I met all the other people in the office today. Several of them are contractors. Everyone seems nice and relatively normal. For now.I spent the day reviewing payroll. Don’t be jelly. I’ve got a copy of the federal wage rates and the state wage rates. I flip between them like a woman possessed. Contractors must pay the higher of the two rates. On this particular type of project, Davis-Bacon rules apply. Now, I want bacon.
What I discovered is that it’s okay to pay *above* the required rate. Most contractors do. They keep the good workers that way. Paying below posted highest rates requires making up the difference. And paperwork for me.
As a parent, I remember some of our kid friends babysitting for us. A little nervous, we talked payment up front as much as possible.
“Pay me whatever”, they inevitably said, accompanied by a shrug.
Nuh-uh. That’s no good. Everyone needs to be on the same page right away. I used to babysit for $1/hr. It sucked. I hated babysitting and the pay did not make it more palatable. Especially the one time I watched 5 kids for 8 hours. Getting $40 to keep the middle kid off the roof and the youngest from jumping off the top of the swing set did not cover the hazard pay.
“Your time is worth something,” I told them, both boys and girls. They allow me to be off the clock for a couple hours. I think somehow in the Christian community especially we tend to want to serve. We talk serving up as a desirable quality. “He has a servant heart.” Serving is a good thing. But getting paid for actual work blesses the server. As a musician, getting paid for a gig made me very happy. It happened so rarely. Someone thought my talent merited monetary compensation! I have writer and artist friends who speak in giddy tones about selling their first piece. It’s a big deal.
I get paid for working at the city. I got paid working for the shelter. My expertise, attention to detail and ability to communicate and prioritize make me a team player. I have other skills, too, but it’s the sum total of what I know and who I am that brings home the paycheck.
So say the same to you. You’re worth paying. Your experiences and abilities matter in this world. Your time, something we can only spend once and never get back, is worth something. Don’t sell yourself short.