioner during which you discuss and he makes note of your depression, which will be all of them, for reasons that will soon be clear, and you’ll pay for those all out of pocket. Also, you’ll be eligible for a small raise after one year, but by then you’ll have already realized that everyone else at this small company is making five bazillion dollars, so the the six-and-a-half percent raise we offer you will be a joke. So: $30,000.”
“Okay.”

“We think we’ll be able to use you on positions that range from $8 to $16 an hour, though please note that this is Los Angeles and if you take any jobs on the lower end of that spectrum, you will probably spend at least half a day’s wages on gas and time lost in traffic. Does that work?”
“Okay.”

Retail
“We can pay $8.50 an hour base pay, with bonuses for sales and credit card applications, technically, but you won’t actually sell enough to get any of those bonuses because we’ll stick you behind a cash register most of the time, and also, the interest rate on our credit card is like, 25%, and as someone who knows how these things work, you will never actually attempt to get anyone to apply. So: $8.50 an hour?”
“Okay.”

Writing
“We can’t pay you.”
“Okay.”

“We don’t have a budget.”
“Okay.”

“This will be for your clips, not for money.”
“Okay.”

“We can pay you $20 for a short post, and $50 for a longer one. Does that work?”
“Wait, what?”
“For your short write-ups, we’ll pay $20. Longer reviews get $50. Okay?”
“Yeah. Okay.”

“What would you charge for this project?”
“Um, what are you paying?”
“That’s not how this works. You tell me what you want, and I tell you if I can pay that.”
“But don’t you already know what you’re going to pay me anyway? Can we just skip this part?”
“No.”
“Okay. I want, fifty … one … hundred? One-hundred? $100.”
“$100 what?”
“Um, per thing?”
“Per day or per article?”
“…”
“How about you keep track of your hours and we pay you $20 an hour.”
“Okay.”

How all of those should have gone, and will go in the future
“How much money do you want?”
“One million dollars.”
“Well, we are offering you X amount of dollars.”
“I was thinking more like Y amount of dollars, actually.”
“Fair point. Let’s settle with Z amount of dollars.”
“Okay.”
“Okay.”

Logan Sachon takes what she can get.

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