Thursday, March 02, 2006

Making a living in one of the worst paid job markets in Canada

A little rant, for the record.

This morning I was approached, through a tip from a well meaning colleague, by a technical recruiter from Calgary who was looking for a technical writer in Victoria. But it was a junior position, and she offered me $20 an hour! That, I told her, is what my cleaner charges. This is the second recruiter in a six month period who's offered me $20 an hour for tech writing; the last one was in Vancouver, for heaven's sake. I think there is more pure dignity in working as a cleaner for that kind of money than as a technical writer, so I turned it down -- in the interests of not driving the salary standards for professional writers any further towards the basement than they already are.

Who is accepting such wages, and can you please stop?

I think this also demonstrates the perils of agency employment vs contracting for a living; through the sweat of our brows we are offered the opportunity to subsidize the decent wages the recruiters are making. They do not seem to understand that there is a difference between a permanent salaried job with benefits that can be quoted as a theoretical hourly wage, and a contract position that requires us to patch a living together from a month here and a month there, and pay our own health care, training, holidays and overhead. Grrr.

2 Comments:

Anonymous mari-lou said...

thumb your nose at all recruiters I say, snub and spite them. they are the vermin, the parasites, the vultures of the human resources species. hang up a shingle I say. proclaim your talent to the world. and if anyone questions it, tell them to read this blog!

P.S. Any potluck ideas for an Oscar Party with a Western theme?

6:58 PM  
Blogger Rhona McAdam said...

Thanks Mari-Lou. Your sensible, straightforward advice always makes me feel much better. Snub and spite it is, then.

As for potluck ideas, you could go obvious (ribs) or high-cholesterol (chicken-fried steak with red-eye gravy) or obscure (to me anyway: I just found out there's a Texas favourite called Kolache: a sweet bun made from yeasted dough with a fruit, poppy seed or even - in Texas - sausage or cheese filling).

10:06 PM  

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