Monday, October 22, 2012

New posting schedule, and has your income taken a ding over the years?

First, to update you on one of the job opportunities I talked about last week--the one that never returned my phone calls or emails like one of those boyfriends who's "just not that into you." Well, after a phone interview, a Skype interview, and spending hours on an editing assignment they gave me, I finally received a rather vague "We are currently reviewing our project and staffing needs and will have a better idea of what specific project needs require what skill sets in the next month..." reply. Whatever.

Man, I am sour.  I can still put on a happy face during an interview--I'm still an eternal optimist--but I can tell you right now, any further "assessments" prospective employers want to give me had better be limited to a half hour of required labor. I'm not putting hours worth of work on something that may or may not ever be returned with common courtesy. 

Mike is convinced that employers are farming out real work to job applicants to see how much they can get done for free.  I'm not that cynical, but I'm starting to wonder if he has a point.  How many candidates did free instructional design work for CenturyLink? If they had five people create a 45-minute session on how to sell an iPad, chances are they can walk away with a curriculum developed pretty much for free.

But wait!  There's more... 

Is it me, or are wages these days not what they used to be?  I have yet to come across an opportunity that pays anywhere near what I made back in 2000.  And lately the figure that's being thrown around is the same I was making when I got out of grad school in 1991.

I was bitching about this to my mother, and she reminded me that every one of my siblings has had to take some kind of mandatory furlough. So is anyone making more than they did in the past, or are employers leveraging their upper hand by squeezing a little more work out of their workers for a little less pay?

What's been your experience?

Changing subjects...  For the first time since I started this blog in July 2008, I've decided to change my posting schedule--I'll now be posting on Mondays and Thursdays.  I hate to cut the schedule from three posts a week to two, but I've begun to write my next book and really need to devote as much time to that as I can.  Plus, I'm working more seriously on my comedy.   

It's important to me that I maintain a regular schedule that people can count on, and for more than four years, I've been pretty damn reliable.  Posting two days a week will help me maintain that reliability. And I'll throw up bonus posts now and then--I just feel better committing to two days rather than three. 

Adorable Carmel
Don't think this is the beginning of the end; I'm not going to slowly fade from the blogosphere like so many others.  I love blogging too much, and I love my readers even more.  I'm still feeling the cozy hug I got when I met fellow blogger Carmel after a set I did at the Hilton last Thursday night.  OMG, she is ADORABLE!!!  Actually, we hugged about five times.  I wish I could bottle her hugs and envelop myself in her warmth whenever I wantedSo see, there's no friggin' way I would stop blogging.

Wow.  I forgot to tell you I did a set at the Hilton last week.  Great stage, and they said they'll have me back for sure.  Yay!

Sending Carmel's hug your way... 


Mimi said...

Linda, sorry to be a damp squid, and it's really not like me (eternal, incurable optomist here!) but I do think Mike has a point. Before I got to that line in your post, I was thinking.."this sounds like someone seeing what they can get for free" , so I hope I'm wrong, but if not, then who'd want to work for such a Scrooge company?
You did a set in the Hilton! WOW! and WOW!
Twice a week is still a big commitment, and can't wait for your next book, so you're excused, lol!

Vegas Linda Lou said...

Thank you, my friend! There are so many companies pulling this bullshit--I'm really getting frustrated! I can understand why they'd want to see samples of my work, but I should be able to send them things I've already done.

lightning36 said...

Hugs from Carmel? I am jealous. : o )

Everything is life depends on timing. I helped negotate a five-year contract with big raises every year at my workplace right before the economy went in the crapper. We are in year five and are looking at smaller raises for the next contract, but ... dang, the past five years have been great. Pure luck in timing.

grrouchie said...

Oddly enough, since coming to Vegas I have doubled my hourly in the past 6 years and nearly tripled my hourly from what I was hired at 10 years ago.

I did have some topsey turvey years in there where my income went up and then back down.... but it's all about the long run right?

Vegas Linda Lou said...

You guys are lucky!

And lightning36, you should be jealous--Carmel gives amazing hugs!

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Taradharma said...

well, Linda, the unemployment rate being what it is, they have us by the short hairs, and they know. It stinks. And yes, you could easily be evaluated on past projects, but then they wouldn't benefit, would they?

Congrats on the Hilton show! ANd getting to the book. Lots going on despite the disappointing office job front.

Kellee said...

Can't wait for the next book!

More work for less pay has become the norm. My husband encountered it first in the casino biz; unfortunately, construction followed. The whole attitude has been "you do great work and we value all that you do; congratulations you get to keep your job." I keep hoping if we stick it out long enough we'll reap the rewards, but it's been four years. Don't get me wrong I am happy we are still employed, but I miss the good ole days.

Carmel said...

The night was a blast. Thanks again. It was lovely meeting you! See you Friday.

The Chief said...

I think Mike is absolutely correct. Some analysts cite labor costs as the first thing a business will try to cut when there is a down-turn or increased supply costs. It seems a clever twist on the whole “intern” scheme.

There is a proliferation of (possibly illegal) “internships” – read that working for free. To be fair and accurate, there are, and have been legitimate intern programs such as those offered by aerospace companies. [These pay a stipend and are related to one’s degree program.] My friend’s son had a summer internship at the Petersen Automotive Museum. The internship was coordinated through the college he attends and he was paid a stipend.

Articles and internet job gurus tell us that working as an intern is a great way to get our foot in the door and/or facilitate that ‘career change’. The truth is, as long as there is a glut workers (more supply than demand), this kind of abuse will continue.
Hang in there, Linda Lou!